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Get the children moving with this list of physical activities for kids! They are categorized into age appropriate groups, but as always, these physical activities for kids can be enjoyed by those who are ready and willing to have fun and get some exercise. How did you like to stay active as a kid? What physical activities do you do with your your kids? Let us know!

Physical Activities for Kids Ages 2-4

1. Jumping Jacks
Start with 20 of these to get the blood flowing. You can easily incorporate these into a game of Simon Says if your kids are a little older! (#6 in the list).

2. Balance Beam
Very easily set up! Masking tape is all you really need – make a line on the ground and have fun! Ask your child to walk to the end only on the line. Try more lines at different angles, spirals, and zig-zags.

Variations – See who can walk the line the fastest, walk it heel-to-toe, walk it backwards, with eyes closed (take their socks off so they can feel the line), and jump down the line. If you want, you can certainly lay down and secure 2×4 pieces of wood as real balance beams!

3. Keep the Balloon Up
Be prepared as this will get rambunctious! I have been at birthday party of 15 four-year olds playing this, and I watched with my mouth open. Secure your lamps and pictures on the wall! Simply blow up some balloons and tell the kids to keep the balloons from touching the floor. What fun for the kids!

Variations – This can be a game where kids can get “out”. Round up a few judges, and if a kid hits a balloon which hits the ground then they are “out”. Last kid standing wins!

4. Dancing!
No real explanation needed here. Turn up the music and have a dance party!

Variations – This physical activity is obviously for all age groups; go ahead and make it a competition for your older kids! Or start and stop the music, having the kids freeze, to make it a laugh fest!

5. Temper Tantrum
Oh, go on, give the kids permission. Temper tantrum! Guaranteed to release some energy.


Physical Activities for Kids Ages 5-8

6. Simon Says
I had so much fun playing this game with teachers even in 5th grade! But this time, you are the leader and get to work the kids up into a frenzy. First, choose someone to be “Simon”. Simon either begins a command with “Simon Says” or not. To stay in the game, kids only must follow the commands that begin with “Simon Says”. If you want to make the game difficult for older kids, simply issue commands faster and faster, and make the needed actions more and more difficult to complete.

7. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is all about finding items from a list in certain rooms or areas of the outdoors. The kids will love checking off each item found or collected on the list. If you haven’t done this lately then you you just aren’t living!

Variations – Make this activity into a treasure hunt. You’ll just need to write the clever clues to lead them to the next clue!

8. Hot Potato
This physical activity will get giggly! Simply get a soft ball (not a softball!) or a rolled up sock and toss it to a child. Tell them toss it to someone else as quickly as possible. Everyone repeats this. When does this game end? Who knows? Just get rid of it!

Variations – Play short segments of music while they toss the “potato”, stop the music, and the last one to touch it after the music stops is out. The last child in wins.

9. Follow the Leader
No real trick here – just follow where the leader goes! Under a table? Over a tree stump? Into the kiddie pool? Oh noooo!!!

Variations – This physical activity can easily go along with Simon Says, and instead of the kids just following, they also have to do exactly what the leader does. Jumping jacks, dancing, headstands, whatever!

10. Duck, Duck, Goose (or Duck, Duck, Grey Duck for us Minnesotans!)
This classic activity needs about a minimum of 6 kids to play . Choose someone to be the Goose (or Grey Duck). All the other kids sit in a circle. The Goose then walks around the circle, tapping each kid on the head and saying “Duck”. Eventually, the Goose will say “Goose!” instead when tapping a person on the head. The tagged kid then must chase the Goose around the circle and reach him/her before they claim the vacant spot. If they do not, the tagged kid becomes the new Goose.

11. Headstands
Many kids might not be able to stand on their head by themselves, so lend a helping hand!

12. Indoor Obstacle Course
I just loved this activity as a kid. Build a course using some of these ideas in any order:

  • Crawl under tables.
  • Use a Balance Beam as described in game number 2.
  • Climb over ottomans.
  • Children need to jump/somersault/crawl/crab walk from one obstacle to another.
  • Put down pillows or couch cushions and the kids need to jump from one to the next. Alternatively, the kids could need to jump over the pillows or cushions!
  • Perform various exercises like 20 jumping jacks.
  • One of my personal favorites – crawling through a tunnel of blankets or sheets (hang them over chairs, couches, etc)
  • Toss 3 sock snowballs from game number 22 into laundry baskets. You can also throw stuffed animals.

Variations – Make it a competition and time them to see who can through the whole course the fastest.

