Free Twin Cities Events & Activities in May

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Free May

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.

5/3: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks • find a listing of parks hereDetails: Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).

5/6: Friday Family Movie Night: The Good Dinosaur @ Edinborough Park, Edina • 6:30pm

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: Drop-in Discoveries: Owls Up Close @ Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake • 10am-12


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.

image courtesy of Anna Botz5/7: 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.

5/10: Ballet Tuesday @ Landmark Center, St. Paul • Noon • Details: Join the Saint Paul Ballet as they perform excerpts from the company repertoire. Perfect for budding ballerinas.

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: Urban Expedition: Nigeria @ Landmark Center, St. Paul • 1-3pm • Details: The 12th year of Urban Expeditions at Landmark hosts a tour of Nigeria through music, crafts, dance, food and more.

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: Superhero Day @ Wild Rumpus Books, Minneapolis • 1-3pm • Details: Activities, superhero trivia and prizes for those who show up in their best superhero attire.

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.

Beth El Trucksploration Flyer35/28-30: Sparky the Sea Lion Opening Weekend @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • shows at 11:30am & 3pm.

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.

5/29: Immigrant for a Day @ Gammelgarden Museum, Scandia • 1-4pm • Details: Step back into the 1850’s with immigrant family activities and tours.

5/30: Cafesjian’s Carousel Free Ride Day @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory • 11am-4pm

5/30: Memorial Day Animal Show @ Eastman Nature Center, Maple Grove • 1-4pm

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.



5/1: Caponi Art Park, Eagan, 9am-7pm • Sculpture park, free entertainment, special events.

5/28: Minneapolis Wading Pools • Open daily 10am-9pm • Beaches also open, but unguarded until 6/11/16.
5/28: Nicollet Commons Park water feature, Burnsville, (weather dependent)

tm nicollet commons park
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


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.

We are MayDay!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.

5/14: Art Start’s EcoArts Fest @ Harriet Island Regional Park, St. Paul 10am-3pm Details: This very family-friendly event promotes environmental stewardship through visual and performing arts.

5/15: Holz Farm Spring Festival @ Holz Farm Park, Eagan • 11am-4pm • Details: Admission and many farm activities are free, a few require tickets for a small fee.

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).



5/7: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking @ Articulture, 2613 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis • 1-3pm

5/7: Saturday Crafts for Kids: Mother’s Day Cards @ Lakeshore Learning locations • 11am-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.

5/7-8: Mother’s Day Weekend @ Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River • Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm • Details: Moms free when accompanied by a child; help with spring planting and visit the farm babies.

The Oliver H. Kelley Farm.

5/7-8: Macy’s Mother’s Day Weekend @ Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley • 9am • Moms are in FREE!

5/8: Family Day: Mother’s Day Musical @ Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm • Details: Combine words and art through games, storytelling, crafts, and a gallery hunt.

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: St. Paul Civic Symphony’s Mother’s Day Concert @ Landmark Center • 1pm

5/8: Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • 12:30-8:30pm • Moms ride 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.


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


MOA Toddler Tuesdays, Mall of America RotundaOngoing Tuesdays, 10am – noonDetails: Live entertainment and activities guaranteed to excite the stroller set. Upcoming event schedule here.

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.

tm wee wednesdaysWee Wednesdays @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis, MN 55407Ongoing 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.

Games Galore @ Union Depot, St Paul • Ongoing Wednesdays, 10am-8pm • Details: Play giant-sized versions of classic games including chess, checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes and more.

Free Children’s Entertainment @ Edinborough Park Amphitheater, Edina • Thursdays, noon.

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.

Story Time Any Time

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.


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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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