Free End of Summer Music at Lake Harriet

Free End of Summer Music at Lake Harriet

Some of you might be scrambling to find some end of summer things to do.  School has already started for some, with the rest of the kids joining the day after Labor Day.  If you enjoy music, there are still a few concerts coming up at Lake Harriet. Everything from jazz, to a Prince tribute.  Check out the schedule here, as well as a map for directions. Free End of Summer Music at Lake Harriet is something for all ages, so it could be a fun family event or a great thrifty date night activity

MN State Fair Favorites: Cheap and Free Fun!

MN State Fair Favorites: Cheap and Free Fun!

We love the MN State Fair! We started taking our kids when they were 4 months old, double stroller and all.  We usually go at least once if not twice, spending almost a whole day there.  Typically we don’t arrive when the gates open, we get there around 9 or 10 but we are there until it closes.  This year we arrived in time to see the Milk Run take place yesterday, before many of the buildings were even open. We still stayed until almost close, and enjoyed a full day. Even spending an entire day there, we still didn’t have enough time to see everything.


The best part about the fair is that it’s for all ages and it can be a thrifty fun day.

One of our must do’s at the fair is to head to the Educational building.  Each year we get a free calendar with our picture on it. The Minnesota Education booth, just inside the big doors, has been giving out free photo calendars for many years.  It’s a simple, free, process and the line moves fast.  A great free souvenir!

One of our favorite inexpensive foods that we seek out is the Apple Freezies.  These are great, especially on a hot day. With a bargain price of $1.50, it won’t break the bank.  Located in the Horticulture building in the apple area.



There are countless places to stop and relax your tired feet.  A smaller unique venue is a seat inside in the Blue Moon Cafe.  Not only do they have some unique food (this year the new thing is the Monkey Onion Bread), but they show old movies.  Yes old, like the black and white movies from the 1950’s era.  When we were there yesterday, one of the films was “Teenagers from Outer Space”.


We decided to ride the Space Tower ride yesterday, three of us had never been on it.  At only $3 a person, it wasn’t very expensive and cheaper than some of the food choices.  A fun birds eye view from the top:



With kids, we don’t always move through the fair really fast, but we cover a lot of ground.  Believe it or not, we actually do not go to the midway area.  It can be done: go to the fair and not do midway.  Some years we do the Giant Slide or the Skyway rides, this year was the Space Tower.


The Eco Experience building is at the north end of the fair, each year they change it up a bit.  A great place to take kids, they offer a bingo card program for them to go through the building and get a prize after they complete the card.  We found a great “bench” made out of jeans from our favorite store Arc Value Village.  Even a giant Paul Bunyan, made out of recycled clothing.


With almost a week left to enjoy the fair, there’s sure to be something for everyone.  Food, Fun and variety is the name of the game for the Minnesota Fair.  You can find all the information on their website if you’ve never been, or just need a refresher course on the hours, schedule or layout.


Monarch Butterfly Release Today

Monarch Butterfly Release Today

I’ve always enjoyed watching butterflies.  There are so many different colors and types, but monarch’s are an easy one to identify.  There aren’t as many as there used to be.  The monarch butterfly release taking place today is even more important, to keep the population going.  From 11:30-12:30 today at Fort Snelling State Park, you can enjoy a presentation, followed by a release of some monarch’s.

  • NOTE: Hwy 5 Bridge Closed this Weekend

    Beginning 10 p.m. Fri, Aug. 26 through 5 a.m. Mon, Aug. 29, Hwy 5 between Hwy 55 and Davern St. will be closed. Traffic will be detoured around the closure to Hwy 55, Hwy 110 and I-35E. Please follow posted detour signs. The closure is needed to paint the main bridge and finish work on the Edgcumbe Rd and Shepard Rd bridges.

Monarch Butterfly Release Today

Monarch Butterfly Release




11:30 AM to 12:30 PM


Fort Snelling State Park


We’ve been raising several monarchs for a few weeks and now it’s time to let them go! Join us at the park for a short presentation about the life cycle of monarch butterflies and the importance of pollinators.
Meet at the wildflower garden near the front office.


