Free Twin Cities August Events & Activities

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8/1: Maple Plain Days, Part 2 | Family highlights: City-Wide Night to Unite and Community Picnic, movie at dusk: Moana

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8/2: Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Festival | Lake Hiawatha Park, Minneapolis | 5-8pm | Family highlights: Free canoe rides, family fitness challenge, and prizes. The wading pool will have an inflatable slide!

Lake Hiawatha Park Wading Pool

8/4-6: Canadian Days | Spooner Park, Little Canada | Family highlights: Grand Parade (8/6).

8/4-6: Uptown Art Fair | Minneapolis | Family highlights: Stop by the Family Imagination Station for activities with Northern Clay Center.

8/5-6: Powderhorn Art Fair | Minneapolis | 1-4pm

8/6-14: New Brighton Stockyard Days | Family highlights: Family activities in Long Lake Regional Park, a kiddie parade and a movie in the park.

8/11-13: Irish Fair of Minnesota | Harriet Island Regional Park, St Paul | Family highlights: The Children’s Area of the Fair allows kids to explore Irish instruments, take an Irish dance lesson, and craft  in the Art Tent.

8/11-13: Twin Cities Polish Festival | Family highlights: Musical and dance entertainment, traditional foods, Polish fun!

8/11-13: Rockford River Days | Family highlights: Fireworks & Grand Parade

8/13: Pioneer Day | Pioneer Memorial Park, Newport | 11am-7pm | Family highlights: Parade (11am), live music, inflatables and a balloon artist

8/17-20: Vadnais Heights Heritage Days | Family highlights: Movie in the Park: Moana, children’s games, watermelon-eating contest, and grande parade.

8/18: Eagan Food Truck Festival | Eagan Festival Grounds | Family highlights: Music by Omission Republic and Boogie Wonderland | FREE admission, food available for purchase.

8/18-20: North Hudson Pepper Fest | $2-$3/button for events | Family highlights: Grand Parade.

8/18-20: Heritage Days Festival | St Paul Park | Family highlights: Grande Day Parade, Kids Zone filled with games and a petting zoo.

8/19: Mounds View Festival in the Park | City Hall Park | Family highlights: Parade, fireworks

8/19-21: Blue Heron Days | Lino Lakes | Family highlights: Movie in the Park, parade on Lake Drive, and tour of Waldoch Farm Garden.

8/25-27: Woodbury Days | Family highlights: Buttons required for most kids events; the petting zoo, magic shows and Grande Parade are free.

8/31: Maple Plain Days, Part 3 | Family highlights: Pig roast and movie at dusk: Secret Life of Pets





Minneapolis Music & Movies in the Park, various parks (schedule here) • Mon-Sat thru Aug 31, movies begin 15 min. past sunset. For FFTC’s Guide to FREE Summer Movies around the Twin Cities, click the graphic below:

Free Twin Cities July Events - Movies

St Paul Movies in the Park | Various park locations & dates thru Aug 31, movies begin between 7-8:30pm.

St Paul Music in the Parks | Daily thru Aug 31, parks vary

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | St Paul | Daily, summer hours 10am-4pm | Suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all are welcome whether or not you choose to donate.

Minneapolis Institute of Art | Minneapolis | Daily, 11am-5pm

Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids  | TC Lakeshore Learning locations | Saturdays, 11am-3pm

Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St Paul | Ongoing Sat in Aug, 11:15am | Live entertainment each week including music, puppetry, magicians and more.

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.

Go Outside with Hennepin County | Hennpin County Government Center South Plaza, Minneapolis | Tues: 12-1pm, Wed: 11:30-1:30, Thurs: 6am-6pm | Pianos on Parade, lawn games, food trucks and a downtown farmers market encourage families to get outdoors and explore the city.

Wee Wednesdays | Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis | Ongoing Wed, 10:30am – 1pm | In the past, MGM has offered dance troupes, cooking lessons, and live animals to entertain kids. Park in the adjacent Midtown Exchange Ramp up to 1.5 hrs. free with validation.

Games Galore | Union Depot, St Paul | Ongoing Wed, 10am-8pm |  Play giant-sized versions of classic games including chess, checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes & Jenga.

Twin Cities River Rats Ski Shows | 1758 N West River Rd, Minneapolis | Ongoing Thursdays thru Aug 31, 6:30pm.

waterski, water fun

8/5/17: First Free Saturday Garden Party: Groove | 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. Come celebrate the grand re-opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden!

8/5/17: Home Depot Kids Workshop | TC Home Depot locations | 9am-noon | The first Saturday of each month kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany children.

8/13/17: The Most Epic Family Day | Target Field Station, Minneapolis | 12-4pm | 2017’s theme is a lake-like day in the city: bubble making and a water slide join glitter hair, storytime and more.


8/13/17: Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day: Funk Fest | Minneapolis | 11am-5pm

8/24/17: Cafesjian’s Carousel Free Day | Como Park, Saint Paul | 11am-4pm | Ride the Como Park Carousel for free today.

