Budget Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

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June budget

It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find October’s seasonal and monthly sponsor ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities page.

Thanks to our monthly sponsor

wheel fun rentals

10/4 & 10/11: Big Bird and Elmo in “One World, One Sky” @ Como Planetarium, St. Paul • 5:30pm • $5/pp, under 2 free.

10/7: Chairlift Rides @ Hyland Hills Ski Area, Bloomington • 5-9pm • $5/pp • Details: Views from the height of Hennepin County, lawn games, live music, smores and a lantern-lit trail.

10/8: Brickmania Toyworks Open House, 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.

10/12: Family Dance @ Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis • 6:30-8pm • $5/pp or $10/family • Details: The focus is on teaching simple dances that everyone in the family can enjoy. Breaks will feature snacks and kid-friendly activities.

10/21: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays @ Great River Water Park, St. Paul • $2/pp during Open Swim hours.

10/21: Kids at the Castle: Sounds in the City @ American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • 11am-noon (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) • $8/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.

tm american swedish institute 4 (2)


Riverview Theater, Minneapolis • Ongoing $2 matinees

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line rides, Minneapolis • Ongoing weekends in October, 12:30-4:30pm • $2/ride pp or $5 day pass, under 4 ride free. Excelsior Streetcar Line rides, Excelsior • Ongoing Tuesdays thru 10/25, 2-6pm.

Michaels Kids Club Crafts @ Twin Cities Michaels locations • Ongoing Saturdays in October, 10am-noon • $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.

FANtastic Saturdays @ The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center • 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).

$4 Sundays @ Great River Water Park, St. Paul • 11am-5pm • $4/pp • Details: Read about the kid-friendly amenities at Great River Water Park here.

Raptor Center Tours @ Gabbert Raptor Center, 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. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids’ play corner.

PicMonkey Collage raptor center

Bowl for a Buck @ University of MN’s Coffman Union (Thurs, 5pm-close) & St. Paul Student Center (all day Wed) • $1 per game plus $2 shoe rental.

Friday Family Funday @ Grove Cove Aquatic Center, Maple Grove • Ongoing Fridays in October, 9am-8pm • $5/pp or $19/family for all members.


Dozens of budget Halloween events have made their way into our Twin Cities Family Halloween Guide. Find our quick of ideas here or click on the graphic below to get all the not-so-scary details:


10/7-10/30: Flick or Treat Kids Series @ Marcus Theatres • Fri-Sun in Oct. • $3/pp

10/8: Pumpkins in the Park @ Veteran’s Memorial Park, Shakopee • $5/child, adults free

10/15-16: Farmer Ken & Jan’s Pumpkin Patch @ Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • $2/ride pp, under 3 free, pumpkins $4/each

10/21-22: All Hallows Eve: 1900 Halloween @ Dakota Heritage Village, Farmington • $4-$6/pp

10/22: Halloween Family Fun Day @ Weaver Lake Park, Maple Grove • $5/child ages 2-8

10/28: Halloween Fest @ Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville • $5/family

10/28-29: Ghost Trolley: Witches’ Moon @ Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • $4/pp

10/29: Transylvania Trolley @ Como-Harriet Streetcar Line • $2/pp


Back to Green pic

10/4-5: Nature Adventurers: Glorious Grasshoppers @ Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield • 10-11:30am • $8/pair, ages 3-5 plus caregiver.

10/6: My Preschooler & Me: Little Folks Tram Ride @ Eastman Nature Center, Dayton • 10am-12pm • $5/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver.

10/8: Saturday Family Fun: Orienteering Adventures @ Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley • 10-11am • $4/pp or $16/family max

10/10: My Preschooler & Me: Lowry Little Ones – Fall – Nature Art @ Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 10-11:30am • $5/pp ages 2-5 plus caregiver.

10/11: My Preschooler & Me: Early Explorers – Fall – Apple Cidering @ The Landing, Shakopee • 10-11:30am • $5/pp ages 2-5 plus caregiver.

10/12: My Preschooler & Me: Bookworms Story Hour – Fall – Autumn Treasures Hunt @ Eastman Nature Center, Dayton • 10-11am • $4/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver.

10/13: Big River, Small Fry: Nature for Curious Kids – Fall – Rocks, Fossils and Bones – Oh My! @ Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Brooklyn Park • 9:30am-12pm • $5/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver, under 2 free.

10/13: My Preschooler & Me: Natural Wonders – Fall – Animal Tracks @ Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake • 10-11:30am • $5/pp ages 3-6 plus caregiver.

10/13: My Preschooler & Me: Natural Wonders – Fall – Way Up in the Sky @ Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake • 10-11:30am • $5/pp ages 3-6 plus caregiver.

10/15: Nature Family Fun w/ ECFE: Terrific Trees @ Maplewood Nature Center • 10-11:30am • $5/ per child with caregiver.

10/18-19: Nature Adventurers: Costume Party & Storybook Hike: It’s Fall @ Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield • 10-11:30am • $8/pair, ages 3-5 plus caregiver.

10/20: My Preschooler & Me: Puppet Escapades – Fall at Richardson – A-corny Tale @ Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington • 10-11am • $4/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver.

tm richardson nc 5

10/24: My Preschooler & Me: Puppet Escapades – Fall at Lowry – The Lost Acorn @ Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 10-11am • $4/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver.

10/24 & 28: Puppet Story Time: Critters in the Park @ Westwood Nature Center, St. Louis Park • 10-11am • $4/pp res, $5/pp non-res.

10/25: My Preschooler & Me: Puppet Escapades – Fall at Eastman – Pumpkin Mystery @ Eastman Nature Center, Dayton • 10-11am • $4/pp ages 2-6 plus caregiver.


An awesome place to find Tot Time locations and other activities to do with my preschool child.

Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground, 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 • 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 • 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.

Plymouth Field House: Open Play • Mon, Wed, Fri starting 10/31/16, 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 ages 3-5.

Maple Grove Community Center: Parent/Tot Time • Ongoing Mon & Wed, 10-11:30am • $2.50/resident youth, $3/non-res youth, caregivers free • Details: Best for ages 5 & under.

Brookview Community Center: Preschool Playtime • Fridays thru March 31, 2017, 10-11:30am • $2 per child ages 1-5, under 1 year free • Details: A variety of play areas will be set up for kids to run, jump, crawl and roll indoors.

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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