This weekend’s must-do list

Spend some time with Cinderella as she waits for her prince to come (glass slipper in hand) in this classic ballet. New costumes and sets by the Continental Ballet help make this show an irresistible family favorite.
Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 21, 3 p.m.
Bloomington PAC, 1800 98th St. W., Bloomington
952-563-5361 or click here

A cornucopia of Omnifilms is on the menu during Omnifest, the annual giant-screen movie-athon when fans of the 90-foot domed theater can take in Mysteries of the Great Lakes, Adventures in Wild California, Grand Canyon Adventure, Lewis &Clark: Great Journey West, and Super Speedway.
Daily through April 12
Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul
$7.50 adults, $6.50 children and seniors, 15 percent off all subsequent films during the festival.
For tickets or schedule information call 651-221-9444 or visit

Childish Films

Disney is practically a dirty word at the Childish Films series, where kids ages 3 and up are exposed to unique, rare films not found on Netflix. Saturday’s lineup follows a frog theme: One Froggy Evening, Tuesday, A Boy a Dog and a Frog, and Wonders in a Country Stream. Whole Foods provides a free healthy snack, and a pre-show activity kicks off the day.
Saturday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.
Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
For more information call 612-630-6174 or click here

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This Weekend’s Must-Do List

10th Annual Children’s Dental Health Day
Parents get to ask real dentists important questions about their kids teeth. Kids get to meet the tooth fairy, play with a real dentist’s chair and tools. Everybody gets free products to keep their teeth healthy. And, bonus: The 9-foot-tall Clifford is still in residence.
Saturday, February 21, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Minnesota Children’s Museum, 10 W. 7th St., St. Paul
Free with museum admission of $8.95 per person
For more information click here

Urban Expedition: Uganda
The music, fashion, dance, food, and art of Uganda take center stage at the Landmark Center’s Urban Exhibition. Highlights include drumming by Mpambara, a fashion show featuring clothes from various regions, and a taste of Uganda from Tam Tam’s African Restaurant.
Sunday, February 22, 1–3 p.m.
Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., Saint Paul
For more information call 651-292-3225 or visit

Romeo and Juliet

This classic story of young love and family conflict is staged with the audience (literally) in the center of the action. As Romeo and Juliet’s dangerous love ignites Verona, viewers will be surrounded by the action of masquerade balls, sword fights, and village life while the play swirls around them. For ages 13 and up.
Friday, February 20, 8 p.m., Saturday, February 21, 4 and 8 p.m., Sunday, February 22, 1 p.m.
Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis
For more information call 612-874-0400 or visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Winter Trails
Ever wanted to try out a new winter sport? The 14th annual Winter Trails event offers children and adults new to snow sports the opportunity to try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, geocaching, and more (with plenty of hot chocolate by the bonfire in between). In addition families can learn about winter camping, following winter animal tracks, and take a guided hike. Equipment is provided for free, and a raffle will be held to win a pair of snowshoes.
Saturday, January 10, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Ft. Snelling State Park, 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul
For more information call 651-635-0211 or visit


The Swedish celebrate the end of the Christmas season with a special “going away” party. Julgransplundring (the plundering of the Christmas tree) is the center of the fun, and visitors can sing, dance, make a Swedish heart basket, and enjoy traditional Swedish fare.
Saturday, January 10, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis.
To register call 612-871-4907 or visit

Henna Party

Spend an afternoon dancing, eating, and experiencing the ritual of henna painting! Jawaahir Dance Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a short performance followed by informal instruction on basic dance moves, henna painting, and traditional snacks and beverages.
Sunday, January 11, 2–5 p.m.
Jawaahir Studio Theater, 1940 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis
$10 per person
For more information call 612-872-6050 or visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Nutcracker Fantasy Tea Party
Take your visit to the annual Nutcracker performance up a notch by attending a tea party filled with sweet treats! Visitors can have their picture taken with the Sugar Plum Fairy or the Nutcracker, get a backstage tour, and take home a distinctive memento.
Sunday, December 21, performances at 2 and 7 p.m., tea party at 5 p.m.
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
$40 adults, $25 children
For tickets call 612-720-7183 or email [email protected]

