TWIN CITIES SPECIAL EVENTS – FREE
10/3/17: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks | SE Metro | Find a listing of parks here | Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).
10/6/17: Forever Wild Family Friday | Lebanon Hills Park Visitor Center, Eagan | 7-8:30pm
10/7/17: First Free Saturday: Material World | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis | 10am-3pm | 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.
10/7/17: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Family Concert: Race for the Reef | Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul | 2 sessions: 10 & 11:30am | This 50-minute concert is geared for kids 6-12 w/ caregivers. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at the link.
10/7/17: Home Depot Kids Workshop | TC Home Depot locations | 9am-noon | The first Saturday of each month kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany children.
10/8/17: Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day | Minneapolis | 11am-5pm | A day packed with hands-on art activities, scavenger hunts in the galleries and live cultural entertainment.
10/10/17: Ballet Tuesdays | Landmark Center, St. Paul | 12-1pm | Excerpts from the classics, perfect for budding ballerinas.
10/14-15: Highland Park Water Tower Open House | St. Paul | 9am-5pm | One of only two weekends a year the tower is open for viewing! Check out the fall colors and learn about water utility.
10/15/17: Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul | 9am-5pm | Explore the newly renovated and expanded museum free! Keep in mind that this program is very popular and you may wait in line to be admitted.
10/28/17: Start the Music! with St Paul Chamber Orchestra | Capri Theater, Minneapolis | 10am | Start the Music is SPCO’s outreach to kids ages 3-6, introducing them to the instruments of the orchestra through stories, games and a shorter concert. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.
FREE TWIN CITIES FAMILY HALLOWEEN EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Dozens of FREE Halloween events have made their way into our Twin Cities Family Halloween Guide. Find our quick list here or click on the graphic below to get all the details:
10/21/17: Pumpkin Fest 2017 | 50th & France, Edina
10/21/17: Coloring Contest & Halloween Fun | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka
10/21-22 & 10/27-29 & 10/31: BareBones Halloween Extravaganza | Hidden Falls Park, St. Paul
10/28/17: Afton’s Annual Trick-or-Treat Trail | St Croix Trail through Afton
10/28/17: Anoka’s Grand Day Parade | Main Street & Fifth Ave, Anoka
10/28/17: Halloween Comic Fest
10/28/17: Halloween Kids Kraft | Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee
10/28-29: Main Street Trick or Treat | Downtown Stillwater
10/29/17: BooFest on Grand | Grand Avenue, St Paul
10/31: Vadnais Heights Community Halloween Party | Vadnais Heights Commons
Please see our FFTC Guide to Halloween Fun in the Twin Cities for a complete listing of FREE library and bookstore Halloween programs and Halloween events at Minneapolis and St Paul Parks & Recreation Centers.
Monster Bash | TC Michaels locations
Jerry’s Halloween Creepy Crawly | Jerry’s Foods – Woodbury, Edina & Eden Prairie
Halloween Spooktacular at America Girl, Mall of America
Halloween Party | Bloomington Ice Garden
OCTOBER FAMILY FALL FESTIVAL CALENDAR – FREE ADMISSION
10/1: Pahl’s Market Fall Festival | Pahl’s Market, Apple Valley | 9am-5pm | Family highlights: Pick a pumpkin, send the kids through the straw maze and corn box, enjoy storytime, face painting and more.
10/5-15: Fall Fair | Afton Alps, Hastings | Family highlights: Family entertainment at Afton’s annual Ski & Snowboard Swap includes chairlift rides, inflatables, live music, movies and more.
10/3-4: Annual Apple Festival | Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings | 9:30am-5pm | Family highlights: Activities at the orchard including their wagon rides, straw mountain, farm animals and family-friendly corn maze.
10/7/17: Harvest Fest | Frogtown Farm Park, St Paul | 11am-2pm | Horse-drawn wagon rides, fall food samples, recipe take-homes and pumpkin painting.
10/7-8 & 14-15: Annual Apple Festival | Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings | 9:30am-5pm | Family highlights: Activities at the orchard including their wagon rides, straw mountain, farm animals and family-friendly corn maze.
10/14-15: Stillwater Harvest Fest, Downtown Stillwater | 10am-6pm | Family highlights: Kids activities all day both days, plus don’t miss the pumpkin regatta & giant pumpkin drop.
TBA: Prospect Park Annual Harvest Festival | Prospect Park Garden, Minneapolis | 5-8:30pm | Family highlights: Food fresh from the garden and live entertainment! FREE.
TWIN CITIES PUMPKIN PATCHES – FREE ADMISSION
Barten Pumpkins | New Prague
Open September 20 through Halloween 2017, 9am to 7 pm. Free admission, thousands of pumpkins are $1 to $6. Free pony rides (see website for day and time), free hay rides (see website for day and time), free play natural play area every day.
Country Sun Farm | Lake Elmo
Open daily, 9am-7pm weekdays & 9am-5pm weekends starting Sept 19 thru Halloween, 2017. Free admission with a charge for all fall activities with the exception of the petting farm and outdoor display photo ops.
Lendt’s Pumpkin Patch | Wyoming
Open daily, Sept 23 thru Oct 31, 2017 – 9 am to dusk. PYO pumpkins/$4 ea. Weekend hayrides $3/pp.
Marshall’s Farm Market | Eden Prairie
Open daily 10-6:30. Free admission, pumpkins range from $1-$12.
Pleasant Valley Orchard | Shafer
Open daily 10am-6pm. Admission is free; extra fee for weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch ($3/pp).
Tom’s Pumpkin Farm | Lindstrom
Open daily, 10am-dusk Sept 23 thru Halloween, 2017. Free admission, pick-your-own pumpkin and carry it out, $3.99 any size.
Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn | Shakopee
Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 9am – 6:30pm. Free admission and hayrides to pick-your-own pumpkins from the field. Enjoy the working farm and free face painting on October weekends.
Waldoch Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze | Lino Lakes
Open daily, Sept 23-Oct 31, 2017; 10am-7pm. Hayride to the pumpkin patch is complimentary, pumpkins are sold by size and starting at $3. You can also tour Joyer Barnyard without paying an admission fee.
ONGOING OCTOBER WEEKENDS – FREE
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. | Seasonal events include the Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
Materials Lab | Minnesota Museum of American Art, St Paul | Open during exhibition hours, ongoing Sat/Sun, 10am-4pm | All ages can drop in and get creative with available materials and a little guidance.
Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie | Ongoing Saturdays, 9am-noon | Enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more.
Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St Paul | Ongoing Saturdays, 11:15am | Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
ONGOING OCTOBER WEEKDAYS – FREE
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. | Seasonal events include the Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
Parent/Tot Time & Preschool Open Gym | Apple Valley Community Center | Ongoing Mon/Wed/ Fri, 9:30-11am | Ages: 5 & under w/ caregiver | 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.
Wee Wednesdays | Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis | Ongoing Wednesdays, 10:30am – 1pm | 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 9/7/17 through April 2018, 10am-noon | 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.
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”.