100 Free Things To Do in August: Twin Cities Family Events

100 Free Things to Do

Before your kids can even THINK about uttering the word “BORED”, arm yourself with our huge list of free activities going on across the Twin Cities during the month of August: OUTDOOR CONCERTS and MOVIES IN THE PARK, it’s still swim season at Twin Cities BEACHES, WADING POOLS & SPLASH PADS, classic community SUMMER FESTIVALS keep weekends lively and much more. In order to better serve our readers, we’ve organized our usual roundup of activities by regions of the Minneapolis-St Paul (Twin Cities) metro area. As always, if you don’t see a favorite event listed in YOUR hometown, please drop us a line and we’ll add it. Happy August savings from FFTC!

More to do in August: Make sure to check our TWIN CITIES AUGUST FAMILY GUIDE, our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER IN THE TWIN CITIES and our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for a complete listing of events around town.

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL

Want to find free things to do in the Minneapolis-St Paul area this weekend with your kids? Find our current TWIN CITIES WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE, packed with suggestions.

children in a family bike ride

TWIN CITIES August OUTDOOR FUN IN THE PARKS: FREE SUMMER MUSIC, MOVIES AND MORE ENTERTAINMENT

There is tons of fun to be had out in our local communities during the month of August. Literally, something to do every day of the week (consult our TWIN CITIES GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK for hints) and much of our carefully curated community events are FREE: local parks are buzzing with festivals, theater in the park, farmers markets and the puppet wagon. Live music is performed most nights of the week. The beaches and pools still welcome swimmers for a few more weeks. Bike trails beckon. And don’t forget – libraries don’t take a summer break. There is FREE programming going on all summer long.

Visit FREE TWIN CITIES NATURE CENTERS in August

Nature and outdoor interpretive centers are wonderful places that offer free admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week. Find our complete listing of TWIN CITIES NATURE CENTERS.

MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL

MINNEAPOLIS MUSIC & MOVIES IN THE PARKS

Live music and movies screened across multiple Minneapolis parks most nights during the month of August. And yes, all free! See the 2022 Calendar for bands, movie titles and park locations. 

GO OUTSIDE WITH HENNEPIN COUNTY

Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza & Target Field Station
Reasons to get outdoors in downtown Minneapolis that are kid-friendly: lawn games at South Plaza (Tues-Thurs, 11:30am-1:30pm). Also, Epic Go Outside Day (August 11) offers free food and live music. Free outdoor movies at Target Field Station – August 11 (Luca) and August 25 (The Lost City). 7pm.

Find more free fun this summer in Downtown Minneapolis!

GARDEN STORYTIME AT ELOISE BUTLER WILDFLOWER GARDEN

1 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55405
A naturalist hosts a different nature themed story each week within the Garden followed by an activity. Meet just outside the Visitor Shelter. Bring a blanket to sit on. Ongoing Thursdays in August 2022, 10am, FREE. 

Young girl using binoculars at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Eloise Butler Wildflower & Bird Sanctuary

TWIN CITIES RIVER RATS WATERSKI SHOWS

West River Road, Minneapolis
Amazing free waterski tricks to amuse you Thursday evenings on the Mississippi River. Make sure to bring your own seating and maybe a picnic dinner. Ongoing Thursdays in August 2022, 6:30pm.

FAMILY FUNDAYS AT NORTH MISSISSIPPI REGIONAL PARK

North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Ct, Minneapolis, MN, US 55430
Drop in for free, self-guided nature activities. The park also features a splash wading pool, playground and a nature center to make a day of it. Registration required at the link. August 13 & 25, 2022. 1-3pm.

COMO PARK ZOO & CONSERVATORY

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events in August include the Summer Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden and the Sparky the Sea Lion show. Bring along our Como Summer Checklist so you don’t miss a thing! Currently, the Zoo & Conservatory are open by reservation only. Make yours today, they fill fast. Suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. 10am-4pm.

Lil Explorer Thursdays are back! The hall between the Visitor Center & 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. Ongoing Thursdays in August 2022.

