Twin Cities Special Needs ShortList
Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids
Free Ice Cream Days & Cheap Cones in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities Special Needs ShortList

Special Needs

Families with Special Needs are our HEROES! We have always thought that. After attending AUSM’s Steps of Hope event in 2016, we knew that we needed to up our game to serve our heroes even better.

We decided to make this Special Needs ShortList as a launching point.  This guide is for families in the midst of crisis–or friends of those families– who need a place to start.  This is our first step, our first attempt.  Feedback and suggestions are very welcomed.

The Special Needs ShortList is sponsored by the Autism Society of Minnesota.

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Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids

Do you feel vibrations coming off your kid every time she sees a cool car? Your not alone. Summer is the time to indulge those car crazy kids. While some of our ideas are available year round, summer is NASCAR season, vintage car season and festival season – all great times to get up close with automobiles. Here are some of our favorite ways to indulge your car crazy kids this year.

Twin Cities Fun for Car Crazy Kids

Car Crazy “Driving” Opportunities

When your kids wants to be the driver and you are not to keen on handing them the keys, we have a few other choices:

  • Driving School! at Como Town  There are several car rides at Como Town, and if your car lover is under age 4, you’ll have to pick one of the others, but Driving School is the most exciting of the car rides. Kids get to drive their own cars navigating their way through the streets of the driving school. Just like with a real car, they steer, brake and accelerate their vehicles.  •  Driving School costs 6 points, which translates to $3.00 per ride.
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum • Kids can pretend to drive a Fire Truck or a City Bus in the Our World Exhibit. • Admission is $12.95/pp.
  • Minnesota History Center The History Center actually has a few cars in the museum – some you can touch, some you can’t. But the Then Now Wow Exhibit has a Model T that your Car Crazy Kid can actually crank up. • Admission is $6-$12/pp (FREE on Tuesday nights)
  • Carl Kroening Interpretive Center “Drive” down Interstate 94 (See the photo above). FREE.
Learn about Hwy 94 at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center

Learn about Hwy 94 and pretend to drive at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center

Visit the Speedway

  • Elko Speedway has NASCAR racing all summer, but the best time to go is for Kids Night (June 16th in 2018). • Kids are free and adults tickets are $15.00.
  • Deer Creek Speedway is kind of a road-trip 2 hours south of the Twin Cities, but the facility includes a campground, so it could be a fun weekend adventure.

Image Courtesy Deer Creek Speedway FB

Family-Friendly Car Crazy Events

Museums With Cars Just to Look At.

  • Walker Art Center • When my teen was a tot, we had a Walker membership and they still offered the much missed Arty Pants program, so we would visit often. She had her favorite pieces that we had to visit each time, culminating with “Unpainted Sculpture” (the real name for the crashed car). • Admission is $14/adults; children are FREE.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art • Now we tend to get to the MIA more often.  Did you know that you can type any word into the MIA website’s search engine to design your own personal tour? This is what I found when I searched “Car”.  If you have a kid how loves cars, you can take an art break the next time you visit the MIA Block Room and see how many of these cars you can find! • FREE Admission.
  • Minnesota History Center • As I mentioned above, the Model-T is not the only car at the history center. You can also take a walk through the Greatest Generation Exhibit to See an M-8 armored vehicle and a 1955 Ford sedan, both produced at the St. Paul Ford plant.


Free Ice Cream Days & Cheap Cones in the Twin Cities

What’s sweeter than a swirl of ice cream on a cone at no charge to you? These Twin Cities ice cream shops are scooping out a steal for you on Free Cone Day 2018.

2018 Free Cone Dates

March 20 – Dairy Queen

April 10 – Ben & Jerry’s

May 8 – Haagen-Dazs (4-8pm)

Free ice cream tasting

One Sun/month | Sweet Science Ice Cream, St Paul | Check the link for dates when you can sample their ice cream for FREE.

Cheap ice cream

Conny’s Creamy Cone | St Paul | Conny’s claim to fame is her 27 flavors of soft-serve ice cream offered at great prices – kids scoops starting at just over a dollar.

Cup and Cone | White Bear Lake | This yummy soft serve joint is the pride of White Bear Lake. The prices will have you crying tears of joy.

Hastings Co-op Creamery | Hastings | Super-budget chocolate shakes!

Nelson’s Ice Cream | Stillwater & St Paul | Look forward to an incredible amount of ice cream for your money. Four kids and one hungry mom were completely satisfied with that sole kiddie scoop.

St Paul Corner Drug | St Paul | Though it’s been many years since the cones cost a quarter, the prices still evoke a different era — and are generous enough to split.

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