Community Activities 

This summer please read, read, read with your kids! Lots of programs around the Twin Cities encourage reading with fun activities and incentives. Some mentors have said they have their mentee read to them in the car to make the drive go quicker and to squeeze some important reading time. One couple makes up “Would You Rather Game” questions. Questions like: “Would you rather swim with a shark or lie die with some snakes?”  Or, “Would you rather be smarter or more handsome than your friends?”  The child reads the questions and then you all get to say what you would rather do and why. Good discussion and good way to get to know one another better.

Reading Programs

BookHound - FREE

Wednesdays, July 14 - August 2
10:00am - 11pm

Wishing Tree Play Cafe
1011 Meadowlands Dr
White Bear Lake, MN 55127

Become a BookHound with FFTC BookHounds Family Book Club Summer Program. This summer we are hosting our first live summer program on Wednesdays, June 14 - August 2 (with a break for July 4 week), 10:00am - 11:00pm at Wishing Tree Play Cafe in White Bear Lake. Cost is free, registration required. 

 Luxton Park Book Exchange - FREE

Thursday June 15, 2017
3:00pm – 8:45pm

Luxton Park Recreation Center
112 Williams Ave SE|
Minneapolis, MN 55414 

DescriptionVolunteers from the Prospect Park Neighborhood have worked hard on developing the cities best book exchange at Luxton Park. Come to Luxton and find that new interesting book you have been looking for. Bring it home, or stay here and read and best of all, ITS FREE! 

Twin Cities Library Summer Reading Program

Bookawocky is the summer reading program that most of the MELSA libraries use. This year it has become more of an umbrella for the various programs each library is offering. Generally, the programs consist of library events, book recommendations and other incentives to read. Call your local library in Anoka, Ramsey, Dakota and Hennepin County. Many of the local libraries have programs for kids with jugglers, magicians, zoo animals, bugs, etc.

Tail Time at Wild Rumpus

Monday June 26, 2017
10:30am – 11:30am

Wild Rumpus Book Store
2720 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410 (map)

Stories for the wee, every Monday at 10:30am and guaranteed NOT to put you to sleep! Babies through preschoolers welcome! (oh, parents too). A few animals run freely in the store!

Online Summer Reading Programs

  • Brightly Summer Reading Fun for Tweens: This is more of a summer reading aid than a summer reading program, but it is a nice tool to have. Brightly (which is part of Penguin Random House) offers reading lists, tips, activities and a Summer Reading Fun Pack to download.
  • Scholastic Happy Camper Reading Program: This program started already on May 8th! Kids can earn rewards by logging reading minutes.
  • Sylvan Book Adventure: I believe this is my favorite program. It holds kids accountable for actually reading the book with short multiple choice quizzes. If you read the book, you’ll know the answer. Parents can monitor progress, oversee prize selection and are offered resources for motivating kids. 
  • Sync Audiobook Program for Teens: This free summer audiobook program for teens gives away two complete audiobook downloads each week. This program started in April, so if you sign up now, you’ll  have missed a few titles already.

Other Summer Reading Programs:

  • Chuck E. Cheese • Print off this Reading Rewards Calendar, mark off “every day that your kids is awesome” and your kid gets 10 free tokens. I guess the parent gets to decide what constitutes “awesome”.
  • Minnesota State Fair • Don’t forget to finish off your summer of reading at the fair with Read and Ride Day.
  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program: Kids can earn a free book by reading eight books over the summer. 
  • Half Price Books Feed Your Brain: Kids can log their reading minutes. Once they reach 300 minutes they can earn “bookworm bucks”.
  • Red Balloon Reading Without Walls Challenge • The Red Balloon’s Reading Without Walls Challenge kicks off during Grand Old Day. Stop by to pick up a reading passport and learn more.

Activities around Town

Science Museum of Minnesota - FREE

Saturday June 3, 2017  

Join us at the museum for a free continental breakfast, museum updates, a listening session and a hands-on Play. Tinker. Make. activity. Then go explore the museum - for free! 