13. Outdoor Obstacle Course
The outdoor version of the obstacle course! Here are some ideas for your course to put in any order:

  • Lay down a ladder and have the kids step through each rung.
  • Allow only jumping/somersaulting/crawling/crab walking from one area of the course to another.
  • Put down a piece of wood as a Balance Beam.
  • Perform various exercises like 20 sit-ups or push-ups.
  • Give each child 2 sheets of newspaper and allow each step to be taken only on a piece of newspaper. This requires the child to reach back and grab the previous step’s sheet of newspaper – tricky!
  • Create a slalom – kids must run zig-zag between obstacles.
  • Jump over various objects.
  • Throw balls to knock down objects.
  • Use water squirters to hit targets.
  • Make kids fill up a cup of water, run a distance to another container, pour the water in the container, and repeat this until they fill up the container to a certain height.

Variations – For older kids, make it a competition and time them to see how long it takes them to go through the whole course.

14. Animal Races
Some races the kids need to hop like a frog. Or run on all fours like a dog. Or maybe crawl on the ground like a lizard!

15. Musical Chairs
Get your dancin’ shoes on! This game is best with at least 4 or more children playing and 1 additional person to stop the music.

Variations – If you don’t have enough chairs, then you could substitute for pieces of colored construction paper taped to the ground. When the music stops, the child who gets both feet on first claims the spot.

16. Tag
We’ve all played it. We all love it. Now get in the game with those kiddos!

Variations – Laser Tag, Dart Tag, Ball Tag or Hide and seek tag. When you get found by the person who is it, run! Or you’ll be IT!

17. Jump Rope
If you don’t own jump ropes, don’t worry. You can make your own out of plastic bags!


Physical Activities for Kids ages 9-12

18. Wrestling
Now this is what I call a physical activity. See if the kids can take you down! Be sure to only try this one on carpeting or grass. OK, if you have actual gym mats then you can use those, too 🙂

19. Crab walk
The crab walk will really get the kids winded. Start by sitting on the ground with your hands and feet flat on the ground. Make sure your fingers are pointing away from your body or else you will put too much pressure on your wrists. Now, raise your torso up towards the sky, about level with your shoulders. Then start to walk with your hands and feet. Let’s see how long you and the kids can keep this up! Crab walk tag, anyone?

20. Hopscotch
The easiest way to do this activity is to get a piece of chalk and draw the hopscotch design on the sidewalk or driveway according to Wikipedia. Old-time fun!

21. Bowling
Get some items that you can stand up like empty water bottles or plastic cups, grab a big enough ball, and start rolling to knock over the “pins”!

Variations – Make a target on the ground using masking tape. With each section worth different amounts of points, the kids can roll the ball trying to stop it within the different target areas, competing for points.

22. Indoor Basketball
Easily done by making a few “snowballs” out of some pairs of socks, then get a laundry basket (or something smaller for more of a challenge). Have the kids take turns trying to make a basket, and have them try some longer shots worth more points! A child wins when they get a certain amount of points.

Variations – Each child tosses the basketball, and if they make a basket they take one step back. Repeat. Whoever steps the farthest back without missing wins


Physical Activities for Kids Ages 13-17

23. Twister
This game was made popular by Johnny Carson in 1966, and has been a success ever since. Fun for 2 or more people, you can go buy this game or make it yourself. You’ll get tied up in knots!

24. Ladder Golf
Ladder Golf is one of my favorite outdoor activities. You can either purchase it or make this yourself; it involves tossing 2 golf balls attached by strings towards a stand-up plastic ladder. Scoring is slightly more complicated than this, but it basically is 3 points for wrapping the golf balls around the top rung, 2 points for the middle rung, and 1 point for the bottom rung. So. Much. Fun!

25. Bocce Ball
While ladder golf is one of my go-to outdoor activities, bocce ball is my favorite! Hours of simple fun! Played with 4-8 balls and a smaller, white “jack” ball, the jack is thrown out on the lawn, and players take turns throwing their larger-sized balls towards the jack. The point is to get as close to the jack as possible, and even touching it. Scoring and full instructions can be found here.

26. Pull-ups
I would wager that the ancients and cave men even did pull-ups. You and your kids should join them!

27. Lacrosse
Lacrosse is becoming more and more popular as the years go by. You’ll need at least one other person with a lacrosse stick to toss a ball around!

28. Tic-tac-toe Frisbee
Construct a tic-tac-toe board on the ground using masking tape or chalk, with the squares big enough for a frisbee. Then take turns with your partner throwing the frisbee, attempting to land it (mostly) in a square. If successful, mark your X or O in that square. Continue until you have a winner or a “cat’s game”!

29. Ultimate (Frisbee)
Played on a soccer or American Football field, get your friends together and play a game of Ultimate! The rules are fairly simple (full rules here) – throw a frisbee to your teammates (you cannot run with the frisbee) until you get to the end zone, without letting it touch the ground. If you do, you score a point. If the frisbee hits the ground, the other team gets control and they attempt to score. I played this in college, and it’s loads of fun!

