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”.
Want more great ideas? Check out Family Planning, FFTC’s Monthly Newsletter.