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Labor Day Weekend: Beyond The Fair

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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It arrives all too quickly, but alas, it’s here: Labor Day weekend, the official end of summer. If you’ve already made your pilgrimages to the Minnesota State Fair and the Renaissance Festival, what else can you do on this glorious long weekend? Plenty.

If you haven’t already, go check out the Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Whether you’re old enough to remember playing with these toys or just curious as to what your older relatives once enjoyed, this is the place.

If the weather cooperates, it could be a good weekend for a Summit Avenue Walking Tour, offered Saturday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Big Backyard at the Science Museum of Minnesota is open through Sunday, and among the other delights to be found there: mini-golf.

If the weather is not cooperative, the Waterpark of America is there for you, open daily through Monday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Shakopee’s The Landing has family friendly history-based activities going on all weekend, including horse-drawn trolley rides and old-time games and crafts.

On Saturday and Sunday you can learn and assist in monarch butterfly tagging at various sites, including Lowry Nature Center, Eastman Nature Center, and Richardson Nature Center. Times and details can be found here.

Farmers’ markets are at their peak right now, with plenty of late-summer produce choices (tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, potatoes, carrots—the list is almost endless). Soon enough, many markets will close for the season. Search the Minnesota Farmers Market Association site for markets near you that will be open this weekend, then go shopping.

The Tango Society of Minnesota offers its fifth Saturday Milonga, or Argentine Tango dance, in St. Paul. Tango music from 8:30 p.m.-midnight Saturday.

At the Minnesota Zoo, arrive early for a slot to see the Tropical Reef Dive Show Saturday morning. Zoo staff will SCUBA dive with the sharks and tropical fish. Also? penguin feedings.

Over in St. Paul, the Como Zoo and Conservatory has a number of events going on over the weekend, including Zoo Keeper Talks, Sparky the Sea Lion Show, the Gorilla Program, and the Polar Bear Program.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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