Sure getting out of town makes for a great adventure, but sometimes all you need is a little creativity and you can make your own special weekend staying right here in the Twin Cities.
Hit up an apple orchard for your next farm to table meal. To prepare in advance, pick out a few apple recipes to make with the kids over the weekend such as apple pie, apple cider, apple cinnamon pancakes. Weave in apple focused entertainment such as watching the movie ‘Snow White’ where Snow White eats the poisoned apple, or read a book such as ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein. Have creative kids? Ask them write their own story weaving in this classic American fruit. Still in need of more apple opportunities? Take a mini roadtrip down the Apple Blossom Drive Scenic Byway, known for its rolling hills of apple orchards in Southern MN.
Where in the World
Pick a country that you and your family are interested in learning more about. Pretend as if you’re preparing to go there. Learn where to find it on a map, some fun facts, traditional foods, a couple of easy sayings (maybe numbers 1-5, or “I Love You”), etc. Spend some time discussing what you learned. One night go to a restaurant that has that cuisine, and another night try to make your own at home. Bonus if you can get to a specialty grocery store to buy your goods, and if you can find a movie from the country with English subtitles. Here are a few countries for inspiration Vietnam, Italy, China, Russia, Ethiopia, Korea, Germany, or Spain. Many of these countries are represented at the Midtown Global Market.
All Aboard the Fun Train
Does your family like trains? There are a number of train options around the city and a few more honorable mentions around the state:
- Choo Choo Bobs (St Paul)
- Twin City Model Railroad Museum (St Paul)
- Union Depot (St Paul)
- Light Rail, Minneapolis & surrounding area
- Osceola Depot & St Croix Valley Railway (Osceola)
- North Shore Scenic Railroad (Duluth)
- Northern Rail Traincar Inn (Two Harbors)
- Duluth Depot (Duluth)
- Whistle Stop B&B (New York Mills)
Who needs Disney World when you can have your own special fairy tale weekend right here? Get out the princess costumes, go to a salon such as Kids’ Hair to get dazzled up, then go out for cupcakes at your neighborhood bakery, and watch Disney movies. A fun alternative to this could be to have dad take his princess out for a special daddy/daughter dinner and a movie. Have dad dress up like prince charming (or maybe just with a tie and jacket)… did I hear someone say White Castle? Read our Princess for a Day blog for more inspiration.
Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt. There are 35 state parks around the state where you can check out a GPS unit for free (see link). Get your camping gear together and make a whole weekend out of it, or scale it back and pair with a long hike and picnic lunch. Fort Snelling & Afton State Park offer free GPS’ and are right here in the Cities. For a younger child alternative, head to your local regional park or nature center with a scavenger hunt list.