The Free List – Five Free Family Outings To Make The Most of This Dwindling Summer

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I haven’t been into any department stores recently, but I suspect Back-To-School supplies started going up this week. Can you feel the summer ticking away? I can. Not to worry. There are plenty of fun things left to do this week. If none of my picks interest you, check our Calendars. Gianna wrote an overview of July here. I’ve suggested 31 Dates in July that you can do with or without the kids. Most of these are free or very cheap. There are also July Festivals; Anne’s Budget Outingsand all the things that we didn’t get around to writing about but Gianna  pasted into this week’s Inbox article. The following are my favorite outings for the weekend of July 11-13, 2014.


You are invited to join Family Fun Twin Cities on Friday, July 11, 2014 from 10:30am-10:30 pm (or so).  Come join us for a FANTASTIC day!

You are invited to join Family Fun Twin Cities on Friday, July 11, 2014 from 10:30am-10:30 pm (or so). Come join us for a FANTASTIC day!

Family Fun Twin Cities July Play Date
Friday, July 11, 2014; 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Various locations in South Minneapolis

Family Fun Twin Cities is “hosting” another Play Date on Friday. By hosting we mean, Gianna has told us where she will be with her kids all day Friday (and my family and I will be meeting her for the evening portion). We hope that you and your family will decide to hang out with us. We’d love to meet you or just play parallel to you. Gianna has 12 hours of fun planned, including hitting the beach, sailboating, trolley rides and entertainment at Lake Harriet Bandshell.  I can’t wait to sing along with Grease! Not everything planned for the play date is free, but there are enough free things to do to have a great time and go home tired. Get all the details HERE.



Sometimes a Flyer Is Worth 1000 Words.

Sometimes a Flyer Is Worth 1000 Words. For even more information, click here to go to the website.

In the 1890s, Minnesota artist Burt Harwood taught a summer art school at the Sibley House property. Visit the same beautiful place that inspired him and create art as well as memories with family and friends.

Family Art Day

Saturday, July 12, 2014; 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sibley Historic Site, 1357 Sibley Memorial Highway, Mendota; 651-452-1596

The Sibley House is hosting a free Family Art Day this weekend.  You and your family can try various forms of art, such as painting, bookmaking and drawing.  You can also have your Victorian-style silhouette made to take home! While you are at the Sibley Site, relax with a picnic and try some games that kids from the 1890s may have played.  If you want to explore greater Mendota, it happens to be Mendota Days this weekend and there is a parade at noon and tours of the historic jail.  (I’ll leave it up to you if you want to threaten your kids with leaving them there if they don’t behave.)


Do-It-Yourself Open House Tour
Saturday, July 12, 2014; various times.
Locations Throughout the Twin Cities

There are several Open Houses of historic sites throughout the Twin Cities on Saturday.  I’ve listed them below with links.  This isn’t a formal tour.  I just noticed a lot of Open Houses and thought it might be fun to hit them all in a day. If you don’t want to drive all over the Twin Cities, but would like to do all of these open houses, most of them are weekly or at least monthly.

Open House at the Farm
Saturday, July 12, 2014; 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Dodge Nature Center Farm, 1701 Charlton Street, West St Paul, MN, United States

Image Credit: Three Rivers Park District. Click Here to view website.

Brickmania Toyworks Open House

Saturday, July 12, 2014 (and every Saturday); 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Brickmania Toyworks – 1620 Central Avenue NE, Suite 170, Minneapolis
Grimm Farm House Open House
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm.
Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, MN 55386
Pierre Bottineau House Open House
Saturday, July 12, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Historic Train Depot Open Days
Saturday, July 12, 2014; ; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Historic Milwaukee Railroad Depot, Jorvig Park in St. Louis Park


Family Day at the MIA -Ready, Set, Draw!

Family Day at the MIA -Ready, Set, Draw!

Family Day at the MIA – Ready, Set, Draw!

Sunday, July 13, 2014; 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 2400 3rd Avenue South, MN, United States

Sunday is Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  This month’s theme celebrates the special exhibition, “Marks of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with activities centering around drawing.  Enjoy and air-conditioned afternoon at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and make some art together as a family.

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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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