Free carousel rides in August: CAFESJIAN’S CAROUSEL in Como Park offers free spins on August 30, 2022.

Free Twin Cities April

SATURDAY VIBE AT CENTRAL LIBRARY

George Latimer Central Library, 90 W 4th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Fresh, free entertainment including live music, puppetry, magicians, storytelling and more. Saturdays, August 13 & 27, 2022, 11:30am.


TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO FREE SUMMER EVENTS

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Andover, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Otsego, Plymouth & St Anthony. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our NORTHWEST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:

BROOKLYN PARK

August FREE FAMILY FUN DAYS WITH THREE RIVERS PARKS

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, 10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARKNew themes each week. Sundays, August 14-31, 2022, 1-3pm.

EVENTS AT HISTORIC EIDEM FARM

4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Travel back and experience the historic farm through self-guided walking tours, old-time demos and free special events during the summer including:

Eidem Homestead

MAPLE GROVE

MAPLE GROVE TOWN GREEN PARK

  • SOUNDS OF SUMMER 2022 concerts include free kids shows on Thursdays and free outdoor movies every Friday in August. Town Green, 7991 Main Street, Maple Grove, MN.

August ACTIVITIES AT EASTMAN NATURE CENTER

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369

NEW BRIGHTON

NEW BRIGHTON HISTORY CENTER MUSEUM

700 Park Drive, New Brighton, MN 55112
Visit the restored train depot in LONG LAKE REGIONAL PARK and let your kids climb aboard the caboose. Open June-Sept, the museum exhibits are open weekends from 1-4pm. FREE admission.

ST ANTHONY

FREE ACTIVITIES AT SILVERWOOD PARK

2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421

  • Puppet Adventures & Let’s Get StARTed: Take in a puppet show followded by make-and-take nature-inspired art. August 14, 2022, 1-3pm.
  • Sounds of Silverwood: Outdoor live music. Plus, if it’s warm enough, bring a swimsuit for the beach in Silver Lake Park. Wednesdays, August 10-24, 2022, 6:30pm.

Photo Collage of kids enjoying Silverwood Park in St. Anthony Minnesota -- Girl in a pink dress dancing in field of yellow flowers, girls skipping rocks, girls in the doorway of a tiny art house


TWIN CITIES NORTHEAST METRO FREE SUMMER EVENTS

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Maplewood, Roseville, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights & White Bear Lake. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our NORTHEAST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:

MAPLEWOOD

BRUENTRUP HERITAGE FARM

2170 County Rd D E, Maplewood, MN 55109
Operated by the Maplewood Historical Society, the farm is open during summer open houses and for special events. The public is permitted to walk the grounds and trails at any time.

Roseville

ROSEVILLE COMMUNITY PARKS – FREE SUMMER EVENTS
  • ROSEVILLE PUPPET WAGON – Make way for the puppets, coming to 9 Roseville parks this summer. Tues-Thurs in August, 2022. 9:30-11:30am.
  • DISCOVER YOUR PARKS – Family activities at eight Roseville parks, refreshments and a bounce castle. Wednesdays, August 3 & 10, 2022.
  • LIVE AT THE ROG! PERFORMANCE SERIES – Free concerts at the amphitheater in Central Park. Select dates in August, please see the link for details.

WHITE BEAR LAKE

TAMARACK NATURE CENTER

What really shines at Tamarack is its glorious outdoor DISCOVERY HOLLOW & GARDEN, the ultimate nature playground for kids and perfect to visit in August. Bring a change of clothes and prepare to spend hours if you’re able.


TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO FREE SUMMER EVENTS

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Rosemount & Woodbury. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our SOUTHEAST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:

FREE TUESDAY @ WASHINGTON COUNTY PARKS

Explore Washington County Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No vehicle permit required. Find a listing of parks here. August 2, 2022.

BURNSVILLE

NICOLLET COMMONS PARK

12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
The public space is part of the area Burnsville calls the “Heart of the City“. Families will love the park’s amphitheater where the city hosts summer concerts, movies and story times. There is also room to picnic and a beautiful water feature to splash in.

