In Minnesota, family fun outdoors means embracing all four seasons. If you are on this page because you are looking for a new Twin Cities-area park, playground or nature center to explore, hundreds of entries can be found through our Parks & Playgrounds Search feature. Or, continue searching hundreds more ideas of things to do with kids in the Twin Cities through our Family Directory, including family outings, services, classes, camps, birthday parties and more.
Family Fun Directory of Things To Do with Kids:
Created to provide a little breathing space in downtown Minneapolis, The Commons is 4.2 acres of public green space managed by Green Minneapolis. The park will host events, programs, and everyday activities designed to engage users with a variety of interests, while showcasing the work of local organizations and performers. The space is conveniently located right on the Metro Green Line.
Events and Programs
Regular recurring programs, such as story times with local authors, MacPhail musical performances - including monthly sampler classes for kids, fitness classes, movie nights, and an evening version of the Mill City Farmers Market are held on the grounds. The Commons also hosts outside events, including the X Games and Vikings home game activation. Events and programs can be found on our Family Fun Calendar.
Summer Anytime Fun
Beginning June 1st, families can visit The Commons on their own schedule. There are a variety of free activities available between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Family fun ideas include:
- Bring a picnic and sit under the colorful, shady umbrellas.
- Play free lawn games and board games, including Corn Hole, ladder ball, bocce, chess, checkers and Connect Four.
- Borrow best sellers, books from local publishers and daily newspapers from the reading cart. There are also art materials for kids.
- Play a game of ping pong.
- View public art (beginning June 10th)
- Enjoy the Imagination Playground and play with the large building block set (check the website for times)
- Cool off in the splash fountains.
Mill City Farmers Market sets up Tuesday evenings from 4-8pm in The Commons through late September. Come down to shop the vendors or visit the food trucks, listen to live music on the lawn, practice outdoor yoga and play some lawn games. Please check the website for activity times.
Birthday Parties at The Commons
The Commons can be rented for birthday parties and other private events of more than 50 people. For more information, fill out the online form.