The Free List – Decemember 27 – 29, 2013

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This is a good weekend to avoid shopping unless you are a power shopper.  We’re still eating Christmas leftovers, so we’re not even going to grocery shop this weekend.  There’s always cleaning and laundry, but who really wants to do that?  Here are a few fun things to do — even if you blew your budget on Christmas.


S’mores & More – Outreach –  Outdoor Fun!

Gro Tonka Park,  17003 Prospect Place, Minnetonka
Friday, December 27, 2013; 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
My family goal is to spend more time outdoors this winter.  So far, I’m not doing too well — although the kids are getting out there.  This looks like a great way to get outside this weekend.  The Hopkins-Minnetonka Recreation Service and Three Rivers Park District are teaming up to offer a night of  ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and kick-sledding with hot chocolate and s’mores by the fire. Bring your own skates and a chair to sit by the bonfire. Registration is not required and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.  If you are unsure, call 952.939.8355 to check on any weather cancellations.





State Capital LEGO® Model Display – History with a Playful Twist

Minnesota State Capital, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155
Saturday, December 28, 2013; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tours: 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Visiting the Minnesota State Capitol has been on my bucket list for some time now.  Seeing the LEGO® model is only part of my incentive.  This weekend is a good weekend to do this in my household as we have an overseas house guest.  However, just getting there for ourselves would be interesting.  Besides the LEGO® replica of the capitol, I would like to go on one of thef free guided tours of the building.  That part will probably be of most interest to the adults and maybe the grade schooler, but the little ones get to see hte LEGO® model, so hopefully it will go well.   😀  Image Credit:


Make Yourself A(t) Home

North side of University between Hamline and Syndicate on the former Midway Chevrolet site
Saturday, December 28, 2013; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This is a last-minute addition.  I just happened to see it in my Facebook feed.  The Facebook invite says “Invite only”, but I checked and it is a public event.  Stop by or, if you want an invite, go friend Leo’s Loft and ask for an invite.   This is the information from the invite:

“Free event to celebrate HOME! Make projects in a giant inflatable structure, Play Yard games in the snow and Create a cardboard replica of the 108 affordable Housing units that PPL will build on this very site this spring! Leonardo’s Basement in partnership with ARTIFY – Bringing the Arts to Hamline Station and Irrigate and Project for Pride in Living and Springboard for the Arts The fun will happen on the former University Avenue Midway Chevrolet site (Hamline and University Aves, across from Target).  Puppets ‘n’ People will be there as well doing a project called Seven Steps Around the House! Come help make a puppet show, take in some giant puppets, and do some fun projects.”

eastmanRecycled Bird Feeders – Something to do with Your Milk Cartons

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Road,  Dayton, MN 55369
Sunday, December 29, 2013; 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Eastman Nature Center is hosting a drop-in event on Sunday. Bring a milk carton (or 3) and turn them into birdfeeders.  You can even learn which birdseed attracts which birds. This program is recommended for ages 5 and up, but I’m sure there is something for the younger crowd to do while the older ones make birdfeeders.  Image Credit: Three Rivers Parks.Org

I know I’ve shared this often, but it is cool.  Click the picture below to go to an Interactive Bird Song Poster courtesy of the Minnesota DNR.  This would be fun to have nearby while you watch the birds in your new bird feeder.

Birds variety all backyard



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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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