8 answers

Summer Plans with a Baby

Hello! Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms! I am a teacher who will have 2 months free this summer to hang out with my little guy. He'll be 9 months old in June and I wondering if you have fun suggestions as to places we can go and hang out this summer. Of course we can go for walks, and go to the lakes and parks, but are there fun places we can go and hang out?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I'm a teacher too and, also like you, I like to be out and about (so do my little ones!) I second the Splash Pad in St Louis Park and the zoos are a lot of fun, even for really little ones. A Moms Club would be great too!

More Answers

I got a document from an ECFE mom that is fantastic. It's extremely long and I tried to attach it as a word document.. but it wouldn't work on this site.

It's long but good!!


Great Things to Do with Infants, Toddlers and Kids
Updated January 2007
Send your additions/corrections to Jennifer Nelson’s email : ____@____.com
This document is meant for personal use and cannot be used for publication or fee-based distribution of any kind.

I should start by saying that I have not personally attended all of these venues, so visit them with discretion. If you have a wonderful adventure or a disappointing outing, let me know so I can edit the list for future parents. Further ideas are always welcome! Call ahead, as prices and hours change.

Move Your Baby/Body and Other Athletic Adventures:
If you are looking for any type of exercise, dance or enrichment class for your infant, toddler, preschooler, or young child, St. Paul Community Education gets my vote for the most variety and affordability. They offer SEVERAL classes. To see the latest catalog go to http://commed.spps.org/

Changing Shapes Mommy and Infant Exercise Class
Attending this exercise class was the best thing I did for myself after Finn was born. It was extremely therapeutic, fun and we met amazing moms and babies. The class is held at the Jewish Community Center in St. Paul. It is open to moms with babies from 6 weeks of age until they crawl. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:45am-12:00. The class includes low impact aerobics, step aerobics, as well as interactive time for you and your baby, not to mention great conversation with new mothers. Mary Dirkesen, is an absolute gem and instructs the class. The cost for a 10 punch pass is $50.00 for members and $65.00 for non-members. Daycare for older kids is available. Contact Mary at ###-###-####. Doc’s approval is required.

Baby Ballroom Dancing
www.babyballroom.com
The Dancers Studio
99 Snelling Ave. North St. Paul ###-###-####
Offers mommy/baby dance lessons. Hold your baby and learn the mamba, salsa or some swing moves. I am embarrassed to admit I actually did this…I still have two left feet! Contact person: Meghan Gordon. Cost: $50 for a 5 week session.

Baby Loves Disco
Foundation Night Club
10 South Fifth Street Minneaplis, MN
www.foundationmpls.com
If you’re a new parent and a craving a “night on the town” but can’t stand the thought of leaving your kids with a babysitter, this activity is for you! One Saturday a month, Baby Loves Disco transforms the Foundation Night Club in Minneapolis into a child-proof disco for families with kids ages 6 months to 7 years old. The afternoon dance party features music spun by a real DJ, bubble machines, a chill-out area, diaper changing stations, a spread of healthy snacks and optional drinks for non-driving parents (this part seems a bit weird to me, but it might provide some interesting people watching). Admission $10.

FREE Open Gym for Toddlers
Visit one of the following local community centers for a free indoor parent/toddler time.

Hillcrest Rec Center Mondays beginning September 11th 11:00-1:00pm Infant-5 years
1978 Ford Pkwy ###-###-#### Ongoing

Edgcumbe Rec Center Tues/Thurs beginning Sept. 5th 9:30-11:30am Infant-5 years
320 South Griggs ###-###-#### Ongoing

Desnoyer Park Thursdays beginning Sept. 21st 6:00-7:30pm Ages 10 months-3 years
525 Pelham ###-###-#### 6 sessions-ONLY

Merriam Park Sundays beginning DECEMBER 3rd Noon-4pm All Ages
2000 St. Anthony ###-###-#### 14 sessions

Rolly Pollies
www.rollypollies.com
###-###-####
11283 Eagle View Blvd.
Woodbury, MN 55129
$144 for a 9 week 45 minute class
Music, art and motor skills classes for children 6 months -6 years

St. Paul Community Education Swimming Class
Kiddos must be 6 months to attend. The cost is about $45.00 for 8 sessions, which is a bargain compared to FOSS swim classes. They offer water baby classes all around town, but the best pools are Como and Bridgeview, as they are therapeutic pools and they keep the water and air temps super warm. The classes are GREAT fun and are 30 minutes in the evenings, but they also offer Saturday classes. To see the latest catalog go to http://commed.spps.org/

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
www.stpaul.gov/depts/parks
This organization does more than sports. Visit the site to register for tons of kid-friendly activities and class, many of which are FREE! Classes are available for kiddos and adults of all ages from 0-101! There are several service areas, and each host holiday parties for kids throughout the year with free food, games and crafts.

Solo Spanish Solo Salsa
www.solospanishsolosalsa.com
Learn Spanish and Salsa dancing with your child! This new company offers a unique program for learning Spanish in a fun way. The program is designed to teach beginning Spanish words, phrases and songs to parents and their children under five with lessons, music and dance. The program is focused on children’s ability to learn visually: with photos and illustrations, with sounds: songs and word repetition, and with touch: providing cards and objects. Additionally, they offer exercises for pronunciation and Salsa dancing steps for fun! Check the website for registration details.

Other Exercise Resources:
Gleason's Gymnastic Gyms - (open gym time)
www.gleasons.com
2015 Silver Bell Rd. Suite 180, Eagan: ###-###-####
9775 85th Ave N., Maple Grove: ###-###-####
5500 Cottonwood Lane, Prior Lake: ###-###-####

Gymboree Play and Music
Many MN locations
Go to www.gymboree.com for a free class pass!

JW Tumbles a Children's Gym
###-###-####

Minnesota Valley Gymnastics Center
8103 W. 126th Street
Savage, MN 55738
952/746-5222

My Gym
http://www.my-gym.com/
###-###-####
956 Prairie Center Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Tags Gymnastics
http://www.tagsgym.com/

Indoor Playgrounds:
Bacon & Egg Soft Play Area
by old Montgomery Ward’s – Northtown Mall

The Blast: Indoor Playground
1501 Central Parkway
(Eagan Community Center)
###-###-####
This 2-story indoor children’s play area is painted like a gigantic galaxy, adding to this one-of-a-kind play odyssey. Kids can burn energy and get exercise while pretending to be astronauts on their very own International Space Station. Socks are required to play in The Blast and no outside food or beverages are allowed. Snack bar on site. Admission is $5 for children ages 18 months-15years. All others are free (including adults). Preschool Open Gym (ages 1-5) runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. through the school year. The cost is $3 per child.

Eagle's Nest Indoor Park
Family Service Center of New Brighton
www.ci.new-brighton.mn.us
400 10th Street NW, New Brighton, ###-###-####
Call for hours, directions, typically $4.50 per kid, no charge for adult or under age two
Eden Prairie Center
lower level by Kohls
www.edenprairiecenter.com
125 Eden Prairie Center, Eden Prairie ###-###-####
Edinborough Indoor Park
www.edinboroughpark.com
7700 York Avenue S., Edina ###-###-####
Child’s admission is $5.00, adults are free.
Newly remodeled, open gym space, and play structures as well. Free indoor concerts every Tuesday & Thursday at noon.

