Sauk Centre Bike Rodeo

For those of you in central Minnesota, you might want to put the Sauk Centre Bike Rodeo on your calendar.  The fun event for kids takes place May 29th at the Sauk Centre Civic Arena.  One  week  today  means  you  have  time  plan  for  it.

From 4-6pm the free event will include:

* Bicycle safety course, ages 4-12. Bring your own bike. If you do not have one to bring, we will have some available for children of all abilities. Children must attend instruction at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. before riding the course.
* Helmet fitting with limited supply of free bike helmets
* Free meal
* Chance to win a new bike



Witch’s Hat Water Tower open to visitors


Typically you’ll find an iconic Minneapolis landmark open to visitors just once a year, the famous Witch’s Hat Water Tower.  Built in 1913, one of only a few water towers of it’s kind left in the area.  The tower opens to visitors just once a year, the Friday evening after Memorial day.  This year that falls on May 31st.  The tower will be open from 5:30-8:30, coinciding with the Pratt Ice Cream Social.

Photo credit: John Cushing

The Witch’s Hat Water TOWER

The “Witch’s Hat” water tower is in Prospect Park, (known as Tower Hill park), the highest natural land area in the city of Minneapolis. Along with the Kenwood and Washburn water towers in Minneapolis, the Prospect Park water tower is one of the few original water towers standing today in the Twin Cities area.

The 110-foot Prospect Park Water Tower was built in 1913 with a holding capacity of 150,000 gallons. It was also built to be a bandstand; however, there was only one concert in the band shell because the musicians experienced difficulty in carrying their instruments up the inside spiral staircase. Today it houses city first-responder telecommunications equipment in the roof.

Memorial Day Weekend at The Landing

Yesterday we mentioned the upcoming events happening at Fort Snelling.  Memorial Day Weekend at The Landing is another event and place that let’s you step back in time and is great for the whole family.

Meet Civil War veterans and learn how Memorial Day began in 1868 as “Decoration Day” to honor Union soldiers who died. A formal “Decoration Day” ceremony with brass band is held on Monday at 2 PM. Enter at the west entrance. Drop-ins welcome or you can purchase in advance here.  Tractor-drawn wagons provide transportation through the park

$8 ages 18-64
$5 ages 2-17 and 65+
Children under 2 free.

Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

You can find additional information about “The Landing” here on the Three Rivers Park website.

Memorial Day Weekend at Historic Fort Snelling

One of our favorite events takes place next weekend.  Memorial Day Weekend at Historic Fort Snelling takes place over the course of three days so plenty of opportunity to attend.  We enjoy it because it’s history, education, as well as learning.  A place to bring the kids and have their learning disguised as fun.

* Admission for kids age 4 and under, Native Americans, Blue Star Families as well as Veterans and MNHS members are free. Other admission prices are $12 adults, $10 seniors, college students, $6 ages 5-17.  More information can be found here on their website. 

Additional details about The Memorial Day weekend events at Fort Snelling:

On Memorial Day Weekend at Historic Fort Snelling, explore the grounds, visit with interpreters, and engage with the many stories that make up the site’s history.

Learn about Native American history and the fort’s role in US expansion. Explore stories of African Americans at Fort Snelling, like the 25th Infantry soldiers in the 1880s and Dred and Harriet Scott, whose struggle to gain freedom from slavery helped ignite the Civil War.

Watch demonstrations like cannon firings, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and more. Join in historic games on the parade grounds, and kids can try out the “History Hunt” and earn a small prize.

On Monday, don’t miss a special “living timeline” of America’s military past on the fort’s parade ground, with costumed interpretive staff and reenactors sharing the history of Americans serving in armed conflicts.


North Loop Food Truck Fair

Even if the the forecast doesn’t call for 80 and sunny the North Loop Food Truck Fair will still go on.  Taking place tomorrow May 19th from 3-7pm, you’ll find at least 20 different food trucks as well as live music.

If you are looking for dinner while you are out enjoying the Open Doors Minneapolis event tomorrow, the Food Truck Fair is the perfect option.  We love food truck events, the perfect solution for our family.