Childish Films
Classic children’s literature is brought to life in this collection of Oscar award-winning animated Disney shorts. The films, which include Country Cousins, Ferdinand the Bull, The Ugly Duckling, and Lambert the Sheepish Lion, will be preceded by a traditional African folktale storytelling by librarian Jerry Blue.
Saturday, December 20, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
For more information call 612-630-6174 or visit

Anschel and the Missing Chanukah Gelt
As Chanukah approaches, Anschel and his friends set off on an exciting odyssey. Through danger and mayhem, Anschel must make the choice between his own desperate need and doing what is right. Don’t miss this exciting family adventure.
Friday, December 20, 8 p.m.
Sabes JCC, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Rd., Minneapolis
For tickets call 952-381-3499 or visit

The Tale of Despereaux
You’d have to live under a rock not to know The Tale of Despereaux hits theaters tomorrow, but did you know the book’s author, Kate DiCamillo, lives in Minneapolis? Check out her story of an unlikely mouse hero with exceptional ears this weekend!
Rated G

This weekend’s must-do list

Tomie dePaola Visit & Book Making
Strega Nona author Tomie dePaola will stop by the Big Bowl Atrium at the Galleria to read from his new book Brava Strega Nona and autograph copies for young readers. Children can also create their own books at Creative Kidstuff’s Galleria store from 1 to 3 p.m with help from an artist from the Minnetonka Center for the Arts!
Sunday, November 16, 12 p.m.
Creative Kidstuff at the Galleria, 3555 69th St., Edina
For more information call 952-926-4512

Childish Films Series
Childish Films is back for another season at the Library with an all new program of children’s cinema for kids ages 3 and up. Each screening features a pre-show activity and educational intro to the films as well as a complimentary healthy snack. This month’s movies include “The Talking Eggs” and “Knuffle Bunny.”
Saturday, November 15, 10:30 a.m.
Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.
For more information call 612-630-6174 or visit

Do It Green! Minnesota’s 3rd Annual Green Gifts Fair
Head to the Midtown Global Market to learn about greening up your holiday gift list with plenty of eco-friendly ideas. More than 65 vendors will be on hand, and families can attend workshops about everything from homemade cloth gift bags to alternative holiday tree ideas.
Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
For more information visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Ready for School Day
Bring your soon-to-be-school-age children to the Minnesota Childrens Museum where they can get a sneak peek at kindergarten at the second annual Ready for School Day. Take a ride on a real school bus, participate in a 20-minute kindergarten class and eat a school-type lunch. Parents and caretakers of children entering school will find resources for helping children start school on the right foot.
Friday, October 24, 37 p.m.
Minnesota Childrens Museum, 10 W. 7th St., St. Paul
$8 MCM members, $15.95 nonmembers (includes lunch, museum admission and activities)
For more information call 651-225-6035 or visit

Beakman Live!
The popular yet quirky childrens science show Beakmans World will come to life at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre with a full spectacle of large-scale science demos. Goofy humor and audience participation abounds as Beakman dazzles kids with death-defying scientific principles.
Saturday, October 25, 2 p.m.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
$10 per person
For tickets or more information call 612-721-2535 or visit

The Great Pumpkin Festival

A wicked good time will be had by all at the annual Great Pumpkin Festival, where kids can strut their ghoulish stuff at the costume runway fashion show, adorn their outfits with a fresh face painting, and have a balloon creation custom made by Herbie the clown. The Mummy Idol contest will have everyone walking like an Egyptian, and the fully costumed childrens choice CitySongs returns for spooky stylings.
Sunday, October 26, 13 p.m.
Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul
For more information call 651-292-3276 or visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Minnetonka Orchards Social Club
While parents enjoy a cup of coffee and a delicious baked good kids, will have the free run of the hay mountain, corn crib, and life-size wooden train at the orchard. Participants can also wind down at the Harvest Story Time while enjoying a homemade snack.
Friday, September 26, all day
Minnetonka Orchards, 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista
For more information call 763-479-6530 or visit

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day
Smithsonian magazine offers families the chance to explore the Bell Museum this Saturday at the fourth annual Museum Day, a day when museums and cultural institutions across the country open their doors free of charge! Head to the Bell Museum’s web site to download the admission pass to see the museum’s latest exhibits, which include The Hidden World of Bears: Photography by Lynn Rogers and Oddities and Curiosities of Nature.
Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Bell Museum, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis
Download the admission pass at

