Category - Featured

10 Free Things To Do With Kids In Downtown Minneapolis in Summer
Budget Twin Cities August Events & Activities
Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities
Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings
Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities
Meet the Parks: Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater, Minnesota
10 Spots for Outdoor Summer Dining with Kids in the Twin Cities
Family Fun: Daily Life on the Farm at Eidem Homestead
Family Fun: Pizza on the Farm
Sweet and Savory: Twin Cities Summer Dining with Kids

10 Free Things To Do With Kids In Downtown Minneapolis in Summer

Grab the stroller, hop the bus, bring a picnic or cash for lunch, and you can make a day (or more) of it in downtown Minneapolis.  There is so much going on and much of it is free and family-friendly.

Downtown Minneapolis

Why wait for an out-of-town guest to explore downtown? I’ve outlined 10 Free Things to Do with Kids Downtown to get you inspired. These activities are not all on the same day of the week, but it would make for a really long day if you powered through all ten activities at once. If you want to play tourist, you could probably get through all of them in a few days.

1. Visit Minneapolis Central Library

You don’t really need an excuse to visit Central Library. It is enough to sit in the kids area, let your kids browse books, read together, play with the giant blocks, and just relax for a bit. That just doesn’t get old. However if you call ahead, you can get a guided tour. Tours include the green roof, four fireplaces, an art gallery, a piano room, four-story atrium and an overview of the 2.4 million items in the library’s collection. Call 612-543-8033 to schedule a time.

Made Here Pop Up Shops in Downtown Minneapolis2. Made Here Pop-up Shops

Made Here is a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust in which vacant spaces are filled with art and other art-inspired experiences. Find an Interactive Map and Download an Audio Tour Here. I prefer self-guided tours with small kids, because if I see the interest waning, we can quit without feeling rude.

Find Drop-In Family Fun at Peavey Plaza, Downtown Minneapolis.

Find Drop-In Family Fun at Peavey Plaza. Image Courtesy of the Downtown Minneapolis Council.

3. Find Fun Activities at The Commons

Even with a stroller, the kids are going to need a break. That’s when you head to the new Commons green space. You can pull out the picnic you packed, play a lawn game, read together, or build with blocks.

4. Go Outside with Hennepin County

This program aims to get you exploring downtown Minneapolis this summer through free programming at Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza and Target Field. The plaza hosts activities Tues-Thurs and Target Field offers movie nights and other family events. Get the summer schedule here.

5. Ride the Light Rail

If you didn’t take the light rail to get downtown. You could just take a ride from one side of downtown to the other and then hop back on and come back. This can be free if you took public transportation to get downtown and asked for a transfer.

6. Visit Currie Park

On the southeast end of downtown on the green/blue light rail lines, Currie Park is just outside of Downtown in the 7 corners neighborhood. It’s a good place to let your kids unwind when the busy downtown has gotten to be too much. If you plan to eat out, this is a nice area to pick a restaurant as well.

7. Visit Target Field and Take in a Twins Game

On the northwest side of downtown on the light rail is Target Field. While Twins games are not free, you can still walk around the courtyard, enjoy the public art, and get some fun photos in the giant baseball mitt.

8.  Mill City Farmers Market

Mill City Farmers Market is on Saturday mornings. Besides fresh produce, it offers music and family-friendly activities.

9. Live Music at Peavey Plaza (weekday and saturday evenings)

Minnesota Orchestra hosts Sommerfest from mid-July to early August with free live music.

10.  Self-guided audio tours of The Guthrie

One more self-guided tour — The Guthrie.  If you haven’t taken your kids out on the Endless Bridge take your iPod and Download any of six FREE audio tours led by a celebrity guide. If you don’t own an iPod, you can rent one from the Box Office for $5 during Box Office hours — 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on performance days and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on non-performance days.

More Downtown Minneapolis Ideas:

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Budget Twin Cities August Events & Activities

It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find August’s seasonal and 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 August Family Events & Activities page.


8/2/17: Beach Party | Bryant Lake Regional Park | Eden Prairie | 12-3pm | $5/pp ages 0-17, adults FREE | A water slide, water obstacle course, sandcastle building and other splishy-splashy fun.

8/4-6: Eden Prairie Players Children’s Theater Performance: The Trial of Goldilocks | Riley-Jacques Barn, Eden Prairie | $3-$5/pp, tickets at the door only. Read More

Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities

Ferris-wheel-paint Read More

Summer Family Fun: Beat the Heat with Cool Outings

I don’t know about you, but I am really feeling the heat. It’s that time of year when even the most hearty Minnesotans melt.  We try to remember what it’s like when it’s negative degrees in January, but it’s no use. While there are some you thrive in the heat, I know there are many of us who could do without the heat and humidity.

So FFTC is here once again, helping you to stay cool during this hot summer days.

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Summer Farm Fun in the Twin Cities

Gale Woods Farm Collage

The FFTC Team’s city kids love the opportunity to visit farms not much further than their urban backyards! Browse the favorites below for ideas on where your own little ones can get up close to animals, play at farm chores, pick their own produce, and learn through living history activities: Read More

Meet the Parks: Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater, Minnesota

If your plan is to make a day of it in Stillwater with kids, make sure to include a stop at Teddy Bear Park. I did just that not long ago, expecting the park to appeal mainly to my preschooler. And yes, she very much liked the train car play equipment and the climbing structure made to resemble the Stillwater Lift Bridge. She also got as cuddly as one can get with a giant granite teddy bear.

The pleasant surprise was how much my 5 and 7-year-old daughters enjoyed the engineered wall of cliffs that forms the southern boundary of the park. They loved the scooped-out little seats, tiny stairs built into the rocks, and, of course, flinging themselves off the cliffs into the sand more times than I could count. My two ground rules: no jumping off anything higher than Mom’s head, and no sprained ankles before the Minnesota State Fair!

Find this sweet little park at 216 4th St N, Stillwater, Minnesota.

Hours: 8am – 8pm daily, mid-April through mid-October

10 Spots for Outdoor Summer Dining with Kids in the Twin Cities

Can we get a collective sigh of contentment and relief for outdoor summer dining with kids?

Even with kiddos far past the baby and toddler years, we at FFTC are crazy about the Twin Cities eateries who understand that dining out with children can be the opposite of a relaxing meal. Summer brings patios and green spaces, places where it’s generally OK to turn up the volume just a little, even corners where kids can create just a little distance from the adults. And as these locations are outdoors and seasonal, they are without exception within walking or easy driving distance to countless classic Twin Cities attractions. Here are ten of our summer favorites:

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Family Fun: Daily Life on the Farm at Eidem Homestead

The historic Eidem Homestead, a turn-of-the-century farm out in Brooklyn Center, was one of the places that had languished on my master summer to-do list for several years. We finally made it out last month to check out “Daily Life on the Farm”, this season’s program at the historic site. It’s a fun chance for kids to get hands-on in the barn, the farmhouse, and in the field.

Family Fun: Daily Life on the Farm, Eidem Homestead

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Family Fun: Pizza on the Farm


Have you heard of a pizza farm?
If your family likes pizza, this is definitely something you will want to experience. Read More

Sweet and Savory: Twin Cities Summer Dining with Kids

food guide

Summer in Minnesota begs for tasty treats that tickle our taste buds, so FFTC has rounded up summertime delightful dining in this guide.  It includes food trucks, summer dining experiences, ice cream, fro-yo and more.

We hope you enjoy a flavorful family summer.

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