It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend.
4/9: Brickmania Toyworks Open House, 1620 Central Ave NE, Suite 170, Minneapolis • 10am-4pm • $5/pp or $10/group of 4, under age 4 FREE • Details: Intricate LEGO train layouts, hands-on LEGO activities and displays. This popular event is held the 2nd Saturday of each month. Read about a trip to the open house here.
4/15: Kids at the Castle: April Showers Bring May Flowers @ American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis • 11am-noon (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) • $5/family • Details: Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by ASI’s exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Suggested for ages 2-5.
4/16: Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store Presents: Train Movies! @ Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis • 9:45-10:45am • $5/pp – tickets available at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store (2050 Marshall Ave, St Paul) or at the door the day of if not sold out.
4/23: Family Dance @ Tapestry Folkdance Center, 3748 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis • 6:30-8pm • $5/pp or $10/family • Details: The focus is on teaching simple dances that everyone in the family can enjoy. A caller teaches dances from the British Isles and America, including group circle and longways dances and play-party (singing) games. Breaks will feature snacks and kid-friendly activities.
TWIN CITIES PARENT-CHILD NATURE PROGRAMS $5/PP OR LESS
4/2: First Saturdays: Introducing Wild Edibles @ Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, 10360 West River Rd, Brooklyn Park • 10am-noon • $5/pp • Details: Learn where to forage for these tasty edibles and sample.
4/2: Flights and Kites @ Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria • 1-2:30pm • $5/pp • Details: Learn about raptors and make your own high-flying kite.
4/2: Maple Syrup: Tapping Into Nature @ Cleary Lake Regional Park, 18106 Texas Ave, Prior Lake • 1-2:30pm • Details: Bring the family to learn about the maple syruping process.
4/7: My Preschooler & Me – Puppet Escapades: Mushy Mud @ Richardson Nature Center, 8737 East Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington • 10-11am • $4/pp (adult & child both pay) • Details: Themed activity stations & puppet show.
4/7: Young Explorers Club: Super Spring @ Wargo Nature Center, 7701 Main St, Lino Lakes • 1-2:30pm • $4/child • Details: Drop off your 4-5 year olds for hikes, games and crafts. Pre-register.
4/11: My Preschooler & Me – Lowry Little Ones: Beautiful Rainbows @ Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria • 10-11:30am • $5/pp.
4/11: Puppet Storytime: Mud is Fun @ Westwood Hills Nature Center, 10-11am, also presented 4/15/16 • $4/resident, $5/non-res • Details: The Westwood puppets tell a muddy story in their animated and comical style, then naturalist led activities will follow to highlight the story.
4/14: Big River, Small Fry: Nature for Curious Kids – Spring Babies @ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, 4900 N Mississippi Dr, Minneapolis • 9am-noon (drop in) • $5/pp.
4/16: American Stories & Dolls – The 1950’s @ Lowry Nature Center • 2-4pm • $5/pp • Details: Bring your doll and craft her a poodle skirt then cook over a campfire.
4/22: Preschool Storytime: Earth Day Celebration @ Carpenter St. Croix Nature Center, 12805 St Croix Trail S, Hastings • 10-11am • $5/child, adults free • Details: Activities include a nature story, a craft project, exploring the outdoors, and observing live animals. Call 651-437-4359 to pre-register.
4/25: My Preschooler & Me – Puppet Escapades: Earth Day Celebration @ Lowry Nature Center • 10-11am • $4/pp.
4/26: My Preschooler & Me – Puppet Escapades: Frogs @ Eastman Nature Center • 10-11am • $4/pp.
INDOOR PLAY $5 PER CHILD OR LESS
Hopkins Pavilion: Pavilion Turf Tots
11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins • Ongoing Mon-Fri (exception of 4/22), 9am-2pm • $4/child, caregivers free • Details: Drop in for play with equipment including balls, crawl tunnels, bounce houses, blocks, and more. Suited for kids ages 1-5.
Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground
4580 Victoria St. N, Shoreview • Open Play hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm • $5/per child ages 1-12, adults free.
Eagan Community Center: Preschool Open Play
1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am • $4 per child, under 18 mons free • Details: A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground. For kids ages 1-5.
Eden Prairie Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym
16700 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie • Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9:30-11:30am (9:15-11:30 Thurs) • $4/pp ages 1-4, $5/pp ages 5+, under 1 and caregivers free • Details: Participate in free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. For $6/pp, admission to the Prairie Play Zone indoor playground is included. Best for ages 1-4.
Maple Grove Community Center: Parent-Tot Time
12951 Weaver Lake Rd, Maple Grove • Ongoing Mon & Wed, 10-11:30am • $2.50/resident youth, $4/non-res youth, caregivers free. Best for ages 5 & under.
ONGOING APRIL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES $5/PP OR LESS
Michaels Kids Club Crafts @ Twin Cities Michaels locations • Ongoing Saturdays in April, 10am-noon • $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.
Saturday Mornings on the Farm @ Gale Woods Farm, 7210 Cty Rd 110 W, Minnetrista • Ongoing Saturdays in April, 9:30am-noon • $5/pp • Details: Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Strollers not allowed in the barn or around animals.
FANtastic Saturdays @ The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan • 5-8pm • $4/pp ages 18 mon-12 years, all others free. Details: Better bang for your buck every Saturday evening: $4 will get you into the Blast Indoor Playground, the gym for games, and provide a movie and crafts (parents must stay to supervise their kids).
“The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” @ Como Planetarium, • Ongoing Tuesdays in April, starting 4/12, 5:30-6:30pm • $5/pp, 2 & under on laps are free • Details: Join two children on a magical journey through the solar system, guided by a talking astronomy book.
Raptor Center Tours @ Gabbert Raptor Center, 920 Fitch Ave (St. Paul campus of the U of M) • 30-minute tours every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, ongoing Tues-Fri • $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults
Details: Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids’ play corner.
Bowl for a Buck @ University of MN’s Coffman Union (Thurs, 5pm-close) & St. Paul Student Center (all day Wed) • $1 per game plus $2 shoe rental.
Friday Family Funday @ Grove Cove Aquatic Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Rd, Maple Grove • Ongoing Fridays in April, 9am-8pm • $5/pp or $19/family for all members.