5/1: Lyra Family Concert Series: Meet the Irish Harp @ Baroque Room, 275 4th St E, St. Paul • 3-4pm • Details: Introduce the kids to classical music with an hour-long family-friendly concert with hands-on activities and snacks, presented in a casual environment.
5/6: Forever Wild Family Friday: Celebrate the Sky @ Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan • 7-8:30pm • Details: Geocache with the park for hidden treasure.
5/7: MacPhail Free Family Music Series: Siama’s Afrobily @ MacPhail Center For Music, Minneapolis • 10am & 11am concerts • Details: Open houses include concerts geared towards kids, a chance to play with instruments, snacks and more.
5/7: First Free Saturday: Picture This @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis • 10am-3pm • Details: Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family.
5/7: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Angry Birds Birdhouse @ TC Home Depot locations • 9am-noon • Details: The first Saturday of each month kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany children.
5/7: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: Xplorchestra! X-plore the Woodwind Family @ Park Square Theater, St. Paul • sessions at 9:30 & 11am • Details: Aimed at kids ages 6-12, the program is interactive and fast-paced. Free tickets must be reserved at the above link.
5/8: Puppet Adventures of Ned the Naturalist @ Silverwood Park, St. Anthony • 1-3pm • Details: Join Ned the Naturalist as he stops Trasher the Trash Can from trashing nature. Try art making with a take-home activity.
5/14: Kid City Laugh In @ Maplewood Community Center • 4pm • Details: A good laugh is guaranteed with performers Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, an instrument petting zoo, animal edutainment with Maplewood Nature Center, and free rootbeer floats and sundaes.
5/14: Vehicle Day: Wheels Around Town @ Southdale parking lot- corner of 69th & France, Richfield • 10am-noon
5/15: Target Free 3rd Sunday @ Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul • 9am-5pm • Details: Explore the museum free, including the newest exhibit Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit thanks to the generosity of Target. Keep in mind that the museum is currently under renovation and many exhibits are currently closed.
5/15: Second Annual Trucksploration @ Aleph Preschool, 5224 W 26th St, St. Louis Park • 11am-2pm
5/20-21: Urban Bird Festival & Endangered Species Day @ Bloomington Education & Visitor Center • 9am-4pm • Details: Endangered species crafts and other self-guided activities (Friday) plus more family birding activities and raptor demonstrations (Sat); part of the TC Urban Birding Festival.
5/21: Public Works Open House & Tour @ Bloomington Public Works Building, 1700 W. 98th St • 9am-noon • Details: Get up close to that big equipment, plus displays, demos and snacks for all ages.
5/21: Teddy Bear Clinic @ HCMC Emergency Dept, 730 S 8th St, Minneapolis • 8-10am • Details: Kids can bring their teddies in for a little repair and activities aimed at taking the scare out of a visit to the emergency room. Free bike helmets for kids while supplies last.
5/21: Giraffe Feeding Station Grand Opening Weekend @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • 10:45am • Details: Sure to be popular (crowded), the brand new gated feeding station lets you get as close as possible to Como’s resident giraffes. Observe for free on a non-gated deck, feedings cost $5 and are at scheduled times daily.
5/28: Starlight Cinema Outdoor Movie Series: CARS @ Ojibway Park, 2695 Ojibway Dr, Woodbury • pre-show activities begin at 7pm, movie starts at dusk.
5/28-30: Jim Lupient Water Park pre-season FREE admission, 1520 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, 1-7pm.
5/28: Sibley House Historic Site Open House, Mendota • 1-4pm • Ring in the summer tour season by exploring the site, enjoying refreshments, and taking a guided tour.
5/30: Memorial Day at Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis • 10:30am-3pm • Details: Ceremony begins at 10:30am followed by live music, refreshments, trolley tours, horse-drawn carriage rides and art activities for kids.
TWIN CITIES ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN MAY – FREE
5/1: Caponi Art Park, Eagan, 9am-7pm • Sculpture park, free entertainment, special events.
5/28: Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Minneapolis • pre-season 5/28-30 & 6/4-5, 1-7pm
5/28: Bielenberg Splash Pad, Woodbury • 9am-9pm
TWIN CITIES MAY FESTIVAL CALENDAR – FREE ADMISSION
5/1: May Day Parade & Festival @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis • Details: Parade begins at noon at 25th Street & Bloomington Ave, festival to follow in the park with Tree Lighting Ceremony at 3pm. Get the full schedule of events here.
5/1: Union Depot Train Days @ Union Depot, St. Paul • Details: All will enjoy a wide variety of free transportation-inspired activities. The weekend will include train equipment, musical entertainment, special events and activities for all ages.
