The Free List – Who Does It Better? Minneapolis or St. Paul?


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This weekend is like a cage match between Minneapolis and St. Paul.  You want art?  Minneapolis has Art-A-Whirl, but St. Paul has the EcoArts Fest.  How about literature?  Both the Red Balloon Bookshop and Wild Rumpus are celebrating Indie’s First Day with author appearances and lots of fun activities all day on Saturday.  If you want to learn about different cultures, the American Swedish Institute has a family picnic planned for International Museum Day and the Landmark Center is hosting its last Urban Expedition this weekend.

ALL WEEKEND:

Presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Art-A-Whirl is the largest open studio tour in the country.

Presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Art-A-Whirl is the largest open studio tour in the country.

Art-A-Whirl  

Northeast Minneapolis
Friday, May 16, 2014 –  5:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.
Saturday,  May 17, 2014 –  Noon-8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 18, 2014 –   Noon-5:00 p.m.
Everyone knows Art-A-Whirl is happening this weekend.  You can read my article on Three Strategies for Doing Art-A-Whirl with Kids Here.  As long as you’re in Northeast, you can catch a free grade school production of Mary Poppins at my favorite grade school, Pope John Paul II.  This year they have a new director, but mostly the same talented group of kids and early reports say it is another great production.  

 SATURDAY:

ecoartsfestEcoArts Fest
Harriet Island, St. Paul (Driving Directions)
Saturday, May 17, 2014; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If you like art, but aren’t interested in the whole Art-A-Whirl circus or just don’t want to haul your family to Minneapolis, ArtStart is hosting the EcoArts Fest on Saturday.  Anne has the details in her article Finding Fun in St. Paul.


Two of our favorite independent bookstores are getting in on the spirit of Children’s Book Week with visits from local authors this Saturday!

Two of our favorite independent bookstores are getting in on the spirit of Children’s Book Week with visits from local authors this Saturday!

Indies First Storytime Day

The Red Balloon Bookshop and Wild Rumpus Books for Kids
Saturday May 17, 2014

Continuing with our Twin Cities cage match, your family can choose between Minneapolis’s Wild Rumpus and all its wild and crazy pets or the quiet elegance of St. Paul’s Red Balloon Bookshop.  Either way, local authors will be reading stories to your kids.  Anne has the details in her Children’s Book Week Events Article.


SUNDAY:

Meet special guests from the Embassy of Sweden and Sweden on the Road, the Embassy's green-energy supported traveling bus which is touring the Midwest  this summer sharing bio-energy and sustainable food practices. Sweden on the Road is packed with many guests and surprises including: Swedish Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Bjorn Lyrvall (making his first official visit to Minnesota) and  visiting Swedish Chef Martin Andersson of Uppsala's famed restaurant Stationen who will be giving outdoor food demonstrations with FIKA head chef, Dustin Thompson.

Meet special guests from the Embassy of Sweden including: Swedish Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Bjorn Lyrvall ( and visiting Swedish Chef Martin Andersson of Uppsala’s famed restaurant Stationen.

Swedish Summer Family Picnic

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Sunday, May 18, 2014, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 This event is “free and open to the public,” but in reality it’s not exactly free.  No outside food is allowed in, and seriously, who wants to go to a picnic and not eat?  Although, you could stop and eat on the way and then bike in for the festivities.  Also the galleries and exhibits require museum admission — again, not a big deal.  Museum admission is $5-$9 per person, but there will be plenty of fun even if you choose not to tour ASI this time.  There will be family activities and games to play out on the lawn.   If you want to make the whole day of it Admission is as follows:

  • $9 / adults
  • $7 / ages 62 and above
  • $5 / ages 6-18 and full-time students with ID
  • Free/ ASI members and kids ages 5 and under

Last Chance for Urban Expedition This Year!

Urban Expedition – Brazil

Landmark Center, 75 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Sunday, May 18, 2014; 1:00 p.m. to 3:oo p.m.

The Landmark Center’s popular Urban Expedition is coming to an end for the season.  Sunday is your last chance until next year.  This month learn about the country of Brazil.  You can read Gianna’s Experience with Urban Expedition here.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.

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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Children’s Book Week Events: Red Balloon Bookshop & Wild Rumpus

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