Budget Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

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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.


10/1/17: Medieval Fair | Caponi Art Park, Eagan | 11am-4pm | $5/pp | Explore life in the Middle Ages through period games, dress, demonstrations and other activities.

10/3 & 10/10: Big Bird and Elmo in “One World, One Sky” | Como Planetarium, St Paul | 5:30pm | $5/pp, under 2 free. Followed at 7 pm by “Seasonal Stargazing”, a program appealing to all ages.

10/6-7: Chairlift Rides | Hyland Hills Ski Area | Bloomington | 5-9pm | $5/pp in advance, $6/day of

10/14/17: Family Dance | Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis | 6:30-8pm | $5/pp or $10/family | The focus is on teaching simple dances that everyone in the family can enjoy. Breaks will feature snacks and kid-friendly activities.

10/20/17: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays | Great River Water Park, St Paul | $2/pp during Open Swim hours.

10/20-21: Kids at the Castle: Movin’ and Groovin | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis | 9-10am (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) | $8/family | 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.

10/23/17: Pre-K Days | The Works Museum, Bloomington | 9am-12pm | $4.25/per KID on these special days (half-price), adults are $8.50 | Activities specially designed for preschool-aged kids.


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.

FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple OrchardsPick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin

10/1-10/29: Scarecrow Festival | Emma Krumbees, Belle Plaine | Open daily 10am-6pm | $6/pp | Family highlights: Admission includes activities like tractor trikes, wagon rides, a slide and the 33rd annual Great Scarecrow Display.

10/8-9 & 10/14-15: Afton Apple Fest | Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings | Weekends only thru 10/15/17 | 10am-6pm | $4-$5/pp | Family highlights: Admission includes hayrides, run of the playground and tire hill, petting farm, magician, music and other live entertainment.

10/14/17: Fall on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park | 12-3pm | $4-$6/pp, 4 & under free | Join in harvest time, cider pressing, pumpkin carving and more.

10/20-21: Autumn Harvest in the Village | Dakota Heritage Village, Farmington | 1-8pm | $4-$6/pp

Apple orchard and pumpkin patches – October:

Afton Apple Orchard | Hastings | Daily, 10am-6pm | $5/pp ages 5+, $4/pp under 5, includes orchard activities

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

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

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


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:

10/13-29: Kids Dream Not-so-Scary Halloween Series | Marcus Theatres | Fri-Sun in Oct, 10am | $3/pp – 10/21 includes a trick-or-treat costume party at 9am.

10/14/17: Pumpkins in the Park | Veteran’s Memorial Park, Shakopee | 4-6pm | $5/kid, adults free

10/14-15: Farmer Ken & Jan’s Pumpkin Patch | Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis | $2/ride pp, under 3 free, pick a pumpkin $5/each

10/21/17: Halloween Family Fun Day | Weaver Lake Park, Maple Grove | 1-4pm | $5/child ages 2-8

10/27/17: Halloween Fest | Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville | 6-8pm | $5/family

10/27-28: Ghost Trolley: Witches’ Moon | Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis | $4/pp


Riverview Theater | Minneapolis | Ongoing $2 matinees

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line rides | Minneapolis | Ongoing weekends in October, 12:30-4:30pm | $2/ride pp or $5 day pass, under 4 ride free. Excelsior Streetcar Line | Ongoing Tuesdays thru October, 2-6pm.

Michaels Kids Club Crafts | Twin Cities Michaels locations | Ongoing Saturdays in October, 10am-noon | $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.

$4 Sundays | Great River Water Park, St Paul | 11am-5pm | $4/pp | Read about the kid-friendly amenities at Great River Water Park here.

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

Budget Twin Cities October

Bowl for a Buck | University of MN’s Coffman Union (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 | $6/pp or $22/family



Budget Twin Cities October


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


Budget Twin Cities October

Eagan Community Center: Preschool Open Play | Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am | $4 per child, under 18 mons free | Details: A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground.  For kids ages 1-5.

Eden Prairie Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym | Mon-Fri | 9:30-11:30am (9:15-11:30 Thurs) | Best for ages 1-4; $4/pp ages 1-4, $5/pp ages 5+, under 1 and caregivers free | Participate in free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. For $6/pp, admission to the Prairie Play Zone indoor playground is included.

Hopkins Pavilion: Play Place & Turf Tots | Ongoing Thurs & Fri now through February 2018 | 9 mon-5 years; Play Place is $3/child, caregivers free9am-noon | Through the end of February, Play Place is a drop-in program where kids can play with equipment including balls, crawl tunnels, bounce houses, blocks, and more. In the spring, the playtimes moves to the indoor turf where there’s more room to run!

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

Millz House (Apple Valley): Open Play | Weekdays, 9am-4pm | $6 per child

Shakopee Community Center – CC Kids Playtime | Mon, Wed, Fri | October through April 2018, 10-11:3oam | $1 per child ages 1-5 w/ caregiver | Kids and their parents are invited to run around the gymnasium. Bring your clean trikes, riding toys, balls or use theirs.

Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground, Shoreview | Open Play hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm | $5.25/per child ages 1-12, adults free.

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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