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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Uno Pizza


On our way out of town we stopped at Unos and enjoyed their deep dish Chicago style pizza.  It was excellent!  Their 9 grain pizza crust was also great.  Pizzas were about $18 that fed 2-3 people. 

http://www.unos.com/

Friday, February 27, 2015

Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells


With Hudson's spring break coming up next week, it may be time to highlight Wisconsin Dells.  The waterpark capitol of America.  It's only a three hour drive to a nice warm get-away.

Great Wolf, is a smaller waterpark by the dells standards.  Which means everything is close by, and there are not crowds of people to contend with.  They have all kinds of slides, from their howling' tornado to their kiddie play areas.  This four person side was one of my kids' favorites because they loved to race over and over.  Like other hotels in the dells, the waterpark is included in the price of the hotel room, and their standard room sleeps six and is pretty spacious, created obviously with the family in mind.  If you are on their email list, they frequently have good deals and are very reasonable.  I love the GWL because it is clean, smaller, and a perfect combination of thrilling and relaxing.  Rates start at $104 per night, and when you stay you can enjoy the waterpark before you check in and after you check out.

http://www.greatwolf.com/dells/waterpark

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aladdin Jr. at The Phipps


This weekend is the last chance to see Aladdin Jr.!  Tickets are $21, $19 & $16 for Adults, Students, and Children.  There are shows this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  My son saw the show and said it was really well done.  It is performed by high school age kids in the community that have been rehearsing for months.

https://www.thephipps.org/events/childrens

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Audrey's Painting Classes

Taking a painting class with Audrey is a fun night out in Hudson.  She teaches at Urban Olive and Vine, and also at Pitchfork Brewery.  For $45 she provides all of the materials, and works with the class through every step of the painting.  It's amazing how great they all turn out and it doesn't require any painting experience.  She keeps her classes small so she can go around and personally help people.  The best way to hear about upcoming classes is to get on her email list, or follow her on Facebook.  Urban Olive does have an events calendar so you can see when her classes are but you will need to email her to see what the painting is for the class.   I will put her next couple of classes (both the adult, and kids' classes) up on my upcoming events page.

If these dates don't work for you she also does private painting classes for groups at your requested time and place.  This way you can pick the painting you want and the company!  Either way she is a fun, great teacher, and I would highly recommend trying out one of her classes.  

birchbarkcreations@icloud.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Minneapolis Institute of Arts


A nice Van Gogh from the museum.  



I love this bottom picture.  My son was taking pictures of things that he liked at the museum (which was quite a few pictures!) and he noticed his reflection in a mirror, so of course he had to make a funny face.  The visit was a lot of fun and a lot of time was spent with his brothers pointing out cool things that he should take a picture of.

Admission is $14 for adults and kids 18 and under are free.  The gallery is free admission every Thursday night from 5-9.  Admission is also free on the first Saturday of the month from 10-3.

http://www.walkerart.org/calendar

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Giant Gerbil Cage


Living in Wisconsin and Minnesota we have learned how to enjoy the cold winters.  One of the ways we have adapted is by building skyways from each building.  According to Wikipedia there are 8 miles of skyways just in Minneapolis.   This link will take you to an impressive map of the skyways in St. Paul.  Combined with a visit to Target headquarters it's a fun trip where the kids can imagine they are locked in a giant gerbil cage, trying to get to various buildings.  My nephew lives in a small town and he was especially impressed.  So get out there and enjoy the cities, there is no need to be cold in the winter, we have built our own intricate system of heated walkways!

http://www.skywaydirectory.com/saintpaul.php

http://www.skywaydirectory.com/minneapolis.php

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nadia Cakes-Cupcake Shop


These cupcakes were voted the best cupcakes in Minnesota, and was a winner on the food network's show cupcake wars.  Judging from the line that wraps around the store today, this is something that I must try soon!

http://www.nadiacakes.com

http://www.facebook.com/nadiacakes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Minnesota State Capitol



The Capitol building is beautiful both inside and out. It is open weekdays 8:30-5:00, Saturdays 10-3 and Sundays 1-4. It's a public building, so you can take a self guided tour anytime it is open. There is an information desk on the first floor on the main (south) entrance.  The historical society has brochures for the self guided tour, our you can take a cell phone guided tour, also on the weekends there are hourly guided tours with a $5 suggested donation.

It is a good tour to pair with the nearby St. Paul Cathedral or Hill house   The history museum is also close by.

http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/minnesota-state-capitol/capitol-tours

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dave and busters


Dave and Busters is the best local arcade. I have one son who frequently likes to pick it as his destination on his birthday. It is a 45 minute drive so it has to be a special occasion for me to make the drive, but it is always fun. They do have a lot of fun new games and the old classics too.

Wednesdays games are half price all day, and weekdays 3-6 is their "power hours" where you can pay $10 to play unlimited games. This doesn't include the games that give tickets but it is a lot of games, and nice to tell the kids it is unlimited for an hour. Also if you sign up to receive their emails they will send you a coupon.

Dave and Busters Maple Grove

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sky Zone



Skyzone is an indoor trampoline park in Oakdale. It's a fun place to burn off energy or have a birthday party. There is a jumping section, an area to play dodge ball on trampolines, and two pits to jump into. 

It is $8 for 30 minutes, $12 for an hour and $16 for an hour and a half. Special "jump socks" are required and are $2 to purchase. 



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Target Headquarters



Target Headquarters is in the heart of Minneapolis. Next to headquarters is a two story store that the kids thought was fun loading the cart up the escalator. It isn't worth the drive to only go to Target but the next time you are in Minneapolis with kids, it's a great place to stop and pick up a few things so the kids can imagine what it would be like to live in the middle of a big city. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Como Conservatory


The Como Conservatory - part of the como zoo.  Is a beautiful place to enjoy fresh flowers.  This picture is of course from the spring.  The link below will show you the winter flowers on display right now. Another great reason to stop by is the baby Orangutan born January 23rd.

