5th Annual Community Puppet Palooza at Metropolitan State University- June 26th

This Wednesday is the 5th Annual Community Puppet Palooza at Metropolitan State University.  You’ll enjoy a family-friendly FREE event filled with fun outdoor games, face painting, snacks, and most importantly a live puppet show showcasing Open Eye Figure Theatre’s Driveway Tour!   It’s been a tradition of ours to catch at least one Drive Way tour each summer, they are so much fun!  

5th Annual Community Puppet Palooza!

Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Location: Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center

645 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The festivities will go on rain or shine near the labyrinth on the west side of the Metropolitan State University Library. At 7 pm the curtain will rise on the Open Eye Figure Theatre’s outdoor puppet production of “Ms. Marvels Sandbox Circus.” Ms. Marvel, the cat, is the madcap, merry-maker that lives and prowls in your neighborhood. Every summer, Ms. Marvel transforms the sandbox into an amazing circus where a cavalcade of antics, thrill, chills, and spills await. Step right up to Ms. Marvel’s Sandbox Circus and witness the Acrobatic Ants, the Daredevil Squirrel, the Caterpillar Catapult and the Earthworm Orchestra!

This event is FREE and open to ALL! Bring a blanket to sit on during the puppet show.

If you need disability related accommodations, including parking, to make this event accessible, please contact the Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549 or [email protected].

Lakeville Puppet Wagon

I have a larger family (five kids), so I’m always on the lookout for free and inexpensive events since admission costs can quickly add up. Bonus if we can be outside during the summer months!

One such attraction is the Lakeville Puppet Wagon, which not only is free, but is also something that moves around to various parks. Park hopping and puppets is the perfect combination for summer entertainment!

You can find a map of the locations as well as more information on the city website here.

Minnesota Children’s Museum (St. Paul) Free Third Sundays

Chances are you already know about this freebie, but it’s always worth a reminder (or maybe it’s new information if you’re new to town!).

The Minnesota Children’s Museum located in downtown St. Paul is a great place for kids to learn and have fun! Every third Sunday is Target Free 3rd Sunday, which means admission is completely FREE. The museum is open from 9 am – 5 pm on Sundays.

You can bet that it will be busier and more crowded than normal, and people are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. They suggest you leave strollers at home or in the car. Another option for visiting for free on a different day: use the MELSA smARTpass program and your library card to get two FREE admission tickets.

Free Third Sundays for 2019 are as follows:

  • January 20th
  • February 17th
  • March 17th
  • April 21st
  • May 19th
  • June 16th
  • July 21st
  • August 18th
  • September 15th
  • October 20th
  • November 17th
  • December 15th

Marcus Theatres Kids Dream Summer Film Series – $3 Admission + Discounted Concessions

When summer rolls around, it’s fun to spend as much time as possible outside. But sometimes it can just be too hot or humid to enjoy yourself, am I right? Mark your calendars for some air-conditioned indoor fun with the Kids Dream Summer Film Series at Marcus Theatres, kicking off June 16th.

See family-friendly movies for $3 on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday mornings at 10 am through August 14th. (Saturday morning showings are also available in August.) They’ll also have popcorn and fountain drinks available for $2.75 each.

Movies include:

  • June 16 – 19: The LEGO Movie 2
  • June 23 – 26: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  • June 30 – July 3: A Dog’s Way Home
  • July 7 – 10: Smallfoot
  • July 14 – 17: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • July 21 – 24: Despicable Me
  • July 28 – 31: Wonder Park
  • August 4 – 7: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
  • August 11 – 14: How to Train Your Dragon

Minnesota locations include Elk River Cinema, Hastings Cinema, Lakes Cinema (Hermantown), Oakdale Cinema, Parkwood Cinema (Waite Park), Rochester Cinema + Imax, Rosemount Cinema, and Southbridge Crossing Cinema (Shakopee).

Camp Arbor- Tuesday Mornings in Maple Grove: June-July

Summer is about finding fun activities and of course free is always a bonus. Each Tuesday morning from now until July 23rd, bring the kids to Camp Arbor.

Camp Arbor is a free, fun, and educational weekly morning camp for children ages 3-10 at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. Camp Arbor consists of 7 Tuesday morning events, June 11 through July 23, held from 10:30-11:15am.

Each event features:
– An interactive, educational activity for children.
– Complimentary snacks
– Outdoor games
Special offers from participating stores and restaurants at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes.

The “When” and “Where” of the Camp Arbor Tuesday Morning events:

WHEN: Tuesdays, June 11-July 23: 10:30- 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: Building D, courtyard area in front of Forever 21 at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, located off I-94/I-694 at Hemlock Lane in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

June 18: Plant a flower presented by Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery

June 25: Art Activity*: Color a patriotic windsock! Each child will receive a windsock to color with fabric markers.

July 2: The Teddy Bear Band: This popular local band plays developmentally appropriate children’s music with an emphasis on participation. The kids are a big part of the show. Don’t forget to bring your bear!!

July 9: Art Activity* presented by the Maple Grove Arts Center

July 16: Puppet Show presented by Open Eye Figure

July 23: Carnival Games: Kids will “step right up” and test their skills with fun games! Schedule is tentative and subject to change. *These activities are offered while supplies last. If the weather is inclement, the session will either be canceled or moved to an indoor location. Visit the website for updates.



