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. Also make sure to check our TWIN CITIES AUGUST FAMILY GUIDE and our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for a complete listing of events around town.
Free things to do in Twin Cities parks - August 2021
Open Tues-Sun in August | Eagan
Wander the self-guided trails through the sculpture park. 9am-8pm. FREE admission, donations appreciated.
Open daily in August | St Paul
Seasonal events include the opening of the Summer Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Come visit the seals at Como Harbor, their brand new habitat! 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-6pm.
Aug 7-29, Saturdays | Pond Dakota Mission Park, Bloomington
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge. New themes each Saturday. Drop in from 1-4pm.
Nature Center Without Walls | Three Rivers Parks
August 1-29, Sundays | Eastman Nature Center, Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, Lowry Nature Center & Richardson Nature Center
Free nature programming at four Three Rivers Parks nature centers. Each weekend features different activities and experiences in nature. Free, drop-in between 1-3pm.
August 3 | Find a listing of parks here
Explore Washington Cty Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No permit required.
August 6 | Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Eagan
Visit the park the first Friday of every month for outdoor activities. 6-7:30pm. Free; registration required.
August 7-29, select weekends | The Landing, Shakopee
Visit the historic park for free demos such as blacksmithing, doing laundry the old-fashioned way & self-guided farm animal tours. Please see link to register. 1-4pm.
August 7 & 21-28, Saturdays | North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis
Self-directed scavenger hunts, nature walks, and interactive skills development such as bird watching or animal tracking. All ages welcome, pre-registr
August 8 | Silverwood Park, St Anthony
Dress to be outdoors; the program starts with a puppet show and follows with a nature themed art project. Drop in between 1-3pm. FREE.
Aug 11 & 25 | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul
Ride the beautiful antique carousel for FREE these two days in August only.
August 21 | Carver Park Reserve, Victoria
Learn about life on an 1870s farm. Meet live animals and try hands-on, family-friendly activities. 1:30-4pm.
August 21 | Lowry Nature Center, Victoria
A short outdoor talk about astronomy followed by the chance to observe the night sky through telescopes. 8:45pm.
Free Twin Cities Nature Centers
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.
Free Admission - Twin CIties August Family Festivals
Brooklyn Park: Tater Daze Festival (Aug 13-14, 2021)
Burnsville: Party on the Plaza (Aug 26, 2021)
Chisago City: Ki Chi Saga Days (Aug 19-22, 2021)
Eagan: Food Truck Festival (Aug 3, 2021)
Eden Prairie: PeopleFest (July 30-Aug 14, 2021)
Farmington: Dakota County Fair (Aug 9-15, 2021)
Jordan: Scott County Fair (July 28-Aug 1, 2021)
Little Canada: Canadian Days (July 31-Aug 1, 2021)
Minneapolis: Powderhorn Art Fair (Aug 7-8, 2021)
Minneapolis: Loring Park Art Festival (July 31-Aug 1, 2021)
Mounds View: Festival in the Park (Aug 20-21, 2021)
New Brighton: Stockyard Days (Aug 13-15, 2021)
New Hope: HeyDey Festival (Aug 14, 2021)
North Hudson: Pepper Fest (Aug 20-22, 2021)
Rockford: River Days (Aug 13-15, 2021)
Scandia: Spelmansstämma (Aug 21, 2021)
Shakopee: Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi (Aug 20-22, 2021)
St Anthony Village: VillageFest (Aug 6-7, 2021)
Anoka: Food Truck Festival (Aug 21, 2021)
St Paul: IndiaFest (Aug 14, 2021)
Vadnais Heights: Heritage Days (Aug 9-15, 2021)
West St Paul: Summer Fun Fest (Aug 14, 2021)
White Bear Lake: Marketfest (Aug 5, 2021)
Woodbury:Woodbury Days (Aug 20-22, 2021)
Free 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
Carver Lake Park, Woodbury
CRYSTAL BEACH, BURNSVILLE
RILEY LAKE PARK BEACH, Eden Prairie
ROUND LAKE PARK BEACH, Eden Prairie
SILVER LAKE BEACH, NORTH ST PAUL
Phalen regional park beach, St Paul
Free Twin Cities Swimming Pools & Wading Pools
North Commons Water Park | Minneapolis
New this year! The water park is offering FREE admission as of June 2021.
Webber Natural Swimming Pool | Minneapolis
Free Twin Cities Splash Pads
Find our list of the best splash pads in the Twin Cities!
Nicollet Commons Park water feature | Burnsville
Free Twin Cities family artS events - August 2021
Aug 7 | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Free gallery admission for the whole family every first Saturday of the month. Tickets required in advance. Don’t forget to explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden! 11am-5pm.
