A fresh Top 10 lineup for you in celebration of one of our most favorite months of the year.
The 45th annual (and possibly final) 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. May 5, 2019. 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.
May is the perfect month to leave the beaten path around the neighborhood park and explore some of the more unique playgrounds in the Twin Cities. We offer our Top 10 picks for your little monkeys including:
- Elm Creek Park Reserve | Maple Grove
- French Regional Park | Plymouth
- Wabun Picnic Area at Minnehaha Regional Park | Minneapolis
- Schaper Park & Challenge Course | Golden Valley
For hundreds more parks and playgrounds, check out our Twin Cities Parks & Playgrounds Search! The tool makes it possible to search by park amenities such as a wading pool or bike trail and keeps up to date with the latest park hours, fees and other extras.
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.
5) Holz Farm Spring Festival | Holz Farm Park, Eagan
Lots of old-fashioned farm fun to be had here and most of it included for the small admission fee of $2/pp: explore the chicken coop, do outdoor laundry, play in the corn box and churn some fresh butter in the farmhouse. Concessions are available for purchase. 5/19/19, 11am-4pm.
Find more family events on our Spring Family Festival Calendar.
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. 5/17/19-5/19/19, Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-5pm. FREE admission.
FFTC Family approved
Lattes & LEGOS®
Each Sunday in May
5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26
Snapology Discovery Center – 2649 Lyndale Ave south
$8 per child (includes a voucher for coffee for adult)
Enjoy 1 delicious beverage from Bob’s Java Hut (next door to Snapology) while your kiddo plays at Snapology for a reduced price! Either bring your drink over to the Discovery Center to build with your child, or if they are 5+, leave them with us while you enjoy your coffee or tea over at Bob’s.
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. 5/26/19, 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. 5/18/19, 3-7pm. $6/pp in advance or $8/door.
10) More green, less screen
- Carl Kroening Interpretive Center | Minneapolis: Family Fundays let you drop in for naturalist-led activities and self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits. One Sunday/month, 1-3pm. Nature Art takes place one Saturday/month. Times vary, but this program generally takes place in the afternoon. Both family programs are free.
- Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary | Minneapolis
Borrow a Family Adventure Backpack at the visitor shelter to take along as you explore the garden. Family Forest Walks take place Sundays at 4pm and Garden Storytimes are held Wed & Sat, 10:30-11am starting mid-April. Free.
- Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge – Bloomington Visitor Center
My kids have enjoyed checking out “Let’s Go Outside” backpacks for a nature hike (keep in mind these trails descend towards the river and can be a moderate climb back up), spying on birds at the outdoor observatory, going on an indoor nature scavenger hunt, and completing activity booklets to become Jr. Refuge Managers. Free for all.
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.