Extreme Fun Zone
www.pumpitupparty.com
7406 Washington Ave
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 ###-###-####
(Family Play Time from 10-11:30 Tues/Thurs, $6.00 a kid, kids must be 5 or younger)

Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground – Central Park Building
www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/parks/cpplay.html
8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury
###-###-####

Maple Maze Indoor Park
Maple Grove Community Center
www.ci.maple-grove.mn.us/info_sys/directions/community_ct...
12951 Weaver Lake Road, Maple Grove ###-###-####
$4.00 non-resident (adults free)

Northwoods Play Area - Rosedale Mall
Lower level by Herberger’s
www.myrosedale.com 10 Rosedale Center, Roseville ###-###-####

Radio Disney Room
by Applebee’s - Northtown Mall
www.northtown-mall.com
398 Northtown Drive, Blaine, ###-###-####
Radio Disney Room has monthly KidsClub events with free craft activities, snacks, etc. Call for more info.

REI Store Indoor Small Play Area
Bloomington store
www.rei.com
750 West 79th Street, Bloomington
###-###-####
Good for about 30-45 minutes of indoor play. Can get crowded.

Ridgedale Mall
http://www.ridgedalecenter.com
Play Area by Sears Lower Level

Outdoor Parks with Pools, Aquatic Centers and Water Parks:
For Public Swimming Venues in St. Paul:
www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/parks/
(Check the website for hours and rates under Parks and Recreation)
Como Pool (open during the summer)
N. Lexington Pkwy. and Horton Ave ###-###-####
Highland Pool (open during the summer)
1840 Edgcumbe Road ###-###-####
Phalen Beach
(beach and activities center open during the summer)
1530 Phalen Drive ###-###-####

For Public Swimming Venues in Minneapolis:
Wading Pools in Minneapolis
http://www.minneapolisparks.org
Minneapolis has an abundance of FREE wading pools that are GREAT for small kiddos (wish we had them in St. Paul). Check the website for specific directions, pictures and a complete list of amenities offered at each park. Our favorites are Longfellow and Linden Hills.

Armatage Park 2500 W. 57th Street Southwest Minneapolis
Audubon Park 1320 29th Ave. NE Northeast Minneapolis
Beltrami Park 1111 Summer St. NE Northeast Minneapolis
Bethune Park 1301 10th Ave. N. Northside
Bohanon Park 900 50th Ave. N. Northside
Bossen Park 5657 28th Ave. S. Longfellow/Nokomis
Bottineau Park 2000 2nd St. NE Northeast Minneapolis
Brackett Park 2728 39th Ave. S Central/Phillips
Bryant Square Park 3101 Bryant Ave. S. Southwest Minneapolis
Bryn Mawr Park 1905 Mt. View Ave. Northside
Central Gym Park 3400 4th Avenue South Central/Phillips
Cleveland Park 33rd & Russell Ave N. Northside
Corcoran Park 3334 20th Ave. S. Powderhorn/Pearl
Currie Park 1419 5th Street South Central/Phillips
Dickman Park Main St. & 7th Ave NE Central/Phillips
East Phillips Park 24th & 17th Ave S. Central/Phillips
Elliot Park 1000 E. 14th St. Central/Phillips
Farview Park 609 29th Ave N. Northside
Folwell Park 1615 Dowling Ave N Northside
Franklin Steele Square Portland & E. 16th St. Central/Phillips
Fuller Park 4800 Grand Ave S Powderhorn/Pearl
Hall Park 16th & Aldrich Ave N. Northside
Harrison Park 503 Irving Ave N Northside
Hi-View Park Main St. & 34th Ave NE Northeast Minneapolis
Hiawatha Lake Park 2701 E. 44th St. Longfellow/Nokomis
Hiawatha Park - School 4305 42nd St. E. Longfellow/Nokomis
Holmes Park 414 3rd Ave SE Central/Phillips
Jackson Square Park 23rd Ave & Jackson St. NE Northeast Minneapolis
Jordan Park 29th & Irving Ave N. Northside
Keewaydin Park 3000 53rd Street East Longfellow/Nokomis
Kenny Park 1328 W. 58th St. Southwest Minneapolis
Linden Hills Park 3100 W. 43rd St. Southwest Minneapolis
Logan Park 690-13th Ave NE Northeast Minneapolis
Longfellow Park 3435 36th Ave S Longfellow/Nokomis
Loring Park 1382 Willow St. Northside
Luxton Park 112 Williams Ave SE Northeast Minneapolis
Lynnhurst Park 1345 W. Minnehaha Parkway Southwest Minneapolis
Marshall Terrace Park Marshall St. & 27th Ave NE Northeast Minneapolis
Martin Luther King Park 4055 Nicollet Avenue South Central/Phillips
Matthews Park 2318 28th Ave S Central/Phillips
McRae Park 906 E. 47th Street Longfellow/Nokomis
Morris Park 5531 39th Ave S Longfellow/Nokomis
North Commons Park 1801 James Ave N Northside
North Commons Water Park 1701 Golden Valley Road Northside
North Mississippi Park 4900 N Mississippi Ct Northside
Northeast Park 1615 Pierce St. NE Northeast Minneapolis
Pearl Park 414 E. Diamond Lake Rd. Powderhorn/Pearl
Peavey Park 730 East 22nd St. Central/Phillips
Pershing Park 3523 W. 48th St. Southwest Minneapolis
Phelps Park 701 E 39th St. Powderhorn/Pearl
Powderhorn Park 3400 15th Ave S Powderhorn/Pearl
Riverside Park 2830 Franklin Terrace S. Central/Phillips
Sibley Park 1900-40th St. E Longfellow/Nokomis
Stewart Park 2700 12th Ave So Central/Phillips
Van Cleve Park 901 15th Ave SE Northeast Minneapolis
Victory Park 4414 Upton Avenue North Northside
Waite Park 1810 34th Ave NE Northeast Minneapolis
Webber Park 4400 Dupont Ave N Northside
Whittier Park 425 26th Street West Central/Phillips
Windom Park 2251 Hayes St. NE Northeast Minneapolis

Other Wet Venues:
Apple Valley Family Outdoor Aquatic Center
http://www.cityofapplevalley.org/parks/Facilities
14421 Johnny Cake Ridge Road (between 140th St & County Road 42)
###-###-#### Weather Hotline: ###-###-####, for public open swim information.
The pool has 18,000 square feet of pools and slides (some that are 3 stories high)! They also have a sand and water playground and volleyball courts. The pool is zero entry, so great for little kiddos. Admission is $6.00 per person and $4.00 after 5:00pm. Children 1 year and younger are free. Concessions are also available.

BattleCreek Waterworks Family Aquatic Center
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/parks/parks/waterworks.asp
2401 Upper Afton Road, Maplewood, ###-###-####
Bunker Beach Water Park and Wave Pool
www.anokacountyparks.com
Parkway Road A Bunker Hills Regional Park
Coon Rapids ###-###-#### info line & group reservations
This outdoor park has a wave pool and adventure pool. Tube rental is available at the Wave Pool. The Adventure pool is great for tots, as it is zero entry with a maximum depth of 2 feet. It also has a large play structure. A sand/picnic area (no outdoor food beverage allowed) is also present. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for 48 inches and under. Children under 1 are free.

Cascade Bay Outdoor Water Park
www.ci.eagan.mn.us
1360 Civic Center Drive Eagan, MN 55122
Hotline: ###-###-####
This huge park has admission fees that range from $4.50-$8.00 per person depending on the time of day and your height. Kids 18 months and younger are free

The Depot
www.thedepotminneapolis.com
225 Third Avenue S., Minneapolis
###-###-####
This hotel has an indoor water park and skating rink.

Edina Outdoor AquaticCenter at Rosland Park
www.ci.edina.mn.us
4300 W. 66th St. Edina ###-###-####
Outdoor Pool with water slides, kiddie pool, playground, concessions.
Admission is $9 per person.