30. Disc Golf
This is the most fun when played on actual disc golf courses with real disc golf discs, but you can also play it using a frisbee in the backyard or a field. For backyard fun, you’ll need to design a few “holes”, with a starting point to throw the frisbee from and a “hole”, or target, to throw at. Your hole can be short, at 30 feet or so, or long, at 100-300 feet or more. Holes can bend around trees, or go over ravines – be creative! For each hole, simply count how many throws it takes to hit the target. The lower the score the better


Physical Activities for Kids of All Ages!

31. Push-ups

32. Sit-ups

33. Outdoor Physical Activities
a. Biking
b. Hiking
b. Basketball
c. Soccer (Football)
d. Tennis
e. Volleyball
f. Swimming
g. Hockey
h. Flag football
i. Two-hand touch football
i. Tug-of-war
j. Running
k. Rollerblading
l. Kick Ball
m. Baseball

Need More Ideas?

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The post 45+ Fun Physical Activities for Kids of All Ages, Categorized appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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Things to do in Minneapolis-St Paul this weekend!

June 15-16, 2019

This weekend it’s Dad’s turn for a big thank you! If he’s anything like certain Dads we know, you’ll make his day with a handmade card and an outing with his favorite people. Need some inspiration? We’ve got our complete roundup HERE (including some DIY gifts for Dad) or jump below. As always, you can check our June Family Guide or our Family Fun Calendar.

FATHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR THE FAMILY

Minneapolis Music in the Parks | Lake Harriet Band Shell
Bands play Sunday, June 16 (Father’s Day!) at 2 & 5:30pm. Bring a picnic to the Band Shell at Lake Harriet and let the kids have at the adjacent playground.

Minnesota Children’s Museum | St Paul
Father’s Day is always on MCM’s Free Third Sunday – make it a Father’s Day tradition. 6/16/19, 9am-8pm.

Ski Otter’s Water Ski Show | White Bear Lake
Little Goose Lake is located at the intersection of Hwy. 61 and County Road F in White Bear Lake. 6/16/19, 6pm. Make a day of it by Puttering Around Downtown White Bear Lake – a free mini golf course hosted by downtown businesses. Play just for fun. 10am-3pm.

Stone Arch Bridge Festival | Minneapolis
Take a stroll across the bridge to seek out the Family Activities Area with birdhouse-building, games, and a family photo opp. While in the area, arm yourself with 10 Things for Kids: Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. 6/14/19-6/16/19.

FATHER’S DAY EVENTS – FREE FOR DAD

Crayola Experience | Mall of America
Free admission for dads on Father’s Day w/ purchase of one child’s admission ticket. 6/16/19 only.

SandVenture Aquatic Park | Shakopee
Enjoy a Father’s Day Discount with free admission for both Dad & Mom! (The waterpark wasn’t open on Mother’s Day.) 6/16/19, 11am-7pm.

The Works Museum | Bloomington
Dads & Grandpas receive FREE admission this weekend. 6/15/19-6/16/19, Fri 9 am-3 pm, Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12 pm-5 pm.

FATHER’S DAY EVENTS – PAID

Bunker Beach Water Park | Coon Rapids
Receive half-off admission on Father’s Day only, 6/16/19 (reg $12-$15/pp). Find more Twin Cities pools & waterparks to choose from if the weather agrees!

James J. Hill House | St Paul
Take a Father’s Day Weekend Tour exploring James J. Hill’s life as the father of 10 children. Last tour starts at 3:30pm. 6/15/19, 10am-5pm, $6-$10/pp.

Snapology | Minneapolis
Father’s Day Robotics Workshop: Build, program, and interact with the robotic builds, add sounds and sensors, make them move and have a ton of fun. 6/15/19, 1-3pm, $20/father-child team.

MORE WEEKEND IDEAS

Sat, June 15: Summer Starter | North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis
An afternoon of fun for the whole family. Play games, take nature challenges, go on a scavenger hunt, visit the pop-up nature station, and bring swimsuits for the wading pool. 3-8pm, FREE.

Fri, June 14 & Sat, June 15: Eidem Homestead Open House | Brooklyn Park
Farm tours, hayrides & old-time demos. Fri 12-7pm, Sat 10-2. FREE.

PUBLIC WORKS OPEN HOUSES – BIG RIGS!

Got kids who are just crazy about getting up close to heavy equipment? Check our Touch-a-Truck calendar for more dates!

  • Brooklyn Park Police Open House
    Held in conjunction with Brooklyn Park Tater Daze festival. Get a closer look at a squad car, watch a helicopter landing and lots more. Free food & treats while supplies last. 6/15/19, 12-3pm. FREE.
  • Albertville Premium Outlets Touch-a-Truck
    Experience a variety of vehicles up close, including fire trucks, police cars, buses, freight trucks, tow trucks and more. Take photos alongside and behind the wheel of select vehicles. 6/15/19, 10am-12pm.
  • Crystal Airport Open House 
    Spend Father’s Day checking out the aircraft and displays, enjoy a pancake breakfast ($7/pp) or splurge on plane and helicopter rides ($40/pp). 6/16/19, 8am-4pm. FREE admission.

