MKS’s Flying Colors Kite Fly in Bloomington

Kite flying is something all ages can enjoy.  It doesn’t seem to matter if you are flying or watching, it’s still enjoyable.  The MKS’s Flying Colors Kite Fly in Bloomington takes place this Saturday, September 22nd from 10-3.  You decide if you want to participate or just be a spectator.

This is the Minnesota Kite Society’s BIG summer kite fly! This event will take place at the lower ball fields of Valley View Middle School and Valley View Elementary School. The ball fields are located northwest of the intersection of 90th Street and Portland Avenue South in Bloomington, MN.

This year Flying Colors will be a smaller kite fly event. We will not have kids kitemaking or food vendors. All are welcome to join us. Bring your kites and help us fill the sky.

Fall Programs and Events in Minnesota State Parks and Trails + Fall Color Finder

As cooler weather heads our way, we here in Minnesota look forward to seeing the gorgeous fall colors on the trees. Did you know the DNR website has a Fall Color Finder to help you out this season? The Fall Color Finder is a trip-planning tool that shows the progression of fall color across Minnesota. It’s updated regularly to keep you in the loop.

Generally colors peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of the state, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third (including the Twin Cities).

In addition, the DNR website lists a number of Fall Programs and Events online. There are many, many to choose from across the state, but here are a few that catch my eye:

Please note: A vehicle permit of $5/day is required to enter a Minnesota state park and recreation area, but at the end of the day you can apply the cost of the permit to a $35 year-round permit, if you so choose.

Festival of the Voyageur

Have you ever been to the Minnesota Historical Society Snake River Fur Post? You might not recognize the name as it was previously called the North West Company  Sort of a hidden gem, located near Pine City.  This weekend is a great time to check out for their annual Festival of the Voyageur.  It takes place September 15-16.  You can purchase advance tickets here on their website if you prefer.

Two hundred years ago, fur traders celebrated the success of the trading season with a giant party. Visitors can explore the sights and sounds created by 250 reenactors come to camp on the Snake River in the fall. Witness feats of strength and skill as contestants vie for the title of the best all-around voyageur. Shop for historic crafts and join children’s activities. On Saturday evening, learn the steps of lively country dance with live music.


Lone Oak Days Fall Festival


Would you like to farm in the 1940’s? The Lone Oak Days Fall Festival is something you want to make sure is on your calendar. The Lone Oak Days Fall Festival, takes place at the The Holz Farm in Eagan.

You can step back in time on the farm from 11am-4pm on Sep 22 and 23th. They have started to charge a small admission fee but at $2 a person it’s still very affordable and worth it.

Lone Oak Days at Holz Farm

Scheduled Activities & Free Entertainment
• Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest takes place Sun at 3:00 p.m.
• Garden Harvest
• Blacksmith Demonstrations
• Old Fashioned Laundry
• Barnyard Animals
• Corn Husking
• Field Plowing and Discing
• Corn Grinding
• Vintage Equipment & Tractor Display
• Bread Baking/Butter Churning
• Honeybee Lesson
• Egg Picking/Chicken Display/Water Pumping
• Preschool- Toy Box Tractors

Plus more fun for the whole family!

You can purchase tickets in advance (more information here) or on site when you arrive.  You can also check their FB page closer to it if the weather is questionable.

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze 2018 + Reader Giveaway

We’re SO close to time for fall fun, and I’m especially excited to bring my kids to the largest corn maze in Minnesota! At nearly 20 acres, Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze boasts Minnesota’s largest corn maze. This year’s maze offers visitors a chance to celebrate the Minnesota Timberwolves and their 30th exciting season of basketball with a Timberwolves-themed maze design and trivia questions about the team placed throughout it.

In addition to walking the maze, visitors can also jump in the corn pit, stroll through the straw bale maze, and enjoy live music, a petting zoo, a hayride, inflatables*, a giant slide*, and much more.

When: Saturdays and Sundays from September 22 – October 28 (also MEA – Thurs., Oct. 18 and Fri., Oct. 19) from 10 am – 6 pm

Where: 8001 109th Avenue N in Brooklyn Park, MN

Tickets can be purchased online for $10 per person, or pay $12 at the gate. Children under 36″ are free. *Concessions and some activities are not included in the ticket price.

Every year, Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze makes a donation to a local charity. This year, funds will go to the Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation, which provides and supports hands-on programs that positively impact Minnesota youth. Since opening in 2010, Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze has donated nearly $180,000 to a number of local causes.

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win a family 4-pack of tickets to Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze. To enter, complete the form below by 11:59 pm ET on 9/19/18. Good luck!

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze Family 4-Pack

Minnetonka Orchards Discount Weekend Admission Including Lunch (Minnetrista)

Plan a fun fall day at Minnetonka Orchards in Minnetrista! For a limited time you can get discount weekend admission, including lunch, via Groupon.

Plus, through 9/15 you can use the coupon code SUPER20 to take an extra 20% off!

Options include:

  • $16 $20 for Weekend Admission and Lunch for Two with Access to All Attractions; Valid Saturday and Sunday ($8/person)
  • $30.40 $38 for Weekend Admission and Lunch for Four with Access to All Attractions; Valid Saturday and Sunday ($7.60/person)
  • $44.80 $56 for Weekend Admission and Lunch for Six with Access to All Attractions; Valid Saturday and Sunday ($7.47/person)

Admission is normally $8/person (3 and under are free), PLUS you’re getting lunch with this deal! Each person covered by the Groupon can spend up to $8 on any sandwich, chips and a drink (see the available food items here.)

