Don’t look at these 10 free things to do in August as an end-of-summer bucket list — because personally, I’m not ready to look fall in the face — but take these suggestions as a reminder that there is plenty of the season left to enjoy! Here’s what August has in store for the Twin Cities:
Catch the final Groovin’ in the Garden performance and, depending on the ages of your kids, they might let you sit and enjoy while being entertained by the free Park & Rec equipment: a jump castle, giant climbing wall, and lawn games. If not, at least you can hear the music while the kids exhaust themselves. Bring a blanket and picnic or purchase food onsite. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 8/1/18, 6-8pm
Heritage Village comes to life as it was a century ago during the run of the Dakota County Fair. Costumed characters interpret rural life as you visit the village buildings and take in demonstrations. Admission to Heritage Village is included in your ticket to the Fair, which also hosts many free activities, exhibits, and live entertainment. Free admission on Aug 6 only, parking $5.
Community gatherings across the Twin Cities encourage you to get out, spend the evening with your neighbors and promote safe neighborhoods. Minneapolis has an extensive list of registered block parties (complete with proposed activities) here, organized by neighborhoods. St. Paul’s list can be found here. Even if you don’t plan to leave your own ‘hood for the evening, ideas for your own bash abound on these lists. 8/7/18
4) The Most Epic Family Day | Target Field Station, Minneapolis
presented by Go Outside with Hennepin County – features family activities such as crafts, animal encounters, a bounce house and food for purchase. And while you’re in the zip code, here are 10 Free Things To Do with Kids in Downtown Minneapolis this summer! 8/12/18, 12-4pm
5) Family Art Sunday | Bafill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley
The gallery, housed in the historic Banfill-Locke House, strives to be a community arts center and offers year-round classes and events for families to attend free of charge. During a typical Family Art Sunday, feel free to drop in for art projects, a scavenger hunt, snack, and occasional special entertainment. 8/12/18, 1-4pm
6) Cafesjian’s Carousel Free Day | Como Park, St Paul
Come take a spin on the historic Como Park carousel for FREE! While you’re there, make a day of it taking advantage of all the freebies on our Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Summer Checklist. 8/13/18, 11am-4pm
7) Last call for FREE summer community entertainment
Still going strong for the next few weeks are the community park puppet wagons, movies in the park, outdoor concerts in the commons, and other kid-friendly entertainment that is completely free to attend. We have them all neatly organized by city in the guide above, making it super easy to find an event near you!
8) Twin Cities River Rats water ski shows
Catch the spectacles on skis Thursday nights through 8/30/18, 6:30pm. The team recommends you bring blankets or chairs for the best viewing experience! 1758 West River Rd N, Minneapolis.
9) Free cultural festivals
8/10/18-8/12/18: Irish Fair of Minnesota | Harriet Island Regional Park, St Paul | A special children’s area allows kids to meet Irish dogs, try instruments, take an Irish dance lesson, and craft.
8/10/18-8/12/18: Twin Cities Polish Festival | Minneapolis downtown riverfront | Musical and dance entertainment, traditional foods.
8/18/18: Fiesta Latina | CLUES, St Paul | Celebrates Latin culture through arts, health & wellness, fitness, food and entertainment.
Plus more with free admission on our August Family Festival calendar.
The Minnesota State Fair does not exactly scream “free” or “cheap”, you say? It’s true that costs can quickly add up between admission, treats and carnival rides, but for many families (mine included) a trip or few to the Fair is a summer must-do. We’ve included this list of 10 free attractions included in Fair admission to give you an idea of all the budget-friendly fun that is to be had.