On Post Rd. off State Hwy. 5, just west of MSP International Airport.

More Information:

Call 612-279-3550..

Kayak and Canoe Rental

Kayak and Canoe Rental

Are you trying to squeeze in some summer fun before the Labor Day holiday arrives?  Perhaps Kayak and Canoe Rental would be something fun?   The Three Rivers Park District has several locations that offer this service through Labor Day.

Kayak and Canoe Rental

Equipment Available for Rent

Need some gear? No problem! Three Rivers offers rental equipment for almost any activity. Equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis and varies from park to park. Please call ahead to check hours and availability, particularly if you’re planning a group activity. Recreation equipment rental fees are due at the time of use. There is a $15 late return fee (sales tax not included). A driver’s license or photo ID for deposit is required. Dogs are not allowed on watercraft rental equipment.

Note: A person 16 years or older is required in each watercraft. Ages 12 to 15 may rent a single kayak or stand-up paddleboard if accompanied by a parent or guardian age 16 or older in an adjacent boat.

Adapted Equipment Rental
Three Rivers offers the use of adapted equipment to people with disabilities for participation in general recreation and education programs. See a list of the adapted equipment available for rent.

Apple Pick’n Days at Deardorff Orchards

Apple Pick'n Days at Deardorff Orchards

It’s getting to be that time of year again, apple season.  We love to explore the local orchards, each one has it’s own unique qualities.  Apple Pick’n Days at Deardorff Orchards happens to have an orchard, as well as a winery and is near Waconia.  Tomorrow (August 27th) and Sunday (August 28th) is a weeekend-long event benefiting Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN. Apple picking, food, music and more!

Apple Pick'n Days at Deardorff Orchards

Saturday, August 27 Schedule

10:00-11:00 – Balloon Man

10:00-2:00 – Meet the Carver County Dairy Princesses

11:00-11:30 – Irish Dancer Performance

11:30-12:30 – Jenna Van Proosdy Performance

12:00-2:00 – Meet Star Wars Characters

12:30-1:00 – Irish Dancer Performance

1:30-2:30 – Stephanie Shinn Performance

3:00-4:30 – JAS Performance

5:00-6:00 – Tim Mulcrone with Jazz by Fosse

All Day – Twin Grill Food Truck


Sunday, August 28 Schedule

10:00-11:00 – Balloon Man

11:00-12:00 – Curt Solie Performance

12:00-2:00 – So Big Rocks Performance

12:00-2:00 – Meet the Royal Sisterhood

2:00-3:00 – Stephanie Shinn Performance

3:00-4:00 – Tim Mulcrone Jazz

2:00-4:00 – Meet the Superheroes

4:00-6:00 – Sugar Factory Performance

All Day – Terra Truck

All Day – Twin Grill Food Truck

All Day – Fro Yo Soul

Guided Historic Stairs Fitness Hike

Guided Historic Stairs Fitness Hike

Stairs have always been an intriguing thing, and our girls usually laugh because I have many pictures of them.  If you like stairs, history or fitness, then the Guided Historic Stairs Fitness Hike is an event for you.  It takes place on August 27th and then again on September 24th in Stillwater, from 9-10am.

Guided Historic Stairs Fitness Hike

Hike On with History!

The Washington County Historic Courthouse invites you to experience a guided, 60 minute Historic Stairs Fitness Hike in beautiful Downtown Stillwater. Hikes will include a warm-up and fitness challenges along the way with a little history mixed throughout.

Participants should plan to arrive a few minutes early.

FREE with a $10 recommended donation/person. Hike proceeds benefit the Restoration Fund. *Cash, check and charge accepted.

For ages 13+; minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Hikes traverse uneven and steep historic staircases, paved trail, grass and sidewalks. Please wear athletic footwear and dress for the weather.

