April is literally blooming with free events and activities in the Twin Cities!
4/1-3: Macy’s Flower Show @ Minneapolis Macy’s @ Downtown Minneapolis Macy’s, 8th Floor Auditorium, 700 On The Mall, Minneapolis • Open daily during store hours through April 3, 2016 • Details: A colorful trip across our country’s landscapes; kids will enjoy the flower displays.
4/1: Forever Wild Family Friday: Treasure Hunt @ Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan • 7-8:30pm • Details: Geocache with the park for hidden treasure.
4/2: Free Family Art Day @ Rumriver Art Center, 2665 4th Ave, Suite 102, Anoka • 2 sessions: 11am-noon & 1-2pm • Details: Take a free, hour-long art class designed for kids ages 5+ with caregivers. Reservations are required and can be made by phone at 763.323.8830 or online here.
4/2: First Free Saturday: Visual World @ 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 every first Saturday of the month.
4/2: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Build a Butterfly House @ TC Home Depot locations
• 9am-noon • Details: The first Saturday of each month is workshop day at Home Depot. Kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany their kids.
4/2: Nature Rocks! Open House @ Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie • 9am-noon • Details: The first Saturday of each month enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more!
4/5: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks • find a listing of parks here • Details: Explore Washington County Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No vehicle permit required.
4/9: Stretch Into Spring: Yoga Calm for Kids @ Pacifier – North Loop, 219 N 2nd St, Minneapolis • 4-4:30pm • Details: Includes stretching, a story and some springtime props just for kids.
4/10: 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.
4/16: Outdoor Family Expo @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood • 10am-2pm • Details: Discover all that Minnesota has to offer through learning stations for all ages. Tie jigs, try out binoculars, set up a tent, learn about safety, wildlife watching and more.
4/16: Sweet Science Ice Cream Tasting Event @ 11 Wells, 704 Minnehaha Ave E, St Paul • 2-5pm
4/17: 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.
4/23: Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Free Family Concert @ Ordway Center, St Paul • 10:30-noon • Details: The all-ages interactive program is in collaboration with the Minnesota Boychoir and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
4/30: Family Fun Twin Cities’ Monster 3rd Birthday Bash @ Kiddywampus, Hopkins • 10am-1pm • Details: Please come help us celebrate with free entertainment, activities, cake, a book launch, giveaways and more!
4/30: Union Depot’s 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.
4/30: Art in Bloom Family Day @ Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis • 10:30am-1pm • Details: Monarch inspired crafts and activities. Make a butterfly crown with real flowers and flutter around the museum’s third floor on a scavenger hunt. Join in chalk drawing outside and create your own butterfly.
4/30: Kids Kraft: Spring Fun @ Scott County Historical Society, 235 Fuller St S, Shakopee • 10:30-11:15am • Details: Get krafting the last Sat of each month Oct-April. Free; registration required.
TWIN CITIES EARTH DAY FAMILY EVENTS
4/21: Earth Day Volunteer Event @ Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul • 5:30-8pm • Details: Lend Mother Nature a hand by help with a variety of projects including litter pick-up, invasive species removal, and garden clean-up. Volunteers will grab a bite from the grill beforehand; please register in advance at the above link.
4/23: Earth Day Celebration @ Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville • 10am-2pm • Details: Enjoy free entertainment, beat a drum in the parade, and help with planting at this annual celebration. Top off the day with a slice of cake to celebrate the nature center’s birthday!
4/23: Earth Day Celebration @ Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington • 10am-2pm • Details: Search for signs of spring during naturalist-led hikes, learn about pollinators at the “Bee Tree”, and join a service project.
4/23: Family Earth Day Celebration @ Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes • 12:30-3pm • Details: All kinds of family fun at this Earth Day celebration: climbing wall, light refreshments, and a make-and-take earth art project.
4/23: Earth Day Cleanup @ Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave, St. Louis Park • 1-3:30pm • Details: Help spruce up the nature center. Hike the trails, do light maintenance, pick up litter and enjoy refreshments.
4/23: Earth Day Cleanup & Garden Work Day @ Tamarack Nature Center, 9am-noon • Details: Volunteer for a morning at Tamarack by cleaning up the grounds and trails, as well as working in the Garden to get it ready for planting. RSVP at the above link.
ONGOING SATURDAYS – FREE
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 • winter hours 10am-4pm • suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all are welcome whether or not you choose to donate.
Details: Seasonal events include Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders (creepy crawlies on display through April 17), the Spring Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day. Open year-round.
MayDay Build Workshops @ In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis • 9am-11am & 1-3pm • Details: Come help create floats for the annual MayDay celebration in Powderhorn Park. Artists will guide volunteers in creating a piece of their own or a contribution to a parade float. Workshops also held every Tuesday & Thursday in April, 7-9pm.
ONGOING SUNDAYS – 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, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis • 11am-5pm
ONGOING FREE WEEKDAY APRIL EVENTS
MOA Toddler Tuesdays, Mall of America Rotunda • Ongoing Tuesdays, 10am – noon • Details: Live entertainment and activities guaranteed to excite the stroller set. You can view upcoming event details here. Make a day of it with a special Nickelodeon Universe 5-hour ride wristband ($11.95 plus tax) and a stop at the free play tables at the LEGO Store.
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 • 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.
Lil Explorer Thursdays @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • Ongoing Thursdays through April 28, 2016, 10am-noon • Details: The hall between the Visitor Center and the Conservatory is filled with hands-on activities, manipulatives, art projects and games perfect for the 4 & under set. Explore a different theme each week.
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”.