Fall is in the air at Minnetonka Orchards, where a corn maze is just the beginning of the autumnal adventures that await kids and families. After navigating the twists and turns of the maze, guests can wander through the apple orchard to pick a fresh juicy globe or marvel at how weird bugs look. Visitors can also shop for jams, apples, and other farm fare at the barn, or go on a leisurely stroll on one of the walking trails. Kids’ entertainment comes by way of the climbable hay mountain, the corn crib slide, and barnyard friends including goats, sheep, and bunnies.

They are open 10 am – 7 pm daily through October 31, but please note that this Groupon is valid on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY. They are a pet friendly orchard, provided your furry friend is on a leash at all times. U-Pick apples are available for an extra charge. They also have local music on the weekends.

Get your Groupon HERE!

FREE Valleyfair Pre-K Pass for Children Ages 3-5

Children ages 3-5 can get free unlimited visits to Valleyfair in 2019 as well as the rest of the 2018 season with the Pre-K Pass program!

Valleyfair Soak City Barefoot Beach

Here’s how to get yours:

  1. Register for your child’s free Pre-K Pass online. You will need to register by 6/9/19 to be eligible for this program next year.
  2. Bring the pass to Valleyfair by 6/28/19 during processing hours along with a valid form of identification that proves the child’s date of birth (birth certificate or travel passport).
  3. That’s it! Once validated, your free Pre-K Pass is good clear through 10/27/19 at both Valleyfair and Soak City.

Note that the age restriction applies for when you bring your kids to Valleyfair to activate the pass…so keep that in mind if you have a soon-to-be 3-year-old or a child that will turn 5 before next year. Timing is everything! 🙂

For more information and to sign up, visit Valleyfair’s website.

Valleyfair Free PreK Pass

Parkway Theater Reopens

One of our favorite spots to watch a movie is the Riverview in south Minneapolis.  So we are super excited that another south Minneapolis Theater is also making a come back, more great options for entertainment  The Parkway Theater reopens on September 13th. Check out the some of their upcoming events here on their website.

Originally built in 1931. Reimagined and restored in


Throughout its 87-year history, The Parkway Theater has brought generations together to experience everything from first-run features, to classic cinema, to live music.

Soon, following major restoration, The Parkway will not only showcase classic 35mm films and live events—but become a regional cultural hub featuring world-class performing arts, comedy, and engaging speaker series.

Grandparent’s Day at the Minnesota Zoo

This upcoming Sunday is Grandparent’s Day. Are you looking for a way to celebrate the day? Perhaps the perfect day to send the kids to spend the day, doing something fun with their grandparents? The Minnesota Zoo is offering free admission to grandparents on Sunday, September 9th. *Parking fee not included.

Special activities on this date:

Normal admission is $18/person (ages 13-64), $12/child (ages 3-12), $12/senior (ages 65+), and free for kids 0-2. Parking is $7/car. There’s a coupon here to save $2 off adult admission and $1 off child/senior admission, and you should be able use this coupon with this promotion.

In addition, grandparents will receive 20% off in the Timber Lodge Traders gift store as well as a FREE cookie with any coffee drink purchase. If you’re interested in signing up for a Grandparent ($139) or Grandparent Plus ($159) membership, you can purchase your membership online and use the coupon code GDAYZOO18 to receive a 14-month membership for the price of 12 months through 9/9/18.

The best part about the Minnesota Zoo – it’s a great place to visit in any kind of weather, rain or shine!


Pinehaven Farm Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival Discount Admission (Wyoming, MN)

Pine Haven Farm

Right now on Groupon you can get discount admission to Pinehaven Farm Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival! It opens September 22nd in Wyoming, MN and a LOT is included with admission.

Plus, through 9/15 you can use the coupon code SUPER20 to take an extra 20% off!

  • $15.20 $19 for Admission to Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival for Two with Large Kettle Corn; Valid until 10/5/18 – $7.60/person
  • $23.20 $29 for Admission to Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival for Two with Large Kettle Corn and Gem Mining; Valid until 10/5/18 – $11.60/person
  • $39.20 $49 for Admission to Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival for Four with Large Kettle Corn and Gem Mining; Valid until 10/5/18 – $9.80/person
  • $47.20 $59 for Admission to Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival for Six with Large Kettle Corn and Gem Mining; Valid until 10/5/18 – $7.87/person

Please note: This Groupon is good through Friday, October 5th ONLY so you’ll want to use it the first two weeks of the season (the farm is open through October 31st). There is a limit of 2 per person and you may buy 2 additional as gifts. Admission is normally $8/midweek and $10/weekends in September, but the kettle corn and gem mining are fun bonuses!

What started out as a Christmas tree farm in 1950 now operates as a fun and educational farm experience for visitors of any age. This experience, otherwise known as Pinehaven Farm, operates year round to entertain families and friends with seasonal events, but its busiest season occurs when the leaves start changing colors. During the fall months, the family-owned farm presents a pumpkin patch and Harvest Festival along with a haunted hayride. The farm’s haunted hayride even won the Best in Minnesota Haunted Attractions vote by WCC for 2015 and 2016.

Food is available for purchase. Here are just some of the attractions included with admission:

  • Pumpkin Pedal Trikes
  • Corn Maze
  • Great Pumpkin Maze
  • Tug-O-War
  • Giant Checkers & Tic Tac Toe
  • Barnyard Play Area
  • Round Bale Maze
  • Trolley Rides
  • John’s Grain Train
  • Farrel The Pumpkin Eating Dragon Show
  • Pumpkin Cannon
  • and LOTS more!

Get your Groupon for discount admission HERE.