With 12 children between them, the parents of the Family Fun Twin Cities team sure are THANKFUL for a good deal! This guide to FREE family entertainment for November is filled with local ongoing events as well as special and seasonal ones (ready or not, the holidays are upon us). For hundreds more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events & entertainment in November, visit our Family Fun Calendar.
This month, we are thrilled to partner with kiddywampus as our monthly sponsor.
Kiddywampus is one of our favorite local hangouts with our kids (it’s where we held our Monster Bash this year).
It’s a great place to create, play, move, and stock up on Christmas presents–whether hand-made or purchased.
TWIN CITIES SPECIAL EVENTS – FREE
11/1: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks, SE Metro • find a listing of parks here • Details: Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).
11/4: Forever Wild Family Friday: Nature Trivia @ Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, Eagan • 7-8:30pm • Details: Drop in for smores and stories.
11/5: First Free Saturday: Boom, Bang, Crash @ 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.
11/5: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Veterans Day Helicopter @ 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.
11/5: Free Family Music Series: Featuring Jack Brass Band @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis • 10am-noon, performances at 1o & 11 • Details: Designed for kids 8 & under, the musical open house features sample classes, crafts, snacks and live performances.
11/12: Target Free Family Concert: Start the Music! Percussion Party @ Park Square Theater, St. Paul • concerts at 10 & 11:15am, preshow activities 45 minutes prior • Details: Geared toward children ages 3–6 and their families, but all ages are welcome. Arrive early for pre-concert crafts, activities and games, then enjoy a children’s story told in a 30-minute concert. Tickets go quickly! Also held 11/19/16.
11/12: Nokomis Fall Urban Craft & Art Fair @ Lake Nokomis Community Center, Minneapolis • 9:30am-4pm • Details: Shop local handmade gifts and art; activities and crafts to entertain the kids.
11/12: Try Hockey for Free Day! – 2016 participating locations and details can be found at the link. Have you got a little NHL star in your future?
11/20: Target Free 3rd Sunday @ Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul • 9am-5pm • Details: Explore the museum free, including the newest exhibit Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails thanks to the generosity of Target. Keep in mind that the museum is currently under renovation and many exhibits are currently closed.
ONGOING NOVEMBER WEEKENDS – FREE
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis • Daily, 11am-5pm
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul • Daily, 10am-6pm • suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. Details: Seasonal events include the Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
Saturday Live! @ George Latimer Central Library, St. Paul • 11:15am • Details: Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
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.
Bell Museum of Natural History, Minneapolis • Ongoing Sundays, Noon-5pm • Details: Explore the very kid-friendly Touch and Feel room and the wildlife dioramas free each Sunday.
ONGOING NOVEMBER WEEKDAYS – FREE
Parent/Tot Time & Preschool Open Gym @ Apple Valley Community Center • Ongoing Mon/Wed/ Fri, 9:30-11am • Ages: 5 & under w/ caregiver • Details: Burn off some energy with other kids, develop motor skills and coordination. A special tot time for tykes ages 2 & under is held from 9-9:30am followed by open play for 5 & under until 11.
Bloom Room Playdates @ Teeny Bee Boutique, St. Paul • Ongoing Wednesdays, 10:30am-noon • Details: Aimed at kids ages 0-3.
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 starting 9/8 through April 27, 2017, 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, 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.
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”.
TWIN CITIES EARLY HOLIDAY EVENTS – FREE
11/5: Nature Arts & Crafts Fair @ Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington • 10am-3pm • Details: Local artisans of jewelry, felting, painting and more display their wares; afterward enjoy the park reserve. All vendor fees donated to the VEAP-Bloomington Food Shelf.
11/19-12/18: Bachman’s: Santa & Albert Rock Christmas Holiday Play and Sing Along @ Bachman’s, Minneapolis • Sat: 10 & 11:30am, 1 &, 2:30pm; Sun: 11:30am, 1 & 2:30pm • Details: Suitable for all ages, come early for a good seat; participate in caroling after the play.
11/19: Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony @ Rice Park, St. Paul • 5-6pm
11/25: Holidazzle begins @ Loring Park, Minneapolis • 5-9m • Details: Holidazzle has moved to Loring Park, is offering free admission to all, and there will be vendors, activities, food, and fireworks for all. Holidazzle will run Thurs-Sun from 5-9pm on Thursdays & Fridays and 11am-9pm Saturdays & Sundays through Dec. 22, 2016.
11/25-27: Taylors Falls Lighting Festival • Family highlights: Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (11/25, 6pm), Christmas at the Folsom House (11/25-11/27, times vary), storytime with Mrs. Claus, wagon rides, lighting displays and more.
11/26: Tree Lighting Ceremony @ 50th & France, Edina • Holiday Market open 12-5pm followed by tree lighting at 5pm with carolers and Santa.