5/7: Cinco de Mayo, West Side of St. Paul • 9am-6pm • Details: A full day of events and entertainment celebrating the vibrant and diverse District del Sol neighborhood in St. Paul’s West Side. For a complete schedule of events, click here.
5/20-22: Art-A-Whirl, Northeast Minneapolis • Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-5pm • Details: Spanning the entire weekend, Art-A-Whirl is the ultimate open house for artist studios. Many offer hands-on activities or demonstrations that interest kids as well as their adults. A listing of Art-A-Whirl family offerings can be found here.
5/21: Little Free Library Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis • 10am-4pm • Details: Salute the little libraries with ongoing festivities including a 100 Library Build, live music and pop-up puppet shows.
5/21: Hopkins Mainstreet Day, Hopkins • 9am-4pm
5/21: Blaine World Fest, Town Square Park, 10802 Town Square Dr NE, Blaine • 1-4pm • Details: Bring the whole family for music, dance, cultural learning booths, demonstrations, and delicious ethnic food samples ($7 punch card covers the food).
TWIN CITIES MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS & FREE FOR MOM
5/7: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking @ Articulture, 2613 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis • 1-3pm
5/7: Mother’s Day Cookie Decorating Event @ Jerry’s Foods, Woodbury, Edina and Eden Prairie locations • 11am-1pm • Details: Decorate a treat for mom and, if you’re one of the first 150 kids to show, snag her a free carnation as well.
5/7: Mother’s Day Storytime @ Barnes & Noble MOA • 11am • Details: Plus, make a card for Mom.
5/8: Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk @ Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary, Minneapolis • 11am-noon & 3-4pm.
5/8: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • noon-5pm • Moms and grandmas admitted FREE!
5/8: Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • 12:30-8:30pm • Moms ride FREE!
ONGOING SATURDAYS IN MAY – FREE
Free Family Flicks: @ Theatres at Mall of America • 10am
Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids @ Twin Cities Lakeshore Learning locations • 11am-3pm
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm
Saturday Live! @ George Latimer Central Library, 90 W 4th St, St. Paul • 11:15am • Details: Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • 10am-6pm • suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. Details: Seasonal events include the Spring Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
ONGOING SUNDAYS IN MAY – FREE
Bell Museum of Natural History, Minneapolis • Noon-5pm
Details: Explore the very kid-friendly Touch and Feel room and the wildlife dioramas free each Sunday.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm
Free Family Fun Days @ Three Rivers Parks
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (Brooklyn Park Side of the River) • 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29 • 1-3pm
Richardson Nature Center • 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29, 5/30, 3-4pm
Lowry Nature Center • 5/22, 3-4:30pm
ONGOING WEEKDAYS IN MAY – FREE
Let’s Sing music class @ Teeny Bee Boutique, 1560 Selby Ave, St. Paul • Ongoing Tuesdays, 10:30-11:15am • Details: Aimed at kids ages 0-6 with singing, movement and rhythm.
Wee Wednesdays @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis, MN 55407 • Ongoing Wednesdays, 10:30am – 1pm • Details: In the past, MGM has offered dance troupes, cooking lessons, and live animals to entertain kids. Stay for lunch — there are many tasty ethnic vendors to choose from, and several offer specials on Wednesdays. Park in the adjacent Midtown Exchange Ramp up to 1.5 hrs. free with validation.
Drop-in Playtime @ Amma Parenting Center, 3511 Hazelton Rd, Edina • Ongoing Fridays, 11:45am-12:45pm • Details: Drop-in play for newborns through walking age.
• Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities – many local bookstores, libraries and other businesses offer FREE storytimes during the week. Click the link to read our picks.
• Kid-friendly Twin Cities coffee shops and cafes with dedicated FREE play spaces.
• Twin Cities Nature Centers offer FREE admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week. We’ve reviewed several: Dodge Nature Center & Farm, Indoor & Outdoor Play at SW Metro Nature Centers, and Indoor & Outdoor Play at NE Metro Nature Centers.
• St. Paul Recreation Centers offer free open gym Tot Times at 16 sites across the city. Minneapolis Recreation Centers also offer free options. Click this link and search “parent tot”.
5/6: Union Depot’s Train Day | Union Depot, St Paul • Details: All will enjoy a wide variety of free transportation-inspired activities. The weekend will include train equipment, musical entertainment, special events and activities for all ages.
Want more great ideas? Check out Family Planning, FFTC’s Monthly Newsletter.