Teenager in the City
We had the kiddo for the long holiday weekend - and man did we pack a lot in! It was a great family weekend, so I thought I would share some of our favorite (cheap or free) things to do with a 13-year-old in the Twin Cities.
1. Yard work. (Yes, yard work...)
Fridays are always short for us, since we drive four hours round trip to pick up the kiddo and bring him home, but since the days are getting longer we had family yard work time. Dan and I have grand plans for the yard this summer, and we'll get started this weekend. I will include updates as we have things to report.
Since there have been plenty of both warm and rainy days so far this year, our rhubarb has grown to get pretty big already! I'm excited to harvest some to make mom's rhubarb crisp recipe - and my sister-in-law shared instructions to make rhubarb vodka, which I hope to attempt soon, too.
Cost: Free (maybe some sore muscles...)
2. St. Paul Farmers Market
One of our summer traditions is visiting the St. Paul Farmers Market Saturday mornings. We enjoy coffee from the Black Dog Cafe and spend the morning perusing the market. Sometimes we stock up for the week's meals, and sometimes we just enjoy the flowers. It was a late spring this year, so this weekend was one we enjoyed flowers and plants - and dreamed about what we want to plant this summer.
Cost: Less than $20 to feed/caffeinate us and whatever produce is purchased
3. MN United FC Soccer
Saturday evening we took in a Minnesota United Football Club soccer game. It's a growing NASL team that offers family-friendly entertainment and great food from local food trucks. The team takes time after every game to sign souvenirs for kids and runs youth soccer camps in the summer. Soccer is a growing obsession in our family - especially since we have our own NASL team that's doing well in the division.
Cost: We're season ticket holders (which cost $200 for two seats for the whole year), but individual tickets are routinely $15-$20 each.
4. Discover new restaurants
We spent Mother's Day driving back from a photo job in Chicago, so this past Sunday we celebrated as a family. Brunch is my favorite meal, so we enjoyed traditional eggs and hash browns at a new restaurant - Como Park Grill. The patio was great, and the food was delicious.
Plus - I got the best Mother's Day email from the kiddo:
"happy mothers day i found a funny ecard but my email didnt log in so i will just tell you about it. it was a dog, cat, and a shark singing a song about mothers day which was hilarious and at the end there heads blow up and happy mothers day came out it was funny love ya"
Cost: Less than $40 for all of us
5. Science Museum of Minnesota
It's important for us to expose the kiddo to culture and educational opportunities, so we took him to the dinosaur IMAX movie and exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. It was a great exhibit that showcased often unseen dinosaurs found in the southern hemisphere. Plus, did you know mammals existed before dinosaurs and were rendered extinct after one of the earth-shattering events previously thought to wipe out some of the dinosaurs? (I love to learn new things!)
Cost: Again, we're members (thanks to a gift from Dan's brother and sister-in-law), so our tickets were less than $20 each.
6. St. Paul Saints
After the educational part of the day, we met Dan's sister and brother-in-law for a St. Paul Saints game (more great family-friendly entertainment and food trucks!). It isn't summer without baseball, whether it's the minor league team or our beloved Minnesota Twins.
Cost: $18 per ticket
7. Play sports (we aren't just spectators...)
We ended the long weekend with Dan Hash (our favorite weekend breakfast dish consisting of Trader Joe's Chicken Apple Sausage, diced potatoes and scrambled eggs) then enjoyed batting practice and Dairy Queen treats enjoyed at Como Lake.
Cost: Free! (plus a sunburn for me...)
Later this summer we hope to take a riverboat along the Mississippi in the metro area and attend movies or music in the park. Museum memberships and season tickets make sense for our family, since we like to get out and take advantage of the culture in our area - and it keeps the cost down over the long run. Most memberships can be paid monthly, which makes it really affordable!
There's so much to do in the Twin Cities - which is why we love it here. What are your plans for summer activities with your kiddos?