Minnesota Museum of American Art Free Family Day – Sunday, January 20th

Admission to the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul (aka “the M”) is always free, but this Sunday, January 20th they’re offering some extra family fun activities! Enjoy Family Day: Onward! from 1 – 4 pm.

In the future, there will be art and we’ll make it together. What will it look like? It will look like us and the worlds that emerge from our imaginations. Welcome to your new museum, your playground for creativity and connection.

Interactive Storytelling: Main Gallery
Stories for the Future: Saint Paul Public Library Story Time (English & Spanish)
2:00 p.m. (Spanish) / 3:00 p.m. (English/ASL interpreted)
All ages
Saint Paul Public Library brings their beloved Story Time to the M, with a focus on sharing stories of better futures.

Making & Community Building: Wide Open Studio
Figure: Aki Shibata & Carrie Thompson
All ages
Aki and Carrie have made hundreds of clay figures that need your care. Select a figure, decorate it, think of one thing you love about yourself and one thing that would help you love yourself more, and then add your figure to the growing community of figures on the window shelves of Wide Open Studio. Together they represent a brighter future. You’ll also find comfortable seating and a small, kid-friendly library near this activity. Feel free to relax.

Making: Securian Studio
Sharing Light: Senah Yeboah-Sampong & Witt Siasoco
Ages 6+
Inspired by alchemy, Senah & Witt invite you to make candles with them that hold your wisdom and wishes. Prompted by the themes head, heart, and hands, you’re invited to write a phrase or draw a symbol on a small, metal disc, which is then placed in a glass cup and covered with wax to form a candle. Ceremonial candle lightings and poetry offerings rooted in the activity’s themes will take place at 2, 2:30, 3, & 3:30 p.m.

Making & Demo: Sculpture Court
Together We Weave a Web for Our Wishes, with artists from Weavers Guild of Minnesota
Ages 4+
With Sheila Pepe’s Softly …. Before the Supreme Court as visual inspiration, we learn how to weave a simple web, together, with yarn and other materials. Our Weavers Guild friends will offer one-on-one support and share a little about their own artmaking and what weaving means to them.

Family Guide: The Whole Museum
Age 5+ with help from a reader/writer
Pick up an M Family Guide at the welcome desk in the Reception Hall and find yourself on an adventure through the entire museum.

If you miss this Family Day, they’re offered three times per year on the third Sunday of January, May, and September from 1 – 4 pm. Suggested donation is $5 per family or group.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend – January 19th through 21st

This weekend, January 19 – 21, is Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend in Minnesota. Minnesota residents 16 and older fish or spear fish or free (no license required) when they accompany an angler younger than 16.

It’s highly recommended that you check ice conditions locally before heading out, and visit the DNR website for ice safety guidelines as well as ice fishing tips.

Live near Whitewater State Park? They’re having a Take a Kid Ice Fishing event on Saturday, 1/19 from 1 – 3 pm. Join the group at Half Moon Landing on the Mississippi River backwaters near Kellogg, MN for some special family time. All equipment provided. Sign up by emailing [email protected] or by calling 507.312.2308.

Free Family Day at Minneapolis Institute of Art: Pompom Palooza – Sunday, January 13th

Swing by the Minneapolis Institute of Art the second Sunday of every month for Family Day at Mia, a FREE day of fun at the museum designed for the young and the young-at-heart. This Sunday’s theme is Pompom Palooza with activities taking place from 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday, January 13th.

Weave through the museum on a gallery hunt to find fuzzy works of art, make your own soft sculptures in the studios, and more at this month’s Family Day at Mia!

Art-making: Pompom Palooza with StephenBe
Craft colorful pompoms with the yarn experts from StephenBe.

Art-making: Woven Wonders
Make your own soft sculptures in the studios.

Art-making: Shapescapes
Create a temporary textile pattern using colorful felt.

Gallery Hunt: In a Stitch
Weave through the museum on a gallery hunt to find fiber arts of all kinds.

Preschool Tour: Patterns
11:30AM & 12:30PM
Explore patterns in art on a tour designed especially for little ones.

Artist Demonstration: Hand-spun Yarn
See how a wool straight from the sheep is transformed into yarn with weaver and fiber artist Juan Pablo Pizarro.

Music: Ina Yukka
12:30, 1:30 & 2:30PM
Delight in the sounds of indigenous music from South America.

Mini-Performances and Workshops: BRKFST
Noon, 1 & 2PM
Join breakdancers from BRKFST for a five-minute performance, and then learn some moves of your own!

Art Cart: African Art

Art Cart: Modern Art

Art Cart: Art of the Americas

Tour: Highlights of Mia’s Collection
1, 2 & 3:30PM

Dog Sledding at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center

Photo Courtesy of Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center

Dog sledding for a thrifty price?  Dog Sledding at the Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center is an awesome opportunity for kids to give it a try.  Don’t worry Mom and Dad can still take selfies with the dogs!   The event takes place January 26th but we are sharing early so you can get your reservation in, as this is a popular event.  Kids who weigh up to 50 lbs, have a chance to reserve a time slot to have some winter fun with the dogs.

Upon registering, you will need to sign up for one of two time slots.
Two time slots: (9:30 arrival) 9:45 – 11:00 am OR (10:30 arrival) 10:45 am-12:00 pm

** To register, please call (651) 433-2427, ext. 10. Please note, leaving a voicemail message does not constitute an official registration.

Warner Nature Center is partnering with the Samoyed Association of Minneapolis/St. Paul (S.A.M.S) again this winter to bring dog sledding to Warner! This unique family friendly program gives children (weighing up to 50 lbs.) an opportunity to ride on a sled pulled by one or more sled dogs, while other family members can take a “selfie with a sled dog”, and enjoy a steamy cup of hot chocolate next to a warm fire. Upon registering, you will need to sign up for one of two time slots.