The post June Weekend Family Fun: Celebrate Dad appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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The FFTC Team’s city kids love the opportunity to visit farms not much further than their urban backyards! Browse the farm fun favorites below for ideas on where your own little ones can get up close to animals, play at farm chores, pick their own produce, and learn through living history activities:

TWIN CITIES  FARM ACTIVITIES

JUNE 2019

Farm Animals Weekend | Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
6/1/19-6/2/19, 10 am-5 pm | $6-$12/pp, MNHS members free

Gibbs Farm Ice Cream Sunday | Gibbs Farm, St. Paul
Enjoy homemade ice cream while experiencing the beauty of the Gibbs Farm, gardens and prairie. Ice cream demonstrations on the hour from 11 am-3 pm. Program starts 6/16/19. Also held 6/30/19, 7/14/19, 7/28/19, 8/11/19 & 8/25/19. 10 am-4 pm | $5-$8/pp, children under 4 free

Daily Life on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park
Help out with farm chores, visit the animals and explore the restored farmhouse. Program starts 6/12/19. Also held 6/26/19, 7/10/19, 7/24/19, 8/7/19 & 8/21/19. Noon-3 pm | $5/pp at the door, 4 & under FREE. Visit the farm babies FREE on June 14 & 15 in conjunction with Brooklyn Park Tater Daze Festival.

Eidem Farm

JULY 2019

Farmer’s Fourth of July | Oliver Kelly Farm, Elk River
7/4/19, 10 am-5 pm. $6-$12, MNHS members free

Down on the Farm | The Landing, Shakopee
Experience life on a Minnesota farm during the late 1800s. Care for animals, make butter, and put up hay. 7/7/18-7/8/18 10 am-5:00 pm (last entry is 4:00 pm) | $5-$8/pp, Children under 2 FREE

2018 Co-op Farm Tour | Participating Twin Cities-area farms
Take a day trip to one of these farms as they open their doors with educational, family-friendly activities. 7/13/19, 10am-4pm, FREE.

Public Farm Tour | Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul
Meet Dodge farm’s residents and tour their barns. 7/13/19, 10-11:30am. $7/pp.

COUNTY FAIRS & THE STATE FAIR

7/10/19-7/14/19: Ramsey County Fair | Maplewood | FREE admission, $3 parking

7/23/19-7/28/19: Anoka County Fair | Anoka | $5-$10/pp, 6 & under FREE plus free parking

7/24/19-7/28/19: Scott County Fair | Jordan | FREE admission, $10 parking

7/31/19-8/4/19: Washington County Fair | Lake Elmo | $4-$7/pp, 5 & under FREE, free parking

8/5/19-8/11/19: Dakota County Fair | Farmington | $2-$5/pp, 5 & under FREE, $5 parking

8/22/19-9/2/19: Minnesota State Fair | Falcon Heights
Wander the historic barns to get up close to the animals. Seek out activity stations such as the Moo Booth and Oink Booth for edutainment opportunities. At Little Farm Hands, kids can participate in “chores” at the mock farm and learn about the farm-to-market process. For more Fair fun ideas, check our list of 50 Things to Do at the Minnesota State Fair.

ONGOING SUMMER 2019

Saturday Mornings on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Ongoing Saturdays starting 6/1/19, 9:30am-noon. $5/pp.

Stories From the Porch | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park
Listen to a story, then have playtime in the barnyard. Select Tuesdays thru 8/27/19, 10am-12pm (with exception of last Tues/month, 7-8pm bedtime stories). FREE.

Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
Help with chores in the gardens and farmhouse, meet the animals, and more seasonal activities.Open Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm & Sun, noon-5pm | $6-$12/pp/pp, under 5 FREE

Waldoch Farm Garden Center | Lino Lakes
The Joyer Barnyard is home to sheep, chickens, donkeys, alpaca, horses, peacocks, pygmy goats, pigs and other poultry. Pick from fields of fresh produce while you’re there, as well.

The post Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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National Doughnut Day is a real thing! And we may as well enjoy every bite of it. We’ve rounded up a collection of our favorite independent donut shops and bakeries throughout the Twin Cities – many of which are offering sweet specials – including FREE DONUTS! – on Friday, June 7.

History of National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day actually started with the Salvation Army.  During World War I, Salvation Army’s Doughnut Lassies, nicknamed “Donut Girls,” made fresh complimentary donuts for the American soldiers in France.  They served them daily from a hut that would draw the homesick and hungry soldiers.  In these huts, they also provided a clothes-mending service and writing supplies and stamps.   To honor these brave women, the Salvation Army created National Donut Day on the 1st Friday of June.

The Salvation Army's Sweet Role in Doughnut History - YouTube

The first National Donut Day was a fundraiser during the Great Depression. Since then, it’s become a way to honor soldiers and the Donut Girls who served them. You can learn more about the story at Donutland, a pop-up art event at Rosedale Mall June 7-9.

