Top 10 Family Picks: November in the Twin Cities
Family Fun Twin Cities has hand-picked 10 events for families we believe are worth checking out in the month of November!
1) Celebrate Dia de los Muertos
For those who observe this traditional Mexican holiday and those who are curious to learn more, we’ve found three events in the Twin Cities to consider:
- Ofrendas (altars dedicated to loved ones who have passed away) are on display at the Minnesota History Center in St Paul through Nov 2. If possible, make a day of it exploring the interactive and highly kid-friendly exhibits at the museum. 10am-5pm, $6-$12/pp.
- Family Friday: Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated at Midtown Global Market with activities and music for all ages. 5:30-7:30pm, FREE.
- Festival de las Calaveras Concert at Cedar Cultural Center features music, Aztec dance and puppet theater. Sat, Nov 4, 6:30pm. $8-$15/pp.
2) Kick off the holidays early with Family Day: Fest! Merry Mansion | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
There are many reasons to be in good spirits at American Swedish Institute. First of all, you’re in a castle. Second, it has incredibly kid friendly exhibits in addition to plenty for adults to feast their eyes on. And going further, it is a beautiful place to be over the holiday season — which kicks off Nov 11 with a special family day. Explore the decked-out mansion, listen to musical storytelling and make a craft. 10am-5pm. Included with museum admission of $5-10/pp, 5 & under free.
3) Doing Good Together’s National Volunteer Day Family Service Fair | Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis
Each November, it has been FFTC’s tradition to highlight ways to give back as a family. It can be tricky, however, to find opportunities where kids can volunteer alongside their adults. The Family Service Fair at MGM is one of these chances where all ages are welcome to attend and there are service activities that even preschoolers can participate in (rest assured this has been personally verified). The Fair is held at Midtown Global Market, Fri Nov 17, 5:30-7:30pm and is FREE to attend. For more ideas on where to give back as a family, check out Places in the Twin Cities to Volunteer with Kids.
We are huge fans of Snapology Minneapolis and are SUPER excited to be a part of the Grand Opening celebration of their new indoor play center. Don’t miss FREE admission all weekend, an FFTC dance party (Saturday only, 10am), music, treats, art projects, and a chance to play in the makerspace with LEGOs and other building toys. Grand Opening runs Nov 17-19, please check the website for times and a complete schedule of events.
The switch flips November 18 and Rice Park in St Paul will again dazzle with thousands of holiday lights and its traditional Christmas tree. Activities start at 3:30 with music and photo opps, fireworks follow at 6:30 and there is free skating for all at Wells Fargo’s WinterSkate until 10pm. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $4; there is no charge for the other activities. For similar ways to stretch the season, check our calendar of Twin Cities Early Holiday Events.
Parents of New Brighton and surrounding communities, the kids will soon no longer be climbing your walls. A brand new giant play structure will be unveiled at the community center on Nov 18 with FREE admission for all, 9am-noon. Get a peek at the design here, replete with climbing, sliding and overall energy-burning opportunities. Also worth noting, The Backyard at Brookview Community Center in Golden Valley will debut Dec 2, adding another indoor playground option to the west metro. The info has been added to our list of Twin Cities Indoor Playgrounds & Play Areas.
7) Classical music for kids
These venues make it much more bearable to enjoy classical music with children. They understand short attention spans and the need for wiggle-room. Three notable opportunities to ignite an interest in kids:
- MacPhail’s Free Family Music Series: Jack Brass Band – performed in a comfortable environment that caters to kids with hands-on activities and a chance for kids to try out instruments. Nov 18, MacPhail Center for Music Mpls, 10am-12pm, FREE.
- St Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Start the Music: Brass Bop! – provides pre-concert activities to warm kids up for a 30-minute performance that incorporates a classic children’s story. Best for ages 3-6 with caregivers; tickets are FREE but are limited and require a reservation. Concert dates Nov 18 & 25, see the link for times, locations and tickets.
- Lyra Baroque Family Concerts: Spanish Baroque – introduce the youngest members of your family to classical music in a casual setting with activities and snacks. The Baroque Room, St Paul, Nov 26, 2pm, FREE or suggested donation of $10/family.
8) A long Thanksgiving weekend
Rejoice, panic or both? Often times after we emerge from our holiday food coma we find ourselves unsure of how to entertain the kids for the rest of the weekend. Or, perhaps you have relatives in town and want to show off what our amazing Twin Cities has to offer. Either case, Joy has put together 10 Thanksgiving Break Ideas for you – a list she originally created as an alternative to avoid Black Friday shopping crowds. It’s packed with good stuff. And most of it’s FREE.
9) Holidazzle begins in Loring Park | Minneapolis
The festivities begin Fri, Nov 24 and include the ceremonial opening and fireworks (7pm) followed by an 8pm screening of Elf. Santa will be greeting families from 5-10pm. Bring your skates down to the WinterSkate at Loring Park (a limited amount of free loaners will be available), tackle the obstacles in the Kids Zone, and interact with the art installations. All activities are FREE.
10) Indoor open play spots open
Colder weather moves the play indoors for many families. The month of November begins open gym and tot times at the following Twin Cities spaces:
- Braemar Field, Edina: Tot time in the Dome starts Nov 6. Ongoing Mon & Wed, 9-11am, $5/child. Family Night begins Nov 4, runs Saturdays 6:30-8:30pm, $5/pp.
- Plymouth Fieldhouse: Youth Open Play begins Nov 1. Ongoing Mon, Wed & Fri 10:30am-1:30pm. Best for ages 3-5, $4-$5/child.
- Savage Sports Center: Tot time begins Nov 2. Ongoing Tues & Thurs, 9-11:30am, ages 5 & under, $3/child. Ages 6 & up are invited to Open Play after school hours, Mon-Fri, $5/pp.
- St Louis Park Rec Center: Little Tot Playtime begins Nov 8. Ongoing Tues-Fri, 9:30-11:30am, $2/child ages 1=5.
These locales join our master list of Open Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities. Comes with a near-guaranteed naptime for all!