Corduroy has always been one of my favorite books. Don Freeman was able to tell a timeless children’s story while also making contemporary social statements without ever feeling preachy or forced. I never noticed that as a kid though; I just loved the idea of Corduroy wandering the department store at night and finding Lisa to love him at the end. It seems fitting that this wonderful book should be made into a stage production because Don Freeman reportedly loved the theater.1
If you’ve got the long Presidents Day weekend to while away with the kids, you might be looking for a way to get out and make the most of it. We’ve rounded up a dozen free or inexpensive ways:
Starts Feb 17: Tropical Beach Party | Minnesota Zoo | Pretend you’re seaside in the huge indoor sandbox!
Winter Safari Weekend | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul | Feb 17-19, 10am-4pm | Escape the cold and take a safari through the tropics. Special Zookeeper talks and storytime. FREE.
SATURDAY, FEB 17
Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour | Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer | 12-5pm | See the website for details on pouring your own iron sculpture. Free admission, fee if creating and purchasing a sculpture.
Phalen Freeze Fest | St Paul | Try your hand at ice fishing, then warm up and cook over an open fire, play boot hockey and snowshoe. FREE.
SUNDAY, FEB 18
Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St Paul | 9am-5pm | Explore the newly renovated and expanded museum free! Keep in mind that this program is very popular and you may wait in line to be admitted.
Free Family Art Day | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka | 2 sessions: 12 & 2pm | Take a free, hour-long art class designed for kids ages 5+ with caregivers. Reservations are required and can be made by phone at 763.323.8830 or online here.
Family Fun Day: Under the Snow | Carl Kroening Interpretive, Minneapolis | 1-3pm | Drop in for naturalist-led activities and self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits.
MONDAY, FEB 19
Free 3rd Monday | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska | 8am-4pm | Take advantage of both indoor and outdoor activities.
Open Play at Plymouth Fieldhouse | 10:30am-1:30pm | $4-$5/pp, caregivers free | During the chilly months, heat in the field house is turned on to 55 degrees for fun with inflatables, slides, nets and lots of space to run the kids ragged.
Tail Time | Wild Rumpus Books | 10:30am | FREE | Arrive early if you want to get a decent spot at this popular story time. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store!
Family Snowshoeing with Hot Cocoa | Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement | 1-2:30pm | $6/pp
On your day off, explore snowbanks, search for animal tracks and warm up with cocoa afterwards. Equipment provided. Reservations required. (Event 1NWS6150)
TUESDAY, FEB 20
Teddy Bear Storytime | James J Hill House, St Paul | 10:30-11:30am | $6/pp | Bring your own bear for stories and a special tour.