These Twin Cities-area family destinations are shrugging off the chill and opening their doors this month. Who’s ready to get outside?
TWIN CITIES SEASONAL EVENTS OPENING IN APRIL
Opens Apr 1: Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary | Minneapolis
Spring means the arrival of new growth, birdsong, and family rambles in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Naturalists will guide you in spotting signs on the season each Sunday afternoon or, if you’d like, drop by the sanctuary to explore at your leisure during the week. It’s always free to explore. Tours meet at the Visitor Center. Starting April 1, ongoing Sundays, 1-1:45pm. Nature Tots, a program for 2-5 year-olds and their caregivers, is a fun way for the very youngest naturalists to explore the garden. (Ongoing Wed, starting mid-April | $5).
Opens Apr 1: Oliver Kelley Farm | Elk River
The farm operates as though you’ve gone back to the 1860’s. Guides in period dress are happy to dispense as much or as little information as you’d like about the animals, chores, cooking and harvesting done by the Kelley family when they farmed the land around the time of the Civil War. Kids can plunge right into the chores — and, in our experience, are much more willing to than they are at home: pumping buckets of water, raiding the veggie patch for weeds to treat the sheep, sorting beans and stirring a pot of them on the farmhouse stove. Wander through the barns and meet the animals. Stop in at the new visitor center for more hands-on exhibits. Weekends only, 10am-5pm.
Opens Apr 6: Saturday Mornings on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm
Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Strollers not allowed in the barn or around animals. 9:30am-12pm, $5/pp.
Opens Apr 15: Twin Cities Festival – Spring Babies | Brooklyn Park
An admission ticket grants you access to cuddles with baby farm animals, hayrides, a play area and more diversions. Bonus: first 500 kids through the gates on opening day get a free stuffed bunny. Weekends only through the end of April, 10am-5pm. $9/online, $10/door.
Opens Apr 27: Como Town Amusement Park | St Paul
The park consists of a collection of rides that will suit most tastes, from a very mild train to a mildly thrilling roller coaster. Kids up to about 12 years old will be entertained for hours running between the attractions, cooling off (when summer hits) in the Splash Zone and taking part in special events such as Prince & Princess Dress-Up Wednesdays (each Wed in June, come in costume and save on a rides wristband). You can choose to purchase an unlimited ride wristband ($15.95-$21.95) or purchase individual points if treating the kids to a couple rides is part of a package day at Como Park Zoo. Weekend hours only in April, 10am-5pm.