Celebrate National Doughnut Day with specials at our Favorite Bakeries

Minneapolis & St Paul

Bogart’s Doughnuts, Minneapolis, 3 locales

Cardigan Donuts, Minneapolis

Glam Doll Donuts, Minneapolis, 2 locales
Special: First 100 customers get a free donut Friday, June 7

Mojo Monkey Donuts | St Paul
Special: FREE donuts for the first 300 customers Friday, June 7. Shop opens at 6am. Plus $1 bottomless coffee everyday!

Mel-o-Glaze Bakery, Minneapolis

PJ Murphys Bakery, St. Paul
Special: 75¢ glazed ring donuts while supplies last, doors open 6am.

Sarah Jane’s Bakery, Northeast Minneapolis

Sleepy V’s, Minneapolis
Special: 1/2 off Mini Donut Lattes on Friday, June 7. Doors open at 7am.

North Metro

Donut Hut, Little Canada
Special: Kids get a free donut Friday, June 7

Grandma’s Bakery | White Bear Lake, 2 locations

Hans’ Bakery, Anoka

Heights Bakery, Columbia Heights

South Metro

Denny’s 5th Avenue Bakery, Bloomington
Special: Get a free Raised Glazed Donut with every purchase Friday, June 7

Granny’s Donuts, West St Paul

Puffy Cream Donuts, Eagan

Sunrise Doughnuts, Bloomington

East Metro

Duck Donuts, Woodbury
Special: Sweet Summer Beach Bash Friday, June 7 – get a free classic donut

West Metro

YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar, Minnetonka
Special: One free single donut Friday, June 7

Valley Pastries, Golden Valley

More FREE Donuts

Grab 1 FREE donut per person at Twin Cities Walmart locations & at Twin Cities Dunkin’ Donuts locations with a beverage purchase.

Celebrate National Doughnut Day by Making Doughnuts

Original Salvation Army Donut

Get more information here:  https://salvationarmynorth.org/about-us/history/original-salvation-army-donut-recipe-video/

  • 5 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ‘saltspoon’ salt (1/4 tsp.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 C milk
  • 1 tub lard
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
  2. Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out donut circles, be creative. Salvation Army Donut Girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
  3. Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the donuts gradually. Turn the donuts slowly several times.
  4. When browned, remove donuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.
  6. Yield: 4 dozen donuts

Yield: 4 dozen donuts

The post Celebrate National Doughnut Day, June 7 appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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Nature Collages take a two step process and both steps can be fairly easy to execute.

Did I say fairly easy?  I meant extremely easy.

Summer Boredom Busters Nature Collage - YouTube

Supplies Needed
(Family Fun Twin Cities is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.):

  1. Good strong glue
  2. Paper
  3. Items from Nature


Steps to Take

  1. Take a nature hike or send the kids into the backyard to collect nature items.  The flatter the item, the better, but it’s not necessary.
  2. Assemble your paper, glue, and nature items together.
  3. Draw a picture with the glue and incorporate the nature items to make it more interesting.
  4. Let the glue dry

DONE!

Other Summer Boredom Busters Click Here for Treasure Hunts Click Here for Scavenger Hunts Click Here for Summer Bucket List Click Here for Ultimate Summer Guide

The post Summer Boredom Busters: Nature Collage appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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Things to do in Minneapolis-St Paul this weekend!

June 8-9, 2019

There is so much going on this weekend in the Twin Cities that our heads were spinning trying to choose what to share with you! Here’s what made the cut; for more inspiration on spending family time together this weekend, check our June Family Guide or our Family Fun Calendar.

National Get Outdoors Day – Saturday, June 8

Twin Cities – Get Outdoors Day Events

  • Powderhorn Park | Minneapolis: Celebrating on the eve of Get Outdoors Day for an evening of free outdoor fun such as rock climbing, canoeing, archery, fishing, camp games and more. Fri, June 7, 4-8pm.
  • Richardson Nature Center | Bloomington: Hike with a naturalist on a two-mile, moderately-paced hike through various habitats. This event is geared towards ages 8+. 10-11am, FREE.
  • William O’Brien State Park | Stillwater: Learn how to use a GPS unit before heading onto the trail to find some specially placed caches. Win a collectible card for completing the park’s new Aquatic Quest geocaching program, plus a special edition card for attending the program. GPS units will be provided+. Meet at the Visitor Center. 10:30am-12pm, FREE.
  • Regularly $7 per vehicle, admission is free to encourage families to get out in Minnesota State Parks & Recreation Areas on National Get Outdoors Day. We’re lucky here in the Twin Cities to have 6 Minnesota State Parks within 60 miles of the heart of the Metro.