Jim Lupient Water Park
http://www.minneapolisparks.org
1520 Johnson Street N.E. Minneapolis ###-###-####
$6.00 - 48'' inches tall and over $5.00 - Less then 48'' inches tall Free - Under the age of One
Enter after 6:00 p.m. and save $2.00 per person!! (Monday - Friday ONLY)
Minneapolis' newest water park features three large water slides, including a tube slide. Additional features include a log water walk, many interactive spray features, water volleyball, lap swimming lanes, and zero depth entry at one end for accessibility. The park theme is a rock quarry and featured items are designed to look like a quarry by incorporating stone, foam play quarry equipment and foam logs. There is also a new separate spray pool for the younger kids that is completely accessible as well as new colorful shade structures, outside shower towers, concessions, lots of seating, a grassy sun-bathing area and outside lockers. Covered shelters are available for reservation.

North Commons Water Park
http://www.minneapolisparks.org
1701 Golden Valley Road, Minneapolis ###-###-####
3.50 - 48'' inches tall and over $2.50 - Less then 48'' inches tall Free - Under the age of One
Enter after 6:00 p.m. and save $2.00 per person!!
This awesome water park features speed and loop slides that are three stories tall. They also have a shallow water pool, with water playground features, geysers and gadgets that will thrill any toddler! Funbrellas let you escape the sun and stay cool on warm summer days

Oak Hill Park Splash Pad
3400 Rhode Island Avenue, St. Louis Park
www.stlouispark.org
St. Louis Park’s FREE splash pad offers tots the equivalent of running through the sprinkler and playing with the garden hose on a grand scale. Kids can activate bubbling hoses, water nozzles and sprinkler arches. The pad is open from 10am-8pm daily from the end of May through the end of September. For specific dates see the website.

St. Louis Aquatic Park
www.stlouispark.org/experience/aquatic_park
3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park ###-###-####
###-###-#### (daily recorded messages about rain or crowd capacity-related closings)
The pool is open from early June to late August and features: 20,000 square feet of water,
A water playground with geysers and splash toys, a 25-meter lap pool, a zero-depth entry to allow visitors to wade into the water, two drop slides, two winding water slides that are nearly four-stories high, a wet sand playground area and a picnic gazebo. Admission rates range from $4-$8. Kiddos under 1 are free.

Tropics Indoor Water Park
www.ci.shoreview.mn.us
4600 Victoria Street N., Shorview 651. ###-###-####
This indoor pool with water slides is great for tots and has a zero entry area. Concessions available. Adults $7.50, Children $6.50 Children under 1 are free.

Water Park of America
www.waterparkofamerica.com
Bloomington
The Water Park of America is one of the country's biggest indoor water park hotel resorts. Located across from the Mall of America, it houses a 70,000-sq.-ft. indoor water park with a 10-story tall water slide complex which guests access via an elevator. Clear acrylic tubes send riders zooming down 100 feet outside a lighthouse and back into the indoor park. In addition to typical water park attractions (water play structure with tipping bucket, lazy river, activity pool, etc.), the huge facility features some unique attractions like a kayak course and a current channel. The resort also features over 400 rooms, many of them suites, plus an arcade and restaurants. Admission is open to the general public if space is available. Water passes start at $19.95 a person.

Wild Mountain Outdoor Water Park
www.wildmountain.com
Taylors Falls ###-###-#### 800-447-4958
A full service water park for all ages. Prices range from $10-$30 per person depending on the package you choose.

Whitewater Country Outdoor Water Park at Valley Fair
www.valleyfair.com
The 3.5 acre waterpark is free with general admission. Adults $35, Children $10, 2 and under are free.
Parking is an additional $8.

Hotels w/Water Parks:
Grand Rios Hotel and Indoor Water Park
www.grandrios.com Brooklyn Park
This is currently Minnesota’s largest indoor water park. Rooms start at $159 per night but daily admission is also available. Check the site for rates and availability.

The Depot (Hotel, Indoor Pool, Skating Rink)
www.thedepotminneapolis.com
225 Third Avenue S., Minneapolis
###-###-####

Owatonna Holiday Inn
2365 43rd Street NW, I-35 Exit 45, OWATONNA, MN 55060
1-###-###-####
At the Owatonna Holiday Inn: The Great Serengeti Indoor Water Park with 2 waterslides, one tube slide, 1 body slide, lazy river, activity pool with water basketball and waterfall spa. Also has "Kid Suites."

Water Park of America
www.waterparkofamerica.com
Bloomington (See info in previous section)

The Great Outdoors: Parks, Nature Centers ,Zoos and Fresh Air Outings:
Chutes and Ladders Outdoor Playground
Hyland Lake Park Preserve
10145 Bush Lake Road , Bloomington, MN 55438 ###-###-####
http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org
If you have kids who love to climb and explore playground equipment, you have to check this Bloomington park out! Adjacent to "Chutes," is a play area for kids 5 and under. Both provide lots of climbing and sliding fun. Swings are available at the smaller children's play area. Parking is free every day for family vehicles.

Como Park Conservatory/Como Zoo
http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/parks/comopark/czcs/
1250 Kaufman Drive N., St. Paul
24-hr. info line ###-###-#### / Customer Svc. ###-###-#### - free
Free but Donation of $2.00 per adult suggested
An excellent family field trip when it is cold or rainy outside. The conservatory has been expanded and they even have a half decent restaurant in the adjacent visitor center if you want to make a longer day of it. No food/beverage are allowed in the conservatory…not even a bottle or a Cheerio, so eat first! Finn loves the sparkly sticker displays in the gift shop. If baby is in a good mood continue on to the Como Zoo and the Cafestjan’s Carousel ($1.50).

Dodge Nature Center
365 West Marie Avenue, West Saint Paul ###-###-####
www.dodgenaturecenter.org
This beautiful nature preserve offers myriad outdoor activities for families and kids. Monthly hikes are offered by naturalists each Saturday from 10:00-11:30. Activities are designed for kids ages 3-7, but all are welcome. Under 3 and grandparents are admitted free. Check out the site for maple syruping times and other fun activities!

Farmers Markets
• Minneapolis Farmers’ Markets
www.mplsfarmersmarket.com

1) Minneapolis Farmer’s Market
312 East Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis ###-###-####
This is the largest open-air, covered market. They are open for the 2005 season on April 23rd and will be open 7 days a week, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. until December 24th. The Minneapolis Farmers' Market is open rain or shine, is wheelchair accessible, and is a WIC participant.

2) Downtown Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market is open April 28th until the end of November from 6:00am -6:00pm each Thursday. This is a great Light Rail destination!

• St. Paul Farmers’ Market
www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com
Located at the corner of 5th & Wall Streets in downtown St. Paul This market is open year-round and only sells local produce and goods. They are open every Saturday and Sunday from 6am until noon. For winter hours, check the website.
Lake Elmo Preserve
www.co.washington.mn.us
This is an excellent park to go to for the day or for your first family camping trip. The site is very clean and very kid friendly. A man-made, chlorinated lake with sandy beaches is a great place for your tot to wade (depth of lake is only 6 feet). There are ample picnic tables, a playground, heated showers and new restroom facilities. Canoes and equestrian trails are present. No animals allowed. Caribou and Subway are only a short drive away if your well intentioned plans go awry.