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden - FREE

Saturday June 10, 2017
10am – 6pm

Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Pl
Minneapolis, MN 55403 (map)

Grand Reopening Coincides with Walker Art Center's Free First Saturday. The grand reopening features a ceremonial moment and daylong celebration for all ages, including art-making activities, special performances, and tours in the Sculpture Garden. 

Learn More About Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Learn More About Walker Art  

Flint Hills International Children's Festival - $8.00 /person

Sunday June 4, 2017

10am – 5pm

Ordway Center for the Arts (map)

Join the Ordway for the 2017 Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. Plan a day of excitement with your friends and family, featuring the best international performing artists from around the globe!  This year, tickets to all indoor performances at the 2017 Flint Hills International Children’s Festival are “Pay What You Can.” “Pay What You Can” tickets for indoor shows will be available the day of the performance on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability. Those who purchase $8.00 tickets in advance are guaranteed admission. Entertainment inside and outside. Mentors who have gone said it is amazing!

Free Gallery Admission @ The Walker - FREE

 June 1 - June 10, 2017

Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403 (map)

Thursday, June 1 – Saturday, June 10 Walker Art Center Visitors to the Walker between June 1 and 10 will enjoy free gallery admission!

Learn More About Walker Art Center

Joyful Noise Family Fest

June 9 & 10, 2017

National Sports Center
1750 105th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 

Friday June 9:
Gates open – 5pm
MN Teen Challenge Choir – 5:10pm
Jordan Feliz – 6:00pm
Big Daddy Weave – 7:30pm
for King & Country – 9:00pm

Saturday June 10:
Gates and Inflatable Toys field open – 10am
UGMTC Changed Lives Choir – 10:10am
Tauren Wells – 11:05am
Jasmine Murray – 12:15pm
Citizen Way – 1:30pm
Blanca – 2:45pm
We Are Messangers – 4:00pm
Unspoken – 5:30pm
Inflatable Toys field closes – 6:00pm
Tenth Avenue North – 7:15pm
Switchfoot – 9:00pm

There is a fee for each day.

Wargo Nature Center | $3.00 - $5.00 /person

June 10, 2017
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Wargo Nature Center
7701 Main St.
Lino Lakes, MN 55038

Creepy, crawly, squishy, smelly insects abound at Wargo Nature Center. Through hands on exploration, an insect “hunt, and a craft, we will learn the ins and outs of these incredible insects. Pre-registration is required. 

Contact: 651-429-8007

Cost: $5/adult, $3/child (Ages 3 & up) (+ tax)

Wargo Nature Center - Friday Evening Paddle | $5.00 /person

June 30, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wargo Nature Center
7701 Main St.
Lino Lakes, MN 55038

Join us for a leisurely Friday evening paddle on beautiful George Watch Lake at Wargo Nature Center. A staff person will be along to help get everyone set up with equipment, assist with instruction if needed, and lead the group on a sunset paddle. Canoes and kayaks are available and are included with the registration fee. Families welcome, age 4 and up recommended. No paddling experience required but pre-registration is required. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Contact: 651-429-8007

Cost: $5/person (+ tax)

Landmark Center Building Tours - FREE

Thursdays, 11am
Sundays, 12pm

Landmark Center
75 West Fifth Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102 (map)

Tour Landmark Center! Every Sunday & Thursday Landmark Center Building Tours Led by the Landmark Center Volunteer Association. Meet at Information Center; 12 pm Sundays & 11 am Thursdays.

Music Mondays! at Como Zoo

When Mon, June 5, 10:30am – 1:00pm

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103 (map)

Join us every Monday through June 26 at 10:30, 11:45 & 12:40 as members of the Jack Brass Band lead a Second Line Parade through the zoo grounds! Learn More About Como Zoo

Movie at Victory Park: Gravity (PG) 

When Thu, June 8, 9pm – 9pm

Where Victory Memorial Drive Victory Memorial Drive, Minneapolis MN (map)

Rating: PG

Movies start 15 minutes after sunset. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come early to grab a good spot. The Movies in the Parks series runs from early through late August. The mobile program takes place Monday through Saturday evenings and travels to more than 30 parks throughout the summer, which includes a partnership with the Twin Cities Black Film Festival. 

Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

When Sun, June 11, 11am – 5pm

Minneapolis Institute of Art Minneapolis|
2400 3rd Avenue South,
Minneapolis MN, (map)

Learn More About the MIA

Parade of Boats @ Centennial Lakes Park

When Sun, June 11, 11am – 4pm

Where Centennial Lakes Park, Edina, MN 55435, USA (map)

The Edina Model Yacht Club's annual Parade of Boats. Meet at the Hughes Pavilion. This event is a totally free event open to the public.

Animal Feedings @ Springbrook

When Sun, June 11, 11am – 12pm

Where Springbrook Nature Center, 100 85th Ave. N.W., Fridley, MN 55432, Minnesota 55432 (map)

Have you ever wondered how snakes eat, what's for breakfast when you're a turtle, or how a salamander finds a meal? This is the program for you. Watch our exhibit animals enjoy a delicious meal while a naturalist explains their feeding behaviors and taste preferences. Experience the predator-prey relationship in front of your eyes!

Safe Kids Safety Safari @ Como Zoo

When Tue, June 13, 10am – 1pm

Where Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Drive, Saint Paul (map)

Fun, games, hands-on learning – and a bike helmet giveaway! Children who visit all Summer Safety Safari stations can receive a new bike helmet from AAA (while supplies last). Learn More About Como Zoo

Music at Loring

When Wed, June 14, 11:30am – 1:30pm

Where Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN, USA (map)

Join us this summer for lunch time music at Loring Park. Bring a lunch and enjoy a mid day break in the great outdoors. Check our website for more info, or call the park! All Ages. Free. Event #68232. Learn More About Loring Park

Movie at Pearl Park: Hidden Figures (PG)

WhenWed, June 14, 9pm – 9pm

Where Pearl Park 414 E Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis MN 55419 US (map)

Rating: PG

Movies start 15 minutes after sunset. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come early to grab a good spot. The Movies in the Parks series runs from early through late August. The mobile program takes place Monday through Saturday evenings and travels to more than 30 parks throughout the summer, which includes a partnership with the Twin Cities Black Film Festival. 

Family Skateboarding at Bottineau

When Thu, June 15, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Where Bottineau Park, 2000 2nd St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418, United States (map)

Description Drop in with your family to the skatepark and have your children learn how to skateboard. We will have staff on site to help you get started and guide you in the right direction. Parents will have to stay and supervise those 12 years old or younger. Skateboards, helmets and pads will be free to rent the day of the event. Ages 6+. Free. Activity #71904

Water Day #1 @ Scheid Park 

When: Fri, June 16, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Where: Scheid Park, Golden Valley, MN, United States (map)

Description Ages 14 & under with adult. Join us for a wet and wild day featuring water slides, music, snacks, and games.

Twin Cities Juneteenth Festival

When Sat, June 17, 8am – 5pm

North Mississippi Regional Park
5116 North Mississippi Drive
Minneapolis MN 55412 US (map)

Learn More About North Mississippi Regional Park 

Community Sing-A-Long

When Third Tuesdays of the month all summer 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Where Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN, USA (map)

Description Join your friends and neighbors for this wonderful monthly event. Songs are chosen ahead of time, with music and refreshments provided. Led by Dan Chouinard on the piano and Bob White on the violin. Held the third Tuesday of the month. Call for specific dates or to receive email reminders. All Ages 

Union Depot Games Galore

When Wednesdays inJune10am – 8pm

Where Union Depot, 214 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101, United States (map)

DescriptionUnion Depot hosts Board Games Nights every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Guests of all ages will be invited to play giant-size versions of many of their favorite games including Chess, Checkers, Kinect Four, Dominoes, Jenga, Tic Tac Toe and others. The events are free and open to the public and guests are also invited to bring their own games.

National Get Outdoors Day @ Powderhorn Park

When Sat, June 10, 11am – 3pm

Where Powderhorn Park 3400 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis MN 554107 US (map)

Description Rain or shine, participate in National Get Outdoors Day with a fun-filled day at the park. We're teaming up with the Minnesota DNR, REI and the U.S. Forest Service to provide an opportunity to try rock climbing, canoeing, archery, mountain biking, fishing and more! Join your neighbors and friends enjoying the great outdoors. Music and concessions will also be available.

