Twin CIties Family

For the weekend of Thursday, January 10-
Monday, January 14, 2013

And the activities kick back into action!  Everything sounds so entertaining and educational.  If you are looking for something to do and you aren’t sure these activities fit the bill, you can check out other free activities like Como Zoo, the Bell Museum (free on Sunday, other days small admission fee), the Mall of America Ice Castles, or Three Rivers Parks.   

The coolest thing I learned about was that this year on the 2nd Saturday of every month the Bakken has free admission.  In the past, it was the Super Science Second Saturday with different activities.  Now, it’s a day of free admission with different special activities.  This month, they are having a Franklin Fest celebrating the 307th birthday of Mr. Benjamin Franklin.  

  If you would like to know more about what I thought about The Bakken, go here and check out my review.  I enjoy the museum greatly.  I will advise, though, since it is a free day, it may  be packed, so go early.  The museum hours at 10:00 am-5:00 pm


Wells Fargo Winter Skate
Landmark Plaza, adjacent to Rice Park 
Entire month of January 
Weekdays 11:00 am-5:00 pm 
Friday and Saturday 11:00 am-10:00 pm
Sundays  11:00 am-9:00 pm
Free to skate, $2 Skating rental per person.  You can easily be transported back in time by skating in the heart of downtown St. Paul.  The weather will not deter the most hearty of Minnesotans and warm weather will not melt the ice since it is artificially chilled.  Come and skate any day you want to come or everyday.  


Sean Emery–Funny Guy Juggling Stuff 
Shoreview Ramsey County Library
Thursday, 1/10/13 10:30 am  
or 
Roseville Ramsey County Library
Monday, 1/14/13 10:30 am   
I am pretty sure I have seen Sean Emery at the Minnesota State Fair.  I remember thinking he’s kind of a dork.  And to that, I’m sure he’d cry, “SUCCESS!”  He juggles, he tries to sing, and he does all kinds of fun tricks with hats and sticks and other things.  He is a professional of great fun since he teaches circus arts at the University of Minnesota, holds workshops, performs around the country,  and along with his wife operates Xelias! Aerial Arts Studio each spring.

Free Admission Thursdays
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, All Thursdays Between November and March 8:00 am-5:30 pm (gardens/grounds) 9:00-4:30 most buildings 
Drive through the beautiful arboretum or take a chilly stroll.  On Thursdays, participate in Storytime in the Snyder building’s Andersen Horticultural Library at 10:30 am.

Free Family Flick, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Mall of America Theatres, Saturday, 11/12/13  10:00 am
By turning the sound down, keeping the lights up a little, welcoming movement and verbal interaction during the film, these movies are a great experience for families of children with autism and other sensory disorders.  All are welcome and wanted! 

Mary Logue, Sleep Like a Tiger
The Red Balloon, Saturday, 1/12/13  10:30 am (recommended for children ages 3-8, but all are welcome)
 The Red Balloon Bookshop is an adorable bookshop that is spacious and welcoming.  The first time I visited with my children, I didn’t want to leave.  You can read about my Red Balloon Bookshop thoughts here.  After going to an author’s event, I realized even more how special this bookstore is. They welcome you in, seat you on beautiful red (folding) chairs, and encourage you to be involved.    Mary Logue is a local author and Sleep Like a Tiger is a beautiful picture book for children.  I am positive that you will enjoy your time listening and learning together as a family.

Vickie Black, Young Chicken Farmers:  Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens
Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Saturday 1/12/13 10:30 am
Bring your kids and learn how to raise chickens even if you live in the city.  It promises to be a fun experience by hands-on practice with stuffed–or as I used to say stuffed UP–chickens and actual equipment from the chicken coop!

Urban Expedition:  Argentina 
The Landmark Center, Sunday, 1/13/13 1:00-3:00 pm
In the center of downtown St. Paul sits the Landmark Center.  It is a beautiful building on the inside and the outside.  And back for another season of world class traveling is Urban Expedition.  This Saturday, experience Argentina by watching performances, creating crafts, (maybe) nibbling on Argentinian cuisine (I have always wanted to use the word Argentinian after hearing it spoken on Veggie Tales).  For two hours you are welcome to experience another world right here in the Twin Cities.