Lake Harriet Rose Garden
www.minneapolisparks.org
4125 E. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis ###-###-####
Best time to visit is between mid June – late September

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/parks/lakeminnetonka
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park is the perfect place for families to enjoy a long afternoon. The 292-acre park has everything a kid could want on a hot summer day, including a 20,000-square-foot nautical-themed creative play area and crystal-clear swimming pond which is chlorinated and complete with sandy beach. There are ample trails and picnic tables as well. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

Minnehaha Falls
www.minneapolisparks.org
4801 Minnehaha Avenue S., Minneapolis ###-###-####
A perfect picnic destination.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
www.walkerart.org
726 Vineland Place, Minneapolis ###-###-####

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
www.arboretum.umn.edu
Free Thursdays after 4:00 pm / ###-###-####
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located about 4 miles west of Chanhassen on State Hwy. 5, just one quarter-mile west of the intersection of State Hwy. 5 and State Hwy. 41.
Peapods Preschool is held every Wednesday (thru April 19th) from 9:30-11am. Geared for kids ages 2-5 accompanied by an adult. Enjoy crafts, a snack, stories and hands-on planting activities. Call for fees.

Minnesota State Park System
www.dnr.state.mn.us
The Minnesota State Park System is a great place to teach children about the great outdoors. A season pass for the entire family is only $25.00! The parks offer many programs and events for families and kids, many of which are free. Our favorite activity was a candlelight snowshoe and cross country skiing event at Fort Snelling Park around Valentine’s Day (you could also just hike in your boots or pull kids on a sled). The event was free and they offered complimentary cider and cookies for all in the lodge. Click on Kid’s Programs and Events when you get to the site.

Minnesota Zoo
www.mnzoo.com
12101 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley
Customer Service - ###-###-#### / 24-Hr. Info. ###-###-####
This is a great outing for all types of weather. A household membership is $75.00, so this might make sense if you are a “frequent flyer” or have lots of kiddos.

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation
www.co.ramsey.mn.us/parks/parks/index.asp

Raptor Center
1920 Fitch Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
###-###-#### (main number)
http://www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu/
Located on the St. Paul Campus of the U of M, this is a great museum/zoo of sorts for kids. You can see raptors that are being nursed back to health in an effort to release them back into the wild. Many of these events are free. The site also offers special story times for kids. The session costs $5.00 per child and includes a raptor appearance and craft project. Reservations are required. Call for more details.

Teddy Bear Park
Stillwater, Minnesota
www.ci.stillwater.mn.us
Located at South 2nd Street and Nelson Street near downtown Stillwater, MN, this amazing park, designed for children younger than 8 years of age, opened in June of 2006 and families love it. It has giant teddy bears children can climb on, a tree house, a river boat and a train in the play equipment area. The park also offers wonderful, FREE programming at the amphitheater. In the summer there are children’s activities nearly every day. The park was built by private funds and the word around town is that it cost around 4 million to develop. Then, the donors gave it as a gift to the city. The park is open to the public from 8am to 8pm.

Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Parks)
www.threeriversparkdistrict.org
I’ve featured the Three Rivers Park District before, but if you have not checked out their programs, do so! I’m amazed at all of the fun, family programs they offer…maple syruping, sheep shearing, basket weaving, nature hikes, etc. I love their programs, as they are one shot classes and are usually held on weekends. The fees are minimal. Activities are best suited for families with kids 3 and older. The website is a bit hard to navigate, but it’s worth the effort (I found that I had to search individual classes to see ag
recommendations). Check it out!

Westwood Nature Center
www.stlouispark.org/Recreation/NatureActivities.html
8300 W. Franklin Avenue, St. Louis Park
###-###-####

Farm Tours:
Brooklyn Park Historical Farm
www.brooklynpark.org/departments/histfarm.html
4345 101st Ave. N Brooklyn Park ###-###-####
This is a ten-acre living record of farm life in Minnesota during the years of 1890 to 1910. The farm recreates the physical surroundings in which the Eidem family lived their daily lives. Interpreters at the homestead carry out the tasks of farming and related household activities using the tools and techniques of the late 1800's. The farm consists of a number of buildings (farmhouse, barn, outhouse, outbuildings, chicken coop and windmill, period farm equipment and crop land). The barn and barnyard have horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and cats. The purpose of this restored farmstead is to preserve and portray 19th century farm life through guided tours, displays, pioneer craft demonstrations and hands-on activities. Every visit encourages a hands-on approach whether it be woodcutting, cracking corn or sampling baked goods. Adults: $3 Children 16 and under are $2.50. Call for special events.

Farm Animal/Insect Tours at the University of Minnesota
www.ansci.umn.edu
Farm Animals: ###-###-#### Insects: ###-###-####
College of Agriculture and Department of Animal Science
305 Haecker Hall 1364 Eckles Ave. St. Paul
Groups of 10 or more can arrange for a tour guided by a U of M staffer or undergrad student. The tours last about 30 minutes in length and include a view of the animal barns to learn about sheep, beef cattle, dairy cows and calves. The insect museum is also interesting! If you’re “lucky” you’ll get to hold a scorpion or a New Guinea cockroach.

Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life
2097 West Larpenteur Ave. Saint Paul 6 5 1. 6 4 6 . 8 6 2 9
Regular tour fees: Adults $6.59 Children $3.75 2 and under are FREE
Tour a 19th century farm house, sod house, Dakotah tipi, bark lodge, barn, one room school house and more! The site also has a medicinal garden. The museum offers many special family events including harvest festivals, as well as ice cream socials and bonfires. Kids ages second grade and older can attend an all day one-room school house experience. Reservations for this experience are required ($30). Special tours which include corn husk doll making, ice cream making or candle dipping can be arranged. Check the web for family events.

Hugo Animal Farm
www.hugoanimalfarm.com
9441 180th St N Hugo, MN 55038 ###-###-####
Spring tours are offered Monday through Saturday April through June 23. Fall tours are also available. All tours are guided by people who are familiar with farm operations and farm animals to provide a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience for all visitors. All tours include touching or holding animals, and a hayride. Price per person is about $6.25.

Oliver H. Kelley Farm
www.mnhs.org/kelleyfarm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330 ###-###-####
“Step onto a working 1860s farm. Pick heirloom vegetables from the garden, visit the farmhands and animals at the barn, or churn butter and see what's cooking in the farmhouse. Costumed guides work the fields with oxen and horses. At different times throughout the season, you'll see plowing with oxen, horse-powered threshing, haymaking and other harvest activities. The gardens and fields are filled with many of the same plants the Kelley farm grew over 130 years ago. Animals similar to those raised by pioneer families fill the barn and outbuildings. In the house, try your hand at domestic crafts like making straw hats and soap.” Adults are $7,Children 6-17 are $4 and children under 6 are FREE! The farm has MANY special events like baby animal days, barn dances, festivals, etc…Check out their site!

Poplar Hills Goat Farm
www.poplarhillfarm.com
Scandia, MN ###-###-####
Take a tour of a family run goat farm business, see baby goats and pet them, too! You can also observe staff milking the goats, and you can sample and purchase their products afterward. They sell goat milk and chevre cheese as well as some other products. They charge about $50 per tour group.

Orchards: Apple, Berry and Pumpkin Patches:
Aamodt’s Apple Farm, Inc. – Apples
www.aamodtsapplefarm.com
Stillwater, MN. Phone: ###-###-####.
If you like Disneyland, you’ll love Aamodt’s Orchard. Seasonal hours, Aug - Dec. Throughout the season Aamodt’s takes on a festive (I think somewhat obnoxious) atmosphere. They have pony rides and a petting farm with an occasional fiddler strolling the grounds. Hay ride and hot air balloon ride are available. Pick your own apples or buy pre-picked. Visit their website for info & coupons.