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre - Concert @ Lake Harriet

When Sun, June 25, 2pm – 2pm

Where Lake Harriet Park 4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis MN 55409 US (map) 

Genre: The passionate dance of Spain

Minnesota History Center - Free Tuesday Nights - Penumbra Peformances

When Tuesdays 3pm – 6pm

Where Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102 (map)

Description Free Tuesday Nights Each Tuesday night from 5 to 8 p.m., the History Center offers free admission to the museum exhibits.  Enjoy short performances of scenes and monologues from Penumbra Theatre company members in the exhibit galleries. The performances will feature plays and playwrights highlighted in the exhibit Penumbra Theatre at 40: Art, Race and a Nation on Stage.

First Thursdays in the Arts District

First Thursday of each month
5pm – 9pm

Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413 (map)

Description Join us for First Thursday in the Arts District as a multitude of painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, ceramists, textile and fiber artists, jewelers, furniture showrooms and more open their studios at the Northrup King Building located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

Midtown Global Market - Neighborhood Night - FREE

Thursdays, 5pm – 8pm

Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN (map)

Description Bring down the whole family to meet your friends and neighbors for free live music, shopping and plenty of dinner options. Every Thursday night is Neighborhood Night, let's make a date! They'll validate your parking (with purchase) if you park in the 10th Avenue Parking Ramp, FREE for up to three hours! 

Concerts @ Lake Harriet Throughout the summer

Lake Harriet Park
4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis MN 55409 US (map)

These concerts are being offered at many parks around the Twin Cities.
 Learn More About Lake Harriet Park 

Home Depot: Free Building Projects for Kids

Saturdays during the summer. Call your local Home Depot.

Home Depot Stores Throughout the Country 

Learn More About Home Depot Kids Workshops and find link to register 

Movies in the Parks

Movies in the Parks kicks off June 2 at Baker Park with a showing of "The Lego Movie". Movies in the Parks events are free and open to the public. Most movies start around dusk. Some movies will have family activities before the show. See the full 2017 schedule at

Music in the Parks

Music in the Parks kicks off this summer at Como Dockside. Music in the Parks is a free outdoor music series happening in parks around Saint Paul. Check out this week's schedule on and check back soon for more upcoming shows

Opportunities for Youth

Join the Minnesota Youth Council (MYC)

The MYC is looking for young people in 8th-12th grades who are passionate about issues facing youth in Minnesota today. The MYC is now accepting applications for 2017-18 in all 8 Congressional Districts. 

The priority deadline for applications is May 22nd. Students who will be in the 8th, 9th and 10th grades in 2017-18 are encouraged to apply here.

 YouthBuild Provider Open House

Youth workers are encouraged to attend and even bring young people (16-24 years old) who desire to earn their GED while learning construction skills. See the training facility, meet the instructors, and learn how YouthBuild can help you serve youth.

May 31 and June 22, 2:30 – 5 PM

635 Prior Avenue North, St. Paul, MN

Enrolling now for July 17 class.


Young Graduates Can Get Free Training to Work for LRT

Students who are graduating in 2017 can get training to work for Twin Cities area Southwest and Blue Line Extension light rail transit projects. Metropolitan Council and its Southwest Project Office are working with several organizations to offer six weeks of training for 10 soon-to-be high school graduates. Students must have a high school diploma by June or a GED, be at least 18, and currently employed no more than part-time.

The course begins July 10 and the application deadline is June 23.  To apply, visit:  and look under the “How to Apply” section for information session dates and times. For more information, email or call 651-308-8554.

PEACE (Pathways to Emergency & Academy Career Experiences)

PEACE is a paid summer internship for high school juniors and seniors that provides pathways into justice and emergency services careers (police, fire, emergency services, law and legal services). Email ShaVonda Allen or call 612-673-6221 for more information

What’s Up 612! is an online program finder where youth, parents, educators, youth workers and persons who know young people can find afterschool and summer activities in Minneapolis for children and young adults ages 5-21. 

Questions? Contact Us Here