8/20/17: Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St Paul | 9am-5pm | Explore the completely made-over museum free!


Pierre Bottineau House Open House | Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove | Ongoing Sat, 1-4pm

August Free Family Fun Days | Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

Summer Concert Series | Coon Rapids Regional Park | Final Thursdays, 8/3/17, 7pm

Sounds of Summer | Town Green Maple Grove | Includes Celebrate the Family, ongoing Thursdays and Movies by Moonlight thru 8/25/17.

Stories From the Porch | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park | Ongoing Tuesdays in August, 10am-12pm, exception 8/29/17, 7-8pm | Bring your chairs or blanket for storytime on the farm (stories read at 10:15 & 11am) followed by free play.

8/12/17: Mississippi River Festival | Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park | Try out fishing and archery, and create river-inspired art.

8/13/17: Family Art Sunday | Banfil-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley | 1-3pm | Free art activities, a gallery scavenger hunt and snacks for kids.




Drop-in Discoveries | Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake | Ongoing Saturdays, 10am-12pm. Stay to play in the amazing Discovery Hollow Nature Play Area!

Discovery Hollow - Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park

Live @ The Rog! Performance Series | Frank Rog Amphitheater, Roseville | Ongoing Saturdays and/or Sundays thru 8/13/17.

Roseville Puppet Wagon | Roseville parks | Ongoing Tues-Thurs thru 8/10/17

Concerts in the Commons | Shoreview Community Center | Ongoing Wed thru 8/9/17, 7pm

8/4/17: Wet & Wild Waterslide | Commons Park, Shoreview | 12:30-2:30pm

8/11/17: Universe in the Park | William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St Croix | 8:30-10pm | See our out-of-this-world Universe in the Park article to get more details on these stargazing opportunities.

8/13-14: Open Houses on the Farm | Bruentrup Heritage Farm,  Maplewood | 11am-2pm | Local farming exhibits, the chance to take a guided tour of the farmhouse and space to run and play.




Eagan Puppet Wagon | Eagan parks | Ongoing Mon-Fri thru 8/18/17 | Bring a blanket for the shows, then stay after for art projects and interactive activities.

IMG_8881Apple Valley Mobile Puppet Theater | Apple Valley parks | Ongoing Mon-Fri thru 8/4/17 | Stay for a free craft project following select performances.

Woodbury Puppet Wagon | Woodbury parks | Ongoing Mon-Thurs thru 8/17/17

Eagan Market Fest | Eagan Central Park Festival Grounds | Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm thru 8/30/17 | Free family fun: The grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families (Kidsdance DJs, free inflatables, lawn games and craft projects galore). Get the full lineup of entertainment here.

Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour Concerts & Thursday Rockin’ Readers | Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville | Ongoing Thursdays thru 8/17/17, concerts begin at noon, read-alouds begin 11:15am.

PicMonkey Collage nicollet commons park

Friday Night Flicks on the Bricks | Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville | Ongoing Fridays thru 8/25/17, movies begin at dusk.

Music in Kelley Park | Apple Valley | Ongoing Fridays with FREE music 6-9pm thru 8/18/17, food available for purchase, prizes and a splash pad for the kids to cool off in.

Splash Pad Special Event | Highlands Park, Cottage Grove | Ongoing Fridays, 11am-noon [Currently the city of Cottage Grove is under a watering ban and the splash pad is closed.]

8/4/17: Forever Wild Family Friday | Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Eagan | 7-8:30pm

8/7/17: Dakota County Fair Free Admission Day | Farmington | Included in admission are free exhibits and attractions, live entertainment, and entrance into the Dakota City Heritage Village. Parking is $5 per vehicle.




Grimm Farmhouse Open House | Grimm Farm Historic Site, Victoria | Ongoing Sat, 1-4pm

Moonlight Movies | Normandale Lake Park, Bloomington | 9-11pm thru 8/11/17

Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie | 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.

Centennial Lakes Park is a haven for FREE summer entertainment! Events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, Movies in the Park ongoing Thursday evenings, the Farmers Market ongoing Thursdays and the Edina Model Yacht Club races on select Thursdays

MOA Toddler Tuesdays | Mall of America Rotunda | Ongoing Tuesdays, 10am – noon | Live entertainment and activities guaranteed to excite the stroller set. View upcoming event details here.

KidStock | Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie | Tuesdays: 8/1/17, 8/8/17 & 8/15/17, 10:30am

Kids Entertainment Series | Augsburg Park, Richfield | Ongoing Tuesdays through 8/1/17, 12-1pm.

Creative Kidstuff Concert Series | The Shops at West End, St. Louis Park | Ongoing Wed. thru 8/16/17, 10-11am.

Movies in the Park | Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie | Ongoing Fridays thru 8/18/17, 9pm

8/8/17: Family Beach Bash | Clayhole Swim Beach, Firemen’s Park, Chaska | 11:15am-noon

8/13/17: Lighthouse Night with Edina Model Yacht Club | Centennial Lakes Park, Edina | Model boats glow when the sun goes down; concert starts at 8pm.

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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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