Kids dancing at a Rockin Lunch Hour Performance at Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville, MN

EAGAN

CAPONI ART PARK

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Wander the self-guided trails through the sculpture park. Open 9am-8pm. FREE admission, donations appreciated.

August special event: Caponi Art Park celebrates its 30th anniversary with special events this summer. Catch a Community Iron Pour, August 20, 2022.

EAGAN MARKET FEST

1507 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
The Eagan Central Park grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families. Get some fresh produce and let the kids enjoy the splash pad. Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm August, 2022.

FARMINGTON

FOREVER WILD FAMILY FRIDAY: Raptor Center

Whitetail Woods Regional Park, 17100 Station Trail, Farmington MN 55024
A free, all-ages presentation by the Raptor Center. August 5, 2022, 6pm.

WOODBURY

WOODBURY COMMUNITY PARKS
  • WOODBURY PUPPET WAGON – Traveling around Woodbury parks with fun puppet shows. Ongoing Mon-Thurs thru August 8, 2022.
  • STARLIGHT CINEMA OUTDOOR SERIES: The free movie series is hosted at Ojibway Park. Activities start at 7pm, movie at dusk. Ojibway Park, August 4, 2022, 7pm. Ojibway Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO FREE SUMMER EVENTS

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Bloomington, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka, New Hope, Richfield, Shakopee, St Louis Park & Victoria. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our SOUTHWEST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:

BLOOMINGTON

POND DAKOTA MISSION PARK OPEN HOUSES

Pond Dakota Mission Park, 401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge. New themes each week. 
Saturdays, August 6-27, 2022, 1-4pm.

August FREE FAMILY FUN DAYS WITH THREE RIVERS PARKS

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays, August 14-28, 2022, 1-3pm.

BLOOMINGTON ARTS IN THE PARKS – FREE EVENTS

EDEN PRAIRIE

STARING LAKE PARK – ENTERTAINMENT IN THE PARK

  • KIDSTOCK – Staring Lake Amphitheater, Tuesdays August 2-16, 2022, 10:30am. 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.

EDINA

CENTENNIAL LAKES PARK

Edina’s crown jewel of a public park is a haven for summer entertainment. Free summer events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, Movies in the Park ongoing Thursday evenings, and the Farmers Market.

MINNETONKA

MINNETONKA ART IN THE PARK:
  • MUSIC IN THE PARK & FARMERS MARKET  Live music and fresh products. Market runs Tuesdays, in August, 2022. 3-7pm. Minnetonka Civic Center Campus Ice Arena B Parking Lot, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd.

RICHFIELD

RICHFIELD’S VETERANS PARK

6335 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423
Veterans Park (also called Veterans Memorial Park) is Richfield’s largest park. It is home base to a number of free events each summer including:

  • KIDS ENTERTAINMENT IN THE PARK Final show Tuesday, August 2, 2022. 11am & 6:30pm.
  • RICHFIELD FARMERS MARKET – Don’t miss getting your fresh produce at the weekly farmers market – let the kids have the run of the large playground while you shop. Saturdays, 7am-12pm.

RICHFIELD COMMUNITY PARKS:

SHAKOPEE

SHAKOPEE COMMUNITY PARKS – FREE ENTERTAINMENT

Free August Living History Programs at the Landing

2187 County Rd 101, Shakopee, MN 55379
Visit the historic park for free demos such as blacksmithing, doing laundry the old-fashioned way & self-guided farm animal tours. Weekends, August 13-28, 2022.

VICTORIA

NATURE Art exploration AT LOWRY NATURE CENTER

7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
Create art from objects found in nature. Explore the nature center too! August 27, 2022. Drop-in between 1-3pm.

SECOND SATURDAYS AT GRIMM FARMHOUSE

Carver Park Reserve, 7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, MN 55386
Step back in time with interpreters and old-fashioned lawn games.  August 13, 2022, 1:30-4pm.