Afton Apple Orchards Afton Raspberry Company -Raspberries, Strawberries and Apple in Season
www.aftonapple.com
Afton, MN. Phone: 651-436-763. Open daily 8am - dark. End of August to first part of Oct. Pick-your-own raspberries end of Aug ‘til frost (first part of Oct).
This is our favorite orchard. It’s gotten a bit more commercial over the years but you still feel you are in the country. It’s a great orchard to enjoy a picnic lunch. Hayrides and a petting zoo are available in the fall. They also have a great playground and hay bales that the kids can climb on. They charge a nominal admission fee on weekends. We love that we can bring our dog with us! They also have a corn maze in the fall (pricey admission charged) and a pumpkin patch. Great photo opportunities.
The Berry Patch - Strawberries, raspberries & blueberries
2408 Ronald Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN, 55110. Phone: ###-###-####. Pick-your-own & pre-picked strawberries in June and pick-your-own & pre-picked raspberries & blueberries in July. Orders for tree-ripened Michigan peaches and sweet cherries also taken. Five miles east of Forest Lake on Hwy 97. Turn south on Cty Rd 15 (Manning Trail) for 1 3/4 miles, then turn right onto Cty Rd 50. Supervised children welcome. Containers provided. Open daily, June - Sept., weather & crop permitting.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard – Strawberries
www.pinetreeappleorchard.com
###-###-####. 450 Apple Orchard Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.
Strawberry Season - Mid-June through Mid-July, PYO Berry Line, ###-###-####. Pre-picked and Strawberry Bakery ###-###-####. Apple Season. August through February, Weekends in March, Seasonal Hours. See the website for Tours or Schedule of Events or Maps and Directions.

Withrow Berry Farm - Strawberries
Withrow, MN. Phone: ###-###-####.
Open 7am until picked out. Mid-June through Mid-July. They’re located between White Bear Lake & Stillwater on Keller Avenue North. From St. Paul: East on Hwy 36 to Washington County 15 (Manning Ave). North on 15 to Washington County 7 (122nd St N). Follow signs to farm. Call for daily information.

Living History Tours/ Historical Sites:
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange Street St. Paul ###-###-####
www.mnhs.org
Visit the mansion of Minnesota’s first territorial and second governor. The house is open for guided tours but also hosts many special events for children such as cookie baking, candle dipping, learning about Victorian Christmas traditions, etc. Adults $5. Children 6-15 are $3. Call for special events.

Fort Snelling
www.mnhs.org/fortsnelling
Hwy 5 and Hwy 55 near the International Airport ###-###-####
This restored 1820's military outpost offers a full living history program with costumed guides. Tours are presented daily during the summer, and on weekends in May, September and October. In addition, they are open on Mondays and Tuesdays in the summer . Enjoy the sights and sounds of the past. Hear musket fire, the cannon's roar and the fife's shrill tunes. Take part in the fort's everyday life. Shoulder a musket, mend clothes, smell the stew, scrape a hide or sing along with the soldiers. Take tea with Mrs. Snelling or sample the soldiers' bread ration or swing a hammer in the blacksmith. The Fort's costumed guides also demonstrate crafts, present historical skits and practice military drill and weapons firings. Admission: $8 adults, $4 children ages 6-17, free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Gammelgarden Museum
www.scandiamm.com/gammelgarden
20880 Olinda Trail Scandia, Minnesota ###-###-####
Visit an 1850’s Swedish farmhouse, parsonage, barn, corncrib, and work shed. The museum’s mission is to educate and preserve Swedish immigrant history. The museum also has a visitor center, classroom and gift shop. The museum hosts many special events throughout the year, such as a Dahlapalooza Festival for kids and an American Girl Doll tour. Check their website for current events. Adults $4 Children 12 and under are free!

Minnesota State Capital
Educational Programs: Pre-school to 6th Grade
Reservations are required for all educational programs.
Call ###-###-#### or e-mail ____@____.com
You might be surprised to know that the state capital hosts tours for children as young as three years old! Check out some of the kid-friendly tours, below:
Piece of the Puzzle
Pre-schoolers role play architectural forms, hear and see the rhythm in the architectural designs, search for shapes and symbols and see the preservation of the capitol as a puzzle that they will be part of solving. Maximum group size is 15.
3 - 5 year olds, Tuesdays, June – December Fee: $2 per child, 40 minutes

Grand Tour
Designed especially for K-3 grade Scout and Youth using interactive techniques, students become visually alert to the beauty of this grand old building. They hear stories about Minnesota history and the work that goes on in the capitol.
K-3rd grade Fee: Free 45 minutes

Art Treasure
Search and discover the art in the capitol using a self-guided brochure. Students become a junior art historian after finding each of the treasures.
8 years and up Fee: $2 per person 45 minutes

Murphy’s Landing
www.murphyslanding.com
2187 E. State HWY 101 Shakopee ###-###-####
This is really a fun outing for kids 4 and older. The museum hosts more than 40 historic buildings and are arranged to show how settlers established their lives on the early frontier and farmsteads in Minnesota circa 1840. Costumed interpreters will guide you through many buildings and activities. Visit a school house, church, railroad depot, general store, blacksmith shop, newspaper printing office and individual homes. Farm animals run free and a horse drawn trolley ride will get you from place to place. Demonstrations on candle making, butter churning, soap making and weaving are some of the activities you might see. This summer they will have a new Pioneer kid's play area. The museum also hosts a special event during the holidays which focuses on ethnic traditions of Christmas and Hanukah. The museum is open on weekends from Memorial day through October and again in November and December. Adults $8.50 Children $7.00 and kids 5 and under are free.

River Rendezvous
www.ci.bloomington.mn.us
Pond-Dakota Misson Park, Bloomington ###-###-####
This wonderful outdoor festival is a chance to experience living history at the Pond-Dakota Misson Park in Bloomington. Its goal is to demonstrate the lifestyles of people living in Minnesota between 1830 and 1870 through story-telling and interactive, hands-on demonstration! View a medicine show, wash laundry by hand, throw a tomahawk, and more. The park is set up with multiple stations and costumed docents who actually camp in the park for the duration of the festival. It’s a hoot! River Rendezvous usually takes place in mid-September. Check the web for current dates.

Behind the Scenes Tours at Local Factories and Businesses:
Many local business will arrange a free tour for your small group and often offer samples, too! Give your favorite business a call as many stores are willing to accommodate you.

Bachmans
www.bachmans.com
6010 Lyndale Ave Minneapolis, MN ###-###-####
Bachman's store on Lyndale Avenue offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the fresh and permanent design areas, the delivery area-which houses Bachman's large and instantly recognizable fleet of purple trucks-and the phone order center, where approximately 800 incoming orders are processed daily. Tours are free of charge for groups of 10 to 50 people and are offered by appointment only between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tours are not available during the weeks preceding holidays, including New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Secretaries Day, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Allow 45 minutes for the tour and an additional 30 minutes for shopping and exploration. All tour members receive a complimentary rose and a discount coupon.
To schedule a tour or for more information, call ###-###-####.

Byerly’s Food Stores
The Roseville store will host children free of charge. To organize a tour contact Hildy Shank at ###-###-####. A treat is also provided.

Ford Motor Company: Saint Paul Plant Tours
Tour Hotline ###-###-####
There are currently no tours available, but more are planned for the fall of 2006. Call the hotline for further/current details.

