Hello, Regal Guardians. The time has come for me to hang up Daily Adventures for another school year. Endless days with my boys will soon be replaced with harried evenings filled with homework, practices and other obligations. But we’ll always have these memories, right?
Our favorite adventures this year were the Twin City Model Railroad Museum combined with a walk on the Heritage Trail (June 26 & 28), a bike ride to the Sibley House Historic Site (July 6), the walking tour leaving from the Mississippi River Visitor Center (July 9), and the kohlrabi/opo squash dinner we enjoyed after our visit to the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market on August 1st.
I will continue to tweet fun things that cross my path @AColdOmaha. Until next summer, happy trails to you!
Tuesday, August 13
I yo-yo the same way that I juggle. I begin with my hands in a comfortable position; my forearms parallel to the ground. Then, with each successful toss of the ball or round trip of the yo-yo, my hands move gradually higher in the air until I’m trying to perform my feats with my hands above my head. I bet Dazzling Dave Schulte doesn’t yo-yo over his head. He is one of only 12 recognized National Yo-Yo Masters (Randy Jackson is another), and he is freestyling today at the St. Anthony Library at 2 pm. Dave is dazzling, so it’s sure to be an awe-full performance, but we’ll have to gasp silently. The show is in a library, after all.
Wednesday, August 14
It seems that it was fashionable in the early twentieth century, if you had access to a lot of money, to build yourself a castle. One example is Casa Loma in Toronto. Casa Loma was completed in 1914, but the family moved out in 1924 because they couldn’t afford it any longer. I’m guessing a similar fate befell the Turnblad Mansion, home to the American Swedish Institute. This castle was completed in 1908 but was given to the community in 1929. Lucky for us, because these days the ASI houses lots for us to see, do, and eat! Today you can view an exhibit on glass making called “Pull, Twist, Blow,” and the kids can try their hands at glass frosting from 1 to 3 pm in the Slojd Club for Youth. Glass work unleashes a powerful hunger, so you might want to visit the critically acclaimed FIKA Cafe while you’re there. You know it’s good when the menu boasts ingredients like remoulade, vasterbotten, and arugula emulsion.
Thursday, August 15
Thursdays in the Twin Cities aren’t just for farmer’s markets anymore! Today you have at least five free music options around the metro. Mears Park (Heiruspecs), Bryant Square Park (Dandelion Wine), Como Lakeside Pavilion (Fridley City and German Bands), Minnehaha Falls Park (Sweet Rhubarb), and the Lake Harriet Bandshell (Alison Scott) are all places where you can find your groove. You can probably find free music around Target Field after the Twins game, too, if five-gallon buckets and pan flutes are your thing.
Friday, August 16
If you weren’t able to build yourself a castle in the early 1900’s, you could order a ready-to-assemble house from the Sears catalog. To support an operation of this magnitude, Sears opened nine regional catalog centers, one of them on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Sears abandoned this building in 1994, and it sat empty for 12 years until the Midtown Global Market opened in 2006. MGM now hosts Family Friday every Friday from 5-8 pm. In addition to the free music and activities for all ages, you’ll find myriad unique businesses and restaurants. Houses, however, are not currently available here.
Daily updates on Twitter @AColdOmaha.
Tuesday, August 6
Disney and Pixar treat us pretty well, right? They know that children don’t go to movies on their own, so they usually toss the adults a few bones, over the kids’ heads, to keep us interested too. Hopefully PBS Kids follows suit in “Sid the Science Kid: Sid the Movie.” The Theatres at Mall of America will screen “Sid the Movie” for free today at 11:30 am. Sid himself will be on hand to greet moviegoers. A giant kid with purple starfish hair seems a little intimidating to me, but little ones rarely seem to have an issue with these types of characters. Go figure.
Wednesday, August 7
There are few things more enjoyable than an outdoor, summertime concert. The anticipation of the show is almost tangible before the music starts. Moods are so bright they outlast long lines at Porta-Potties, and even the occasional rainstorm doesn’t seem to dampen spirits. In fact, adverse conditions might even enhance the memories. Today we have the chance to see a Grammy Award-winning band outdoors for free! The Okee Dokee Brothers perform at Woodbury Lakes Shopping Center from 10-11 am. I’m sure they will play songs from their Grammy winner, “Can you Canoe?” You can hold up a sign that says “I Can Canoe” and look like a cool insider.
Thursday, August 8
Three fun facts about skating: 1) The oldest skates ever discovered were found in a lake in Switzerland and are about 5000 years old. They were made with a horse’s leg bone and leather straps. 2) As long as ice is warmer than -4 degrees Fahrenheit, there is always a very thin layer of water on the surface. That’s why it’s slippery. When skates contact ice it melts even more so you are, in essence, “sailing” across a sheet of water when you skate. 3) Skate rental and ice time is free on Wednesdays and Thursdays in August from 11:30 am to 1 pm at Victory Memorial Ice Arena. Come sail away!