Saturday Live!
Every Saturday St. Paul Central Library offers children’s programming, and this Saturday features Leo and Kathy Lara. Their free music program will honor Hispanic Heritage Month — come along on an exciting musical adventure from the Andes Mountains! A variety of authentic instruments will be used, including the charango, cuatro, bombo, quena, and panpipes.
Saturday, September 27,  11 a.m.
St. Paul Central Library, 90 West Fourth Street, St. Paul
For more information call 651-266-7034 or visit

This Weekend’s Must-Do List

Renaissance Festival
Journey back in time as more than 275 merchants contribute to the atmosphere of this charming 16th-century village. You’ll find 22 acres of entertainment, shopping, fun, and food fit for a king. Storytellers, jugglers, live jousting, and court revelers are on hand throughout the weekend!
Saturday, August 30, Sunday, August 31, and Monday, September 1, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Three miles south of Shakopee on Hwy 169
$19.95 adults, $17.95 seniors, $10.95 children
For more information call 952-445-7361 or visit

Family Life on the Frontier
Bring your family to historic Fort Snelling this weekend to learn how families who lived at the fort in the early 19th-century prepared for the fall by helping to preserve food and store supplies. The day will include period games, crafts, cooking, and historical skits.
Saturday, August 30, and Monday, September 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, August 31, 12–5 p.m.
Fort Snelling, Hwys 5 and 55, St. Paul
$10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children ages 6–17
For more information call 612-726-1171 or visit

From Freedom’s Shadow: African Americans and the United States Capitol
If you find yourself in St. Paul this weekend before the convention head to Landmark Center for the visiting exhibit From Freedom’s Shadow: African Americans and the United States Capitol, which explores the role of African Americans in the Capitol’s history.
Landmark Center, 75 West 5th St., St. Paul
Saturday, August 30, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, August 31, 12–5 p.m., Monday, September 1, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
For more information call 651-292-3225 or visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Water Carnival and Street Fair
On Saturday, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre Puppet will dedicate its newly restored lobby drinking fountain with a splashy water celebration and street fair. This free all-day family festival will include puppet shows, wishing wells, art installations, creative art-making activities, interactive displays, and games for all ages. The dedication ceremony, taking place from 3 to 3:45 p.m., features performances by In the Heart of the Beast artists and friends, the Anishinaabe Academy Drum Circle, Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, the COMPAS ArtsWork teen gamelan and dance ensemble led by Joko and Tri Sutrisno, and the Brass Messengers.
Saturday, July 26, 1–6 p.m.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
For more information call 612-721-2535 or visit

Wild West Frontier Fest
Don’t suppress your inner cowboy — embrace it at the Wild West Frontier Fest! The entire family will enjoy Western food, riverboat rides, music by Pop Wagner, fireworks, and “more fun than you can shake a fryin’ pan at!” Spurs and bandannas welcome. Yee-ha!
Friday, July 25, 6–10 p.m., Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27, High Noon–10 p.m.
Harriet Island Regional Park, St. Paul
$12 adults, kids 12 and under FREE
For more information visit

Bird Banding
Ever wondered what bird banding is all about? Want a chance to see songbirds up close and to watch the experts band birds at Carpenter Nature Center? Head on out to learn how long the birds live, where they travel, when and where they migrate, and many other interesting facts. Carpenter Nature Center has been banding birds for over 26 years and meets weekly to capture, record, band and release songbirds.
Friday, July 25, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 St. Croix Trail, Hastings
For reservations to attend call 651-437-4359 or visit

This weekend’s must-do list

Blooming Butterflies exhibit    
See hundreds of butterflies from Asia, North, Central and South America flying freely in a new exhibit among tropical plants in a lush garden environment at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Visitors can experience a spectacular butterfly garden where they are surrounded by hundreds of butterflies moving free, and leave with a greater understanding of these fragile, beautiful insects.
Daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Como Zoo and Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul
For more information call 651-487-8200 or visit

