It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend.
3/12: Brickmania Toyworks Open House, 1620 Central Ave NE, Suite 170, Minneapolis • 10am-4pm • $5/pp or $10/group of 4 • Details: Intricate LEGO train layouts, hands-on LEGO activities and displays. This popular event is held the 2nd Saturday of each month. Read about a trip to the open house here.
3/17: St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration @ Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St, St. Paul • 10am-5pm • $4-$6/pp • Details: Features regional and local Irish entertainment, Irish dance, Celtic vendors, Irish Cuisine, pipe bands and children’s crafts and entertainment. The fun continues on 3/20 with An Irish Day of Dance at Landmark, 11am-5pm • $4-$6/pp.
3/18: Kids at the Castle @ American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis • 11am-noon (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) • $5/family • Details: Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by ASI’s exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Suggested for ages 2-5.
INDOOR PLAY $5 PER CHILD OR LESS
Plymouth Field House: Open Play
14800 34th Ave., Plymouth • Ongoing Mon, Wed, Fri through March 25, 2016, 10:30am-1:30pm • $4/resident youth, $5/non-resident youth, caregivers free • Details: During the chilly months, heat in the field house is turned on to 55 degrees for fun with inflatables, slides, nets and lots of space to run the kids ragged. Best for kids ages 3-5.
Hopkins Pavilion: Pavilion Turf Tots
11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins • Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9am-2pm • $4/child, caregivers free • Details: Drop in for play with equipment including balls, crawl tunnels, bounce houses, blocks, and more. Suited for kids ages 1-5.
Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground
4580 Victoria St. N, Shoreview • Open Play hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm • $5/per child ages 1-12, adults free.
Eagan Community Center: Preschool Open Play
1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am • $4 per child, under 18 mons free • Details: A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground. For kids ages 1-5.
Eden Prairie Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym
16700 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie • Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9:30-11:30am (9:15-11:30 Thurs) • $4/pp ages 1-4, $5/pp ages 5+, under 1 and caregivers free • Details: Participate in free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. For $6/pp, admission to the Prairie Play Zone indoor playground is included. Best for ages 1-4.
St. Louis Park Rec Center: Little Tot Playtime
3700 Monterey Dr, St Louis Park • Ongoing Tues-Fri through March 25, 9:30-11:30am • $2/child • Details: Bounce in the inflatables, ride the big wheelers, play dress up or build with blocks on the creative carpet. For ages 1-5 with caregiver.
Brookview Community Center: Preschool Playtime
200 Brookview Pkwy S, Golden Valley • Ongoing Fridays through March 25, 2016, 10-11:30am • $2 per child, under 1 year free • Details: A variety of play areas will be set up for kids ages 1-5 to run, jump, crawl and roll indoors.
Maple Grove Community Center: Parent-Tot Time
12951 Weaver Lake Rd, Maple Grove • Ongoing Mon & Wed, 10-11:30am • $2.50/resident youth, $4/non-res youth, caregivers free. Best for ages 5 & under.
TWIN CITIES MAPLE SYRUP FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Puppet Storytime: Maple Syrup Mystery @ Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W Franklin Ave, St. Louis Park • 3/4/16 & 3/14/16, 10-11am • $4-$5/pp, under 2 free • Details: The Westwood puppets tell a syrupy story in their animated and comical style, then naturalist led activities will follow to highlight the story. Register at the above link.
Maple Syrup Time • $5/pp • Details: Learn about the maple syruping process, tap a tree in the sugar bush, collect sap, bring it to the evaporator and sample!
• Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington • 3/5 & 3/12, 2-3:30pm
• Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria • 3/5 & 3/20, 1-2:30pm
Maple Syrup Festival at Eastman, 13351 Elm Creek Rd, Dayton • 3/19/16, 1-4pm • $5/pp • Details: Play games, watch the syruping process and get a taste of the final product.
Maple Syrup Festival @ Wargo Nature Center, 7701 Main St, Lino Lakes • 3/20/16, 2-4pm • $5/pp + tax • Details: Learn about the syrup process, do some maple crafts, participate in a spring scavenger hunt, and taste some maple treats.
Sap Into Syrup Family Event @ Maplewood Nature Center, 2659 E 7th St, St Paul • 3/12/16, 2-3:30pm • $5/child • Details: Learn about the tools used to tap trees and taste test a variety of syrups.
TWIN CITIES EASTER EGG HUNTS & ACTIVITIES – $5/child or less
3/19: Silverwood Park Egg Hunt @ Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St. Anthony • ages 0-4 begin at 1:30 & 2:30pm, hunts for ages 5-10 begin at 2 & 3pm • $5/child pre-registered or $6 at the door Details: Take an art-inspired egg hunt, photos with the bunny, collect treats, and enjoy live music and art activities.
