Free List: Five Free Family Activities — Art, Culture and Environment

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This week’s Free List seems to revolve around Art, Culture and Environment.   I have two art exhibit options that don’t require a trip to a museum.  If you are missing the Landmark Center’s Urban Expeditions, there is a festival option for you.  I also have a couple options for helping the environment while having fun as a family.

Want more?  Check our Calendars for lots of ideas.  Gianna has some ideas for dates (with or without the kids) this month — some are free.  Speaking of free stuff, there is still time to sign up for Anne’s contest to Win Free Tickets to the State Fair until Sunday at 9 p.m.

All Weekend:

The Eloise Butler Wildflower Florilegium Exhibit
Cargill Hall – Minneapolis Central Librar, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 55401
August 14, 2014- October 27, 2014
9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday
Noon – 5 p.m., Sunday
Impatiens capensis

Kathy Creger, Impatiens capensis, Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Image via Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board)

The Eloise Butler Wildflower Florilegium Exhibit opens at Minneapolis Central with a reception and tour tonight (Thursday the 14th)  from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The exhibit is ongoing through the end of October, and displays almost 50 botanical paintings by students of the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. The paintings depict native plants found at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, which was established in 1907 and is the oldest public wildflower garden in America.

American Wild Flowers Coloring Book from Dover Press.

This is an exhibit I would personally like to get out to because several years ago I picked up a coloring book of American Wild Flowers  for my then preschooler.  She has only recently take a shine to it as she enters fourth grade.  If you are interested in extending the fun to home, you can get the same coloring book from Dover Press for $4.99.  (I’m not selling the book for them, I just liked it.)  You can also print your own unbound coloring pages for free from the USDA’s website.  Then you can combine this outing with a trip to The Eloise Butler Wildflower garden with your coloring pages or even a sketch pad in tow to make your own botanical art.



Indiafest 2014


Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN, United States
Saturday, August 16, 2014; Noon to 6:00 p.m.

India Association of Minnesota will host IndiaFest on the grounds of the State Capitol on Saturday.  It seems like it has been awhile since we’ve featured an outing to learn more about another country or culture. Join this celebration of the the rich culture and heritage of India, featuring food, arts, traditions and clothing.  As well as fun activities like kite flying, chess, cricket, carrom board and Snakes & Ladders.  There will also be henna and face painting; a shopping bazaar and a raffle.

Hennepin Environment's photo.

Fix-It Clinic Photo via Hennepin Environment

Fix-It Clinic #23
Oxboro Library, 8801 Portland Ave. S, Bloomington
Saturday, August 9, 2014; Noon to 4:00 p.m.

We have another chance to fix our broken items with the help of experts this weekend.  You can read more about Fix-It Clinics HERE.

The mission of the Eden Prairie Art Center is to enhance the quality of life and foster creativity in our community by providing access to the arts for people of all ages and abilities.

Art on the City Walls

Eden Prairie Art Center
Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
(Also weekday hours — See our Calendar for times)

Art on City Walls began in 1980 in Eden Praire and is a regularly revolving exhibit of local and regional artists. It is a relatively small display of up to 40 pieces, so this can be a great way to start the habit of viewing art — without the big museum commitment.  Since exhibits are changed out every six weeks, it could easily be a regular family activity, especially if you live in or near the south suburbs.


Urban-Oasis-cultivates-aUrban Oasis Food Fest
Urban Oasis, 740 Seventh Street East, Saint Paul 
August 17, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Urban Oasis is an organization with a mission to bring healthy food to the community.  The are hosting a big party to celebrate the growing East Side food scene and say thank you to their supporters with a zero waste event. They want us all to “come and say hello!” on Sunday.  Learn how to can tomatoes while sampling treats and gathering menu ideas from East Side food vendors.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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