Friday, August 9
This isn’t a cheap idea, but for baseball fans it could be pretty memorable. Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and the 2014 All-Star Game, offers tours almost daily from April through September. The 90-minute tour is free for kids younger than six, but ranges from $8 to $17 for older folks depending on school, military and Social Security status. I am a marginal baseball fan, but I’m a huge fan of Target Field. It’s a great place to spend a few hours in the stands. I’m betting it’s even sweeter on the field.
Saturday, August 10
Find your inner caveman or cavewoman at the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center from 1 to 3 pm today. For $5 you get to search for wild edibles, learn how to throw a spear, and start fire without newspapers, matches and lighter fluid. I’ll believe that when I see it. Register ahead of time, and then step back in time to the Land of the Lost!
Also today, Fort Snelling State Park hosts "Campfire Tales: Stories of the Night" for free from 7:30-8:30 pm. Sounds like it will be just like a summer camp bonfire with sing-alongs and stories about night creatures. Muhahaha! That was my scary laugh.
Sunday, August 11
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is raising the roof! Well, raising on the roof, really. In collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad, the MIA has four beehives buzzing on their roof. You can find out more about deez bees and other critters during Family Day at the MIA from 11 am to 5 pm. You’ll find all sorts of bug-inspired exhibits, projects and performances for free at the museum and the neighboring Washburn Fair Oaks Park. Bee smoker not required.
Daily updates on Twitter @AColdOmaha.
Monday, July 29
You’re going to think I’m obsessed with rangers. I’m really not. At least I don’t think I am. It’s just that our National Parks and Rec. provide for some unique nature experiences right here in the middle of the metro. Today the US Fish and Wildlife Service offers the opportunity to bike with a ranger from Shakopee to Bloomington on the State Corridor Trail. Meet at the Wilkie Unit parking area (7701 County Rd. 101 E., Shakopee 55379) at 9 am. This is a four-mile ride scheduled for two hours, so I’m expecting plenty of interpretation along the way. Your pets are welcome, too, as long as they are on a leash and leave no scat behind.
Tuesday, July 30
Apparently Sir W. Tyrone Guthrie was a very tall man. It bugged him that people felt free to remark on his height when meeting him. My wife’s experience was similar when she was pregnant. Perfect strangers would rub her belly during this time. Most didn’t even ask; they just walked up and rubbed away. Maybe that’s part of the reason the Guthrie Theater’s architect, Jean Nouvel, designed the building to fit in with its Mill District neighbors. Not too tall, and not too short. On the other hand, the protruding “Endless Bridge” does draw a bit of attention to itself. The Guthrie is open every day at 8 am, and you are encouraged to hang out in its public spaces. The Dowling Studio, with its yellow windows, glass floor, and stunning views, is a can’t-miss. You can download a free, self-guided audio tour before your visit. When you’ve had enough of the theater, Gold Medal Park is right outside the doors. You can also pay your respects to the 13 victims of the 35W bridge collapse at the memorial across the street.
Wednesday, July 31
My house was built in 1923, before television was commonplace. There’s still a jack in my living room marked “aerial” that I imagine was for the household radio, the type that families used to gather around for weekly broadcasts of their favorite shows. It’s possible that Orson Welles’ adaptation of “War of the Worlds” echoed through my house on October 30, 1938 causing the original owners to pack their bags, preparing to flee the invading Martians. You can step into this “Golden Age” of radio at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Here kids can create their own radio show in a 1960’s studio and experience a vintage game show set. They’ll be able to trace the development of our current broadcast technology from its beginnings. Who knows? Maybe a visit here will inspire them to create the next big thing in broadcasting, making our HD TV’s obsolete. If not, it’s still a charming place to spend a few hours together.
Thursday, August 1
For a time my wife and I ordered our groceries online and had them delivered to our door. We loved it because it “saved us so much time,” which is kind of funny because this was BC (Before Children), and I honestly don’t remember what we did with all of our time back then. The other end of the grocery spectrum is the farmer’s market, I suppose, with Aldi, Rainbow, and Lund’s falling somewhere in between. Spend some time on the edge today at the Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market. Start in the children’s section of the Minneapolis Central Library, then head southwest down Nicollet Mall taking a moment to enjoy the atmosphere at Peavey Plaza when you’re done. On your way, buy something you’ve never tasted before and then try a recipe from allrecipes.com with your new ingredient. We still talk about our bitter melon dish from a couple of years ago. It wasn’t so good, but it sure was memorable.
Friday, August 2
Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to cross a five acre acid bog on a floating platform. On your journey you’ll likely encounter flying creatures possessing two sets of wings and able to fly 35 mph! Other inhabitants drink . . . through their skin! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? A visit to Quaking Bog provides all of these adventures and more. You’ll likely cross paths with the dragonflies and frogs that dig the bog, and it’s secluded enough that you can bring a play sword with you and get away with it.
You can also find daily updates on Twitter @AColdOmaha.
Hello, Regal Guardians! I am taking this week off (I am on summer vacation, after all!), but here are a few recurring events that you can check out this week. Have a great time!
Remember Kid Links. You can search for activities by day or by library. There is always something going on.
The Minnesota History Center is free after 5 pm on Tuesdays, and they are in the middle of their “Nine Nights of Music” program.
Music in Mears is held every Thursday night from 6-9 pm.
Have a great week!