MIA Family Day:  Art Feast
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Sunday, 1/13/13 11:00 am-5:00 pm 
This is one of my favorite things about the Twin Cities.  MIA totally impresses me.  It did when I was a kid, when I was a college student, and now when I’m a mom.  And honestly, I am not an art lover.  I don’t get it.  Plain and simple, but the MIA makes art a little bit more understandable.  I appreciate that!  But the best days are their 2nd Sundays of the month–Family Day.
Here’s what is on the schedule for Art Feast 

  • Art Making Activities:  Candy Necklaces, Gumdrop sculptures, Still-life drawing (of food), The Art of Pizza (decorate a pizza box and sculpt a real-life looking pizza).  Apparently, your pizza will look so delicious, you will want to eat it!  But alas, you can’t.  It’s not good to ingest clay. 
  • Gallery Hunt:  Feast Your Eyes–Discover throughout the museum how local dishes inspire artists (and giggle.  Because I would find it hilarious that a painting of campbell soup is priceless) 
  • The Cromulent Shakespeare Company–The CSC will be strolling through the galleries and letting your experience their improv.  I’m sure it will be hilarious! 
  • Z Puppets Rosenschnoz:  Ala Carte–In A Fool’s Kitchen  Puppet Show.  A Faux French cook and a “wily” lobster prove to be a giggle-inducing combination.
  • Z Puppets Rosenschnoz Secrets of Puppetry.  Get a behind the scenes look at Ala Carte.
  • Special Exhibit:  Supper with Shakespeare:  The Evolution of English Banqueting– Handcrafted food art–to put it bluntly.
  • Special Exhibit:  China’s Terracotta Warriors are still there to enjoy!

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$5 or Less
In The Heart Of The Beast Theatre, Saturday, 1/12/13 10:00 am or noon $2-$4
I still have yet to get here, but from everything I have read and heard about this theatre, it seems like a lot of fun.  Each Saturday they hold a theme-related Take ‘n Make Workshop following the show for $5.  You can call to register or you can register before the puppet show starts.

Elm Creek Park Reserve, Saturday, 1/12/13  1:00-2:30 pm $5 (for ages 6 and older) 
At our house, bees, hornets, and wasps are frightening creatures. So while they are dormant and hibernating, it would be a good time to learn about them and maybe (just maybe–but I’m not holding my breath) appreciate them in the summer.  Make homemade paper, make melted crayon sculptures, and taste honey and learn about these little guys as you do. 

————–
More Than $5
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Saturdays and Sundays during January, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm  
Free with the price of admission.  In January, the Arboretum is holding a 2 for 1 special for the price of admission.  $12 per person over 12, 12 and under are free

Learn about evergreens and take home a handy dandy card about identifying evergreens and a keepsake you can enjoy with your eyes and your nose.

Mill City Museum Saturday, 1/12/13 2:00 pm  $6-$11 (this is museum admission, program is free once in Mill City)
File into the Baking Lab of the Museum and learn about the history of brownie mixes.  Watch the process of baking brownies from scratch and from a mix.  And then the true test!  YOU GET TO EAT THEM!!!!!  Oh, yeah.  I am already excited about this.

American Swedish Institute Sunday, 1/13/13 12:00-5:00 pm 
I have always always ALWAYS wanted a Norwegian sweater (that’s we referred to them as growing up so alas Norwegian sweater is where they will stay).   But being that my dream of a beautiful sweater from Norway is still not my reality, I am not going to be enjoying this specific event.  But those of you who do have one, you will receive a $2 discount on your admission and are eligible to enter the drawing for a for the nordic knit-themed prize.  There is also a group picture scheduled for 3:00 pm.
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Major Change is Coming for A Traveling Thought

The title of A Traveling Thought is changing. 

