50 Free Things To Do In December in the Twin Cities: Kids & Family Events

December Free Fun in the Twin Cities - Family Fun Twin Cities

With 12 children between them, the parents of the Family Fun Twin Cities team are always scouting out ways to score a good deal. Who couldn’t use an extra helping of FREE events around the holidays? Our list of free Twin Cities December Family Events & Activities is all wrapped up with Santa sightings, community Christmas & holiday events, free holiday light displays and dozens of ways to save money while spending time with your family. For more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events for kids and families in December visit our: 

Weekend Family Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities Banner.

Want to find free things to do in the Minneapolis-St Paul area this weekend? Find our current WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE, chock full of suggestions for all four corners of the Twin Cities metro.  We also publish a fresh update of THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK WITH KIDS in the Twin Cities. Our jam is inspiring you parents and caregivers to explore local communities and decide how best to invest the valuable time you’ve got with your young ones.

50 free things to do in the Twin Cities this December 

Don’t view these ideas as a holiday countdown or one more to-do list you’ve got to hurry and check off before the end of an already busy month. Rather, think of them as a back-pocket list you can whip out when it’s time to plan some family time.

Twin Cities free Christmas & holiday fun in December

Our annual FAMILY FUN TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE is all decked out with the trimmings of a fabulous family holiday season once again. Browse it for more FREE events and activities this month.

Free Minneapolis & St Paul holiday festivals & events

Free Twin Cities Northwest Metro holiday festivals & events

Free Twin Cities Northeast Metro holiday festivals & events

Free Twin Cities Southeast Metro holiday festivals & events

Free Twin Cities Southwest Metro holiday festivals & events

For all the details on these free Twin Cities December family holiday events, jump over to our TWIN CITIES HOLIDAY FESTIVAL CALENDAR.

Twin Cities Holiday Festivals & Christmas Tree Lightings

Free Twin Cities Santa events

Searching for Santa? Browse our HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS – IN THE TWIN CITIES page for FREE Santa meet-and-greet opportunities such as:

Free Twin Cities Christmas & holiday lights displays

How about ogling some holiday light and music displays? Nearly all the venues in our Light It Up: Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays roundup cost just the gas it takes to get to them:

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

Free Twin Cities New Years events – 2023

Como Zoo Noon Year’s Confetti Dance Party

1225 Estabrook Drive, St Paul MN 55103
Dancing and music, games, face painting, animal enrichment and a big countdown to noon. December 31, 2023, 10am-2:30pm.

New Years Eve at St Louis Park ROC

Free ice skating (rental $3), music and refreshments. December 31, 2023, 12:15-2:15pm.

Free Twin Cities December Family Events

Twin Cities December free outdoor fun in the parks

There is so much FREE family fun to be had out in Twin Cities-areas parks during the winter months if you’re willing to bundle up your team and brave the chill. Community free outdoor ice skating rinks are open daily, many with warming facilities and lighting. You can browse our DIRECTORY OF FREE ICE RINKS IN THE PARKS HERE or click below on the graphic of our own little skaters. And how about throwing a sled down one of the abundant TWIN CITIES SLEDDING HILLS? Winter fun in the parks at its absolute best!

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events include the Winter Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Warm up with the indoor exhibits. 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.

More free winter fun at COMO PARK ZOO & CONSERVATORY: Don’t miss Como Lil’ Explorer ThursdaysEach themed week is packed with free games, art projects and sensory tables. Thursdays in December 2023 10am-12pm.

Forever Wild Family Friday 

Thompson County Park, 1200 Stassen Ln, West St Paul, MN 55118
Meet at Dakota Lodge for special storytelling & activities. December 1, 2023, 6-7:30pm.

Pond Dakota Mission Park December 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, December 2-30, 2023. Note: December 16th is the Frontier Christmas Celebration!

Free Tuesday at 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. December 5 , 2023.

December Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK, EASTMAN NATURE CENTER & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Select Sundays, December 3-31, 2023.

December Puppet Art Adventures at Silverwood Park

Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followed by make-and-take nature-inspired art. December 10, 2023, 1-3pm.

Girls watching mother duck and ducklings at Featured Park: Silverwood Park, Saint Anthony, Minnesota

Nature Rocks! Eden Prairie Outdoor Center December Open Houses

Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Parkway, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347
Drop in to meet the resident animals, learn about programs and events. Saturdays, December 2 – 16 & 30, 2023, 10am-1pm.

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.

More free things to do in December in the Twin Cities

Free Twin Cities family arts events in December

Walker Art Center First Free Saturday 

Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
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. Explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt and an art activity. December 2 2023, 10am-3pm.

Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day

2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
Includes hands-on art activities, live music and dance, artist demos and special tours designed for kids. December 10, 2023, 10am-5pm.

Free Family Art Day with Rumriver Art Center

2665 4th Ave #103, Anoka, MN 55303
Free art classes are back for families with kids ages 4 & up. Lessons are free but advance registration is required as space is limited. December 16, 2023, 10-11am.

Free kids entertainment in December  

December First Free Sunday at Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Explore three+ floors of FUN at the museum FREE of charge; expect to wait in line for admission. December 3, 2023. 9am-5pm.

Mall of America Toddler Tuesday 

Live entertainment for the stroller set the second Tuesday of the month at the Rotunda. Plus, on Toddler Tuesdays you can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for Nickelodeon Universe for just $15 and kids eat free at participating restaurants w/ purchase of an adult meal. December 12, 2023, typically 11am-12pm with some exceptions.

HOT TIP! WHEN YOU VISIT, TAKE ALONG OUR MALL OF AMERICA GUIDE: FLOOR BY FLOOR.

Saturday Vibe at George Latimer Central Library

90 W 4th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Fresh, family entertainment – music, storytelling, puppets and more. Check the schedule for more details. Saturdays in December 2-30, 2023, 11am-12pm.

More Twin Cities free family entertainment in December

Free special events for families!

Free Thursday nights at American Swedish Institute

2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Free admission to the “castle” every Thursday after 3pm. Holidays are a wonderful time to come explore; there’s an exhibit room just for kids, too. Thursdays, December 7-28, 2023.

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Kids can put together simple DIY projects the first Saturday of the month for free. In December, put together a gingerbread house. December 2, 2023, 9am-12pm.

Twin Cities museums with free admission

Free weekly Twin Cities kids activities  

Free abounds in the Twin Cities. Many local bookstores, libraries and other businesses offer free storytimes during the week. Local coffee shops & cafes serve parents with free dedicated play spaces. Nature centers are wonderful places that  offer free admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week. And dozens of St Paul & Minneapolis recreation centers offer free open gyms and tot times to run your littles ragged during the cooler months. Explore from our links below.

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