FREE ART MUSEUMS TO VISIT
Twin Cities Free family entertainment in August 2021
There is loads fun to be had out in our local communities this summer. There is something to do every day of the week – and most of this community entertainment is FREE! Local parks are buzzing with festivals, community theater, farmers markets and the puppet wagon. Live music is performed most nights of the week. Bike trails beckon. And don’t forget – the libraries have programming all summer.
free Minneapolis & St Paul events
Catch free outdoor concerts and free movies screened in public parks across Minneapolis all August. Nightly, see link for schedule.
Free shows presented most nights in August at the Como Lakeside Pavillion, 7pm. Movies presented 7 nights in August, please see schedule for titles & locations.
Grab your lawn chairs and a picnic dinner, then head to West River Rd in Minneapolis for a fun water ski show. Ongoing Thursdays in August, 6:30pm.
Free twin cities northwest metro 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 August highlights & family fun ideas from our Northwest Metro summer events guide:
MAPLE GROVE: Sounds of Summer at Town Green. Includes Kids Have Character, ongoing Thursdays and Movies at Sunset in August.
NEW BRIGHTON: NEW BRIGHTON HISTORY CENTER MUSEUM – visit the restored train depot in LONG LAKE REGIONAL PARK and let your kids climb aboard the caboose. June thru September the museum exhibits are open weekends from 1-4pm and are free.
Free twin cities northeast metro events
Some highlights & family fun ideas from our Northeast Metro summer events guide:
MAPLEWOOD: BRUENTRUP FARM Summer Open Houses – Local farming exhibits, the chance to take a guided tour of the farmhouse and space to run and play. Aug 16-17, 11am-2pm.
ROSEVILLE: Roseville Puppet Wagon – Ongoing Tues-Thurs in August in Roseville’s community parks. 9:30-11:30am.
WHITE BEAR LAKE: TAMARACK NATURE CENTER – What really shines at Tamarack is its glorious outdoor DISCOVERY HOLLOW & GARDEN, the ultimate nature playground for kids. Bring a change of clothes and prepare to spend hours if you’re able.
Free twin cities southeast metro events
Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Rosemount & Woodbury.
Some highlights & family fun ideas from our Southeast Metro summer events guide:
BURNSVILLE: NICOLLET COMMONS PARK hosts Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour concerts in August – bring a picnic lunch and swimsuits to enjoy the landscaped splash pad! Also Friday Night Flicks on the Bricks, 7:30pm seating, show at dusk.
EAGAN: Market Fest – 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 new splash pad. Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm.
Free twin cities southwest metro 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 & family fun ideas from our Southwest Metro summer events guide:
BLOOMINGTON: Movie on the Hill – Moana screened at HYLAND HILLS SKI AREA. FREE, but tickets required. August 4.
EDEN PRAIRIE: Kidstock free family entertainment – Staring Lake Amphitheater, Aug 3 & 10, 2021, 10:30am.
EDINA: CENTENNIAL LAKES PARK – Edina’s crown jewel of a public park is a haven for summer entertainment. 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. Open starting Memorial Day are the park’s paddle boats, putting course & lawn games. Lighthouse Night with Edina Model Yacht Club is held Aug 8, 6pm.
2021 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:
- Anoka County Library | Summer Adventures
- Carver County Library | Tails & Tales Summer Reading Program
- Dakota County Library | Summer Discovery
- Hennepin County Library | Summer Learning
- Ramsey County Library | Summer Learning Program
- Scott County Library | Summer Spotlight
- St Paul Public Library | Summer Spark
- Washington County Library | Summer Adventures
August events we hope to see return in 2021 or 2022
Family Art Sunday | Banfil-Locke Center for the Arts
Free art activities, a gallery scavenger hunt and snacks for kids.
Free Ink Day | Highpoint Center for Printmaking
Drop in for summer Free Ink Day with special guest Open Eye Figure Theater. Visitors of all ages are invited to carve blocks and create prints. Learn More: Family Fun: Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Noon-4pm
Go Outside with Hennepin County | Hennpin County Government Center South Plaza, Minneapolis & Target Field Station | A farmers market, outdoor movies, trivia and food trucks encourage families to get outdoors and explore the city.
Home Depot Kids Workshop | TC Home Depot locations
The first Saturday of each month kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany children.
Open Streets Minneapolis | Lyndale Avenue in Uptown
Open Streets Minneapolis is a free event bringing together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, opening them up for people walking, biking, rolling, and playing.
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.