Great Harvest Bread Company
www.stpaulbread.com.com
534 Selby Avenue St. Paul 651.###-###-####
The St. Paul store offers tours for kids on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Stop in and fill out a tour request form. They will process it immediately and send you off with a time and date that fits their requirements

Lunds Food Stores
Contact the Highland Store at ###-###-####

McDonalds
Contact the main office in Bloomington at ###-###-####

Police and Fire Station Visits
Most police and fire stations welcome arranged visits from children. The officers and firefighters usually address safety issues and give the children a tour of the facilities and their vehicles. Occasionally children are allowed to dress up in a fire suit, etc. If you want to arrange a tour for a small group, call your nearest station to see if they host an open house. Fire stations, for example, host open houses in October, which is Fire Safety month. Officers and fire fighters will also arrange to stop by your neighborhood block party or National Night Out party (provided they are not too busy). Keep this a surprise for the kids in case they can’t show. In St. Paul for a police tour call ###-###-####. In Minneapolis for a police tour call your specific precinct: Precinct 2: ###-###-#### Precinct 3: ###-###-#### Precinct 4: ###-###-#### and Precinct 5: ###-###-####. To arrange a Fire stations tour in St. Paul, contact Paula Peterson by email at ____@____.com or by telephone at ###-###-#### during normal working hours.

Museums:
The Museum Adventure Pass
www.melsa.org/museumadventurepass
This is SO cool! You already know about the Passport to Play which allows you and 5 others to attend the Children’s Museum for free. In a similar fashion, the Museum Adventure Pass can be checked out at your local library and will admit up to 4 people or children to the participating museum of your choice for FREE! Here are the details:
1. Passes are available on a first come, first serve basis and can not be reserved.
2. If available, the pass can be checked out up to 2 times per month and is valid for one week.
3. When you check out the pass, you will need to let the librarian know which museum you plan to attend. He/she will print you out your free entrance pass.
4. Passes are good for general admission and do not include special events.
5. You are eligible for many special deals with your pass, such as 2 for 1 meal deals, free ride tickets at Como Zoo, etc, so check out the website for complete details.

Participating museums include: the American Swedish Institute, The Bakken Museum Bell Museum of Natural History, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life, Historic Murphy’s Landing (Three Rivers Park District), Mill City Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota History Center, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota Zoo, The Museum of Russian Art, Science Museum of Minnesota and the following Twin Cities Historical Sites: Alexander Ramsey House, Historic Fort Snelling, James J. Hill House, Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Sibley House, Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum.

American Swedish Institute
http://www.americanswedishinst.org/
2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407 ###-###-####

The Bakken Library and Museum
3537 Zenith Ave., Mpls., MN
http://www.thebakken.org/

Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St. SE Mpls.
###-###-####
www.bellmuseum.org
On the 1st Thursday of each month, the museum hosts Nature Tots, a program for 3 and 4 year olds from 9:00-10:30. The children learn about a variety of animals in station-based activities. Adults are $5.00 and kids are $3.00. Reservations are required.

On the 2nd Saturday of each month, from 1-3pm the museum hosts a drop-in Nature Play Day complete with nature crafts and activities for families with children ages 4 and older. The museum also hosts puppet shows and other special events. Check out the website for what is current. The touch and feel museum is always a big hit with kids!

Children's Museum
www.mcm.org
10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul
24-hr. info. ###-###-#### / Customer Service ###-###-####
*The Third Sunday of each month is FREE!

Habitot® Tuesday at the Children’s Museum
Museum Admission
Ages 1 - 101: $7.95
Members are FREE

Children 4 years and younger get special treatment at the Museum on the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of every month! No groups are scheduled on Habitot Tuesdays, so the environment is especially friendly for little ones. The museum is located on the corner of Seventh and Wabasha streets in downtown St. Paul. Discounted parking is available at the parking ramp, kitty-corner from the Museum on Wabasha and 7th Streets. Pick up a parking coupon at the Museum Box Office. Call 651–225–6000 for 24-hour information. To reach a staff person, call 651–225–6001 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Museum Hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday (Memorial Day through Labor Day): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Passport to Play
Go to the Minnesota Children’s Museum for FREE!

Passport to Play allows you to check out a free admission pass for your family to play together at the Minnesota Children's Museum. Children ages 6 months through 10 years and their adult guests can touch, climb, splash, crawl, push, pull, and press it all in six galleries packed with extraordinary hands-on adventures.
How Does it Work?
1. Check out a Passport to Play at any Saint Paul Public Library location
Adults 18 and older may check out a passport with a registered library card. One passport may be checked out per family. The Passports are very popular! Please call your Library to check availability.
2. Bring your family to Minnesota Children's Museum and present the Passport to Play at the box office for free admission for up to six people.
There must be at least one adult for every five children.
Leave the Passport at the Museum box office. It will be checked in and returned to the Library for you.
3. The loan period for the Passport to Play is 1 week.
Overdue fine is $1.00 per pass per day with a maximum fine of $10.

Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd Street, Mpls. ###-###-####
www.millcitymuseum.org
“An attraction for all ages, Mill City Museum chronicles the flour milling industry that dominated world flour production for roughly a half-century and fueled the growth of Minneapolis, recognized across the nation and around the world as “Mill City.” Built within the ruins of a National Historic Landmark — the Washburn A Mill — the museum provides a multi-sensory, interactive journey. The story of flour milling — and its impact on Minneapolis, the nation and the world — comes to life through the eight-story Flour Tower and other hands-on exhibits.”

Minnesota History Center/Historical Society
www.mnhs.org 345 Kellogg Blvd. West, St. Paul ###-###-####
Explore Minnesota's past through museum exhibits that feature large-scale objects, hands-on experiences and multimedia presentations.

Minnesota Transportation Museum - Twin City Model Railroad Club
www.mtmuseum.org
###-###-#### Many interesting train museums and depots open throughout the Twin Cities

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Family Days Sundays)
http://www.artsmia.org/
2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
The museum is free and they have a great family room for nursing babies and letting toddlers explore the eye-level art work and soft sculptures. Snacks are even allowed!

Science Museum of Minnesota and Omni Theater
www.smm.org
120 W Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul
###-###-####

Twin City Model Railroad Museum
1021 Bandana Blvd. East, Suite 222 Saint Paul, MN 55108 ###-###-####.
www.tcmrm.org
The Museum is a non-profit organization composed of over 100 members who volunteer their time, money and skills to bring you a scale model panorama of railroading in the United States during its heyday in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. They also have two Thomas the Tank Engine tables that the children can play with. Kids 5 and under are FREE and admission for older folks is $3 per person. Avoid Tuesday evenings, as this is when repairs are done and the trains might not be in motion! Closed Mondays.

The Walker Art Museum
www.walkerart.org
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis ###-###-####
The first Saturday of each month is FREE for kids and families and there are many family activities planned on these days. You’ll find crafts, story times, demonstrations and other family-fun activities on these days. Also, check out their Arty Pants program on Tuesdays from 11am-1pm for parents and children ages 2-5. The ongoing program offers art projects, tours, films and story readings. Regular admission rates apply.

The Works - a technology discovery center
www.theworks.org
Edina Community Center, 5701 Normandale Road, Edina ###-###-####
This is a “hands-on, minds-on” museum that makes learning about science & technology interesting, understandable & fun.

Children’s Theater and Fine Arts Venues:

The Children’s Theater
2400 Third Avenue S. Minneapolis ###-###-####
www.childrenstheatre.org
Hands down the best quality children’s theater in town, but also the most pricey. Call the theater, as they offer “Pay What You Can Afford” performances on special dates. Rush tickets are also always an option. Did you know? Target is hosting 2-for-1 matinees for selected performances. Check the website for complete details.

