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Five things to do with your kids MEA weekend

Students throughout the state have a couple extra days off this week for Education Minnesota weekend, the annual teacher's convention weekend.

The conference, which used to be known as MEA, is always held on the third Thursday and Friday of October.

While educators flock to St. Paul, many Minnesotans take the extra days off of school to travel, spend time with family or just relax. If you're still looking for a little entertainment for the kids, here's a couple family-friendly things to check out in Southeast Minnesota.

1. Check out the fall colors at Frontenac State Park — Fall colors are reaching their peak in southeast Minnesota, get up close and personal with the beautiful changing colors at Frontenac State Park. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, the park will be hosting "Fall Colors — An Artist's Palette," an artistic view of the region's changing colors. You can visit with Minnesota artists as they create art fall-colored Frontenac State Park along the top of a bluff or create a nature journal. Still need a photo for the Christmas card? Learn how to snap the perfect fall family photo with guidance from a photographer using digital and phone cameras.

2. Harvest Moon Fall Festival at the History Center of Olmsted County — Check out the 2016 Harvest Moon Fall Festival, featuring a scarecrow decorating contest, pumpkin painting, apple cider pressing and hayride from 1 to 4 p.m. today.


3. Creatures of the Night at Quarry Hill — Want to learn about a skunk or an owl's life? Wander through Quarry Hill Friday night, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. and you'll run into costumed characters, featuring a skunk, raccoon, owl and bat — each with a story to tell about their night life. Don't worry, this isn't something that is intended to frighten the kids, it'll be a "non-scary, sometimes humorous" family event, according to Quarry Hill. Refreshments will follow the hike.

4. Lumberjack Festival and Pumpkin Chuck'n — Whether you're interested in the pancake breakfast, or lumberjack games or watching boy scouts try to launch pumpkins with a homemade catapult the Lumberjack Festival at Gamehaven Scout Reservation will be offering family fun for all ages, beginning at 8 a.m. The event is free, though there is a charge for some of the activities and the pancake breakfast. Kids can also try their hand at apple launching, you can watch a chainsaw artist create a work of art and there will be an Eagle Bluff Birds of Prey Presentation.

5. Take a trip to Lark Toys in Kellogg — Take a day trip to the family-run toy store and catch a ride on the handcrafted carousel, which runs every 30 minutes, check out the 18-hole miniature golf course, visit "The Fudge Tree" for some seasonal fudge, stock up on books, and, of course, check out the toys. Located off Hwy 61 in Kellogg, at 63604 170th Avenue, the store is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.

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