MAKE A SPLASH – POOL & BEACH OPENINGS

As the line between late spring and early summer starts to melt away in the rising temps, it’s time to visit your favorite splash spot – or find a new one! Jump over to our complete Twin Cities Guide to Water Fun to see what’s already open. Ready to welcome swimmers this weekend are:

  • Minneapolis wading pools attached to a public school open Saturday, June 8 – meaning ALL wading pools are open for business. Many of them are no-frills with a standard depth of about 18″ but a few have been updated with fun spray features and zero-depth entry. All are located adjacent to a playground, rest rooms and space to spread out with a picnic. And all are FREE! Find our complete list at the link.
  • Lifeguards start duty this weekend at select Minneapolis beaches & Ramsey County beaches.

Friday, June 7

Saturday, June 8

Sunday, June 9

For our master list of Twin Cities splash pads, click here or tap on the frog below:

SUMMER FUN IN THE PARKS

Sat, June 8: Summer Celebration & Ribbon Cutting | French Regional Park, Plymouth
Three Rivers Park District wants to share the new (as of last year) play area and completion of the improved trails. Enjoy music, treats and the awesome play equipment. 10am-1pm.

Sun, June 9: Parade of Boats | Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

Over 100 unique radio-controlled electric, steam and wind-powered model boats will be on display in the pavilion or on the water for visitors observe, presented by the Edina Model Yacht Club. While in the park, enjoy the lawn games, paddleboats, ponds and trails of this beautiful urban park.


Sun, June 9: Minneapolis Movies in the Park | Loppet Trailhead Building, Theodore Wirth Park
Princess and the Frog will be screened 15 after sunset. For more free & cheap summer movies in the parks click HERE.

Sat, June 8: TPT Family Fun Day | Como Town & Como Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul
Purchase a discounted unlimited ride wristband through TPT ($11-$16). The Teddy Bear Band will be performing on stage at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Stop by the park to see a rotating cast of PBS Kids characters and brave the free kids foam party. Event runs 10am – 4pm

The post June Weekend Family Fun: School’s Out For Summer! appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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Minnesotans 15-years-old or younger and their grown up companion can fish without licenses on Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9, during the Minnesota DNR’s “Take a Kid Fishing Weekend”. You don’t even need to own fishing gear, because it is available for loan from Minnesota State Parks. We have borrowed fishing gear at William O’Brien State Park. It was very easy to do and a park ranger stopped by to give the girls pointers. Note that if you can’t make it to Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota residents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license, unless the body of water requires a trout stamp.

The Best Fishing Holes in the Twin Cities

Print a Fish Poster to Go With Your Kid Fishing Weekend

Get the Full Size Printable version at Explore Minnesota

If you are interested in learning more about the fish that live in Minnesota lakes and rivers, Explore Minnesota has a PDF poster of Minnesota Fish that you can print and take with you to compare to any fish you encounter. 

Naturalists Kao Thao and Krista Jensen – I Can Fish (Image courtesy Minnesota DNR)

DNR Tips To Take a Kid Fishing and Some Colorful Personal Commentary:
  1. Plan to have fun and remember to bring a camera. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but as a kid, I’ve gone fishing with adults who took it very seriously. This is not your fishing day. This is the day to help you secure fishing buddy when your children are older.
  2. Choose fishing spots with a high likelihood of success. (Learn where, when, and how the fish bite). Several years ago, we had amazingly good luck off the pier at Roseville’s Central Park. Every time my daughter dropped her Pink Princess fishing pole into the water, she brought up a Sunny. I don’t know if that is normal, but that is where I would personally start.
  3. Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. (Live bait is more interesting to kids, too.) I’m not sure if I agree with the part in parenthesis. My kids don’t particularly like handling worms and neither do I. If you are going to deal with live bait (and plan to keep your fish for that matter), bring someone who is not squeamish.
  4. Pick a place that is comfortable, safe, and easy to get to—public fishing piers are a great place to start. (Find a fishing pier ).  If its windy, public fishing piers can be a little nerve wracking with preschoolers and toddlers. You may want to put them in life-jackets.
  5. Bring snacks! That’s just good general parenting advice. Always bring snacks.
  6. Remember the basics: sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. Again, I’d add life-jackets, diapers & wipes, a change of clothes and towels.
  7. Provide kids with simple tackle in working order. If you already enjoy fishing, you can probably dig through your own stash. Otherwise, see the part about State Parks offering this stuff for free.
  8. Start with realistic expectations. With short attention spans, kids may want to move onto something else after a very short time. Choose a park with a playground or a beach. Bring a non-fishing adult who doesn’t mind taking them if you want to continue fishing for a bit.
  9. Have patience! I think they are talking about fishing, but this is also just good advice for parenting.
When is fishing season in Minnesota?

Pretty much always for something. Click here to see the DNR’s overview of fishing seasons.

