Summer is finally here and there are so many fun things to do in the Twin Cities! Here are some resources to make sure you have the best summer ever! We’ve also included some tips for staying safe while you have fun!
We also hope to see you at Family Night on July 20th!
Movies and Music in the Park
Minneapolis and Saint Paul both offer a free concert series and free movies to be enjoyed outside. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy! Here is the schedule for the the St. Paul movies in the park and here is the St. Paul schedule for music in the park. Minneapolis movies can be found here, and Minneapolis music can be found here.
Summer Spark is a totally free program for kids from ages 0-18. Throughout the summer, they will be offering many fun things to do for kids off all ages. From kid-friendly concerts, to magic shows, to puppet shows to snakes, there are tons of awesome event for your kids to enjoy (they might even learn something new!) Check out their full schedule here.
Are you thinking about a camp program for your kiddo this summer? There’s a camp to cater to just about any child’s interest. Check out this comprehensive list of summer camps in Minnesota to help you find the right one for your family.
Get out in Nature
The Department of Natural Resources is teaming up with other organizations to offer lots of really cool free or low-cost nature programs to enjoy with your child this summer. A schedule of events can be found here.
Summer Blast is a free program for kids going into grades 1-6. They offer a variety of fun and educational things to keep your children busy. Check out their website here for more information and to register.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!
Nothing says summer like ice cream and the Twin Cities offers no shortage of places to get some! Here is a list of local places to get you started (pro tip: The servings at Nelson’s are so gigantic that one “single scoop” serving can easily feed two to three ice cream-loving adults).
Drive In Movies
If you can stay up late enough, show your kids an awesome blast from the past and check out a drive in movie theater. Vali-Hi Drive-In offers three movies for one flat price ($8.50 per adult, kids 6-12 are $1 and kids 5 and under are free!). You can bring in your own food (some people even bring their own grill!) or get some from the concession stand. Movies start at dusk at play throughout the evening. Get there early; they sell out quickly!
Getting into a pool or lake is the best way to spend a hot summer day! Swimming is fun for children of all ages (and grown-ups, too!) but it’s important to be safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
-Children should always be supervised in the water, even if they know how to swim.
-Drowning is often called “The silent killer” because it it happens silently. People who are drowning don’t yell and splash around like they do in the movies because all of their energy is going to trying to keep their face above water, which is why constant supervision is important.
-Get and use a life jacket. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a website with information about how to pick a Coast Guard approved life jacket and the laws about them. The website can be found here. Remember, life jackets are NOT a substitute for constant supervision. Other floatation devices, like water wings, should be considered TOYS and are not a substitute for a life jacket.
-If there is thunder or lightening, stay out of the water
-Teach children to always ask for permission to go into the water
-Be mindful of water temperature; if your child is shivering or has muscle cramps, have them get out of the water and warm up.
-Enroll your child in swimming lessons. Many of the classes at the Midway ECLC (Guppies, Hippos, Alligators and Bears) have swimming lessons weekly during the spring, summer and early fall, but more lessons are certainly useful.
These programs also offer adult classes, so if you can’t swim or could use a refresher, you can take lessons, too! You’re never to old to learn to swim!
-The American Red Cross offers comprehensive information on water safety in English and Spanish. Check it out here for in-depth information on keeping safe when you’re around the water.
Spending time in the sun is what summer is all about, but it’s important to be aware of getting too much sun.
-Wear sunscreen and put it on your child (if they are over 6 months old), Even if it is cloudy, even if you have darker skin, even if you won’t be outside for a long time (it can take as little as 15 minutes for sun damage to occur).
-Reapply it often
-Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
-Use approximately a shot glass sized amount (or more, depending on size)
-For babies under 6 months, sunscreen is not recommended. Keep them out of the sun and use hats and other clothing to keep them covered.
-Don’t forget your lips! Look for a chapstick with an SPF of 15 or more
-Wear sunglasses with UV protection
Heat exhaustion is experienced when exposed to high temperatures, often combined with humidity and physical exertion. Heat exhaustion can be treated easily, but if left untreated, it can progress to heat stroke, which can have very serious health effects.
However your family decides to spend it, summer goes by really quickly and we hope these resources help you make the most of it!