10 Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

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Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

We love a fresh start in the fall: new season, new reasons to get out and explore the Twin Cities with your family. This month’s posts are generously sponsored by our Orchard Crawl Sponsors. They make these free lists possible.

Giliane E. Mansfeldt Photographyblue sun soda

1) First Free Saturday: Sculpture Garden Shindig | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 

Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – outdoor green space of the Walker Art Center – underwent a complete makeover in 2017, adding dozens of new sculptures to the park. Get out and explore with free activities like pinwheel-making, mini ukulele lessons and, as always, free admission to the Walker’s galleries on the first Saturday of the month. 9/1/18, 10am-3pm.


2) Sing, Play Learn! MacPhail’s 50th Birthday Party | MacPhail Center for Music

A live band, outdoor activities, sample classes and birthday cake help MacPhail ring in a half-century. 9/8/18, 10am-12pm open house.


3) Minneapolis Monarch Festival | Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis

Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

In the fall, monarch butterflies begin their annual flight south to Mexico. Families can come learn more about this remarkable journey and send the monarch off in style with a parade (kids up to 12 are welcome to join in; wear your butterfly best), a tag-and-release activity, games, and tours of the Lake Nokomis Naturescape, a sanctuary for pollinators. 9/8/18. 49th St & Woodlawn Blvd, 10am-4pm.


4) Free things to do on Grandparents Day – September 9

They all say it really is the best time of their lives – treat those most special of people today to an inter-generational outing. Admission is free to all of the following:


5) Movies on the Hill: The Last Jedi | Hyland Hills Ski Area, Bloomington 

Bring your own blanket for the last outdoor movie of the season, play some free lawn games, listen to live music and pack your own picnic dinner for the ultimate budget outing. The show begins at dusk. 9/14/18, 6-10:30pm


6) Free activities at apple orchards

Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

Most smaller orchards are thrilled just to get you in the door (with the hope that you’ll purchase the privilege of picking their fresh apples, of course) and offer free admission. And our favorites are the ones that not only don’t charge to enter, they don’t nickel-and-dime you for activities as soon as you’re in. Some highlights from the orchards we recommend:

  • Deardorff Orchards, Waconia | Wed-Sun, 10am-6pm | Take a tractor wagon ride out to pick-your-own apples and let the kids play freely in their own space with hay bales and farm animals.
  • Fisher’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings | Tues-Sun, 9:30am-5pm | The wagon ride to the corn maze is very reasonably priced ($3/pp) and is a good “starter” maze for younger children.
  • Fall Harvest Orchard, Delano | While there are several attractions that require a fee, there is quite a lot to do for free here, especially if your kids are into animal encounters. Let them roll around in the corn boxes and play on the tire hills, too. It won’t cost any extra.

7) Field Trip | Silverwood Park, St Anthony

Silverwood Park Outdoor Concerts - Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

Make it a family day of art-making, live music, creative play and an outdoor art fair. 9/15/18, 11am-5pm.


8) Fall festivals with free admission

Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

Dozens of family-friendly fall festivals dot the Twin Cities this time of year. We don’t stop celebrating our communities just because summer has set and the cold weather’s ahead. Here are two free festivals we recommend; make sure to consult our full calendar for more ideas:

  • Lone Oak Days, Eagan | Located at the historic Holz Farm Park, there’s lots of old-fashioned farm fun to be had here and most of it at no charge: explore the chicken coop, do outdoor laundry, play in the corn box and churn some fresh butter in the farmhouse. Sept 22-23, 11am-4pm. (Sorry this event is no longer free. $2/admission)
  • Wild Rice Festival, Roseville | Harriet Alexander Nature Center hosts this annual festival with free kids games, cider pressing, wild rice harvesting demos and fun with Gibbs Farm. 9/15/18, 10-6.

9) Fall Raptor Release | Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center, Hastings

Injured birds, nursed back to health by the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, are released back into the wild at this annual festival within the Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center. Help send them off with educational exhibits and kids activities. 9/22/18, 10am-3pm, FREE.


10) Free Tot Times at Twin Cities Community & Recreation Centers

Free Things To Do in the Twin Cities in September

Tot Times and Open Gym were my savior when my firstborn was a squirrelly toddler who needed a space to run off his pent-up energy. He thrived on the small bikes, balls, tumbling mats and other provided equipment for unstructured physical play — and naptime was a GIVEN afterwards! St Paul and Minneapolis-area community and re centers offer free open gyms that begin in September with the start of the school year:

Twin Cities suburban community and rec centers also offer very low-cost open gyms and tot times. You can find the complete listing HERE.


 


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