I can’t believe kids are already starting school next week! Where did summer go?
My oldest, Heidi, starts kindergarten next Tuesday, and she’s so excited! I’m not sure how I feel. I’m thrilled that she’ll learning a lot and making new friends, but I know I’ll miss having her at home during the day. I know her little brother Thor will miss her, too!
Since this is her final week before starting school, we’re hoping to fill the week with lots of fun and frugal activities.
For those of you whose kids don’t start school for another week, here’s a list I came up with of fun things to do with your family during this last week of summer vacation, taking the hot weather forecast into consideration:
(THE HOTTEST DAYS OF THE WEEK ARE MONDAY AND TUESDAY. Weather forecast obtained from Kare11.com.)
MONDAY, AUGUST 26
(High – 98 degrees; record heat possible)
Como Zoo and Beach/Pool Day
Head to the zoo early (as many know, Como Zoo is free but they ask for donations). Spend a few hours enjoying the zoo including the newer Gorilla Forest and renovated Japanese Garden.
ALSO – today they offer story time featuring plants and animals at 1:30pm in the Visitor Center!
We just went to the Como Zoo last Wednesday which was super hot, but there were also NO crowds. We got a parking space in the lot right by the entrance! The kids enjoyed the carousel ($2.00 per person), and then we enjoyed lots of ice cream and breaks inside the cooler buildings.
After the zoo, visit a park with a beach, head for a wading pool (Minneapolis has 65!), or visit a community pool. Either way, the hot afternoon is a good time to just lounge around and cool off in the water!
TIP: Burger King offer $.50 ice cream cones through September 1st. Pick some up for the family while you’re out and about! We’ve gone there several times this summer for ice cream, and we love that they’ve always been so nice and helpful – offering to put them in cups for us with spoons and giving us lots of napkins!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27
(High – 97 degrees and sunny; humid)
Walker Art Center
Beat the heat (again) by heading to the Walker Art Center for FREE admission through September 21st. They’re offering free admission due to reconstruction & limited galleries that are open, but there are still several galleries to see including “Fritz Haeg: At Home in the City” and “Painter Painter.”
BUT ALSO – Today, August 27th, is “Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate,” ideal for ages 3 – 5. Arty Pants is offered the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. The current theme is “Garden Matters”:
“Get immersed the scents, sounds, texture, and tastes of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden through fun hands-on activities. You and your tot will listen to stories under the trees and make art outdoors, then cool off inside with films and gallery games.”
Take the kids to an indoor inflatable arena like Pump it Up (several locations throughout the Twin Cities) or the Monkey House (White Bear Lake). Both offer weekday open play times. Check each location’s website for hours. Cost is usually around $7.00 per child.
In the evening (when it’s hopefully cooler), head to the Minnesota History Center from 5:00-8:00pm for free admission (offered every Tuesday night). Plus, enjoy their free 9 Nights of Music series from 7:00 – 8:30pm. This week – Finnish Tango!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28
(High – 92 degrees; very hot, humid)
Science Museum of Minnesota
Escape the heat by visiting the Science Museum, where through September 2nd they’re offering free child admission (ages 4-12) with a paid adult! Includes all exhibits, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, and the Omnitheater! Redeem in person at the box office or by calling (651) 221-9444 or (800) 221-9444. Tickets for non-members to see all exhibits including the Omnitheater film “Mystery of the Maya” are $28 for adults, $19 for children ages 4-12.
If two adults go with two kids, that’s a savings of $38!
In the evening, some options:
- see the family movie “The Lorax” for free at 8:00pm at the Cans Filmfest at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.
- head to Como Zoo from 6-8pm for “Groovin’ in the Gardens” where they have free entertainment on the front lawn as well as a climbing wall, bouncy house, lawn games and food vendors.
- enjoy live music from 7-8pm at Como Park’s Lakeside Pavilion, or at Minnehaha Falls Park, or from 7:30-8:30pm at Lake Harriet Bandshell.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29
(High – 90 degrees, chance of storms)
Otherwise, why not make this an indoor water park day? The Water Park of America website offers $10 off morning or twilight admission. (Offer limited.)
This evening, head to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in Minneapolis by 6:30pm for the free weekly Twin Cities River Rats water ski show! It starts at 7:00pm but you’ll want to arrive early for good seats.
Or, head to Midtown Global Market for Neighborhood Night, which is every Thursday evening. Come with the whole family for free live music, shopping and plenty of dinner options. They’ll validate your parking (with purchase) if you park in the 10th Avenue Parking Ramp, FREE for up to three hours!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
(High – 90 degrees)
Minnesota State Fair
Probably the best day of the week to go to the Minnesota State Fair weather-wise, plus Choo Choo Bob is performing at the Family Fun Stage at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (same times Saturday as well)!
If you haven’t already, be sure to enter my Choo Choo Bob Giveaway for a Choo Choo Bob DVD & Book Set worth $50!
(However, if saving on admission is a priority, you may want to consider going to the fair on Wednesday if you want to go this week. That seems to be the best day for admission discounts for most people. On Wednesday, August 28th, bring your public library card because you’ll receive a discounted admission ticket price when you purchase a ticket at the gate and present a valid library card. (One discount per card.) Check out their site for more info.)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
Lots of options today…
- Catch a free family flick “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” at the Theatres at Mall of America at 10:00am (first come first served)
- Sign up for a free craft at a Lakeshore Learning store. This week the craft is “My Room Template.” Kids create a personalized collage…then display it on their bedroom door!
- Celebrate Threshing Weekend at Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Cost is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students, $6 for children, and free for kids ages 5 and under.
For more ideas, check out my Deals & Events Calendar!