Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daily Adventures June 27- July 1, 2011

This is a special musical edition of "What Do I Do Now?"  Don't worry, I'm not going to sing to you, but feel free to hum along as you read!  Also, see if you can figure out each song's title, artist, album, and year of release.  Answers at the end.

Monday, June 27  "The sun'll come out tomorrow . . ."  But, alas, it looks like this morning will be stormy yet again.  I have some neighbor kids coming over for the day so, with quite a spread in ages and rain in the forecast, Edinborough Park in Edina is my plan.  Edinborough has an indoor play area called "Adventure Peak" that keeps my boys busy for hours.  They also have a gym, pool, and fitness area.  Admission to the park is free for adults, but kids over one year cost $6 each ($5 with a multi-punch card).  If you want to use the pool, it'll cost you $10.  Pack a lunch, eat by the fountain, and don't forget your socks!

Tuesday, June 28  "You belong among the wildflowers . . ."  Take the "Evening Nature Stroll" from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary.  This is a free tour of the wildflowers led by a garden naturalist.  You'll need to register for this at or call 612-370-4903.  Tours begin at the Martha Crone Visitor's Shelter. 

Wednesday, June 29  "I've been workin' on the railroad . . ."  It's been a couple years since we've visited the Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul.  The former steam engine maintenance facility has one of the last operating train turntables in the country.  There's a bunch of restored train cars and equipment that you can explore as well.  I'm not even into trains, but I remember thinking it was pretty cool.  It's open today and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and costs $7 per adult, $6 for kids 5-15.  If you go on Saturday, you can ride a caboose.  Today they might let you look at it.

Thursday, June 30  "Strawberry fields forever . . ."  The latter part of this week is supposed to be pretty nice, so it could be a great time to go strawberry picking.  The place I've gone lately is Pine Tree Orchard in White Bear Lake, but a friend recommended Afton Orchards in Hastings.  Afton has a small petting zoo for the kids.  Either way, be sure to call first to check the picking conditions.  When you get home, mix a package of cream cheese with a jar of marshmallow creme and dip your berries.  You'll never go back.

Friday, July 1  "When you find a geocache, take some swag and put it back . . ."  There are 25 state parks in Minnesota that will loan you a GPS unit for free so that you can try geocaching!  The closest one is at Fort Snelling State Park.  Geocaching is a fun way to hike through state parks while using a GPS unit to find a cache of hidden treasures.  I highly recommend this one.

OK, now for the trivia answers:

Monday - "Tomorrow" 1st performed by Andrea McCardle in Annie in 1977
Tuesday - "Wildflowers" by Tom Petty on the album Wildflowers in 1994
Wednesday - "I've Been Workin' On the Railroad" is an American folk song 1st recorded by Sandhills Sixteen in 1927
Thursday - "Strawberry Fields Forever" by the Beatles on the album Magical Mystery Tour in 1967
Friday - "Geocaching Song" by Nick Waldron on YouTube in 2008

Onward, Regal Guardians!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daily Adventures June 20-24, 2011

Hey, Summer Knights!  I wanted a catchy title for us stay-at-home summer parents, and this seemed better than Regal Guardians.  Maybe not?

Either way, it's a good week to be hangin' with your offspring in the Twin Cities.  Check this out:

Monday, June 20  Midway Stadium, home of the Saint Paul Saints Baseball Club, hosts the Play Day at Midway.  Starting at 9 am there's a bouncy house, inflatable batting tees, speed-pitch cages, and a jungle gym ready to go.  You can also hang out and play catch on the field or snag some fly balls.  It costs $5 per kid, but adults are free.  And if ballpark hot dogs are your thing, you can enjoy one while you're there.

Tuesday, June 21  The Caponi Art Park is a very cool sculpture garden in Eagan that has programming for kids on Tuesdays.  This week it's a storyteller that will present Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream via songs and reenactments that kids can appreciate.  Maybe I'll even understand it.  The program begins at 10 am for a suggested donation of $2 per person.  After the show, take a hike through the grounds and use their tree swing to take a ride on the wild side.

Wednesday, June 22  There's no such thing as a free lunch, right?  Well, maybe.  But today you can catch a free concert from noon to 1 pm while you eat lunch on the plaza of Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.  Northrop hosts a summer music festival and today they feature a Minneapolis-based electronica group called Food Pyramid.  Pack a lunch, put on your Birkenstocks, and revisit your college days!

Thursday, June 23  If you saw the Yogi Bear movie this spring you might remember the water skiing exhibition that Yogi put on.  It was pretty good, but you ain't seen nothing 'til you've seen the Twin Cities River Rats do their stuff on the Mighty Mississippi.  You'll see pyramids, barefooting, flips, jumps and, if you're lucky, some crazy boat acrobatics.  The show is at 7 pm and free.  Directions are here

Friday, June 24  OK, so this is not free or cheap, but when opportunities arise you must take advantage.  We have a world-class theater in the Guthrie just minutes from our homes.  On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays they offer backstage tours for $10 per adult and $6 per student.  I've not tried yet, but I'm hoping my 2nd and 3rd graders are "students" and I can get us all in for $22.

Maybe I'll see you Summer Knights or Regal Guardians out there on the trail.  Good luck and good times!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daily Adventures June 13-17, 2011

It's summer in the Twin Cities!  If you're like me, that means that you've got lots of extra time to spend with your little buddies.  But these endless summer days can seem a little daunting when you're on Daddy or Mommy Duty 24/7 with nothing to do.

Never fear!  What Do I Do Now? is here!  I strive to have at least one "adventure" every day during the summer.  It breaks up the monotony, and keeps my boys from resorting to unauthorized erosion experiments with the hose in the back yard. 

So here's the scoop:  I'm going to list my planned Daily Adventures for the week here.  You could do exactly what we're doing when we do it.  We might even end up having our own flash mob if we work on our dance moves a bit.  But, more likely, you can check back here when you're not sure what to do and your children are using the phone cable as a zip line.

Now, without further ado, here is the What Do I Do Now? list of Daily Adventures for the week of June 13:

Monday, June 13  There's a free Kids Camp going on all week at Sibley Park (40th Street E. and 19th Ave. S.) hosted by Ebenezer Lutheran Brethren Church.  It runs from 9 to 11:30 am every day this week.  Kids Camp Website

Tuesday, June 14  I think Tuesday is going to be bowling day for us this summer.  Kids can bowl for free all summer at Flaherty's Arden Bowl if you register at  Up to four adults can bowl all summer too for a one-time fee of $24.95.  Each person pays $2.50 every time for shoe rental, however.  Don't forget to print the coupons that will be sent to your email!

Wednesday, June 15  There are all sorts of free things happening in downtown St. Paul today.  There is a tour of the buildings surrounding Rice Park at 10 am, a bluegrass concert given by Blue Wolf in the Landmark Center from noon to 1 pm, and the Nature Valley Bike Festival with another concert by Joey Ryan and the Inks begins at 4:30 pm.  If you want to take the tour, call 651-292-3276 to reserve a spot.  Landmark Center Events.

Thursday, June 16  Centennial Lakes Park hosts the Brodini Magic Comedy Show today at noon as well as a farmer's market every Thursday from 3-7 pm.

Friday, June 17  Midwest Mountaineering has a Bouldering Cave that kids and adults can climb in for free any time there aren't classes being held.  No ropes are necessary because it's more of a cave (it's in the basement) and it's got a cushy floor.  All you need to do is fill out a waiver that is valid for one year.  Then put on your wristband and climb!

 Have fun and see you next week!