With 12 children between them, the parents of the Family Fun Twin Cities team sure appreciate a good deal. And October is filled with them – from FREE Halloween events and fall festivals without admission fees to ways to save on entertainment over MEA Break.
For hundreds more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events & entertainment in October, visit our:
1) Top free Halloween events
It’s almost freaky how many FREE events take place in the Twin Cities around Halloween! We’ve collected a shockingly large free list OR check out our complete monster list of Halloween events just for families. Here’s a spooky sampling of a few of our favorites below, one for each region of the Metro:
Oct 26 & 27: Main Street Trick or Treat | Downtown Stillwater
Main Street businesses offer trick or treating. Noon-4pm.
Oct 26: Anoka’s Grand Day Parade | Main Street & Fifth Ave, Anoka
Curious as to why Anoka has been dubbed the Halloween Capital of the World? Find out during one of the dozens of events scheduled for 2019’s celebration. 1-3:30pm.
Oct 26: Afton’s Annual Trick-or-Treat Trail | St Croix Trail through Afton
Stop at local businesses for treats, activities and fun freebies. 10am-2pm.
Oct 26: Pumpkin Fest 2019 | 50th & France, Edina
Enjoy trick-or-treating at local businesses starting at 10am (look for the sign in the window, kids 12 & under only, please), kids activities, horse-drawn trolley rides, a cake walk, and costume contest. 10am-1pm.
Oct 27: 2nd Annual HERO-ween | The Firefighters Hall & Museum, Minneapolis
The Firefighters Hall & Museum invites the public to come out for indoor trick-or-treating in the museum and meet some local HEROs from Fire, Police and Paramedics! Dress in costume or just come to visit. Meet HEROs, ask questions and take some photos with local First Responders. Everyone welcome to this FREE event. 1-4pm.
Take the kids out for free pony rides, hay rides, and caricature drawings. Oct 5 & 12 only, 10am-2pm.
For more places to pick that perfect pumpkin try our Twin Cities Pumpkin Patch Guide. Many patches are FREE to visit and offer all kinds of fall activities.
3) Fire Prevention Month – visit a fire truck!
Whose got kids that stop in their tracks at the sight of one of those monster vehicles? October is National Fire Prevention Month. There are more chances this month to see the big rigs than any other – check our Twin Cities Touch-a-Truck Calendar to plan ahead! Cities that are hosting free meet-and-greets with firetrucks and their handlers:
- Oct 5: St. Anthony Village
- Oct 7: Shakopee
- Oct 12: Buffalo
- Oct 12: Eden Prairie
- Oct 12: Hopkins
- Oct 12: Saint Paul
- Oct 12: Woodbury
- TBA: Minnetonka
4) Rockpoint Church Corn Maze & fall festivities | Lake Elmo
Free admission and open to all – you need not be a member of the church to join in the fun. Activities include a 2-acre corn maze, a chance to shoot off the corn cannon, pedal karts, tractor-wagon rides, and games. Open Saturdays through Oct 5 2019, 11am – 5pm.
5) Fall colors for free
Highland Park Water Tower Open House | St. Paul
One of only two weekends a year the tower is open for viewing! This is your big chance to check out the fall colors from one of the highest points in our capitol city and learn about water utility. Oct 12 & 13, 2019, 9am-5pm.
6) Minnehaha Falls Art Fair
Cancelled in July, the Minnehaha Falls Art Fair presents a reboot this fall. Art, music, food, activities, and activities courtesy ARTrageous Adventures all with a beautiful backdrop of the Falls in the fall. Note, the parking lot will fill quickly; consider taking the free shuttle running between Fort Snelling Station North Lot and Minnehaha Falls Park. Oct 5, 10am-5pm.
7) Free MEA break ideas
Fear not families, we’ve got many ideas for your MEA break with (or without) those kids! Our FFTC Family Guide to MEA Weekend has dozens of ways to spend the time together. Here are just a few of the ideas (and these are the freebies):
Lil Explorer Thursday | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Each themed Thursday is packed with games, art projects, sensory tables, and interactive storytimes with Como staff. 10am-12pm between the Zoo’s Visitor Center and the Conservatory. FREE.
Family Friday | Midtown Global Market
Scrap cooking at home and celebrate the weekend with dinner out at MGM. Each Friday brings free family entertainment to the market stage. Pick a new cuisine from the many ethnic vendors. 5:30-7:30pm.
Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center
Enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more. Ongoing Saturdays, 9am-noon.
Free Third Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum
Explore the revamped museum FREE of charge; expect to wait in line for admission, especially over MEA Weekend. 9am-5pm.
8) Celebrate the Harvest Festival | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Dog shows, pumpkin weigh-off, wagon rides, crafts, cooking demos & more. Gale Woods Farm is a wonderful place to explore. Oct 5, 9:30am-3:30pm.
9) Free Tuesdays at Minnesota History Center | St Paul
Minnesota History Center does a phenomenal job of appealing to all ages through its highly interactive exhibits. You will have no problem at all finding plenty to intrigue your kids. Visit FREE on Tuesdays (October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) from 3pm until close (could make a great after-school activity!)
10) First Saturday Science | Metro State University, St Paul
Travel to an alternate dimension and dive into activities based on the sci-fi TV series “Stranger Things.” Drop in, no pre-registration required. Oct 5, 12-2pm. FREE.
Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!