Chanhassen-Carver County Day at the Arboretum

For those of you lucky enough to live in either Chanhassen or Carver County, July 14th is your lucky day.  Tomorrow, Friday July 14th is Chanhassen-Carver County Day at the Arboretum.  That means a full day of free admission for all of you.

Chanhassen and Carver County residents will get a free entry to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (8am-8pm) on July 14 where they can meet city and county officials, have coffee, juice and bagels and take in the summer exhibits at the Arboretum.

Arboretum Director Peter Moe and other elected city and county officials will start the event with a public welcome to  residents and visitors in the Oswald Visitor Center at 10 a.m.  Enjoy complimentary coffee, juice and bagels during the welcome.

Plan your family friendly day with these activities in mind:

  • Storytime at 10:30
  • Free, guided garden highlights tour starting at 11am
  • Take a ride on the free BeeLine Shuttle

Plus a lot more.  You can find the schedule of events and more information on the event webpage.

Credit River Antique Tractor Club Show

Even if you didn’t grow up on farm, tractors are still a huge part of our history and lives.  This weekend July 14, 15, and 16th is the Credit River Antique Tractor Club Show, taking place at the Cedar Lake Regional Park near New Prague. It’s a free admission and also free parking event. Some of the activities taking place each day include:

  • Parade each day at 1pm
  • Blacksmith
  • Ropemaking
  • Flea Market
  • Crafts
  • Food
  • Antique Farm Equipment Display

 

 

 

Shockwaves Water Ski Show in Plymouth

If you’ve never seen a water ski show, now is the time to go.  On Monday July 10th the Shockwaves  will have a show in Plymouth at the Parkers Lake Park in Plymouth.  It takes place from 7-8:30.

Grab your lawn chairs or blankets and join us for a free water ski show featuring the Shockwaves (Shakopee-Prior Lake Water Ski Team) July 10 at Parkers Lake.
The show features music, costumes and water ski entertainment, including jumps, pyramids and choreographed moves.
Arrive early to claim a good seat, as beach-front space and event parking is limited.
Bring snacks / picnic dinner. Ice cream and kettle corn will be available for purchase.
A second water ski show is set for Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Weather Hotline: 763-509-5205

St. Paul Dragon Festival 2017 – Lake Phalen Park

St. Paul Dragon Festival 2017 - Phalen Park

The 2017 Dragon Festival takes place this coming weekend July 8-9th at Lake Phalen and Lake Phalen Park in St. Paul.  If you’ve never been to it, the Dragon Festival is a great family friendly fun, artistic, and colorful event.  There is Free Admission – Free Performances – fun Children’s Activities.

Martial Artist Demonstrations

The Dragon Festival Planning Committee is committed to providing festival goers with a uniquely Asian and Pacific Islander inspired event. Martial arts performers provide festival goers with a multitude of experiences, performances and awesomeness. See a showcase of a variety of different types of martial artists from professionals to even people just like you. Our hope is to bring awareness to our attendees of the practice of Martial Arts from all different parts of Asia that are prevalent in our own community.
Children’s Activities

Dragon Festival comes alive for the young crowd!  From Boat Races on the lake, to Martial Arts demonstrations, Singing and Dancing at the performance stage, to all sorts of activities sponsored by our vendors and supporters.  Some of our sponsors offer activity challenges, with awards and prizes!  There are activities for kids of ALL ages!

Be sure to swing by the North side of the park again this year too!  We have the Bouncy Castles back!  Please note, the bouncy castles are not free, they do require the purchase of a ticket.  Tickets are available by the hour or all-day unlimited.

Kayaking in Southern Minnesota

Just this past weekend, on a bright sunny day we decided to give kayaking a try.  All four of us have tried it at a friends cabin, just skirting some lake shore.  This time we decided to step it up a notch, we rented some kayaks and headed down the Zumbro River.

