A fresh Top 10 lineup for you in celebration of one of our most favorite months of the year.
1) MayDay Celebration | Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis
The 44th annual MayDay Parade — an elaborate welcoming of spring put on by Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre — kicks off at noon at the corner of 25th St E and Bloomington Ave. S in Minneapolis. The route travels south on Bloomington to 34th St then heads west to Powderhorn Park for the traditional festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. 5/6/18, FREE.
The month of May means many Twin Cities attractions are throwing their doors open for the season. It’s time to take advantage of that slim window of time us Minnesotans have to enjoy spring farm babies, many historic sites, and renting watercraft on our lakes. Follow the link to find inspiration on planning your family time during this beautiful month.
3) Transportation Week | Jackson Street Roundhouse, St Paul
A full week celebrating all things that transport: trains, buses, cars, bikes, motorcycles and more, each with their own dedicated day. Plus storytime, crafts, and a whole lot of interactive equipment for the kids. Take note: Tots and Trains will go on Wednesday as scheduled and a special “Mother Road Day” wraps up the week in case you’re poking around for a fun place to take mom on Mother’s Day. 5/5/18-5/12/18, $6-$13/pp or $35/family.
Bless you, Minneapolis, for providing us with an abundance of free places to splash the summer away. With just a few exceptions, the city’s public wading pools and beaches open Memorial Day weekend (wading pools attached to a Minneapolis public school will remain closed until the school year is done). Follow the link for a list of sites, open daily 10am-9pm. Note that beaches are open but unguarded until mid-June.
All will enjoy a wide variety of free transportation-inspired activities. The weekend will include train equipment, musical entertainment and other special events. Download a free ride to Union Depot courtesy Metro Transit. And if you’re in search of more train-sighting opportunities, hop over to Minneapolis-St Paul: A Train Lover’s Destination. 5/5/18, 10am-5pm. FREE.
6) Art-A-Whirl | Northeast Minneapolis
Spanning the entire weekend, Art-A-Whirl, spread throughout the NE Minneapolis Arts District, is the ultimate open house for artist studios. Many offer hands-on activities or demonstrations that interest kids as well as their adults and there’s a free trolley service available to shuttle you between the galleries. Joy has taken her youngsters to this event (loved it) and encourages you to read Three Strategies for Doing Art-A-Whirl with Kids before bringing them along. 5/18/18-5/20/18, Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-5pm. FREE admission.
Honor that most special lady in your life with a full schedule of Twin Cities events to choose from. Mom scores FREE admission to the following Twin Cities attractions: The Works Museum, Minnesota Zoo, Oliver Kelley Farm, and free rides on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line. For more ideas (storytimes, nature walks, art-making, fishing – it goes on), hit the link or click the tulips.
Step back into the 1850’s with Swedish immigrant family activities and tours. This is one of those elusive times during the season when you can score a tour of the historic buildings at no charge. 5/27/18, 1-4pm. FREE.
9) Rock the Barn | Dodge Nature Center
This down-on-the-farm FUNdraiser benefits Dodge Nature Center’s preschool program. Wander through the barns and meet the animals, play old fashioned lawn games (tug-of-war, anyone?), help out with farm chores and spread out on the lawn for live music. 5/19/18, 3-7pm. $6/pp or $25/family.
10) Parent-Child Nature Discovery: Feathered Friends | Fort Snelling State Park
Parent-Child Nature Discovery programs are new this spring. Each month features a different wildlife theme and consists of indoor activities and outdoor exploration. After the nature ed, hike the trails along the intersection of two great rivers, check out a GPS unit for geocaching or a fishing pole at no charge. 5/26/18, 10-11:30am. There is a $7 vehicle permit to enter the park.
For more programs that encourage the kids (and their adults) to take a break from the screens and get some green, try our Twin Cities Family Nature Play guide.