MULTIPLE TWIN CITIES PARK LOCATIONS

August UNIVERSE IN THE PARKS

Afton State Park, 6959 Peller Ave S, Hastings, MN 55033
See our out-of-this-world
 Universe in the Park article to get more details on this stargazing opportunity. $7 vehicle permit required at programs in Minnesota state parks. August 2022 date: August 27

Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks

Explore Washington Cty Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No permit required. Find a listing of parks here. August 2, 2022.

Free Admission - Twin CIties August Family Festivals

Anoka: Food Truck Festival (Aug 20, 2022)
Burnsville: Party on the Plaza (Aug 25, 2022)
Chisago City: Ki Chi Saga Days (Aug 18-21, 2022)
Eagan: Food Truck Festival (Aug 12, 2022)
Eden Prairie: PeopleFest (July 26-Aug 9, 2022)
Farmington: Dakota County Fair (Aug 8-14, 2022)
Minneapolis: Powderhorn Art Fair (Aug 6-7, 2022)
Mounds View: Festival in the Park (Aug 19-20, 2022)
New Brighton: Stockyard Days (Aug 12-14, 2022)
North Hudson: Pepper Fest (Aug 19-21, 2022)
Rockford: River Days (Aug 12-14, 2022)
Scandia: Spelmansstämma (Aug 20, 2022)
Shakopee: Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi (Aug 18-21, 2022)
St Anthony Village: VillageFest (Aug 5-6, 2022)
St Paul: IndiaFest (Aug 13, 2022)
Vadnais Heights: Heritage Days (Aug 15-21, 2022)
Woodbury: Woodbury Days (Aug 19-21, 2022)

August Festivals and Fairs in the Twin Cities Minnesota

Free at the minnesota State fair

Contrary to what you might think, there is TONS of free family entertainment at the Minnesota State Fair – enough, in our minds, to justify the ticket entrance price. We have tips on how to save on admission, too. Our 2022 Guide to the Minnesota State Fair is live!

 

50 Things to Do at the Minnesota State Fair

FREE TWIN CITIES SWIMMING, WADING & SPLASHING IN August

You don’t have to look far to find a free spot to take a dip in the Twin Cities. The following beaches, pools & splash pads beckon to little swimmers and charge no vehicle fee or admission. Make sure to double check the websites before packing up the swimsuits and heading out!

FREE TWIN CITIES BEACHES

Splash Happy: 2020 Guide to Twin Cities Beaches, Pools, Water Parks & Splash Pads

Free Twin Cities Swimming Pools & Wading Pools

MINNEAPOLIS WADING POOLS

Some are splashy and elaborate, some are more traditional, all are the perfect FREE way for little swimmers to cool off in August.

Wabun Picnic Area Pool

Webber Natural Swimming Pool 

Webber Park, 4330 Webber Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55412
The water is treated naturally with plants. Swimming is guarded and completely free!

Free Twin Cities Splash Pads

Find our list of the best splash pads in the Twin Cities!

Nicollet Commons Park water feature | Burnsville

tm nicollet commons park

FIND OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE BEST TWIN CITIES BEACHES, SWIMMING POOLS, WATERPARKS & SPLASH PADS!

Find more water fun ideas.

Free Twin Cities family artS events - August 2022

First Free Saturday at Walker ARt Center

725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Free gallery admission for the whole family every first Saturday of the month. Don’t forget to explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden! August 6, 2022, 10am-3pm.

FREE ART MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN AUGUST

FIRST FREE SUNDAYS AT MINNESOTA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Free days are BACK at the museum and we’re super excited about it! Explore the exhibits, including the brand new Shipwreck Adventures admission-free the first Sunday of each month thanks to Securian Financial. Reservations required. August 7, 2022.

2022 August Summer Library Programs

Unlike school, there is no “summer break” at your local library! This year many summer reading programs have been tweaked to provide activities and challenges you can complete at home. Remember, most locations are open for online checkout and curbside pickup! Find your local branches and full summer schedules below:

5 thoughts on “100 Free Things To Do in August: Twin Cities Family Events”

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