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown and his gang of friends, including Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and more, experience an average day at school together: from lunch on the school playground and a championship baseball game to Lucy’s infatuation with Schroeder and Snoopy’s famous battles with the Red Baron, the audience will enjoy it all. Come experience this Broadway musical based on the comic strip of St. Paul’s Charles Schulz.
Friday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 28, 1 p.m., Sunday, June 29, 2 p.m.
Stages Theatre, 1111 Main Street, Hopkins.
For tickets or more information call 952-979-1111 or visit

Concert and Nature Tour
Celebrate the Great American Backyard Campout at the Coon Rapids Dam. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a bonfire and on-going walks along the Mississippi River led by naturalist staff.  Held in partnership with Three Rivers Park District and the City of Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks Department.  
Saturday, June 28, 6:30 p.m.
Coon Rapids Dam, 9750 Egret Blvd NW, Coon Rapids
For more information call 763-493-8333 or visit

This weekend’s must do list

Rivertown Days
Experience life along the Minnesota River at Rivertown Days, where visitors can meet steamboat pilot George Merrick and hear his tales of river travel. Visit the encampment of the 5th Minnesota Infantry and learn about the Civil War, enjoy a ride on the horse-drawn trolley and play games. A special ceremony will be held each day to commemorate Memorial Day.
Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday, May 25, 12–5 p.m.,
Monday, May 26, 10 a.m.–5p.m.
The Landing, 2187 E. Hwy 101, Shakopee
$8.50 for those 12+, $7 seniors and children ages 3–11
For more information call 763-694-7784 or visit

The Lion’s Mane: Science in the Serengeti

Why does a lion have a mane? Does the King of Beasts need his mane for protection, or is it a signal of his power and fitness? University of Minnesota researchers Craig Packer and Peyton West were the first to test these two theories — and their research reveals surprising facts about the mane’s true purpose and its role in attracting a mate.
Friday, May 23, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday, May 24, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, May 25, 12–5 p.m.
Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis
$5 adults, $3 children, FREE on Sundays
For more information call 612-624-7083 or visit

May Weekend Family Program: Blooming Baskets
Delight in the ever-changing array of colorful spring flowers at the Arboretum on a sunny May weekend. Take a bee’s eye view inside blossoms and discover flower secrets with a scope-on-a-rope. Weave your own May basket and then plant a miniature spring garden inside to take home with you.
Sunday, May 25, 12–4 p.m.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska.
$7 adults, FREE for children
For more information call 952-443-1400 or visit

This weekend’s must do list

Childish Films at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival opens this week, and it’s not all about adults. The Childish Films series offers kids a chance to see movies that haven’t been Disney-ed or Pixar-ed to death (and definitely don’t have their own line of action figures). Eight different children’s films will be shown during the festival’s run (which ends May 3), beginning with The Robber Hotzenplotz on Saturday and Max Minsky and Me on Sunday. On Saturday following The Robber Hotzenplatz families can stick around for a party featuring Dan the Accordion Man, free homemade ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s and brownies from Cafe Latte.
Saturday, April 19, 1 p.m. (The Robber Hotzenplotz), Sunday, April 20, 1:15 p.m. (Max Minsky and Me)
St. Anthony Main Theater, 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis
$5 children, $10 adults
For more information on movies and show times visit

The Backyardigans Live
Nickelodeon’s backyard friends, The Backyardigans, come to life for preschoolers in their brand-new live show, The Backyardigans Live! The Tale of the Mighty Knights! Join Knights Uniqua and Tyrone as they embark on a quest to protect King Pablo’s unpredictable egg. Along the way, Grabbing Goblin Austin and Flighty Fairy Tasha join the medieval mayhem as the runaway egg hatches feet and makes an unexpected dash all the way up to Dragon Mountain! The Backyardigans will need the audience’s help to face a mighty dragon and return the egg to the king. The Backyardigans Live! will have the entire family singing, dancing and laughing along to songs of courage, friendship and the power of imagination.
Saturday, April 19, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m., Sunday, April 20, 2 p.m.
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
For more information call 612-371-200 or visit

Earth Day Celebration
Help preserve the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve through a clean-up and planting along the water. Afterwards families can celebrate Earth Day with a climbing wall, petting zoo, canoeing, and more. Lunch is provided.
April 19, 9:30-2:30
Wargo Nature Center
7701 Main St., Lino Lakes
To register call 651-429-8007 or visit