Circus Juventas
1270 Montreal Avenue, Saint Paul ###-###-####
www.circusofthestar.org
Does your kid want to join the circus? This is one of St. Paul’s best kept secrets. Circus Juventas is a performing arts youth circus school. Think Cirque du Soleil for kids. You can enroll your kids in lessons or buy tickets to a performance. Shows are elaborate, tickets are a bit pricy, performances are long (2 hours plus) but you will be impressed! I think shows are best geared for kids ages 6 and up unless your child is really adept at sitting for long periods of time. I remember they had a special event where the whole family could attend a performance for $25. Call for details.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
www.heartofthebeasttheatre.org
1500 East Lake Street Mpls. Tickets: ###-###-####
The masters of puppetry offer specially priced family Saturday shows at 10am for $3 per person! If you are a resident of Central, Phillips, Powderhorn or Whittier neighborhoods, admission is free! How cool is that? A Make and Take Puppet workshop after the show is $8 per child/caregiver pair (ages 3-12). The workshop requires pre-registration. The shows are open to kids of all ages.
*The 33nd annual May Day Parade and Festival at Loring Park will be held in early May beginning at 1pm. This is a free event!

Kids Night on Broadway
Orpheum Theatre
www.hennepintheatredistrict.org
Dying to see a Broadway performance but can’t stomach the price of tickets? The Orpheum Theatre hosts Kids Night on Broadway for certain performances. For example, a child’s ticket to Annie is free with a paying adult. Call the theater for more details and future participating shows.

Minnesota Orchestra
www.minnesotaorchestra.org
1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis ###-###-####
In addition to traditional concerts, the Minnesota Orchestra offers Young People’s Concerts, an Adventures in Music for Families series and Kinder Konzerts.

The Minnesota Sinfonia
www.mnsinfonia.org
901 North Third Street, Minneapolis Suite 112 ###-###-####
The Minnesota Sinfonia was created with the intent to establish a top quality orchestra that would gear the majority of its services to families, children, inner city youth, seniors, and those with limited incomes. They hold several FREE concerts every month for families.

Music in the Parks
www.stpaul.gov/depts/parks/musicarts/music.html
Check out this website for free weekly family concerts, many of which are located at the Como Park Pavillion. Think next summer…

Music in the Park-Family Concert Series
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
2136 Carter Ave St. Paul ###-###-####
www.musicintheparkseries.org
This organization includes three performances in their family series each season. At $12 for a season ticket pass, it’s a bargain. You can also buy single tickets or tickets at the door ($5/$6). Each performance has two concerts each evening at 6:15 & 7:30 PM Admission is free for babes-in-arms. This season featured an Indonesian Gamelan performer, a Norwegian folk group and a string quartet. Performances are geared towards kids and encourage audience participation. Storytelling and puppetry are also a part of some shows.

Music, Movies and Market on the Waterfront
www.ci.stillwater.mn.us
Lowell Park, Stillwater, MN
Every Tuesday after July 4th in Lowell Park (located near the Stillwater bridge) from 3:30-8 PM, there's an open air market with all kinds of booths--vegetables, flowers and the usual farmers' market things but also art displays, children's art activities, live music and great food choices featuring a different chef every week. The cost of dinner is around $3-5 per person for dinner. Then, at 7 PM, there's live music on the stage (ranging from an Elvis tribute to an Irish band). When it gets dark, they show a movie and sell popcorn. It's very much a family affair and folks bring their picnics and lawn chairs. For more info look at the website or contact the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce at ###-###-#### for more information.

Native American Pow Wows
www.drumhop.com
The American Indian Magnet School, 1075 East Third Street in St. Paul, hosts monthly Pow Wows that are free and open to the public. Dates vary, but the time is usually from 6-8pm. For a current schedule, visit their website.

Old Log Theater
www.oldlog.com
5185 Meadville Street Excelsior
###-###-####
While most performances are geared towards the older crowd, the theater always showcases a fairytale before the holiday season. The theater is fun in and of itself…it’s situated in a log cabin and I love the gal who plays corny Christmas songs on an old organ before each show.

Stages Theatre Company
1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins ###-###-####
www.stagestheatre.org
This company gets my vote for the most family-friendly theater around. The prices are very reasonable, and it you cannot attend a performance for ANY reason, you can exchange you tickets for another available performance at no additional cost! The atmosphere is very casual…the kind of place where you’ll find nursing mothers. Performances are usually less than 1 hour and no intermissions. The characters will greet you in costume after the show in the lobby to sign your stage bill.
*If you are an MPR member they offer a free child’s ticket for each paying adult!

Steppingstone Theatre
Landmark Center
75 West 5th St. St. Paul ###-###-####
www.steppingstonetheatre.com

Planes, Trains and Automobiles:
The 261 Train Ride
http://www.261.com/
A great trip for the train kids of the world - this is a bit pricey and more for the 5-8 year old group to ride as some of the rides can take all day, but fun for those under age 5 to go and just look at... there's an old steam engine that does periodic journeys called "The 261".

Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store
2050 Marshall Avenue St. Paul ###-###-####
A great store for your little train enthusiast! The store is very child-friendly, with many train tables that young kids can play with, while you browse their extensive collection of train related toys and items. If you are lucky the owner will be wearing his engineer outfit! They also offer a birthday party room and an occasional Saturday morning story hour.

Excelsior Steamboat
www.mtmuseum.org
328 Lake Street, Excelsior ###-###-####
Call for ticket info. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Excelsior Streetcar
www.mtmuseum.org
In operation: May 24 - October 12 / Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.. Board the streetcar in downtown Excelsior on Water Street between First Class Car Care and Lyman Park. Fare is $1. Children 4 and under are free. No reservations needed. Note: Streetcar does not operate in the rain.
Ford Motor Company: Saint Paul Plant Tours
Tour Hotline ###-###-####
There are currently no tours available, but more are planned for the fall of 2006. Call the hotline for further/current details.

Jackson Street Roundhouse
193 Pennsylvania Ave E., St Paul ###-###-####
www.trainride.org
Train rides and fun for the whole family! The Jackson Street Roundhouse hosts a classic collection of railroad rolling stock, memorabilia, and exhibits. See the "Casey Jones" steam locomotive undergo restoration. Plus, watch one of the nation's last surviving operational turntables. The roundhouse is open year round for visitors and groups of any size. $5 general admission per person. $2 additional for caboose ride. Open Wednesdays 10a-4pm and Saturdays 10a-4p.

Jonathan Padelford Packet Boat Co., Inc
www.riversides.com
Harriet Island, St. Paul ###-###-####
Take a narrated cruise along the Mississippi River. Various boats highlight different locals, but tours are about 90 minutes in length from May to early September at noon and 2pm. Bring jackets and sweaters as the river gets cold, even in the summer. Snacks can be purchased on the boats. Adults $10 Kid 5-12 $5.50

Lake Harriet Trolley Ride
www.mtmuseum.org
42nd & Queen, west side of Lake Harriet ###-###-####

Minnesota Transportation Museum - Twin City Model Railroad Club
www.mtmuseum.org
###-###-#### Many interesting train museums and depots open throughout the Twin Cities

Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railroad –Historic Train Rides
www.trainride.org
Historic Osceola, WI Train Depot ###-###-####
Take a vintage train ride along the St. Croix Valley railway. Take a 90 minute tour to Dresser, WI or a 50 minute ride to Marine on St. Croix. Tickets range in price from $5-$15 dollars for a basic ride. Upgrades with snacks/beverages run about $25 per ticket. Children 4 and under are free. Special themed rides are also available such as fall color tours, brunch rides, kids’ pizza rides and more. Click on Special Events to see what is new.

