Family fun – Twin Cities


Summer brings a lot of family time. And most of the family’s favorite places and things to do are almost back at full capacity, but check restrictions and reservations. Como Zoo and Conservatory has its new home for Sparky the Sea Lion, Minnesota Zoo Creatures greet visitors, ValleyFair and Nickelodeon Universe are up and running with rides and adventures. There are water parks and pools and playgrounds and historic sites, trails and hikes.

Here are some special events and updates on some favorite places to put on your list of family fun ideas for summer 2021.

Theater: ‘Madagascar – A musical adventure JR.’

July 27-August. 8: SteppingStone Theater, which recently partnered up with the Park Square Theater, brings Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the trendy hippo and (of course) those plotting the penguins of “Madagascar” to seventh place Plaza, just outside the Park Square Theater in downtown St. Paul. * There are also special shows for day camps, daycares and similar groups. Tickets are $ 16 to $ 12. Go to

Circus Juventas summer show: ‘Galaxium’

July 30-August. 15: Saint-Paul’s youth circus, Circus Juventas, is preparing to launch its summer show, “Galaxium”.

Circus Juventas originally planned this space adventure show for summer 2020 before security concerns over COVID postponed the show. Circus Juventas describes the show: “’Galaxium’ will be the travel ticket you want this summer to visit a lush planet on the edge of the universe three times the size of Earth. The most advanced artists of Circus Juventas will launch their audience on a daring space mission led by a brilliant space industrialist who embarks on a journey his great-great-grandparents took 100 years earlier and never are. income. Tickets go on sale July 5. The show takes place under the marquee on avenue Montréal in Saint-Paul. For more information:

Minnesota Science Museum

The Science Museum of Minnesota’s new Quetzalcoatlus model has a wingspan of 35 feet. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Science Museum)

While the Science Museum of Minnesota was closed during the pandemic, a huge flying reptile moved in. Two models of Quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur that is one of the largest known flying animals of all time, were installed – an aloft with a 35-foot wingspan and a 17-foot standing model. Of course, there are other dinosaurs in the museum, as well as exhibits with experiments, science superheroes, a look at the skin, and the science of sports. And the Omnitheater. And the giant astronaut. And a look at breed, skin and color and… Advance reservations are required. For information:

Minnesota Children’s Museum

The dinosaurs spend the summer at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul. “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” gives kids the chance to play paleontologist and dig for fossils or don an insect costume to buzz through a lava-oozing volcano. The exhibit runs through September 6 and promises dinosaurs “of all shapes and sizes” – creatures that lived in hot and cold climates. The special exhibit is only part of the museum, with activities ranging from a small town to toddler play spaces on three floors. COVID precautions require reservations. Tours are limited to two hours and all visitors over the age of 5 are required to wear masks. For more information, visit or call 651-225-6000.

Bell museum

Giant insects have invaded the Bell Museum. (Courtesy photo)

The legendary dioramas, a giant woolly mammoth, a planetarium – the official museum of natural history of Minnesota, the Bell Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul offers exhibits, programs and stargazing . A tour offers hands-on experiences and opportunities to just stroll and see. A new special exhibit, “Bugs: Outside the Box”, opened on June 11. This is a selection of greatly enlarged insect sculptures, including “a long-arm beetle over 10 feet tall, a giant butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan, and heavily armored beetles with jaws too as big as your leg. The building on avenue Larpenteur opened in 2018. Hours and visits are still affected by COVID restrictions.

Gibbs Farm

Gibbs Farm is open on Fridays and Saturdays this summer. (Courtesy photo)

Right across from the Bell Museum (see above), the Ramsey County Historical Society operates the Gibbs Farm, where costumed performers provide insight into the daily life of 19th-century settlers and Dakota. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in summer. A combo tour of Gibbs Farm, One-Room School, Dakota Bark Lodge, and Tipi is offered every hour. Tour registration is not required, but there is a limit of 10 guests per tour, so register as soon as you arrive. For more information:

Bruentrup Heritage Farm

The Maplewood Regional Historical Society holds open houses throughout the summer. Visitors can learn about the history of Maplewood and the Bruentrup Dairy Farm. There are exhibits on Gladstone and New Canada Township, a 3M “Magically Adhered” exhibit, a 1923 Pirsch fire truck and 1912 farm and building tours. On Sundays there are demonstrations of old machinery. doing things such as making ropes, husking corn, or working with wood. Open houses are held at 11 p.m. and 2 p.m. on July 12, August 1 and 2, and September 5 and 6. Free entry. The Maplewood Area Historical Society at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm is located at 2170 E. County Road D in Maplewood. For information:

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