Police Department Open House in Farmington

We found another fun event for kids on Saturday.  It’s the Police Department Open House in Farmington.  Some of the activities include:

🚔 Three food trucks: Kona Ice Southern Lakes, North Star Donuts & Philly xpress Food Truck

🚔 Tours of the police station, squad cars and SWAT vehicles

🚔 K-9 demonstrations

🚔 Life Link III helicopter appearance

🚔 Dakota County Government Drone Team

🚔 Bounce houses

🚔 Photo opportunities with the squad cars and an officer cut out

They will also be collecting donations for Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

The free event takes place from 11-3 and you can find information on the FB event page. 





Cliff Fen Park Splash Pad Opens This Weekend

Many of our favorite splashpads and wading pools don’t open until after Memorial Day, however we learned one of them will open this weekend.

We love the Cliff Fen Park Splash Pad – located in Burnsville, but not far from Bloomington and Apple Valley.  It’s a  2,000 square foot splash pad with 12-15 water features.

The splash pad at Cliff Fen Park will open this Saturday, May 18. Admittedly, this weekend is looking pretty rainy, but the splash pad season will begin regardless of weather. You can find additional information as well as directions here.

The water feature at Nicollet Commons Park is undergoing maintenance, but will hopefully be open Memorial Day weekend.

Learn about Burnsville’s parks, facilities and amenities at here.

What’s your favorite place to go when the summer heat is here?

Kites and Bites Festival in Bloomington

We wanted to share the info about an event that typically takes place in May but has changed to June.  The annual Kite Day Family Festival in Bloomington is now called Kites and Bites Festival.  More fun has been added with several food trucks joining in the fun.   So mark your calendars for June 8th and save the date since it’s no longer in May.

More information about the event and the food trucks that will be on hand:

Food trucks and kites will take over Valley View Playfields on 90th and Portland! FREE kites will be available for youth age 18 and younger while supplies last.

The following food trucks will have food available for purchase:
Potter’s Pasties
Heavy Metal Grill
Tot Boss
D&D Goodies
Big Bell Ice Cream



Belwin Bison Festival

Some friends told us about the Belwin Conservancy.  We always appreciate when friends and fans share new places so we can add them to our bucket list.

The Belwin Conservancy is located near Afton and their annual Belwin Bison Festival takes place this Saturday (May 18th).  Check out the full schedule of events here on their website.

Come and welcome a herd of juvenile male bison from NorthStar Bison to their summer home. This free community festival is designed to celebrate the bison’s critical role in helping Belwin maintain and improve our restored prairie.

Some of the activities include:

  • Live Music
  • 5K “Run With The Bison” fun trail run REGISTER HERE Same day registration available $25. FREE for children 12 and under.
  • Food Trucks
  • Interactive Arts
  • Bison Release

**Festival held Rain or shine so plan accordingly.

About The Belwin Conservatory:

The Belwin Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and appreciation of our natural world. The Belwin Conservancy owns nearly 1,400 acres of preserved land in Afton and West Lakeland Township, Minnesota. Our property comprises one of the largest privately owned nature preserves in the region. Our focus is connecting people and the land and we work towards this goal in a number of ways.

Mississippi Paddle Share Program

With warmer weather coming up, we wanted to remind you all about the Mississippi Paddle Share program.  We learned about it last year and have hopes our schedule will work to try it it out this summer.  Last summer it rained on the day we were going to go.

We don’t own our own boat and although we have access to a canoe, it’s not convenient for our family of four.  Last summer we spend a day kayaking in southern MN and really enjoyed it, I shared our experience here.

If, like us you don’t own your own kayak but have done it before, the Mississippi Paddle Share Program is something you may want to check out.  You can choose to rent a single-person or tandem kayak.  There are five different places you can choose from:

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park to North Mississippi Regional Park
  • River Park to North Mississippi Regional Park
  • North Mississippi Regional Park to Boom Island Park
  • Lowry Avenue Bridge to Boom Island Park
  • Hidden Falls Regional Park (North Entrance) to Harriet Island Regional Park

More information on the availability, price and hours of the program can be found here.  *Most of the reservations start the end of May.