YouTube link to video of the winter flower show

http://www.comozooconservatory.org

The zoo and conservatory are technically free, but they encourage a $3 per adult and $2 per child donation.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

MSP Airport


One great benefit of living in Hudson is being so close to an international airport.  Living in Hudson I have learned to vacation in the winter.  I don't want to leave in the summer when it is so beautiful, so every winter we try to schedule a warm vacation.  I love that the airport is big, making the schedules much better and the prices lower.  I use http://www.airfarewatchdog.com  to get alerts about cities I  love to visit.  After a long trip the site of home, especially during a beautiful sunset, is a welcome site.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Trollhaugen Ski Resort


This is a screen shot from their live camera.  I love that you can see the snow condition life before making the drive up there.  Here is the link to their camera.  http://www.trollhaugen.com/live_cams.php

Trollhaugen has 7 lifts and is about an hour drive from Hudson.  Tickets are $45 for adults, and $35 for children, but if you buy online before you go (or on the way) the tickets are about $5 less.  They are a farther drive than Afton Alps, but they are a little bit less expensive for your first lift ticket.  Trollhaugen also has great ticket prices for weekday spring skiing.

http://www.trollhaugen.com/index.php

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hudson's Octagon House




The Octagon House is a historic home built in1854.  It is furnished with victorian furniture, and the tour tells the story of the lives of the families that lived in the house.  The lower picture is from the carriage house in the back, and there is a gift store in back too.  Tours are $9 for adults and $3 for children.  Kids 5 and under are free.  

The house is open today 10-4 for the hot air affair.  Regular hours start in May, and tours for 10 or more can be scheduled year round.  They also have a special display on the evolution of motion pictures right now.  


Friday, February 6, 2015

The Orpheum


Coming next to the Orpheum is Pippin, a 2013 Tony award winner from the composer of Wicked.  I haven't seen it yet, but wanted you to know it is coming to the Orpheum February 17th -22nd.  The Orpheum is a beautiful venue to see a show.  It opened in 1921 and has been restored to be an amazing venue.  If Pippin is not something you want to see, check out their calendar.  They host a variety of events, but seeing the Orpheum is an event in itself.

http://www.hennepintheatretrust.org/our-theatres/orpheum-theatre

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hudson Hot Air Affair


This weekend is the Hot air affair.  

Friday night is the parade and fireworks.

Saturday and Sunday morning 7:30 at EP Rock are the launches. With an optional launch Saturday at 3:00.  Launches may be canceled for wind or weather so check the website. 

Saturday night at 6:30 is the moon glow, which is beautiful, or a field of fire if there is wind. 

There are a bunch of other great activities that you can see at the link below.  It's a fun weekend for Hudson so enjoy!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Home Depot Kid's Workshops


The first Saturday of the month from 9-noon, the Home Depot offers free Kids workshops.  The kids are given a pe-made kit with simple directions that they can make in about 15 minutes.  They prefer you to register online at the link below, but you are welcome to just show up.  If you arrive closer to the end time they may be out of kits, but usually they have some old kits from previous months that your child can make instead.  Their website also tells you what the project is ahead of time so the kids can decide if it's something they want to make.  This picture was taken when they were making pallet shaped coasters.  They turned out so cute!  The kids love wearing their home depot aprons, and safety glasses and hammering away.  For the more consistent attendees the store offers the kids a pin showing the project they have created that they can pin on their apron.  I've seen some kids there with more than a dozen pins on their smock.

So whether you make attending the workshops a habit or not, it's a fun and free local activity that kids 3-11 really enjoy.


http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ProKart Indoor Racing


These cars are not the clunky little go karts that you drive to keep the kids happy.  These are super fast (up to 40 mph) and a lot of fun.  The video gives a great overview of what it is like, but driving is so much more fun than the video!

Call before you make the 45 minute drive out to Burnsville to make sure they have open driving times.  They also offer league driving.  Each race is 8 minutes, and the prices are,  
$18 for one race
$33 for two races
$45 for three races
and $15 more for each additional race. 

As you can see from the picture, balaclavas are required to use their helmets.  They are $2 to purchase or included with your yearly $25 license.  You can also purchase a $10, 7 day license, but one of the licenses are required to race.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Waterpark of America




I thought groundhog day would be a good time to post about the Waterpark of America.  If he sees his shadow you get $6 off of tickets today.  Even if he doesn't you get the $6 off of tickets (they aren't open today it is for future tickets).  The promo code is 8890.  They have fun promos, like their January and February deal where you get $1 off for every degree it is below zero up to $10.  A cold winter day is the perfect time to enjoy the heat and fun of Waterpark of America.  I especially like it when the weather is bad and I don't want to drive to the Dells.  It is so close and feels like you are world away from winter.  

The picture is terrible because who brings a camera to a waterpark?  I did take it at the flow rider, which was our family's favorite.  It's fun to try and equally fun to watch others try bodyboarding or surfing.  The park is huge and has something for everyone.  It does live up to its name.  



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ice Racing




Yesterday we were in Menominie and happened to see the Northwest Ice Racing Club's competition. They had a huge oval cleared on lake Menomin and were racing motorcycles and ATVs. It was crazy fun!  There were some great riders, and some that were spinning out and getting stuck in the snow. Both were equally fun to watch. There is no charge to watch. They race right behind UW Stout with access to the track down where the boat dock is. The best seats were up top where we watched, which also cut down on the noise. Bring ear plugs if you want to watch closer. They will be back in Menomine on February 21st, or you can see their full season at the link below.

http://nwircracing.com/schedule.html