The Flint Hills Family Festival will celebrate its 23rd anniversary in 2023 in Downtown Saint Paul, including the Ordway, Rice Park and other nearby public spaces. The family portion of the festival will be celebrated Friday and Saturday, June 2-3, 2023. This annual celebration ushers in the summer festival season for many Twin Cities families. This year’s Festival will also include a wide variety of food trucks and a beer garden where attendees can purchase snacks and meals.
What is the Flint Hills Family Festival?
Flint Hills Family Festival is a celebration for kids (and their families) about different cultures/countries. On one hand, you have the traditional face painting, art-making activities, and balloon artists. Then, you turn around and your eyes see a Tibetan dancer or a Ugandan flute. Flint Hills tells us we can expect “outdoor dance parties; giant, inflatable light-up sculptures; and interactive art-making for the whole family!”
Flint Hills Family Weekend is full of FREE Outdoor Fun
And Low Cost Indoor Performances
It’s the perfect outing for a large family. This year, Family Weekend is June 2-3, 2023.
Each year the Flint Hills Family Festival offers a free outdoor festival and low-cost performances indoors. The indoor shows at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts will be $5 each. These tickets are first come, first served and expected to sell out. Advance tickets can be purchased online through the Ordway website, by phone at 651-224-4222, or in-person at the Ordway ticket office.
The dates for the 2023 Flint Hills Festival have been announced.
- School Days May 30-June 1, 2023
- Family Days June 2-3, 2023.
2023 Flint Hills Family Festival Performances
This year’s indoor artists will include:
- Lightwire Theater’s “The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare: The Next Gen” – an electroluminescent presentation of the Aesop fable.
- The ReMINDers – soulful roots music.
- The String Queens – String tril
FREE outdoor entertainment will include
- Salsa del Soul
- Koo Koo Kanga Roo will end the festival with a FREE performance at 3:15pm on June 3rd.
12 Tips to Make Flint Hills Festival a Smashing Success for your Family
We’ve been fans of Flint Hills since our kids were small and have gathered tips over the years. If this is your first visit, read on.
- Bring a backpack with water and healthy, hearty snacks. More than likely there will be food to purchase via food trucks, but you will have to wait in line. There is so much to do, you won’t want to take the time to stand in line. We packed a lunch of fruits and veggies. It was a great way to make sure we all had some vitamins and nutrients for the amount of walking we would do.
- Bring some cash. While most everything is free, you won’t find free parking anywhere convenient.
- Wear comfortable shoes. We wandered around a lot, even thought the festival is relatively compact. Rice Park is not a large park, and after they set the stage in the middle, only half the park remains for booths and activities. The festival is in a small space, but the ground plan utilizes the space well.
- Considering bringing help. Some years, I’ve taken the children by myself and enjoyed myself. One year, I invited my mom and aunt to come with us. It was nice to have help so that the kids could choose to do something next door and not wait for the rest of us. But it was very doable to do without help, too.
- Go early. Not because you will beat the crowd. Nope, that’s not it at all. Go early to beat the rain that is sure to come in the afternoon and shut down the cool outdoor performances. (Let’s just say this has happened more than once to me)
- Bring an umbrella. See Tip #1
- Have a rain plan. In the afternoon, hit the indoor shows or hang out in the activity tents!
- Say “Yes”. When your child wants to do something, say yes right away especially if it’s a balloon animal/creation. Later there will be a line.
- Don’t Wait. Eat when the kids want to eat. When you are out of food and they are hungry, leave.
- Take your time. There is a lot to see and it’s super fun, but don’t feel like you need to do it all.
- Get a Map and Goodie Bag. Our first stop is the Flint Hills Tent to pick up a bag to collect all our goodies and to get a map. I highly recommend doing this–it is so helpful!
- Explore the permanent public art at Rice Park. Rice Park is full of public art, including several Peanuts characters, F. Scott Fitzgerald and a lady in a fountain. Take a few moments to see if you can find them all.