While most of our calendar events work just as well for family entertainment with grandparents as with parents, there are some options that are geared toward intergenerational bonding. Check out these ideas for fun with Twin Cities grandparents!
Celebrate Grandparents Day in September
Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September after Labor Day — September 10, 2023. There are often special events planned for Twin Cities grandparents and their grandkids. We’ll list them here as we find them. But, why only celebrate once a year?
Past Grandparents Day Events
These have been consistently annual events, but the announcement usually comes very close to the date. If this is something you don’t want to miss, we recommend signing up for emails.
- Crayola Experience – Free Admission for Grandparents on Grandparents Day
- Minnesota Zoo – Free Admission for Grandparents on Grandparents Day
Year Round Fun for Twin Cities Grandparents
Silverwood Park Family Clay Events
Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Although they have changed the name of this recurring event to include any adult/child pair, it began as a program for grandchildren and their grandparents and is still a great way to spend time with the grands. $18/pair. Find the next event on Three Rivers event listings – Keyword “Clay”.
Amma Parenting, 4820 W 77th St., #105, Edina, MN 55435
These classes for grandparents and babies incorporate songs, games and stories into a bonding experience with the new grandbaby. $15/pair. Sign Up For Upcoming Classes.
Music Together Generations Classes
The Music Together franchise offers inter-generational classes that allow tots and their parents to visit “Musical Grandfriends” at local senior centers.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Como Zoo is a Free and family-friendly attraction that is open 365 days a year.
In the past, we have had a variety of special intergenerational story time events in the Twin Cities. However, any family story time can be a special grandparent outing with toddlers or preschoolers. Find our list of Family Story Times here.
StoryWalks are a perfect activity kids can do with grandma and grandpa. These strolls can be taken at your own pace on your own schedule. We have story walks offered throughout the year, but especially in the summer months all over the Twin Cities. Learn more about StoryWalks here.
For an opportunity to stroll outdoors (or indoors) with older kids, mini-golf is another activity you can do on your own time at your own pace. Find our favorites here: FFTC’s Guide to Twin Cities Mini Golf Course locations.
Grandparent Membership to Your Favorite Museum
If you live close enough to spend lots of time with the grandparents, many memberships can be purchased by that include their grandchildren or by parents that extend to grandparents. If you don’t live close, this is still a good gift, because it gives you something to plan for your next visit! Museums with Grandparent Memberships include:
- The Bakken Museum – Senior Household Membership, 3537 Zenith Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
- Minnesota Children’s Museum does not have a grandparent membership, but a family membership with a guest addon could include grandparents in family visits.
- Minnesota Zoo Grandparent or Grandparent Plus Membership, 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124
- Minnesota Historical Society’s Household Membership includes grandchildren in the free admission to all the Minnesota Historical sites that MHS oversees.
- The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Household Membership also includes grandchildren.
- The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Children at 15 and under are always free at the arb, so all you need is your own membership.
According to the Legacy Project, children benefit emotionally and socially from relationships with grandparents in multiple ways. They have a better perspective of their own history. They gain life skills and confidence and are less likely to adopt self-destructive behaviors (such as drugs) while doing better in school. Grandparents can also provide moderate spoiling and undivided attention that parents can’t always and may not want to do. They can be a confidant and help develop new interests in their grandchild. Plus, they just give kids a chance to interact with people who are outside their usual social circles.
Intergenerational Family Fun For Far Away Grandparents
SteppingStone Theatre has shared this Guide For Older Adults Connecting To Young People In A Virtual World. This resource includes an action plan for finding resources, reaching out, engaging in fun and making connecting a ritual.
Sticking with Family – created by local grandparents, Angela and Rick Blesi, is a set of custom sticker books help small children put themselves and their grandparents into a story with personalized stickers of their faces.
Our Favorite Grandparenting Books
Grandparents Minnesota Style: Places to Go And Wisdom to Share, by Mike Link and Kate Crowley.
We share this book in our list of favorite local guidebooks. It has over 75 ideas for activities for grandparents to do with their grandchildren in Minnesota, from places to visit, to special events, to anytime activities like ice cream cones. We like the “Bonding and bridging” suggestions for each activity.
Camp Granny, by Sharon LoveJoy
Of course, you don’t have to go anywhere to have fun together. My favorite grandma memory is when she would make bread and give me my own piece of dough. Author Sharon Lovejoy has written the book, Camp Granny, to offer ideas for fun together.
Memories for My Grandchild: Stories and Wisdom for the Next Generation: A Journal by Annie Decker & Nicole Stephenson
My amazing grandmother lived to a month shy of her 104th birthday. I’m blessed to have spent some wonderful summers with her growing up, but I’ve discovered so much more about her life in the last couple of years. She was an amazing woman. I hope that my children will get the chance to learn how amazing my and my husbands parents are, too. For those grandparents who don’t have the luxury of living close to their grandchildren, I think a journal would be a wonderful gift. If you are not sure where to start, there are resources like the one below from Amazon that offer guided questions to get you started.
Family Fun Twin Cities is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and we receive a small commission on books ordered through our site. In addition, you can choose an independent bookstore to receive the proceeds of your order. Learn more about our affiliates here.
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