We have a CORNucopia of aMAIZEing Family Fun Activities in the Twin Cities

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Whether or not you live in the Twin Cities area, you can make a day of family fun with corn and corn-related activities.


Maize is a critically important crop, locally and around the world. Explore the science of how maize has evolved over thousands of years, and discover why it continues to surprise us today. Explore how scientists think and work, and how their research improves world food supplies.

Maize is a critically important crop, locally and around the world. Explore the science of how maize has evolved over thousands of years, and discover why it continues to surprise us today. Explore how scientists think and work, and how their research improves world food supplies.

Maize: Mysteries of an Ancient Grain

Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; Jaques Gallery
Museum Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $6; Age 3-17: $4; Under 3: free; Free admission for all visitors on Sundays

A few weeks ago, Maize: Mysteries of an Ancient Grain opened at the Bell. This traveling exhibit from the Museum of the Earth is really aimed at adults, but with a little pre-planning, I think this would make a great center to a family day that I was already planning. Science Kids has some Fun Corn Facts for Kids. This is a good list to hand to my 3rd grader to read outloud on the trip over. Iowa Corn also has a kids page with activity suggestions and coloring pages. Obviously, this page is a little biased toward the corn industry, but you can pick and choose what you print for your kids.

One of the things I love about the Bell is that I have never seen it very crowded — even on Sundays when its free. If the Maize exhibit is an utter failure for us, the habitats are always a hit and we have the Touch and See Discovery Room to fall back on.

Growing Popcorn At Home

This year we plan to plant popcorn in our ill-fated garden plot. This fills me with renewed hope that this year we will harvest something more than the occasional green onion. According to Mother Earth News, “popcorn is easy to grow, and works especially well for those gardeners among us who might not think to put new seeds in as late as May or June.” I found step-by-step directions for growing popcorn at SF Gate.

Our real crop will go in the ground, sometime in late Mary or early June, but April is a good time to do our “test crop”. We buy our popcorn from our neighborhood co-op, so I assume our kernels are fresh and untreated, but I wouldn’t want to waste effort on something that isn’t going to work and this is fun science experiment for the kids.

planting collage

Making Popcorn In A Wok

After planting our popcorn seeds, not having any popcorn would be a huge disappointment. We recently discovered wok-cooked popcorn and never want to go back to any other method. I don’t know why it matters, but woks just make the best popcorn.

popcorn in a wok


Joy Peters is a co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com

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Beanfields Review and Giveaway

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At Beanfields, they do things a little differently. They believe great tasting snacks should also be good for you, good for our families, good for our farmers, and good for the planet.  To them, it’s all about nutritionally maximizing the calories we eat, without sacrificing taste. How do they do it? Beans!  They take wholesome and nutritious beans and blend them with long grain rice to create delicious snacks that are loaded with fiber and protein.  In fact, Beanfields Bean & Rice chips contain double the fiber and protein of most corn tortilla or potato chips.

I had the opportunity to try out Beanfields and they’re delicious!  They have 5 different flavors.  My favorite was the Pico de Gallo!  They are zesty and taste great by themselves, but even better with guacamole!  They also have Nacho Bean & Rice, Naturally Unsalted, Sea Salt & Pepper, and Sea Salt.  They are all yummy and they are all gluten free.  The munchkins liked the Nacho the best.  The Nacho Bean & Rice are also Vegan and allergen free.

Beanfields chips give you nutrition too. A one-ounce serving has 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber—twice as much as most other tortilla chips, corn chips, or potato chips. Beanfields are tasty snacks you can feel good about giving your family!

All of their Crispylicious Corn Free Bean & Rice Tortilla Chips are verified to be free of any genetically-modified organisms (non-GMO) and have received the prestigious Non-GMO Verification awarded by the Non-GMO Progect.

One lucky reader will win their very own 6 pack of  Beanfields.  Just enter the rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

*Open to US

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