Tag: Family Friendly Fun

Trick or Treat Street at the Children’s Museum Denver

On Friday, the kids and I headed to the Denver Children’s Museum for their Halloween bash, Trick or Treat Street. We’ve been Denver residents for about two weeks, and member of the Children’s Museum for 12-ish days. We loved going as visitors to Colorado and now that we can go anytime we want, we really love it.

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We’re still discovering new parts of the Children’s Museum and falling more in love with the familiar spots. On Friday, we particularly enjoyed jumping on hay bales, driving the truck, and building sand castles.

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We took advantage of Rocky Mountain Mini Train (definitely worth the $2). We watched a scary science show, scored lots of free treats and some tasty lemonade, and grabbed a hot dog lunch.

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We were so excited to discover the bubble room! This was our 4th visit to the museum, but this spot was always too busy to check out. We had a blast blowing bubbles! These vapor filled bubbles? Kind of the coolest. They have a bubble solution recipe on their website you should check out if you’re in the mood to DIY.

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We swung by the market, where my kids sold me some overpriced cheese and milk. It’s amazing how much fun they can have, just pretending. Stocking and restocking. Cooking. Arranging.

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One of their favorite stops indoors has been the Altitude. Wilson was so proud to have made it to the very top of this incredible structure, with the help of his best cheerleader, of course.

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We took the trolly to REI, thinking that was closer to where we parked. I’m not entirely sure it was closer, but I got a Starbucks out of it and Wilson met Wilson, so everyone won (except Matilda, who conked her head and was super sad until she crashed in the car on the way home.)

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We’re making the most of this solo fall, trying to squeeze in as many fun, family dates as we can.

Ice Skating in St Paul

Some families see Santa once. That’s their Santa. That’s not how we roll. Much like fall, we’re working on exploring as much of our local seasonal activities as we can. We’ve learned a lot this last month. I think we’ve tallied our list on things we would try again, things we’d pass on, things we’d do earlier.

I am a huge wuss when it comes to the cold. I’d rather experience it as little as possible. This late winter arrival surprised us with one last glorious weekend to do two things that were on our to-do list all of last winter and we never got to (or even attempted to do…).

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Saturday night, we loaded up the kids, threw the coats in the trunk, and headed down to Rice Park in St Paul for Christmas lights and Wells Fargo WinterSkate. You guys. It was wonderful. It certainly helped that it was a balmy 40 degrees out, but it was so fun to be out after dar, surrounded by so many of my favorite things: little white lights. And my family, obviously.

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Parking was a breeze, even during a Wild game (leaving was another story. IDK WTF St Paul Police was doing to route traffic, but it was a mess.). Parking stresses me out, and I like to be close knowing that we will soon lose our shit and need to book it to the car. Even with the accidentally leaving at the same time the game got out SNAFU, I did prefer the parking situation in St Paul over the Minneapolis one.

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We wandered Rice Park and headed to the Wells Fargo rink. Totally worth the $4 to skate. One thing that I did prefer at the Holidazzle was that they have the little handle bar contraptions to help kids skate. For newbies, like us, those would have been pretty awesome.

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I honestly didn’t know what to expect out of skating. Wilson can be one of the grumpiest kids you’ve ever met and has strong opinions about most things in life, including all winter outerwear. He happily ripped off his shoes in exchange for skates, and even willingly wore his hat and gloves.

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We will definitely do this again. Okay, let’s be real. If it’s open and it’s above freezing, we will definitely do this again. Any recommendations for indoor skating rinks in the metro?

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Next time, I think I’d like to make more of an evening out of it. I’d like to check out the European Christmas Market at Union Depot, but we ran out of time (and patience).

The Works Museum, Bloomington

I always thought my kids were too young for The Works Museum in Bloomington. And then something happened. They grew up. We got free tickets a while ago at a local mommy event and they sat in my kitchen for quite a while, waiting to be used. I always thought, meh. My kids are too young. They’d be so bored. Maybe next time.

In September, my sister in law asked if we’d join her and her youngest son (a teenager) in one last adventure before school started. I really like her, so of course I said HECK YES and dusted off those free passes that’d been taking up valuable space in my junk mail sorter.

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I was so wrong. This place is wonderful. My three year old, six year old, and the teen all had a blast. Let me start by saying, this place isn’t as fancy as our other local favorites. It’s small and has a definite DIY feel to the exhibits. Activities are much more limited than we’re used to, but my kids didn’t get bored.

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How could you possibly get sick of building towers only to knock them over again? Or seeing which K’NEX race car design goes the fastest (spoiler alert: it’s always Matilda’s, nope. Wilson’s. It’s always Wilson’s. Oh wait. You get the point. Arguments ensue.) They have a pinewood derby inspired race track that provides the race results, which makes cheating a little harder.

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They have a whole list of awesome sounding STEM activities and family events that you can take part in, including fort building over Christmas break. We haven’t tried those, but they sound like the could be a really great time, resulting in uncontrollable laughter.

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We went in September and Matilda begged to return until we finally did for Ryan’s birthday shenanigans. We picked a school day, so it was pretty busy with hoards of large teenagers, but the kids were all really nice and we just skirted around the much taller car builders and tower knockers.

According to their facebook page, they have Pre K Mondays, which sounds all sorts of amazing for many reasons, one of which is that all the other local museums (Minnesota Children’s Museum and the Science Museum of Minnesota) are closed on Mondays.

I’d love to meet up for a local Minnesota Mom Monday hang out! Who’s in for some half-priced play with littles?

Halloween Bash at the Minnesota Children’s Museum

This year, I was so excited when the Minnesota Children’s Museum was bringing back their Halloween Party. It was our favorite Halloween activity before they stopped hosting it for renovations. They offered a few different times, which was great. We went Sunday evening with Matilda and Ryan, and Wilson and I went back Monday morning to help out with a few photos. Halloween during the week is always a drag, so it was nice that weekend options were offered so everyone could join in on the fun.

We’re frequent visitors to the Minnesota Children’s Museum (and I’m a play ambassador for them, which basically means I get a membership and coupon code to share so you can get discounts on memberships – “EmilyO” will save you money on your next membership!). We try to go every Friday night as a way to reconnect as a family, to play, to decompress. We don’t always make it, but we try.

The kids had so much fun being silly with so many new friends. Wilson went as “Marshall from Paw Patrol” or “nothing”, depending on when you asked him (he didn’t actually dress up, so I have a brand new Marshall from Paw Patrol costume I’ll send you for free) and Matilda went as THE WORLD because she’s literally the coolest kid I know. She drew her dress and ordered it from Picture This Clothing. It was a piece of cake to do – you just print their template, your kid draws whatever they want to wear, you take a photo and email it back. Boom. Custom dress.

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She finished it off with a yellow sun hat, a rainbow necklace she made, Lularoe road leggings, and some dirt boots.

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An unexpected favorite from the Halloween party was this amazing lantern, which we promptly ordered and added to our daily life.

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We love the quieter ticketed events at the Children’s Museum, where we can explore and play a little more freely. We’ve already bought tickets for their New Year’s Eve bash and we can’t wait to go! An 8pm “human ball drop” featuring Twin Cities Trapeze? Heck yes!