The Free List – Six Super Free Family Events

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I was warned that this weekend was super busy.  It certainly isn’t going to disappoint.  It’s one of those blue-moon months when Free First Saturday at the Walker and Second-Sunday at the MIA fall on the same weekend.  Plus there is an Art in the Hollow festival at Swede Hollow in St. Paul.  Anyone who needs a good art fix should have no problems finding it this week.

There are a few good reasons to haul out to Burnsville this weekend.  Barring rain, we’ll be there for Mary Poppins tonight (our odds are still 70% good right now),  The annual Rhythm &Words Festival is also a good reason to visit.

If you are looking for something outdoors, the Urban Birding Festival is happening all weekend all over the Twin Cities.  There is a little bit of something for everyone this week.  If you don’t like any of my options, you are in luck.  There are a LOT more options on our calendarsor check out my round up of June Festivals; or just get to a park — wading pools open this weekend.  

Friday Fest – I Love Burnsville Week

Parents need to know that though the pace is rollicking and sometimes chaotic, there are no dangerous or dark elements in this movie. Melodic music, fancy dancing, and cartoon segments will engage even the youngest viewers. – Via Common Sense Media

Nicollet Commons Park , 12550 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville, MN
Friday, June 6, 2014: 6:30 – 10 p.m. (Movie starts at dusk)


I’m going to Burnsville’s Friday Fest simply because my kids have been nagging me to see Mary Poppins and it is not on Netflix. Commonsense Media gives this film an Age 6 rating, mostly, I think, because it has some incredibly boring parts.  However, the music makes up for the slowness of some portions of the movie and since the movie starts at dusk, the littlest ones will probably fall asleep pretty quickly — at least I’m hoping.

Seating for the movie begins at 7:30 and it starts at dusk.  However, there are a lot of good reasons to get their early, including shaved ice and a food truck and beer, wine and pop.  We’ll be bringing our own picnic, but its nice to have back ups.  Activities include

  • Make your mark on the “Hands of History” art project, coordinated by local artist Annie Young, to celebrate the City’s 50th anniversary
  • Open viewing of the Burnsville Historical Society’s “Burnsville’s Attic: 1939” exhibit, and City “50th Anniversary” exhibit at the Ames Center Art Gallery
  • Face painting
  • 50’s music by “Shake Down” from 6:45 p.m. until dusk
  • Friday Night Flicks on the Bricks: Grab your blanket or chairs and maybe even some popcorn, dress warm or cool but come prepared to relax and enjoy a great show. Premiere of “I Love Burnsville” Video Contest videos & Mary Poppins (G) — the movie is also celebrating its 50th anniversary!


Urban Birding Festival of the Twin Cities: Where Birds and People Meet!

Urban Birding Festival of the Twin Cities

Parks throughout the Twin Cities
Friday, June 6, 2014 through Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Urban Birding Festival is a massive festival celebrated all over the Twin Cities.  Click on that link to get a full schedule.  This is a joint effort between Audubon Society of Minnesota and several area parks departments.  There is WAY to much to list in a round up, but if you are interested in birds — big or small, there is probably something for you this weekend.


Rhythm & Words

Another Part of “I Love Burnsville Week”

Rhythm & Words

Ames Center for the Performing Arts, 12600 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville, MN 55337
Saturday, June 7, 2014; 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

This annual event combines two of my favorite things — books and music.  Meet some great local children’s authors and watch performances by local musicians.  This festival is directed towards kids under Ten.  Click on this link for a schedule and list of performers and authors.

Swede Hollow, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA is the enchanting valley that was home to hundreds of people who were new residents to America from the 1850s until the 1950s. Today it is Swede Hollow Park, a nature park in the heart of the city.

Art in the Hollow

Swede Hollow Park, St Paul, MN 55106
Saturday, June 7, 2014; 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

There will be artists both demonstrating and selling their art and this art festival.  The location of Swede Hollow used to be the neighborhood of Swedish Immigrants in St. Paul.  Now its a park with a reputation for beauty.  It sounds like this could be a really fun find for easy family outings.

Come to the Walker for a closer look and join in a range of activities led by Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, the Minnesota Mineral Club, North Mississippi Regional Park/Kroening Interpretive Center, Silverwood Park, and Westwood Hills Nature Center.

Free First Saturday

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Saturday, June 7, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
I haven’t covered Free First Saturday in awhile.  This month is a good month to get over there, because its June and we can enjoy the Sculpture Garden without bundling up.  In honor of summer, the Walker is featuring “Parks and Rec” as its theme this month.  There will be plenty to do indoors and out.  For a complete listing of this months activities, follow this link to Walker Art Center’s website.

Family Day at the MIA - Big & Small

Family Day at the MIA – Big & Small

Family Day at the MIA

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Sunday, June 8, 2014; 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Missed out on your art options Saturday?  You still have a chance on Sunday.  The MIA’s Family Day this month is aboutBig & Small.  As usual, there will be a variety of family-friendly activities and tours — and there is always the block room.

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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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