Since this is more focused on the Twin Cities and same day trips outside the Twin Cities, I will be changing the name to reflect the focus. 
Currently, I am in talks with the Google Blogger guys to figure out how to do this so that you can be redirected from this address to whatever the new name will be.  
I thought I had a name.  I currently do not have a name, but in the title somewhere will be Twin Cities Family.  Maybe not in that order, but somewhere in there it shall be.  
Since my current address is up for renewal, I thought this was the perfect time to do it. 
I am also in the beginning stages of planning a new site that will be titled A Traveling Thought, but it will have a very different focus than the Twin Cities.  
I wanted to give you a heads up that no, you are not in the wrong place when you show up one day it’s looking much different. 
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Twin Cities Family: FREE

For the weekend of January 3-January 7, 2013
Since this month I am in a major planning phase for this year (I know I’m behind), I am not going to have my long lists.  Just a few things that sound fun!  And this week since we are done spending money on holiday things, I thought it would be refreshing to post only the free stuff.  

There are plenty of other things to do around the cities at places like kiddywampus, heartfelt, the Three Rivers Park District, the Works Museum, the Bakken Museum, or Springbrook Nature Center.  Even just hang out at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store or snuggle up with a book at Wild Rumpus !  Check those out and see where you end up!

Thursday 1/3
Urban St. Paul
Landmark Center
Schubert Club Courtroom Concert

12:00 pm

Friday 1/4
Urban Minneapolis
Midtown Global Market
Fridays Family Night
5:30-7:30 pm
Saturday 1/5
Urban Minneapolis
Walker Art Center
First Free Saturday

Pictures of You
10:00 am-3:00 pm

Urban St. Paul
The Red Balloon Bookshop
Lia Kvatum—Saving Yasha

2:00 pm
   I am super excited about this event since Lia’s sister and I were best friends in 6th and 7th grade.  I am hoping to get to meet Lia and see her sister!  Not that any of that matters to you—BUT I have also seen Moon Bears when I was in China and they are adorable little creatures.  Come, hear the book, and meet the author with me!  What fun!
Sunday 1/6
Urban St. Paul
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
11:00 am-9:00 pm

Landmark Center
Minnesota Boychoir Winter Concert

Musser Cortile
1 & 3:30pm

Urban Minneapolis
General Admission
12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Monday 1/7
North Metro
Silverwood Park
Open Drumming
6:30-8:00 pm
   Join a group of drummers on the island at Silverwood park every Monday for the next 6 weeks making music together for the fun of it.  Bring your own percussion instrument (even a stick and a bucket).
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2012 FREE Winter Break Fun

Winter fun
image credit
It’s now Wednesday.  Christmas is done.  The days and days of winter break could seem like forever staring at your children’s beautiful faces.  Or you may need to plan some fun spur of the moment things with your current guests.  
The Twin Cities understands.  St. Paul and Minneapolis both appreciate this dilemma.  So there are plenty of things to do around town. 
So here are some ideas for some free winter break fun.
Thursday 12/27
noon-10:00 pm
10:30 a.m.
10:30 am 
For ages 4-12 
    Make your own clay elephant pot.  Limited to 30 participants; First come, First Serve
1:30 pm 
For ages 12 and under 
   Layl McDill will teach creative techniques to make a fun creature to take home nad bake in your oven.  Children under 5 must be accompanied by adult. 
2:00 pm 
For ages 6 and up
   Using comics, cartoons, and magazines, make a shrinky dink all your own. 
2:00-4:00 pm 
For ages 6-10 
   Make fabric and beads from colorful fibers.  Teachers from the Textile Center will show you how to create these fun projects.
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
11:00 am-10:00 pm
Friday  12/28

Wells Fargo Winter Skate
11:00 am-5:00 pm

10:30 am 
For all ages 
   Master storyteller and performing artist Nothando Zulu will be sharing folktales from Africa.  A whimsical morning will leave you thinking about life.

10:30 am-12:00 pm 
For 1st-6th graders Limited to 30 pariticipants.  Register here
    Create a Hard Cover Fan Book by learning to use designs from ancient India.  Create an entire storybook.  
1:30 pm 
For 1st-6th graders.  Limited to 30 participants.  Register here
  R.G.K. MOdern Indian Dance Academy will teach rhythmic dance steps from contemporary Hindi films.
Saturday 12/29
11:00 am-10:00 pm
Winter Skate Holiday movies 
A Christmas Story, ELF, Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s A Wonderful Life
3:00 pm-10:00 pm
Skating begins at 11:00 am

Sunday 12/30
noon-7:00 pm
Winter Skate Holiday movies 
A Christmas Story, ELF, Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s A Wonderful Life
3:00 pm-10:00 pm
Skating begins at 11:00 am

General Admission
12:00 pm-5:00 pm


Monday 12/31
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
11:00 am-10:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm  
For all ages 
    Crafts, karaoke, dancing, and snacks!  Enjoy the fun!