3/19: Flashlight Egg Hunt @ Bielenberg Sports Center, 4125 Radio Drive, Woodbury • 8pm • $4/pp pre-registered, $6/pp at the door • Details: Grab a flashlight and hunt for candy and toy-filled eggs. Recommended for kids ages 6-13 with adult.
3/19: Lunch with the Bunny @ Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave, St Paul • 11am-1pm • $3/pp ages 1+ • Details: Games, food, activities, pictures with the Bunny and more.
3/19: Lunch with the Bunny @ North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 St Albans St N, St Paul • 11:30am-1:30pm • $2/pp or $5/family • Details: Meet the bunny, make a craft and hunt for eggs.
3/19: Armatage/Kenny Egg Hunt @ Armatage Park Rec Center, 2500 W 57th St, Minneapolis • 10am-11:30am • $5/res child, $7.50/non-res • Details: Enjoy an egg hunt, caricature artist, arts and crafts, live bunnies, and a light continental breakfast. Hunt begins at 11 am sharp. Please register in advance.
3/24: Eggstravaganza @ Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd, Dayton • 10am-2pm • $5/pp
Details: Play games, see live bunnies, and get egg-citing treats. Bring hard-boiled eggs to dye naturally. Search for eggs, go on a scavenger hunt, and meet a giant rabbit. Get your face painted with a bunny nose and whiskers. Last admittance at 1pm.
3/25-26: Egg Trail & Rabbit Habits @ Richardson Nature Center, 8737 East Bush Lake Rd,
Bloomington • 9:30am-12:30pm • $5/pp pre-reg, $6/pp at the door • Details: Hike to hunt for colorful wooden eggs and fact-filled rabbits, take a photo with a giant, friendly rabbit and meet live animals. Create a craft and enjoy a snack.
3/25-26: Spring Eggstravaganza: Rock Hunting @ Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr,
Victoria • 10am-3pm both days • $5/pp pre-registered, $6/pp at the door • Details: Bring your baskets and hunt for colored rocks (ages 2-8) or secret messages (ages 8-adult) hidden along the trails then swap for a bag of goodies. Make bunny ears, get your face painted to look like a bunny, and decorate a wooden egg to bring home and meet live animals. Last hunt leaves at 2 PM.
3/26: Natural Egg Dyeing @ Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton • 10am-noon • $5 per dozen eggs • Details: Dye beautiful eggs with natural foods. Please bring a dozen hard-boiled eggs.
3/26: Victorian Easter Egg Roll @ The Landing, 2187 Highway 101 E, Shakopee • Noon-3-pm • $5/pp pre-registered or $6/pp at the door • Details: Craft a mini basket and decorate a wooden egg. Play with old-fashioned toys and games, and explore the banks of the Minnesota River Valley. Refreshments served in the Town Hall. Last entry at 2pm.
3/26: 33rd Annual Easter Egg Candy Hunt @ City Center Park, 7700 Market Blvd, Chanhassen • $5/child • Details: Kids ages 12 & under hunt for candy and special eggs that can be redeemed for a prize. Enter the coloring contest at the above link.
3/26: St. Louis Park Lions Club Egg Hunt @ St. Louis Park Middle School, 2025 Texas Ave S, St. Louis Park • 10-11am • $2/child • Details: Egg hunt for ages 3-5 yrs begins at 10:15am, ages 6-8 at 10:20am. Hunt for candy and special eggs, bag provided. Meet the Easter Bunny!
ONGOING MARCH EVENTS & ACTIVITIES $5/PP OR LESS
Michaels Kids Club Crafts @ Twin Cities Michaels locations • Ongoing Saturdays in March, 10am-noon • $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.
Saturday Shows for Kids @ In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, 1500 E Lake St, Minneapolis • March 5, 12, & 19, shows at 10am & noon • suggested donation of $5/pp or pay-what-you can • Details: Get Saturday Shows lineup here. Stay for a make-and-take workshop based on that day’s puppet show theme (additional $5 per child, $3 per adult, advance registration recommended at 612-721-2535).
“Big Bird & Elmo In: One World, One Sky” @ Como Planetarium, • Ongoing Tuesdays in March, 5:30pm • $5/pp, 2 & under on laps are free • Details: Big Bird & Elmo take viewers on a journey across the sky to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon.
FANtastic Saturdays @ The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • 5-8pm • $4/pp ages 18 mon-12 years, all others free. Details: Better bang for your buck every Saturday evening: $4 will get you into the Blast Indoor Playground, the gym for games, and provide a movie and crafts (parents must stay to supervise their kids).
Raptor Center Tours @ Gabbert Raptor Center, 920 Fitch Ave (St. Paul campus of the U of M) • 30-minute tours every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, ongoing Tues-Fri • $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults
Details: Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids’ play corner.