Make Valentine's Day a special time for both you and the kids. This article is a refresh of last year's piece featuring The Malt Shop, Chocolate Lover's Tea, Science Museum of Minnesota, American Girl, Twin Cities Model Railroad and Menchie's Frozen Desert. Find more information at A Guide to Celebrating Valentine's Day With Your Child.
National Eagle Center
50 Pembroke Ave.
Wabasha, MN 55981
Broaden your kids' awareness of nature with a winter trip along the Mississippi River to Wabasha and the National Eagle Center. The interpretive center is home to five rescued eagles, four bald eagles and one golden eagle. Then go to the outdoor observation deck to see wintering bald eagles take advantage of the portion of the Mississippi River around Wabasha that remains open year round. Share the excitement as hundreds more bald eagles return to their nests throughout the winter months. See courtship displays on the eagle nest cams in January and February or participate in the Soar With the Eagles program every weekend in March.
63604 170th Ave.
Kellogg, MN 55945
Make the excursion a little further along the Mississippi River past Red Wing to what may be one of the largest family owned and operated specialty toy stores in the country. Explore 20,000 square feet of extraordinary toys, wooden toys, puzzles, antique toys and handmade heirloom wooden toys. Check out the children's bookstore and then have a snack at the cafe with sandwiches or ice cream. Don't leave without a stop at the candy store for many delicious flavors of butter and cream fudge.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
Como Park is alive with activities for kids of all ages all winter long. Check out the website for scheduling of Big Cat Enrichment in the Big Cat Building, Zookeeper Talks throughout the grounds, the Polar Bear Program at the Polar Bear Odyssey and the Gorilla Program at Gorilla Forest. Plus, little ones will get a kick out of Story Time every day at noon at the Visitor Center.
Izzy's Ice Cream
2034 Marshall Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
That small scoop of ice cream on top of a mammoth scoop on your waffle cone is called the "Izzy Scoop." This is but one way owners Lara Hammel and Jeff Sommers give a little extra to every customer that makes a trip to Izzy's. Your kids will love making up unusual combinations with such flavors as SpongeBob, Dinosaur Egg or Bubble Gum in the extra scoop. Flavors change throughout the day. Once you have a favorite, you can sign up to be notified by email when it is placed in the dipping cabinet.
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle Favorites"
Children's Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Date: Jan. 14 - Feb. 23, 2014
Preschoolers and the very young will love these tales of brave journeys told with colorful puppets and stunning black light effects. Eric Carle's writing has enchanted millions of young people on four continents. His most treasured stories, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," "Little Cloud" and "The Mixed-up Chameleon," are retold on stage by Nova Scotia's Mermaid Theatre. Many parents will be pleased to find the theatre is offering its first ever sensory-friendly presentation as well as Spanish and French performances.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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