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Twin Cities Family: $5 or Less Winter Break Fun

Thursday 12/27
10:00 am-2:30 pm
$2-$5
    Learn about how Minnesota was the first state to volunteer men for the Union Army in the Civil War
Saturday 12/29
  Lowry Nature Center,  Winter Survival, for ages 5 and up, $5

10:00 am-3:00 pm
$2
Sunday 12/30
1:00 pm-4:00 pm
$2
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Twin Cities Family: More Than $5 Winter Break Fun

Thursday 12/27
Heartfelt     
  Flower Fairies –for ages 5 and up–$10
  Wooden Tops –for ages 5 and up–$15
  Sweater Hats –For ages 8 and up–$20
  Needelfelted Snowman –For ages 9 and up–$28

2:00 pm, 3:00 pm $3-$5 (above admission price) 
Elm Creek Eastman Nature Center Frosty Fun Winter Break Camp
Friday 12/28
Heartfelt     
  Flower Fairies –for ages 5 and up–$10
  Wooden Tops –for ages 5 and up–$15
  Sweater Hats –For ages 8 and up–$20
  Needelfelted Snowman –For ages 9 and up–$28

Exploradome
12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm $3-$5 (above admission price) 
Elm Creek Eastman Nature Center Frosty Fun Winter Break Camp
Saturday 12/29
  Elm Creek Ski Lessons, Snowboard Lessons
  Hyland Ski Lessons, Snowboard Lessons

12:00-4:00 pm
(GATE ADMISSION)   
    Learn about holiday plants, make a scented ornament
Heartfelt     
  Flower Fairies –for ages 5 and up–$10
  Wooden Tops –for ages 5 and up–$15
  Sweater Hats –For ages 8 and up–$20
  Needelfelted Snowman –For ages 9 and up–$28
Urban St. Paul
Night Trains     
6:00-9:00 pm 
$8/individual, $25 for family, $30 for extended family 
     Enjoy the winter air surrounded by the trains that make the Twin Cities great.                   
Noon-4:00 pm
$6-$11
    Musical performances, storytelling and African Folktales, Cooking demonstrations with Living Soul Suisine, Art activity, Theatre presentations

Sunday 12/30
Heartfelt     
  Flower Fairies –for ages 5 and up–$10
  Wooden Tops –for ages 5 and up–$15
  Sweater Hats –For ages 8 and up–$20
  Needelfelted Snowman –For ages 9 and up–$28
12:00-4:00 pm
(GATE ADMISSION)   
    Learn about holiday plants,  make a scented ornament
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Christmas Gifts

In no way am I receiving any kind of compensation for the following.  I am strictly giving you some ideas for last minute Christmas gifts.  These are ideas that I am currently contemplating myself.

1.  Go Fish CD:  They just released their newest CD–Kids Music–last week.  Your child would be one of the first to have it in their hands and on their hearts!  And it sounds awesome!

2.  Memberships to different museums:  My Top Four

  • The Bakken:  Relatively inexpensive.  Each month on the 2nd Saturday its Super Science Saturday. 
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum:  $95 for a Family membership, but you get one free adult admission to the Science museum each Tuesday for the Science Museum playdates.  Good for children up to age eight.
  • The Minnesota Science Museum:  With a membership to this museum, you get to experience a lot of learning.  It is $99 for a family membership. 
  • Jackson Street Roundhouse: I am unsure the cost, and I think it’s a bit complicated, but if you have a train enthusiast like I do, it could be the perfect gift.
  • The Minnesota Historical Society:  It costs $75 for a family membership.  And you get access to the Minnesota History Museum, Fort Snelling, the Mill City Museum, and other historical sites/museums around the state.  This is very intriguing to me currently. 
3.  Membership to Minnesota Zoo :  $130 for a Family Membership
4.  Membership to Theatre and Dance Performing Troupes. 
Those are just some ideas for you to enjoy.  There are many other museums and places to discover and enjoy.  
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