Family Fun Idea: Kids at the Castle at American Swedish Institute


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This is exactly how my kids refer to the American Swedish Institute: “Going to play in the castle!” And while on the facade it’s more imposing stone fortress than Disney fantasy, this castle has got plenty for children to enjoy.

tm american swedish institute 4 (2)

Such as the aptly-named Kids at the Castle program. Hosted the third Friday of each month, the program is aimed at kids ages 2-5 and involves simple activities that typically tie into ASI’s current exhibitions.  I was pleasantly surprised the day I visited that the program, which is held before the museum opens to the public, also included a structured circle time with music and movement, and a themed storytime.

PicMonkey - american swedish institute

After the event, we were free to explore the nooks and crannies of the Turnblad Mansion. On the don’t-miss list for families with kids:

  • IMG_6543the play nook high in the turrets of the castle. Stocked with a pretend café, picture books and an art project, we could easily have spent hour in that room alone.
  • the interactive “Swedes Rock!” exhibit where your little rockstars can jam to tunes made famous by Swedish recording artists. Now through October, 2015.
  • ASI’s Outdoor Playcart – props for outdoor play and discovery on the lawn. Pack a lunch to bring along and eat outside while the kids play or purchase food from the FIKA cafe.
  • Find Tomte’s mailbox and write the Swedish Christmas elf a letter.
  • When my son was 6, I purchased ($2 at the time) a special children’s tour booklet, available in the gift shop, to make the most of his visit.

Location: American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue Minneapolis, 55407

Next Kids at the Castle: Friday, August 21, 2015 • 11am, check in at the registration desk in the Nelson Cultural Center.

Cost: $5/family


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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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