February has us swooning with all the FREE family events and activities it has to offer. From Valentine’s Day events to festivals that do their best to embrace the winter in Minnesota, here’s what the month ahead will bring.
We are thrilled to partner with MN Waldorf School as our Winter Fun Sponsor. Looking for more information on Waldorf Schools? Check them out!
2/2/18: Forever Wild Family Friday: Sledding Party | Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, Eagan | 7-8:30pm
2/3/18: Winter Carnival Family Day | Activities throughout Landmark Center & Rice Park.
2/10/18: First Free Saturday: Off the Wall | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis | 10am-3pm | Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family.
2/10/18: Second Saturdays at TPT | Twin Cities PBS, St Paul | 8-11am | It’s Mardi Gras at the studio this weekend! Play carnival games, make a mask, jump in the bounce house and do the cake walk. It’s all free but reserving a time slot is required.
2/10/18: Saturday Family Fun: Bracelet Buddies | Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley | 10-11am
2/11/18: Urban Expedition: Japan | Landmark Center, St Paul | 1-3pm | Travel the globe without hopping a plane through music, food, crafts and more. Also takes place 2/25/18 featuring the country of Iceland.
2/11/18: Family Art Sunday | Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley | 1-3pm | Take a scavenger hunt through the galleries and do a make-and-take project.
2/17/18-2/19/18: Winter Safari Weekend | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul | 10am-4pm | Escape the cold and take a safari through the tropics – could make a great activity for President’s Day!
2/18/18: Free Family Art Day | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka | 2 sessions: 12 & 2pm | Take a free, hour-long art class designed for kids ages 5+ with caregivers. Reservations are required and can be made by phone at 763.323.8830 or online here.
2/18/18: Family Fun Day: Under the Snow | Carl Kroening Interpretive, Minneapolis | 1-3pm | Drop in for naturalist-led activities and self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits.
2/18/18: Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St Paul | 9am-5pm | Explore the newly renovated and expanded museum free! Keep in mind that this program is very popular and you may wait in line to be admitted.
2/24/18: SPCO Family Concert: My Journey, My Music | Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis | Concerts at 10 & 11:30am | Designed for kids ages 6-12, the program is a wonderful way to introduce children to classical music.
2/25/18: Open House: Year of the Dog | Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville | 12:30-4:30pm | Celebrate Chinese New Year at the nature center with all kinds of canine activities.
The following Twin Cities museums are FREE to visit:
- Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis – FREE daily, plus Family Day is great for all ages.
- Minnesota History Center, St Paul – lots of interactive exhibits (FREE Tuesdays after 3pm)
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis – FREE Thursday evenings & First Saturdays of each month
- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis – FREE daily
Metro-wide free outdoor ice skating rinks are open daily; many have warming facilities and lighting, some have free skates to loan! Find our directory of rinks here or below on the graphic. Twin Cities sledding hills are also in abundance, and we’ve got plenty of free options for you.
2/3/18: Wonders of Winter | Central Park, Maple Grove
2/3/18: February Festival | Lake Ann Park, Chanhassen
2/3/18: Fire & Ice Festival | Plymouth
2/3/18: Winter Carnival Family Day | Landmark Center, St Paul
2/3/18-2/4/18: Art Shanty Projects | White Bear Lake
2/9/18-2/10/18: Anoka Winterfest
2/11/18: Minnetonka Kids Fest | Minnetonka Community Center
2/17/18: Phalen Freeze Fest | St Paul
2/3/18: Kids Workshop: Valentine Bean Bag Toss | TC Home Depot locations, 9am-12pm
2/10/18: Crafts For Kids: Valentine Mailbox | TC Lakeshore Learning locations, 11am-3pm | Ages 3+
2/10/18: Free Studio Art Day: Valentine Cards | Articulture, Minneapolis | 1-3pm
2/13/18: Be Mine Storytime | Red Balloon Bookshop, St Paul | 6:30pm | Make a Valentine after storytime.
2/17/18: Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour | Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer | 12-5pm | See the website for details on pouring your own iron sculpture. Free admission, fee if creating and purchasing a sculpture.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts | Minneapolis | Daily, 11am-5pm
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | St Paul | Daily, 10am-6pm, suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. Seasonal events include the Winter Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
Materials Lab | Minnesota Museum of American Art, St Paul | Open during exhibition hours, ongoing Sat/Sun, 10am-4pm. All ages can drop in and get creative with available materials and a little guidance. The Minnesota Museum of American Art is temporarily closed for construction of a brand new space set to open in 2018.
Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St. Paul | 11:15am | Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center | 9am-noon | Ongoing Saturdays of each month enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more.
Bell Museum of Natural History | Minneapolis | Ongoing Sundays, 12-5pm | Explore the very kid-friendly Touch and Feel room and the wildlife dioramas free each Sunday. The Bell Museum will be closed through summer 2018 when it will reopen in a brand new location.
Naturalist’s Nature Table (Sat, 11am-3pm) & Family Funday (Sun, 12:30-3:30pm) | Carl Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis • Drop in Saturdays for naturalist-led activities or Sundays for self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits.
Gideon Pond House Open House | Pond Dakota Mission Park, Bloomington | Ongoing Sundays, 1:30-4pm | Drop by for a house tour and living history activities.
Parent/Tot Time & Preschool Open Gym | Apple Valley Community Center | Ongoing Mon/Wed/ Fri, 9:30-11am | Ages: 5 & under w/ caregiver | Burn off some energy with other kids, develop motor skills and coordination. A special tot time for tykes ages 2 & under is held from 9-9:30am followed by open play for 5 & under until 11.
Free Tuesday Nights | Minnesota History Center, St Paul | Ongoing Tuesdays, 3-8pm | Explore the highly interactive and kid-friendly exhibits.
Wee Wednesdays | Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis | Ongoing Wednesdays, 10:30am – 1pm. In the past, MGM has offered dance troupes, cooking lessons, and live animals to entertain kids. Stay for lunch — there are many tasty ethnic vendors to choose from, and several offer specials on Wednesdays. Park in the adjacent Midtown Exchange Ramp up to 1.5 hrs. free with validation.
Lil Explorer Thursdays | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul | Ongoing Thursdays starting through April 2018, 10am-noon | The hall between the Visitor Center and the Conservatory is filled with hands-on activities, manipulatives, art projects and games perfect for the 4 & under set. Explore a different theme each week.
Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities – many local bookstores, libraries and other businesses offer FREE storytimes during the week. Click the link to read our picks.
Kid-friendly Twin Cities coffee shops and cafes with dedicated FREE play spaces.
Twin Cities Nature Centers offer FREE admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week.
St. Paul Recreation Centers offer free open gym Tot Times at 16 sites across the city.
Minneapolis Recreation Centers also offer free options. Click this link and search “parent tot”.