The post Take a Kid Fishing Weekend – June 7-9, 2019 appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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This unique toy shop  invites you to treasure your kids and play with them.  It’s the perfect little boutique around the corner from GoodStyle and GoodThings for your littles.  And you will have as much fun, if not more, as your kiddos.

Plus on Wednesdays, GoodKids is the official ClubHouse for BookHounds Family BookClub.

*FFTC partner, learn more about this Twin Cities toy shop here.

Events

BookHounds Family BookClub | Ongoing Wednesdays, Beginning July 3 10:30 | FREE

A book club is full of lively discussion, exciting books, thrilling activities, and lots of fun people.  Join BookHounds as we read together, meet cool people (including authors), and enjoy stories.  All in this fun toy shop.

The post GoodKids Events appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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If you’re looking for a few new places to cool off this summer, we’ve put together a master list of all the Twin Cities Metro-area splash pads we could find. The pads are organized by region for your convenience and nearly all are free of charge (except where noted). With a few more elaborate exceptions, these aren’t so much swimming holes as simple spots where you might beat the heat with your youngsters. Stay cool! Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other great places to splash in the Metro.

MINNEAPOLIS AREA SPLASH PADS & WADING POOLS

Waite Park Wading Pool & Splash Pad
Cool off at the newly-renovated Waite Park wading pool and check out its zero-depth entry, new shade structure and interactive water features. Open 10am-9pm.

The Commons
Located on a public green space near the heart of downtown Minneapolis, these splash fountains are on the small side, but definitely do the trick on a hot day. Plus, there’s all kinds of programming at The Commons during the summer to satisfy all ages: a farmers market, live music, free lawn games, movies, public art and food trucks. Daily 6am-10pm

The Commons, Minneapolis

Franklin Steele Square
A little urban oasis near the southern cusp of downtown Minneapolis. Daily 10am-9pm

Franklin Steele Square

Lake Hiawatha Wading Pool
Lake Hiawatha Park’s water play space could be more accurately called a wading pool, but there is a zero-depth entry end lined with water jets. The water is about two feet at its deepest and features spraying cattails. There is also a sandy playground with a tot lot onsite. Daily 10am-9pm (10pm if temp is 85 degrees at 6pm)

Wabun Park Wading Pool
Similar to Lake Hiawatha’s pool, Wabun also has a zero-depth entry and maxes out at 2 feet — perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and even those kids just learning to swim. A pair of short bubblers in the shallow end and a spraying arched rock structure keep everyone cool. There’s also a great playground adjacent that’s easy to keep an eye on older kids from and shaded picnic pavilions. Open 10am-9pm.

Emerald Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village
This extra neat and tidy little park has a primary-colored splash pad with jumping fountains and dump buckets, an impressive number of picnic tables (including 4 in a pavilion), plenty of shaded benches, grassy lawns and clean bathrooms. Open during park hours.

Emerald Park, St Anthony

Central Park Splash Deck | St Anthony Village
Local parents of toddlers and preschoolers: if all your kids aim to do is get wet, this mini-park will do. Skip Emerald Park and head here for less elaborate fountains and a sweet little playground.

Find a directory of all Minneapolis Parks wading pools here. Pools will be open 10am-9pm daily, starting Memorial Day Weekend 2018.

SAINT PAUL AREA SPLASH PADS

Conway Recreation Center
This splash pad opened June 2013 near the eastern boundary of St Paul. Enjoy the fountains and new playground equipment. Sun Ray Library is steps away if you need a quiet book break. Daily 9am-9pm.

Lewis Park
St. Paul’s first splash pad features fountains and jets plus fun new playground equipment. We love the synthetic turf surfacing on the playground, but I’d advise you to keep your shoes on. (Note: We have more than one reader caution about this park in the comments below. If you’ve had good or bad experiences with any of these parks, we would love to hear. Leave us a comment.) Open 9am-9pm.

Lewis Park, St Paul

Phalen Park
New in 2017! Kids can make a quick dash from the splash pad fountains to the large and sandy Phalen Park beach. Daily 9am-9pm.

WEST METRO SPLASH PADS

BLOOMINGTON

Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad
The small splash pad and playground is located adjacent to the Cedar Valley Church. Park free in the church parking lot.

EDEN PRAIRIE

Miller Park Splash Pad
This park has it all: a splash pad, sand and water play, and an exceptionally accessible playground for younger children. Daily 10am-8pm

Round Lake Splash Pad
Brand new in 2013, this splash pad has a marine-themed rubber surface to keep slips to a minimum. There are fun interactive features as well as traditional bubblers and fountains. Very close by is elaborate new playground equipment, shaded seating and a sandy beach on Round Lake. Daily 10am-8pm.

HOPKINS

Burnes Park Splash Pad
This large splash pad is operated on a touch system and turns off when not in use. Open Mon-Sat: 9am- 9pm; Sun: 12-9pm.

