It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Minneapolis-St Paul area, especially after that often spendy holiday season. Most of these Twin Cities deals for family events cost just $5 or less per person (we add in a few exceptions when we’ve spotted a deal we think is worth sharing.) Smart way to start off the new year, right? For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our:
- FAMILY FUN CALENDAR
- JANUARY WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE
- FREE TWIN CITIES JANUARY EVENTS & ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES
- BEST THINGS TO DO: JANUARY IN THE TWIN CITIES
- TWIN CITIES ULTIMATE WINTER FUN GUIDE
Twin Cities Deals & Discounts - January Family Events
Twin Cities Special Family Events – $5/pp or less
Northrup Auditorium, 84 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Learning about science can be a total blast – proven by these high-energy and super cool public shows put on by the University of Minnesota. The outreach aims to amaze with its stunts while reminding kids not to shy away from subjects that can seem challenging to understand. January 15, 2022. Tickets: $4/pp, ages 10 & under FREE.
American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Suggested for ages 2-5. Register in advance. Jan 21, 2022, 9-10am.
Treat yourself and little ones to a trip to the movies! We’ve compiled a list of Twin Cities movie theaters that offer discounts ranging from $3-$6 daily. Tip: Tuesdays are the most common day of the deal for movies.
Twin Cities Deals & Discounts for Active Play in January
Active kids need a place to spend their energy, especially during the cold months in Minnesota. Where do we take our own kids when we want a deal or need to stick to a budget? (Hello! Our team members have four kids each!) Some of our go-to ideas for discounted active play include:
270 N. Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Read about the splashy, kid-friendly amenities and find January discount days at Great River Water Park here. Discount admission is currently offered Mon/Wed/Fri 9-11am, Fri after 5pm & Sat after 4pm. Just $4/pp.
- MAPLE GROVE COVE AQUATIC CENTER: Wild Wednesdays & Friday Family Fundays
University of Minnesota Coffman Union (Mpls) & St. Paul Student Center
Kids love to bowl and this is a great place to do it cheap! Monday-Wednesday & Friday-Sun/$3pp per game, Thursday/$1pp per game. Shoes $2 (Free on Fridays)
INDOOR PLAYGROUND DEALS – $5-$6 PER CHILD OR LESS
Instead of climbing our walls during the winter, we have our kids climb around the many Minneapolis-St Paul area indoor playgrounds – several of which offer good deals or discount hours. They can scramble, swing and slide their wiggles right out! For our full listing of Twin Cities indoor playgrounds, jump over to our INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS GUIDE. See your best bet for discounted play at the locations listed here:
316 Brookview Parkway S, Golden Valley, MN 55426
Scramble around the indoor playground when it’s too cold to play outside. Please see website for current hours. $4.50-$5.50/pp.
Twilight hour is discounted to $3.50/child, one hour before close, 7 days/week.
14645 Felton Court, Suite #104, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Open play at the showroom – playsets, basketball and other games. Weekdays, 9am-4pm (12 on Wed), $6 per child.
1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
Blast & Play (Tues/Thurs) includes admission to The Blast Indoor Playground and the gymnasium. $5 per child, under 18 mons free.
485 Gorman St., Shakopee, MN 55379
The indoor playground within the community center features a variety of play equipment for ages 10 and under. Just $3 per child.
4580 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126
A tropical-themed jungle of an indoor playground. Combine your visit with a swim at the indoor waterpark! $6/child to age 12.
INDOOR OPEN PLAY DEALS – Tot Times & Open Gyms
Tot Times and Open Gyms typically include a time for non-structured play in community center gyms where items such as balls, wheeled toys, tumble mats and other playthings are furnished. Attendance is usually limited to preschool-aged and under with caregivers. Naptime following (almost) guaranteed! This is a great discounted play option for little ones in the Twin Cities.
Tot Time Open Gym runs most Mon & Tues. 9:30-11:30am. $3-$4/child, ages 6 & under w/ caregiver. CURRENTLY ON HOLD.
More indoor play options can be found at:
Twin Cities Deals & Discounts for Nature Play in January
Explore nature play and the great outdoors in the wintertime right alongside your children! In our experience, nature play offers some of the best Twin Cities deals and budget-friendly activities out there. Nature centers and parks across the Minneapolis-St Paul area host hundreds of low-cost programs throughout the year. Please check our Family Fun Calendar for exact dates, times and costs for each family nature program. Other FREE nature play opportunities you might want to check out:
- TWIN CITIES BEST NATURE PLAYGROUNDS
- FULL LIST OF TWIN CITIES NATURE CENTER & OUTDOOR INTERPRETIVE CENTERS
January FAMILY NATURE PROGRAMS – $6/pp or less
12805 St. Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033
Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings offers a themed Preschool Storytime one Friday/month for ages 2-5. January 16, 2022, $6/child.
13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton MN 55369
Along with fun indoor nature exhibits, Eastman offers a My Preschooler & Me program for $5/pp. January 26, 2022.
13765 Staring Lake Pkwy, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Snowtime Saturdays at Staring Lake: the 1-hour program features outdoor recreation stations with activities to try, such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, kick-sledding and cross-country skiing. Use a kit to create a snow sculpture, hike the wooded trails and warm up by a bonfire. Saturdays, Jan 8-29. $11/family, must register one member in advance.
7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
In January, Lowry Nature Center is offering Kicksled Open Rink days. Come try out this fun winter activity! Registration required. January 13, 23 & 27, 2022. $5/pp.
Maplewood, MN 55119
Snowshoe rental is available in January for $5/pair at the nature center. We’ve enjoyed taking a hike around the grounds.
10360 W River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
The park offers Free Family Fun Days three Sundays in January. Drop in between 1-3pm.
8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Richardson Nature Center offers drop-in free family fun days in January along with a special Ice Harvesting Day (Jan 22) for families. Must register in advance.
100 85th Ave., N.E. Fridley, MN 55432
Take to the trails on a Lantern Night Hike and warm up at a bonfire. January 7, 2022, $5/pp. Snowshoe rental $5 extra if desired.
Wargo Nature Center offers Nature Play for ages 2-5 first/Thur/month ($3/pp) and an Animals In Winter Program. January 6, $5/child, $3/adult. Wargo’s annual Snow Day festival is a FREE event where families can try a variety of winter sports and activities. January 29, 2022.
More family nature play deals & discounted events
Gabbert Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids corner. 30-minute tours offered Tues/Wed/Sun. $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults.
Twin Cities Deals we hope to return in 2022
Twin Cities Special Events Deals
Family Dance | Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis
The focus is on teaching simple dances that everyone in the family can enjoy. Breaks will feature snacks and kid-friendly activities. 6:30-8pm, $6/pp or $12/family.
Michaels Kids Club Crafts | Twin Cities Michaels locations
Check the link for details. Ongoing Saturdays in December, 10am-noon. $3 per project, ages 3+.
Como Planetarium public star shows | Como Planetarium,
The 5:30 show is geared towards pre-K kids; call first to confirm (651) 293-5398. Ongoing Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30pm. $5/pp, 2 & under on laps are free.