Kid Fest at Lake Harriet – Saturday, June 15th

Join Minnesota Parent for the 6th Annual Kid Fest at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis this Saturday, June 15th from 10 am – 1 pm! Kid Fest and its activities are geared toward families with children under 10 years, with a strong focus on activities for children under 5.

Kid Fest includes live kids’ music, giveaways and craft projects, and lots more. In addition to the fun, free activities, you can pick up a copy of the Minnesota Parent annual Family Directory, a booklet that gives parents a massive list of events, destinations and activities in the metro area throughout the entire year.

USA Luge Slider Search

I love watching the Luge events during the Olympics.  Although my kids are now too old for this event, it looks super fun and it’s free!

This weekend kids ages 9-13 can reserve a time slot to try Luge.  The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search take place this weekend, June 15th and 16th in Minneapolis.  You can register your child here on their website.

Additional information about the event:

The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search is the official nationwide athlete recruitment tour of USA Luge, targeting young athletes, ages 9-13. The mission of this grass-roots program, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Athletes who may progress through the team development ladder have hopes of one-day becoming members of the National and Olympic Luge Teams.

Over the years, the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search has traveled over 220,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 25,000 eager young athletes. At each series stop, guided by U.S. Olympic and National Team coaches and athletes, participants are taught the basics of riding a luge sled, including positioning, steering and stopping. Once these skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped luge sleds. Finally, athletes test their physical skills through a battery of fitness tests. Those who show promise in the summer program are invited to Lake Placid, N.Y., Park City, Utah, or Muskegon, Mich. to try luge on ice at a USA Luge sanctioned training site. The top young athletes from this group are selected for the next year’s development team.

Currently, most of the U.S. Junior National Team was recruited through the Slider Search, so it’s no wonder the USA Luge coaching staff feel tomorrow’s National and Olympic Teams will come from this program. Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and 2009 World Champion, was identified in a 1999 Slider Search, while Brian Martin, a 1998 Olympic bronze and 2002 Olympic silver medalist, was discovered at a Slider Search in 1987. At least 70% of the past Olympic teams since 2002 have come from the program.

Each participant need only register for one 2 or 3-hour clinic. Register by phone at 1-800-USA-LUGE, or register online through our secure site. All events are free and everyone gets a cool White Castle USA Luge Slider Search T-Shirt for attending.

Movie at the Farm- Maplewood on June 18th

Bring the family to the Movie at the Farm.  Everyone can enjoy Ralph Breaks the Internet this coming Tuesday, June 18th at the Historic Bruentrup Farm in Maplewood.  Not only is the movie free, you can also enjoy other fun activities including:

  • Petting Zoo 5:30-7:30
  • Jump Castle and Yard Games
  • Concessions available

Important details about the event:

Grounds open at 5:30

Movie is at 6:30

Come out for a family night of games, concessions, activity stations, jump castle and the petting zoo! Enjoy a picnic on the beautiful grounds. Movie will be held in the barn rain or shine.

Emagine Kids Summer Movie Series – $2 Admission

Emagine Kids Summer Movie Series – $2 Admission

Mark your calendars for cheap movies this summer with the Emagine Kids Summer Movie Series! Starting June 12th, Emagine is hosting discounted movies for just $2 each on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 am.

Tickets are available online and at the box office. If you’d like, you can pair your ticket with a Magic Pack (kids popcorn and soda) for a total of $7.

Here’s the schedule:

  • June 12th and 13th: The Secret Life of Pets (PG)
  • June 19th and 20th: Despicable Me (PG)
  • June 26th and 27th: Despicable Me 2 (PG)
  • July 10th and 11th: Despicable Me 3 (PG)
  • July 17th and 18th: Sing (PG)
  • July 24th and 25th: The Grinch (PG)
  • July 31st and August 1st: Minions (PG)
  • August 7th and 8th: The Land Before Time (G)
  • August 14th and 15th: An American Tail (G)

Emagine has locations in Delano, East Bethel, Lakeville, Monticello, Plymouth (Willow Creek), Rogers, Waconia, and White Bear Township.

Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

Minnesota is a top fishing destination, and for good reason! Our beloved state offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. From lakes to streams to rivers, we have abundant opportunity to catch a wide variety of fish. (My personal favorite for eating is perch, but I won’t turn down a nice walleye, either.)

Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

A regular angling license is relatively inexpensive (just $25/year as of 2019), but there are several opportunities to fish for free in Minnesota, as well. Here’s a list of current Free Fishing Days in Minnesota:

Girl Fishing in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend – June 7 – 9, 2019
Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend – January 18 – 20, 2020
Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16.

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend – May 9 – 10, 2020
Minnesota resident moms fish free.

kids fishing

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Fish for Free in Most MN State Parks

Minnesota residents can fish for free (a.k.a. without a fishing license) in most Minnesota state parks, including ice fishing. A Minnesota resident may fish in a state park without a fishing license when:

  • the body of water does not require a trout stamp
  • fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
  • fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park

All park rules must be followed as usual, along with any rules and regulations relating to the taking of game and fish. You will still need a vehicle permit to enter a Minnesota state park.

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Plus, many Minnesota state parks have loaner equipment available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fishing kits include a rod, a reel, and a stocked tackle box. Check out this map of all the state parks with free fishing opportunities, including some parks with free loaner equipment.