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.
8/4-7: Eden Prairie Players Children’s Theater Performance: Happily Forever After, Riley-Jacques Barn, Eden Prairie • 2:30pm & 7pm (Sat/Sun only) • $5/ages 10+, $3/ages 4-9, tickets sold at door only.
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8/8-14: Dakota County Fair, Farmington • $2-$5/pp admission • Details: Included in admission price are free exhibits and attractions, live entertainment, and entrance into the Dakota City Heritage Village. For a deeper discount, visit on FREE Day, Mon. Aug 8, 2016.
8/9: Artist-Led Explorations @ Caponi Art Park, Eagan • 10am-noon • $5/family. Details: Cultural performances designed for families to attend together. Stay to explore the sculpture park. Also held 8/30.
8/13: 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.
8/19: Kids at the Castle: Cabin Creatures @ American Swedish Institute, 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.
8/27: 17th Annual Johnny Appleseed Day @ Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood • 11am-3pm • $3-$4/pp • Details: Tractor hayrides, petting zoo, cider press, butter-making and more!
TWIN CITIES AUGUST WATER PLAY ACTIVITIES – $5/PP OR LESS
• Elm Creek Swimming Pond, Maple Grove • 9am-8pm • $5/pp • Chlorinated w/ sand beach, close to an elaborate playground, nature center and historic site.
• Lake Minnetonka Swimming Pond, Minnetrista • 9am-8pm • $5/pp • Chlorinated w/ sand beach.
• Jim Lupient Water Park, Minneapolis • $3-$5/pp
• North Commons Water Park, Minneapolis • $3-$5/pp
• Lakeside Commons Park & Beach, Blaine • $5/non-res, residents FREE • Public beach, splash pad, playground, and water rentals.
• Carver County swimming beach lifeguards on duty – 2 locations, $5/vehicle permit.
• Washington County Parks swimming beach lifeguards on duty – 5 locations • $5/vehicle.
WATER PARKS WITH TWILIGHT DISCOUNTS – $5/PP OR LESS
• Shady Oak Beach, Minnetonka • $3/pp after 6pm
• SandVenture Aquatic Park, Shakopee • $3-$5/pp after 5pm
• St. Louis Park Outdoor Aquatic Park • $5/pp after 4:30pm
• Battle Creek Waterworks, Maplewood • $5-$7/pp after 6pm
• Battle Creek Waterworks, Maplewood • Tot Tuesday & Thursday: Ongoing Tues & Thurs thru 2016 season, 9:30-10:30am • $2.50/pp ages 5 & under with guardian, additional fee of $4.50/pp if staying after 10:30am.
• Como Park Regional Pool, St Paul • Tot Time: Saturdays through 2016 season, 9:30am-11am • $8/parent and child pair, $4/additional child is $4, ages 0-6. Only the splash pad is open during this time. All are welcome to stay for open swim at 11:00am at no extra charge.
• Crystal Cove Aquatic Center, Crystal • Little Splashers Pool-Time: Saturdays Aug 6, 13 & 20, 10:30am-12:30pm • $3/child ages 7 & under, adults free • Only the zero-depth pool will be open. Pool closes at 12:30 pm and re-opens at 1:15 pm with normal admission fees and hours.
• Lorraine Park Splash Pool, South St. Paul • Toddler Time: Mon-Fri 11am-12:30pm • $2/pp, caregivers and children 2-3 yrs.
• St. Louis Park Aquatic Center • Parent & Tot Time: Mon– Fri, 10-11am • $5/ages 1-5 yrs, $9.50/ages 6+ • Exclusive use of the shallow end of the pool with its splash features for tots and their caregivers.
Wild Wednesday @ Grove Cove Aquatic Center, Maple Grove • Ongoing Wednesdays thru 8/31, 10am-8pm • $5/pp or $19/family, all members.
8/19: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays (Highland Pool, Como Pool, Great River Water Park), St. Paul • $2/pp during Open Swim hours.
ONGOING AUGUST EVENTS & ACTIVITIES $5/PP OR LESS
Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul • Preview summer season: Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm, Tues (starting 7/12) 10am-3pm • $5/pp during construction preview, kids under 5 free. Details: Now open at their new location!
Michaels Kids Club Crafts @ Twin Cities Michaels locations • Ongoing Saturdays in August, 10am-noon • $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.
Saturday Mornings on the Farm @ Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista • Ongoing Saturdays in August, 9:30am-noon • $5/pp • Farm fun: Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required.
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).
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.
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.
TWIN CITIES PARENT & CHILD NATURE PROGRAMS $5/PP OR LESS
8/8: My Preschooler & Me: Lowry Little Ones – Summer: Down By the Pond @ Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 10-11:30am • $5/pp, both adult and ages 2+ pay.
8/17: Preschool Storytime: Diggin’ In the Dirt @ Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center • 10-11am • $5/child, adults free. Details: Activities include a nature story, a craft project, exploring the outdoors, and observing live animals. Call 651-437-4359 to pre-register.
8/22: My Preschooler & Me – Puppet Escapades: Summer at Lowry @ Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 10-11am.
8/22: Puppet Story Time: Don’t Bee Afraid @ Westwood Hills Nature Center, St. Louis Park • 10-11am • $4/resident, $5/non-res • Details: The Westwood puppets tell a buggy tale in their animated and comical style, then naturalist led activities will follow to highlight the story. Also held 8/26.
Minnesota State Parks • $5/daily vehicle pass
For more FREE summer play at Twin Cities Nature Centers, check the link below:
INDOOR PLAY $5 PER CHILD OR LESS
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.