The Vines Bluegrass Festival

The Vines Bluegrass Festival

I’ve been to the quaint little town of Harris on a couple of occasions.  My most recent visit I was there for a pancake breakfast, it was put on to raise money for the fire department.  Harris might not be a huge town, but they seem to have quite a bit going on.  This coming weekend is the first annual The Vines Bluegrass Festival.  It takes place Saturday August 27th from 12-8pm, at the North Folk Winery near Harris.

The Vines Bluegrass Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the first annual The Vines Bluegrass Festival, August 27th from 12 pm – 8 pm. Wine, craft beer and non alcoholic beverages on sale as well as food provided by the Tiki Tim Food Truck. You won’t want to miss out on this destination event. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 651-674-7548 or purchase the day of the event. All customers visiting the winery on August 27th will be required to pay the admission fee.

Valleyfair Discount Tickets – Only $32 for Full Day Admission

Disclosure AffiliateValleyfair Discount Tickets

We’re heading into the end of the season and that means a chance to go to Valleyfair for less! Right now you can score full day Valleyfair discount tickets for only $32 – which is $20 off the normal $52 price.

The deal is via Groupon and valid until September 30th. That means you can use it for the season opener of Valleyscare! There is a limit of 10 discount tickets per person.

Get your Valleyfair discount tickets HERE!

Free Open House at the Guthrie



Photo from Guthrie FB page

We are so fortunate that the Guthrie calls Minnesota it’s home.  If you’ve never been to a play there, it really is a place that you need to put on your bucket list.  The Guthrie is having a free open house this coming Saturday, August 27th. A great chance to check the place out, and even see some of the behind scenes areas.


Guthrie Open House

Saturday, August 27
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Come on over for a day jam-packed with exploration, discovery and play. We can’t wait to show you where we work, how we make plays, and to make memories with our community. The Guthrie Open House is a FREE, family-friendly event.

Here’s a sampling of what’s on tap:

  • Take a peek backstage and into our workshops on a self-guided tour.
  • Curl up in our storytelling corner to hear a tale told by a Guthrie artist.
  • Let your imagination run wild at our mask-making station.
  • Tap into your talent in a mini-class made for teens and adults.
  • Be wowed by theatrical magic on our signature thrust stage.
  • Grab your bestie and snap a selfie using real Guthrie costume pieces and props.


ASL interpreters and audio describers will available through Access Services.

With the Mill City Farmers’ Market open until 1 p.m., consider making a day of it and grabbing a bite to eat while you visit. For more information, call 612.377.2224.

Sensory Friendly Skating


For many of us, rollerskating and other activities are just regular things that we do, and we don’t have to think twice about it.  However, for some people rollerskating is difficult.  There’s loud music and even the DJ announcing can seem loud.  The lights, could also make it difficult for some to attend an event like rollerskating.  If some of this sounds familiar for you, or a family member, then you might be interested to learn about a pilot event.  Skateville is located in Burnsville, and they’ve decided to try a couple of Sensory Friendly Skating events.  If the two events go well, and there’s enough support, they will schedule more in the future.

 Sensory Friendly Skating

Skateville is hosting a couple of sensory-friendly family skating sessions this fall.  This is a pilot project. If support is there for this type of activity, we will schedule more times in the winter and spring.  If this is an event that would be helpful for your family, come out and support it–and please pass the word on to others that would benefit also!

Dates: Sunday, October 2   4-6  &  also Thursday, November 17   6-8 pm

Cost: $6 per child; $6 per skating adult (no charge for non-skating parents or non-skating children age 3 or under)

            Free regular skate rental; inline skate rental is $

            Skate-Mate helpers (“walkers”) rental discounted to $3 (while supplies last)

Modifications:  No flashing lights; lower volume for music; fewer and quieter DJ announcements; parents able to go on rink in shoes; quiet table available in lobby;  paper towels substituted for loud hand dryers in bathrooms.  Bring your own earplugs, comfort items, fidgets, per your own child’s needs. Questions?  Email