ROBBINSDALE

Manor Park Splash Pad
A colorful splash pad with buckets, fountains, and limited shaded seating for adults. There is a decent distance between the splash pad and the playground, so don’t expect it will be easy to watch kids going to and fro. Daily 10am-8pm

ST LOUIS PARK

Oak Hill Splash Pad
This splash pad in Oak Hill Park got so popular (and for good reason!) it charges $1 per person for non-residents. It’s one of the largest and most elaborate splash pads in the metro with interactive bubblers and nozzles. Daily 10am-8pm.

EAST METRO SPLASH PADS

COTTAGE GROVE

Highlands Park Splash Pad
When the city’s public pool closed in 2011 it was replaced with this brand-new splash pad. Water guns and spray nozzles keep the kids cool when the temps rise. Daily 9am-9pm.

WOODBURY

Bielenberg Splash Pad
Located on the grounds of the Bielenberg Sports Center, this new splash pad features dumping buckets and “flower showers” on one side and an area geared towards younger children on the other with smaller bubblers. Bring a picnic for the grassy shaded lawn behind the restroom building. (Note: We’ve had a reader comment on the crowds. Does anyone have suggestions for more East Metro options? If not, maybe its time to lobby for more splash pads.) Daily 9am-9pm.

SOUTH METRO SPLASH PADS

APPLE VALLEY

Kelley Park Splash Pad
Hoops of spraying water to run through at this splash pad, plus playground equipment. Free concerts in the park summer Fridays through mid-August, 6-9pm. Open 9am-9pm.

BURNSVILLE

Nicollet Commons Park
Our pick for one of the best “splash pads” in the city! The layout is that of a circular plaza admist a city shopping district with a shallow stream running around it. There are lots of natural elements – rocks, fountains, and small waterfalls to play in – just be wary of slippery surfaces.  There is plenty of street parking nearby if you don’t mind walking a couple of blocks and lots of places to pick up lunch to eat on the grassy amphitheater-style seating. Open during park hours, 5am-midnight

Nicollet Commons Park

Burnsville Lions Playground Splash Pad | Cliff Fen Park
This pad made a splash when it opened summer of 2015 with a brand new playground to boot. Daily 9am-9pm.

CHASKA

Chaska Community Center Splash Pad
$6.50-$9/pp admission to the Community Center is required to access the pool and splash pad. For free summer swimming, try Chaska’s Clayhole Swim Beach.  Daily 9am-9pm

Firemen’s Park
Interactive fountains to splash in, lit at night!

EAGAN

Eagan Central Park Splash Pad
This splash pad opened in July of 2018 near the Eagan Community Center. Market Fest is held Wednesday nights during the summer for locals to shop within clear view of kids playing in the splash pad.

ROSEMOUNT

Rosemount Central Park Splash Pad
Toddlers and preschoolers will love manipulating the stream through the moving “Water Journey” and splashing about in the nozzles and fountains. The pad has been designed to re-use water for irrigation in nearby fields. Daily 9am-9pm.

SOUTH ST. PAUL

Lorraine Park Splash Pool
The interactive zero-depth entry pool is ideal for little waders, containing a slide, sprayers and changing facilities. Daily 12:30-7pm for all ages, Toddler Time 11am-12:30pm weekdays. $2-3.50/pp.

WEST ST. PAUL

Harmon Park Splash Pad
A complete 2016 makeover of the park included the installation of a splash pad, a new playground, ballfields, and space to host gatherings. We can’t wait to check this one out! Daily 9am-9pm.

NORTH METRO SPLASH PADS

BLAINE

Lakeside Commons Park & Beach
Free to Blaine residents, $5/pp admission to non-residents | The simple splash pad is located within Lakeside Commons Park and admission includes access to the sandy beach, playground equipment, and picnic space. Daily 10am-6pm.

CHAMPLIN

Andrews Park Splash Pad
Daily 10am-7:30pm, closed July 4

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS

Huset Park West Splash Pad
Scoot through the spraying hoops and watch out for the dump buckets (or don’t!) A playground and picnic shelter are located conveniently nearby. Open daily 10am-7pm.

Huset Park

COON RAPIDS

Boulevard Plaza Splash Pad
A Grand Opening was held June 2018 to celebrate the city’s first splash pad. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the shaded tables. Open daily, 10am-8pm.

DELANO

Central Park of Delano
Recommended by a reader, this is a pay splash pad with an on-duty attendant during open hours.
Open daily 12-8pm. $3/pp (season pass available).

MAPLE GROVE

Central Park of Maple Grove
A brand new (and pretty sweet) playground is also onsite with challenges for a wide variety of ages and abilities. Interactive fountain open daily 10am – 8:30pm, 8:45pm – 10pm – show mode with lights.

OTSEGO

Prairie Park Splash Pad
Daily 9am-9pm

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The post Cool Off at Twin Cities Area Splash Pads & Wading Pools appeared first on Family Fun Twin Cities.

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