The novelty of back-to-school has worn off, the excitement of Halloween parties have wrapped up, and it’s still weeks until Thanksgiving break. And so we’re left with…November. But take heart, there’s plenty of free and budget family entertainment going on this month; you just have to dig a little deeper to find it. Here are 10 Free Things To Do in November to get you started:
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 through April 2019, 10am-12pm. Donations greatly appreciated.
2018 participating locations and details can be found at the link. Have you got a little NHL star in your future? Here’s a chance to find out before making the investment! Participants may be required to supply their own skates (consider purchasing inexpensive used skates at a place like Play It Again Sports), helmets and gloves. Other equipment is provided. 11/10/18
Bring a lunch to Landmark Center in St. Paul and enjoy a sampling of the Saint Paul City Ballet training and Company repertoire. Excerpts from classics with audience participation will be performed – perfect for budding ballerinas! 11/13/18, 12-1pm.
Landmark Center is also home to the Schubert Club Museum, which has musical exhibits kids can play around with and the Gallery of Wood Art, which offers live demonstrations of woodturning from 12-3 on the third Sunday of each month. Both museums are free to visit.
4) Free museum days
Take advantage of FREE admission to explore and play around in these super family-friendly museums.
- Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St Paul
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. 11/18/18, 9am-5pm
- First Free Saturday: Building Bridges | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
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. 11/3/18, 10am-3pm.
- Family Day: Exploring Egypt | Minneapolis Institute of Art | 11am-5pm
5) Weekend with the Weismen | Weisman Art Museum
WAM invites families to come explore the museum and helps make the exhibits appeal to younger ones with interactive gallery tours, art projects, treats and workshops that interest adults as well. If you are one of those reluctant to bring kids to an art museum, this is a great chance to get your feet wet. We have brought our own youngsters to these events and let us assure you, everyone goes home having enjoyed something at WAM. 11/17/18, 1-3pm.
6) Green Friday Holiday Toy Exchange | Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
Drop in at the Brooklyn Park side of Coon Rapids Dam between 10am & noon on Black Friday; bring in gently-used toys; and swap them for others. My kids and I have decided this would be a great way for them to “shop” for their siblings. 11/23/18, 10am-12pm
7) Free Tuesdays at Minnesota History Center | St Paul
Blustery fall days are perfect for staying indoors and exploring a new museum. We appreciate the Minnesota History Center’s approach to making their exhibits extremely family-friendly! Admission is waived each Tuesday from 3-8pm making it a great choice for a school break like Thanksgiving or families with preschoolers.
8) Free entertainment in the park
Of course, in November we’re talking about the indoor Edinborough Park in Edina, but you can bet it’ll be 70 degrees in that courtyard with no need for parkas. Entertainers play in the amphitheater Thursdays, 12-1pm. Take a break from playing in the huge Adventure Peak indoor playground, eat lunch and jam with kid favorites.
Another great way to escape the often dreariness of November before the fun of snow and the holidays is to curl up inside with a good book. We keep a list of two weeks’ worth of children’s storytimes updated so you might discover new independent bookstores and other little gems around the Twin Cities. There’s never any charge to enjoy these storytimes or simply browse the bookshelves.
10) Holidazzle begins | Loring Park, Minneapolis
The festivities begin Fri, Nov 23 and include the ceremonial opening and fireworks (7pm) followed by an 8pm outdoor movie screening. Santa will be greeting families from 5-10pm. Bring your skates down to the WinterSkate at Loring Park (a limited amount of free loaners will be available), tackle the obstacles in the Kids Zone, and interact with the art installations. All activities are FREE.