Budget Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find October’s seasonal and monthly sponsor ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5-$6 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities page.


Oct 11 & 12: Chairlift Rides | Hyland Hills Ski Area, Bloomington
Excellent vantage point to view the fall colors! Plus lawn games, live music and a campfire with smores. Fri 5-9pm, Sat 4-9pm. $5/pp in advance, $6/day of.

Oct 19: Leaf Fest | Caponi Art Park, Eagan
Family art projects, a pumpkin hunt and other entertainment. 11am-4pm. Suggested $5/pp donation.

Oct 18 & 19: Kids at the Castle | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
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. 9-10am (feel free to stay after and explore the castle). $8/family.


Visit our complete listings of Twin Cities Apple Orchards and Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches for more fall outing ideas. Most farms offer FREE admission and charge only a small fee for hayrides, playgrounds and other activities.

Twin Cities Apple OrchardsTwin Cities Pumpkin Patches

Scarecrow Festival | Emma Krumbees, Belle Plaine
Admission includes activities like tractor trikes, wagon rides, a slide and the 33rd annual Great Scarecrow Display. Open daily 10am-6pm. $6/pp.

Afton Apple Fest | Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings
Admission includes hayrides, run of the playground and tire hill, petting farm, magician, music and other live entertainment. Weekends only thru Oct 13, 10am-6pm. $4-$5/pp.

Oct 12: Fall on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park
Join in harvest time, cider pressing, pumpkin carving and more. 12-3pm, $4-$6/pp, 4 & under free.

Apple orchard and pumpkin patches – October 2019:

Afton Apple Orchard | Hastings
Includes orchard activities such as the tire hill, playground, petting farm & live entertainment. Extra fee for additional activities (available weekends only). Daily, 10am-6pm. $5/pp ages 5+, $4/pp under 5.

Emma Krumbee’s Orchard & Farm | Belle Plaine
Scarecrow Festival daily, 10am-6pm. $6/pp.

Eveland Family Farm | Andover
Includes a hayride, kids corn maze and self-guided tour of the farm. Open late Sept-Halloween. Weekdays 3 – 7pm, weekends 10am – 6pm. $4/pp.

Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest | Jordan
9am-6pm. $2/pp or $5 per car weekends.


Dozens of budget Halloween events have made their way into our Twin Cities Family Halloween Guide. Find our quick of ideas here or click on the graphic below to get all the not-so-scary details for 2019:

Oct 12: Pumpkins in the Park | Veteran’s Memorial Park, Shakopee
4-6pm. $5/kid, adults free.

Oct 18: Jack-o-Lantern Trail of Fun | Athletic Park, Chaska
 5pm, $1/pp.

Oct 19: Halloween Family Fun Day | Weaver Lake Pk, Maple Grove
1-4pm. $5/child ages 2-8.

Oct 25: Halloween Fest | Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville | 6-8pm, $5/family

Minnesota Streetcar Museum Events

Como-Harriet Events (Minneapolis):

Excelsior Events (Excelsior):


Twin Cities movie discount days | Treat yourself to a trip to the movies! We’ve compiled a list of Twin Cities cinemas that offer discounts ranging from $2.50-$6 daily. Tip: Tuesdays are the most common day of the deal.

TwinCities Cheap Flicks

Great River Water Park, St Paul | 11am-5pm | Daily admission is $5-$6/pp or $24/family up to 5 members | Read about the kid-friendly amenities at Great River Water Park here. Discount days: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays: $2/person every 3rd Friday of the month, 1/2 Price Days: 1/2 price admission every Monday & Wednesday & $4 Sundays: $4/person every Sunday.

Public star shows | Como Planetarium, St Paul
The 5:30 show is geared towards pre-K kids; call first to confirm (651) 293-5398. Ongoing Tuesdays in October, 5:30-6:30pm. $5/pp, 2 & under on laps are free.

Story & Art Time | Eden Prairie Art Center
Sensory play & artmaking. Ongoing Tues thru Dec 3, 9:30-11am & Sat thru Nov 23,10-11:30am. Drop-in fee is $6/child.

Theater Explorers: Storytime Drop-in | Steppingstone Theater, St Paul
Introduce toddlers and preschoolers to theater arts through this weekly drop-in program filled with stories, songs, art projects and creative play. Ongoing Wednesdays in October, $5/family.

Michaels Kids Club Crafts | Twin Cities Michaels locations
Check the link for details. Ongoing Saturdays in October, 10am-noon, $3 per project, ages 3+.

Raptor Center Tours | Gabbert Raptor Center, St Paul campus of the U of M
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’ play corner. 30-minute tours every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, ongoing Tues-Fri & weekends, 12:30-3:30pm. $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults.

Budget Twin Cities October

Bowl for a Buck | University of Minnesota
Coffman Union (Mpls): Thurs, 5pm-close) & St. Paul Student Center: All day Wed .$1 per game plus $2 shoe rental.

Friday Family Funday | Grove Cove Aquatic Center, Maple Grove
The 2019 season begins Sept 23. $6/pp or $22/family.


Explore the great outdoors right alongside your children! Nature centers and parks across the Twin Cities 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.

Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center | Hastings
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park | Brooklyn Park

Eastman Nature Center | Dayton
Lowry Nature Center | Victoria
Maplewood Nature Center | Maplewood
Richardson Nature Center | Bloomington
Springbrook Nature Center | Fridley
Wargo Nature Center | Lino Lakes
Westwood Hills Nature Center | St Louis Park
Wood Lake Nature Center | Richfield

Budget Twin Cities October


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!

Andover Community Center
Tot Time Open Gym runs most Mon & Tues starting October 2019. 9:30-11:30am. $3-$4/child, ages 6 & under w/ caregiver.

Brookview Backyard Indoor Playground
Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm & Sun, 9:30am-5pm$4.50-$5.50/pp.

Crystal Community Center Gym: Preschool Playtime
Preschool Playtime runs ongoing Wed, early October-mid April. 10-11:30am | $3/child ages 1-5.

Eagan Community Center
Preschool Open Play also includes admission to The Blast Indoor Playground. Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am. $4 per child, under 18 mons free.

Eden Prairie Community Center
Tot Time Open Gym – best for ages 1-4. $6/pp includes admission to Prairie Play Zone Indoor Playground. Mon-Fri, 9:30-11:30am. $4/pp ages 1-4, $5/pp ages 5+, under 1 and caregivers free.

Maple Grove Community Center
Parent & Tot Time is best for ages 5 & under. Ongoing Mon & Wed, 10-11:30am. $3/resident youth, $3.50/non-res youth, caregivers free.

Millz House | Apple Valley
Open play at the showroom – playsets, basketball and other games. Weekdays, 9am-4pm, $6 per child.

New Brighton Community Center
Preschool Open Gym also includes admission to Eagles Nest Indoor Playground. Mon & Wed excluding holidays and school breaks, 10:30am-1:30pm. $6/child, preschool & under with caregiver, admission to included.

Shakopee Community Center – CC Kids Playtime
Kids Playtime runs October – April 2019. 10-11:30am. $1 per child ages 1-5 w/ caregiver.

Shoreview Community Center
Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground open play. Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm | $6/per child ages 1-12, adults free.

More indoor play options can be found at:

Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!

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