I wish I could I tell you that we found a secret free adventure, we did not.  What I can tell you is that we found one of the least expensive options.  We found some discounts for places that offer kayaking on lakes but we wanted to go down a river.  We chose a smaller business called Zumbro Falls River Ratz, as they were the least expensive we found for what we wanted to do.  We each wanted our own kayak, not tandem for this excursion.  The company we chose offers several different kayak options as well as tubes and canoes.  The Zumbro Falls River Ratz is a company that offers transportation, another thing we were looking for.  They drove us up the river and then we kayaked down, ending up where our vehicle was parked.  Thankfully we chose an almost perfect day, nice and sunny and not too hot.  It took us a little over two hours to go the six miles route on the river.

Just a few tips if you decide to give kayaking a try:

  • Make sure you’re prepared with the right type of payment, the company we chose is cash only.
  • Check the water conditions or weather with the place you want to rent from the day of day or day before
  • Wear Sunscreen
  • Be prepared that you will get a little or perhaps a lot wet, sort of your chose which one will happen.
  • If you want to bring lunch or a camera make sure to bring waterproof containers
  • The right footwear, especially if you plan to get out during the ride
  • Watch for wildlife along the route, we spotted:  turtles, a beaver, as well as several different birds and bugs.

We all enjoyed our day and will either be back to this same company and location yet this summer, or we just might branch out and try a completely different river in MN.

If you’ve rented kayaks in MN, is there a company or location you would recommend?  We still have a lot of summer left and would love to go exploring so please share your tips and suggestions. 

 

Bloomington Summer Fete

Join in the fun on Monday July 3rd, it’s time for the Bloomington Summer Fete.  Although it’s not the actual 4th of July, it might as well be, there’s lot’s of fun planned for all ages.  Music, activities for kids, food for purchase and of course fireworks. Check out the schedule:

5 – 9 p.m.
Kids’ Carnival Area

The 84th Street region will kick off with the Kids’ Carnival Area at 5 p.m. featuring more inflatable attractions than ever before with a few specialty attractions!

Wristbands: An inflatable-only wristband may be purchased for $15.

Tickets: One ticket may be purchased for $1. Tickets are an alternative to wristbands. All inflatables will require two tickets; other specialty attractions will require more.

5 – 8:40 p.m.
Music on the 84th Street Kids Stage

The 84th Street Kids’ stage will once again feature the best in family entertainment.

  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Rachel Kroog’s Summer Fun ShowRachel’s various themes include: the power of kindness, the value of respect, our spiritual connection to the earth and its animals, and the ability to make our dreams come true.
  • 6:20 – 7:20 p.m. – Rachel Kroog’s Patriotic ShowCelebrate America’s Independence with this fun and interactive kids show!
  • 7:40 – 8:40 p.m. – Normandale Community College Jazz Ensemble

5 – 10 p.m.
Music on the Main Stage

The main stage at the Bandshell is headlined by the biannual favorite, the Bloomington Medalist Band.

  • 5:00 – 8:15 p.m. – Pop ROCKSPop ROCKS is not just a band; they are a high energy live music show that plays the biggest dance party hits made to fill the floor!
  • 8:40 – 10:00 p.m. – Bloomington Medalist BandAs one of Summer Fete’s traditional performers, the Bloomington Medalist Band performance has always been a great way to cap off an evening of celebration and fun.

Dusk
Fireworks!

Topping off the evening is the annual Summer Fete fireworks display. It starts around dusk – shortly after 10 p.m.

The pyrotechnics this year promise to continue to be one of the best in the state. Bloomington’s fireworks displays are one of the few to feature 10-inch shells.

The Fireworks display is visible from all around the event site. Look towards the Hyland Lake Ski Jump to see the aerial display launched from Chalet Road.

 

 

Open Eye Figure Theatre Free Puppet Shows

This summer is the 15th year for the Open Eye Figure Theatre Driveway Tour.  The Driveway Tour is a way to experience a puppet show in a variety of locations.  In the past we have attended them in people’s yards, in a park and at the local library.   You can find the schedule and locations here.  There are four different rotating shows that are part of the Driveway Tour schedule.