Twin City Model Railroad Museum
1021 Bandana Blvd. East, Suite 222 Saint Paul, MN 55108 ###-###-####.
www.tcmrm.org
The Museum is a non-profit organization composed of over 100 members who volunteer their time, money and skills to bring you a scale model panorama of railroading in the United States during its heyday in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. They also have two Thomas the Tank Engine tables that the children can play with. Kids 5 and under are FREE and admission for older folks is $3 per person. Avoid Tuesday evenings, as this is when repairs are done and the trains might not be in motion! Closed Mondays.

Book Store Favorites and Local Story Hours:
Auntie Em’s Book Shop for Young Readers
5 West Diamond Lake Road, Mpls ###-###-####
Story times on Monday and Wednesdays at 10:30am
Books and gifts, as well as coffee, smoothies and baked goods. Yum!

Barnes & Noble Bookstores
Go to www.barnesandnoble.com to find a store near you and click on Store Locator.

Galleria Location
Of all of the local Barnes and Noble stores, I am partial to the Galleria location. They have a very large children’s area with tables and a stage for story time. Story times at the Galleria are on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00am. They also have costumed characters once a month. The Starbucks counter is about 15 steps away, and if you are a Barnes and Noble member, your discount applies on coffee purchases as well! Can you say Pumpkin Chai Latte? This location also offers many special events, like a Halloween costume parade.

Highland Park Location
Story time each Wednesdays at 10:00am

Bookstore of the Americas
http://www.americas.org/item_643#storytimes
3020 27th Avenue S. Minneapolis (in the Resource Center building) ###-###-####.
Explore the myths, stories and songs of the Americas through stories and singing in both Spanish and English. This free event for children and their parents happens the first and third Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.
– The first Saturday of each month is a story selected for children ages 5–9. Children of all ages welcome.
– The third Saturday of each month is a story selected for children ages 2–6. Children of all ages welcome.

Red Balloon Bookstore
www.redballoonbookshop.com
891 Grand Ave St. Paul, MN 55105 ###-###-####
Infant story time is every Tuesday at 10:15am. It is great fun and super crowded…get there early…the store opens at 10:00am. Stories are read, but the woman who runs the 30 minute session also has puppets, plays the violin and sings all kinds of songs. They also host a Toddler Story time on Tuesdays at 11:00am. Preschool story time is on Wednesdays at 10:30am. They also have many special events and occasional weekend story times. Check out the website for more details.

St. Paul Public Libraries
www.stpaul.lib.mn.us/programs/storytimes
A treasure! Story time, great selections of board books and baby music on tapes and CD’s! We go often!!!

The Highland Park Library has a wonderful collection of board books that are perfect for small kids. Story times as follows:
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. - Preschool story times
Tuesdays at 5:40 p.m. - Lap sit story times

The St. Anthony Park Library gets the award for the most beautiful children’s wing. Story time is every Friday at 10:30 a.m

The Central Library
Story times are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m
Live Entertainment for Kids every Saturday at 11:15am (reservations sometimes required)

Merriam Park Library
Story time is every Friday at 10:30 a.m

Rondo Community Outreach Library
Daily story times and tons of books in foreign languages. Underground indoor parking, too!
Sun: 2-4pm, Mon: 3:30, Tues: 10:30, Wed:3:30, Thurs:7pm, Fri:10:30, Sat: 11am

Wild Rumpus Book Store
www.wildrumpusbooks.com
2720 West 43rd St. Mpls ###-###-####
Story time is on Mondays at 10:30am. Not quite as fun as the Red Balloon, but they do have all kinds of animals that roam the store, including real chickens that lay eggs. It’s a hoot! Be prepared for cats to sleep in your empty infant seats!

Brain Boosts: Local Art, Music, Sign and Enrichment Classes:
*Check your community ed brochure as they offer great classes at reasonable prices, too!

Art with Ellen
www.artwithellen.com
If you’ve ever taken an art class with your kiddo at Articulture, you know how much fun it can be! Teacher Ellen (formerly of Articulture) is venturing out and starting her own business. Art classes are for kids from 12 months to kindergarten. Classes are held at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. Ellen is a fantastic way to introduce your tots to the world of art. She combines storytelling, music and quickly paced art activities that perfectly match the developmental skills (and attention spans) of young ones.

Articulture
3745 Minnehaha Avenue South, Mpls. ###-###-####
www.articulture.org
This non-profit organization offers weekly art classes for ages 1-101. Check out their art class for toddlers called Art Sprouts! The organization also offers programs on school release days and weekend family classes. Members get a 15% discount.

Baby Sign Language-Signing Smart Classes
www.signingsmart.com
This class is a sign language play class for hearing infants and toddlers.
The cost for an 8 week session is $125. Classes are held weekly and are 45 minutes in length. Both day and evening classes are available. They are held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Highland Park. Contact Jennifer Malek at ###-###-#### or ____@____.com

Cooks of Crocus Hill
www.cooksofcrocushill.com
877 Grand Avenue, St. Paul ###-###-####
3925 W 50th Street, Edina ###-###-####
This high-end cooking store occasionally offers cooking lessons for young children ages 6-10. The classes are usually 2 hours in length and run about $40. They offer classes on pizza making, etiquette, retro desserts, etc. Click on Kids in the Kitchen when you enter their website for their class calendar.

Etiquette 101: Lady Elegant’s Tea R

2 moms found this helpful

The Children's Museum in St Paul is great for all ages (and they have several times per with with planned activities like a dance time in the afternoons). They have an nice indoor area just for little ones called Habitot. It is set up with all sorts of sensory input for birth to toddlers and themed with everything nature. You can hang out in a mock pond complete with lily pads, cattails and frogs, plant play flowers, go fishing, hear a variety of nature sounds, and slide, climb and walk a footbridge. A great, safe area to also interact with other children. Connected to this is a private nursing room and a nicely furnished and book supplied reading area. They also have a very safe rooftop garden area. My children have loved this place since they were both six months old. Also, Como Zoo is great for all ages (the zoo, the great outdoor grassy park and picnic area, and the conservatory). We also like to go to the local library and Northwestern Christian book stores for story times. I started this with my children at about 9 months of age. It also gives you great leads on great books to add to your collection. The Arboretum is also lovely for all ages. That is all I can come up iwth off the top of my head but I will reply again if more pops up. I am a SAHM with 2 beautiful daughters almost 4 and almost 2, with an incredible husband.

Gosh S., 9 months old is pretty young. Why not stay home and relax? As a teacher you certainly do deserve a break. Get a stroller (I'll bet you have one) and walk to your nearest park in the mornings. You'll meet your neighborhood moms and kids there and it is relaxing.

Babies are dragged around enough in our world. Let summertime be a time for staying close to home and taking it easy.

If you live close to the Mississippi River, Brackett Park on 29th St. & 36th Ave. has a baby wading pool that starts flush with the ground and slowly grades down to only 1 1/2 feet deep. Very safe for your son - and shady for everyone.

I'm a teacher too and, also like you, I like to be out and about (so do my little ones!) I second the Splash Pad in St Louis Park and the zoos are a lot of fun, even for really little ones. A Moms Club would be great too!

The Habitot at the Children's Museum is great for babies who can crawl and explore. Perfect for hot days!

The tot lot at Lake Calhoun is nice.

I have a 10 year old and a 7 year old, so that's all I can think of!

have a great summer --

If you live near Hopkins let me know. I'm in a Mom's club and we would be more then happy to show you around. We always have a huge amount of activities going on.

In St. Louis Park there is a little splash pad sprinkler park with a play ground next to it. There is the lake, he would probably like Como Zoo. It's free and a great walk for you. Parks are always a plus.

Have fun!

Children's Museum
Public Pool or Waterpark if he likes water
Zoo
Edinborough Indoor Park

Join your local mom's club. They will have a monthly calendar of events. That way, you can also meet other moms in your town.

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