Family Fun Idea: Fix-It Clinics

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By now everyone has heard of Fix-It Clinics. It is a great idea. Take something broken and learn how to fix it. Or, at least, know you tried before tossing it. It’s perfect for kids, too. Kid’s love to explore and take things apart and see how they work. You might as well make that tendency useful.

What to Bring to Fix-It Clinics

You need to be able to carry anything you bring to a Fix-It Clinic – Sorry no appliances or cars. Bring your own tools if you have them so you can learn on your own equipment, but the experts will have tools on hand, also. The following is a non-exhaustive list of things that Ramsey County suggests bringing in instead of tossing:

Fix-It Clinics

  • Antique radio.
  • Blender.
  • Camping lantern.
  • Clothing and other soft goods to mend or alter.
  • Dremel tool.
  • DVD player.
  • Electric hot water kettle.
  • Fan.
  • Flashlight.
  • Hair dryer.
  • Lamp.
  • Paper shredder.
  • Remote control.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Steam mop.
  • Stereo.
  • Telephone headset.
  • Toaster oven.
  • Toaster.
  • Toys.

What Happens if You Can’t Fix the Item?

Not everything will be repairable. Know that you are responsible for disposing of any items that can’t be fixed – of course you were responsible for that before you tried. Sometimes you find really cool things inside non-repairable items. We once  took apart an old television. It was amazing how many toys we made out of the parts, plus I got a mirror out of the deal. I find that its easier to dispose of something once its taken apart.

Some Good Insider Advice for Attending

In 2014, I had a chance to chat on Facebook with Nancy Lo, the coordinator of the Hennepin Fix-It Clinic program and she let me in on a little secret:  Don’t get to the Fix-It Clinic’s early.  Sleep in, eat breakfast, go grocery shopping. Show up to the Fix-It Clinic about midway through its drop in hours. The second half is much less crowded than the first. If you show up at the midway point, you’ll still have time to work with an expert, but you won’t have to wait in line as long.

Also, in case you were worried, I also have it on Ms. Lo’s authority that these events are family friendly and kids are encouraged to attend!

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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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