Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Two free things to do in mankato.

Papa Saigh's parents live in Mankato, so when we're home from Singapore, we go back and forth from the Twin Cities pretty often. This past weekend, we took Linna to Sibley Park and Sibley Farm, as well as the North Mankato Public Library for a storytime. Both places were excellent and FREE for our 3-year-old. Let's start with the Sibley Park and Farm...

Sibley Park in Mankato.

Linna swinging with her MeMaw and Auntie Lisa. So high!

The cute, farm-themed, Sibley Park.

Located at 900 Mound Avenue in Mankato, Sibley Park and Sibley Farm are two Mankato spots (well, it's actually one spot) you must visit if you have kids. The playground is farm-themed, and there's also a petting zoo located around the playground. There are things to do for kids of all ages, including short and long slides, infant and big-kid friendly swings (key for our 3-year-old's enjoyment), bridges, climbing areas, monkey bars, and multi-level playing areas. The park has many shaded areas to sit and relax, while the kids play as well. Bring your mosquito spray though!

Other kids used this as a step to get from one platform to the next.
My 3-year-old used it as a swing. She LOVES swings!

The Sibley Farm is super cute and fun. They have ponies, a pig, llamas, a rabbit, lambs, a Koi pond, and other animals. The entire park and zoo is laid out just beautifully, and you can tell it's pretty new. There are a few machines where you can buy ($.25) food pellets for the animals, so your kiddos can hand-feed the animals. All of the animals are in enclosures, so kids aren't running farm-free or anything, but they can pet some animals like the ponies, lambs, and llamas.

Thank goodness for the hand-washing and sanitizing stations!

The first thing I said when we arrived to this park was, "Wow, this would be a great place for a kid's birthday party." Sure enough, there's a nice-sized barn to host a birthday party in. There was a woman setting up for her child's party when we were there, and she told me she paid $55 to rent out the barn for the entire day. I would absolutely consider hosting our child's party here, if she was interested in something farm-themed.

Barn facility at Sibley Park that you can rent for kid's birthday parties!

Next up, storytime at the North Mankato Library...

Every Monday at 10 a.m., the North Mankato Taylor Library has a free storytime for little ones. There's a different special guest there to read stories to the kids each week. During our visit, we got to learn all about the milk cows produce, from a Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador. Linna got to touch and see the food that cows eat, listen to stories read by the Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador about cows making milk, and we even ate some string cheese afterwards. Storytime lasted about 15-20 minutes, and then we headed into the children's area of the library for some more reading, and hands-on activities.

Nicollet County Dairy Ambassador reading books to the kids.

Feeling the food that cows eat.

Magnet learning board at the North Mankato Library.

Fine motor-skill learning.

Activity table with iPads for kids.

The North Mankato Public Library's Children Area.

Other kid-friendly Mankato spots we enjoy:

Tourtellotte Pool
WOW! Zone

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