The 15th Annual Driveway Tour

All summer long we perform puppet shows in backyards, front yards, parks throughout the Twin Cities, bringing communities together with original family-friendly theatre. Since 2003, the Driveway Tour has reached over 50,000 people in more than 620 neighborhoods.

How Do I Attend a Driveway Tour Show?

The Driveway Tour is hosted within communities all around the metro area. All shows are free and open to anyone who wants to attend.

Open Eye Figure Theatre

Wandering the State Forest Areas of Minnesota

The best part about Minnesota is the variety of landscape it offers.  Sure, we don’t have an actual mountain range but we still have plenty of areas to climb on rocks.  There are pine trees, prairies and everything in between.  Lakes, rivers, and even some puddles to be found.  If you want to go exploring, check out the State Forest areas around Minnesota.  A great, budget friendly and thrifty way to enjoy a bit of nature.  If you go to the website, you can get more information on all the different places you can explore.

 

State forests

You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities – hiking, camping, wildlife viewing – in any of Minnesota’s State Forests.

State forest campgrounds and day-use areas are developed with a minimum of disturbance to the natural environment and are often in remote locations. This means that they are less likely to be as accessible as many state park campgrounds and facilities. Also, state forests do not have full-time staff available.

 

What we offer:

  • 1000 campsites at 46 campgrounds,
  • 44 day-use areas,
  • about 900 miles of trails, and
  • 142 water accesses.

Campgrounds

There are two types of campgrounds in state forests, developed and primitive.

Developed campgrounds charge a fee and have at least one accessible campsite with a level surface, accessible picnic table, and fire ring. Accessible paths lead from the campsite to a well and accessible vault toilet.

Primitive camp sites are also available at no charge. Most of these do not have accessible features.

  • State forest campgrounds do not have electric hookups or showers.
  • Most drinking water is provided from hand-pumped wells. Some campgrounds have accessible wells with a concrete pad and level approach.
  • Reservations at state forest campgrounds are not required or accepted.

Day Use Areas

Many state forests have day-use areas equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, and toilets. They are often located on lakes and have hiking trails, boat access, and swimming beaches. Some have accessible picnic tables, vault toilets, and wells. Overnight camping is not allowed at day-use areas.

Prince or Princess Dress-Up Wednesdays at Como Town

Do you have a little one that loves to dress up?  it’s time to find the princess or prince outfits and save some money. Como town has a special promotion taking place Wednesdays in June.  If your child goes to the park on June 21st or 28th dressed in a royalty theme costume from 10am – noon you will be able to purchase an unlimited ride wristband for only $13.95, (saving $8).  What a fun idea!

Be a prince or princess for a day!

Every Wednesday in June from 10am – noon is dress-up day at Como Town. Come to the park dressed like royalty and collect a bounty! You will receive an unlimited ride wristband for $13.95 ($8 savings).

If your child tries to put on their Halloween costume multiple times a year, now they can! Dress them head to toe in their favorite royal garments and come to Como Town. Our face painters can complete their look with fun, eye catching designs.

Get the costumes washed and ready for June 7, 14, 21, and 28. We look forward to seeing you and your royal clan at Como Town!

Book It to the Parks

Books, Parks and Little Free Libraries, three of my favorite things.  Our girls love Little Free Libraries and we try to have books on hand to trade with the libraries when we spot one.  They are so much fun, all with their own variety of books and characteristics. On June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries at various parks.  You can see the full list of locations here, and the special events at each one.

Love reading, summer, Minneapolis parks, and Minnesota Public Radio? Join us at Book It to the Parks!

Book donations are welcome – help stock your neighborhood’s newest Little Free Library.On Wednesday, June 21, Minneapolis parks will open more than 50 new Little Free Libraries—a gift from The Minneapolis Foundation to local families in honor of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary. MPR hosts, local authors, and other guest readers will celebrate by reading children’s books at story times in parks all over the city, from sunrise to sunset on summer’s longest day.

Bring your kids and Book It to the Parks!