$3 per participant child (children 1 year and under FREE)


Free First Saturday: Sharing Stories – Saturday, January 5th

Winter weather doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up at home. This Saturday, January 5th is Free First Saturday at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and this month’s theme is Sharing Stories.

Free First Saturdays feature free gallery admission on the first Saturday of every month, plus performances, games, art-making, and kids’ films from 10 am to 3 pm. Family friendly food options are available, or bring something from home to snack on in the museum’s public spaces.

Brighten up the winter months with a colorful day of learning and creativity. Join artists Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin (authors of Find Colors and This Equals That) for fun activities exploring colors and the stories they tell. Plus, local author Bao Phi reads his award-winning A Different Pond.

Art-Making: Glasses Galore
10 am–3 pm
People always talk about rose-colored glasses … but what does that really look like? Build your own using collage techniques and hole punchers in fun shapes—and see the world in a whole new light.

Story Time and Signing: ROYGBIV
11 am
Does the color magenta remind you of something? What about mint green? Chartreuse? Colors tell stories. Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin share personal memories associated with the colors of the rainbow. Following the presentation, the artists will sign their books, which can be purchased in the Walker Shop.

Short Films in the Bentson Mediatheque
10 am–3 pm
These colorful short films will mesmerize and entertain. Stay tuned for a list of films, coming soon!

Experience: Projector Playtime
10 am–3 pm
What’s an overhead projector, you ask? Find out by layering colorful shapes and objects on the machine and see them dazzle onscreen.

Music: Douala Soul Collective
10 am–3 pm
If you could put the rainbow in DJ form, it would be the Douala Soul Collective. DJs Sankara and Dumont will be spinning funk, Afro, and international beats all day. Come dance!

Storytime: A Different Pond
1 pm
Kirkus Reviews calls Bao Phi’s 2018 Caldecott Honor Book “a must-read for our times.” A Different Pond is a beautifully illustrated and vividly spun tale about a father and son fishing for their dinner in Minneapolis. Following the reading, Phi will sign books.

Sunday Funday at Glensheen – Free Crafts and Activities for Kids

Did you know that Glensheen Mansion in Duluth has a Sunday Funday program? This new program offers parents and their young children the chance to learn and be engaged with art, history, and fun.

Here’s a preview of their upcoming events:

January 6 from 1 – 3 pm: Making Gingerbread Houses

January 13 from 1 – 3 pm: Making a Snowman

January 20 from 1 – 3 pm: Snowshoes and Sledding

January 27 from 1 – 3 pm: Learning About the Original Congdon Winter Sleighs

No ticket is required for these free events, but you do need to RSVP in advance which you can do HERE. Adults must be accompanied by a child (and vice versa, of course!).

Observe Animals Feeding at Springbrook Nature Center

It’s not everyday you can watch a snake eat their lunch or maybe you’ve wondered how long it takes a turtle to eat a meal?  You can find out lots of great animal facts on Sunday, December 30th at the Springbrook Nature Center.  The animal feeding event is free and takes place at 11:00.  A chance to see some of their exhibit animals enjoy a delicious meal while a naturalist explains their feeding behaviors and taste preferences.


NOON Year’s Party at Como Zoo

Yes it’s almost 2019, not sure where the year went.  Are you thinking the same thing?  We like to celebrate the New Year as a family and one of our favorite indoor New Year events is the NOON Year’s Party at Como Zoo.  A great event for the whole family.  The best part is that you have two options to choose from, December 31st or January 1st. Music, Crafts and fun for all ages.  Plus it’s free, so a great thrifty option.

Ring in the New Year at Como! Bring the whole family from 10am – 1pm and help us celebrate with our party animals in a whole new way. We’ve ditched the plastic beach ball drop and made an environmental choice to go GREEN….and BLUE and RED and YELLOW and PURPLE and ORANGE as we rain down from above hundreds of thousands of pieces of colorful biodegradable confetti at HIGH NOON on December 31 and again on January 1.

Doors open at 10am with rockin’ tunes, dancing and games from the DJs of Kidsdance.

Pre-New Year’s Eve Party at Edinborough Park

Although New Year’s Eve is typically more of an adult holiday, we found an early family friendly celebration, taking place on Friday, December 28th.  The Pre-New Year’s Eve Party at Edinborough Park is something that adults can enjoy with the kids. Not only will the park be closed to attendees only, admission will include special activities.

There’s an admission fee but the thrifty way is to save when we can. If you pre-register by December 27th you save a $1.  Adults are free with paid child. Includes tax. For ages 1-12 years.

Ring in the New Year with your family at this very popular annual event at Edinborough Park. Everyone will be able to join in the fun as we celebrate “kid style” by offering dancing(Kindsdance D.J.) in the Great Hall and full access to Adventure Peak. Get your picture taken at a photo booth. Noise makers and party hats will be available for all the kiddos too! Adults are free with paid child admission. Mock New Years Eve Countdown will be at 7pm.

Family New Year’s Eve at Lebanon Hills

Are you undecided what to do to celebrate New Year’s Eve?  There’s a great Family New Year’s Eve event at Lebanon Hills in Eagan.  Reasonably priced, with lots of activities both indoor and outdoor.  The admission is $5 per person for age 4 and up.

Fee: $5 per person. Youth ages 3 and younger free. Everyone parking and using the Visitor Center Trailhead will need to pay admission. Tickets on sale now!

Take a look at the full schedule of events and activities here on the event page.