Budget Twin Cities August Events & Activities

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It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find August’s seasonal and ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities August Family Events & Activities page.


8/2/17: Beach Party | Bryant Lake Regional Park | Eden Prairie | 12-3pm | $5/pp ages 0-17, adults FREE | A water slide, water obstacle course, sandcastle building and other splishy-splashy fun.

8/4-6: Eden Prairie Players Children’s Theater Performance: The Trial of Goldilocks | Riley-Jacques Barn, Eden Prairie | $3-$5/pp, tickets at the door only.

This guide is brought to you by Wheel Fun Rentals.For over 25 years, Wheel Fun Rentals has offered ways for riders of all ages to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. With seven Minnesota locations, choose from a complete lineup of recreational vehicles like Surreys, specialty cycles, two-wheeled bikes, watercraft and more. Selection may vary; please visit our website for current availability.

8/7-13: Dakota County Fair | Farmington | $2-$5/pp | Included in admission price are free exhibits and attractions, live entertainment, and entrance into the Dakota City Heritage Village. For a deeper discount, visit on FREE on Aug 7, 2017.

tm eidem homestead 38/9/17: Daily Life on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park | 12-4pm | $5/pp at the door, 5 & under FREE | Help out with farm chores, visit the animals and explore the restored farmhouse. Also held 8/23 & 8/26.

8/18-19: Kids at the Castle: Cows Can Dream | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis | 11am-noon (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) | $8/family | Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by ASI’s exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Suggested for ages 2-5.

8/20/17: Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | 3-9pm | $3-$5/pp | Celebrate Japanese culture with drumming, dancing, martial arts, food, floating lanterns and more.

TBD: 18th Annual Johnny Appleseed Day | Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood | 11am-3pm | $3-$4/pp | Tractor hayrides, petting zoo, cider press, butter-making and more!


Elm Creek Swimming Pond | Maple Grove | 9am-8pm | $5/pp | Chlorinated w/ sand beach, close to an elaborate playground, nature center and historic site.
Lake Minnetonka Swimming Pond | Minnetrista | 9am-8pm | $5/pp | Chlorinated w/ sand beach.
Jim Lupient Water Park | Minneapolis | $3-$5/pp
North Commons Water Park | Minneapolis | $3-$5/pp
Lakeside Commons Park & Beach | Blaine | $5/non-res, residents FREE | Public beach, splash pad, playground, and water rentals.
Carver County swimming beach lifeguards on duty – 2 locations, $5/vehicle permit
Washington County Parks swimming beach lifeguards on duty – 5 locations | $5/vehicle


Shady Oak Beach | Minnetonka | $3/pp after 6pm
SandVenture Aquatic Park | Shakopee | $3-$5/pp after 5pm
St. Louis Park Outdoor Aquatic Park | $5/pp after 4:30pm
Battle Creek Waterworks, Maplewood | $5-$7/pp after 6pm


Battle Creek Waterworks | Maplewood | Tot Tuesday & Thursday: Ongoing Tues & Thurs thru 2016 season, 9:30-10:30am • $2.50/pp ages 5 & under with guardian, additional fee of $4.50/pp if staying after 10:30am.
Como Park Regional Pool | St Paul | Tot Time: Saturdays through 2016 season, 9:30am-11am • $8/parent and child pair, $4/additional child is $4, ages 0-6. Only the splash pad is open during this time.  All are welcome to stay for open swim at 11:00am at no extra charge.
Crystal Cove Aquatic Center | Crystal | Little Splashers Pool-Time: Saturdays Aug 6, 13 & 20, 10:30am-12:30pm • $3/child ages 7 & under, adults free • Only the zero-depth pool will be open. Pool closes at 12:30 pm and re-opens at 1:15 pm with normal admission fees and hours.
Lorraine Park Splash Pool | South St. Paul | Toddler Time: Mon-Fri 11am-12:30pm • $2/pp, caregivers and children 2-3 yrs.
St. Louis Park Aquatic Center | Parent & Tot Time: Mon– Fri, 10-11am • $5/ages 1-5 yrs, $9.50/ages 6+ • Exclusive use of the shallow end of the pool with its splash features for tots and their caregivers.

Wild Wednesday | Grove Cove Aquatic Center, Maple Grove | Ongoing Wednesdays thru 8/30/17, 10am-8pm | $6/pp or $22/family, all members.

8/18/17: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays (Highland Pool, Como Pool, Great River Water Park), St. Paul • $2/pp during Open Swim hours.



Riverview Theater, Minneapolis | Ongoing $2 matinees

AMC Summer Movie Camp | Apple Valley & Arbor Lakes locations Mon & Wed, 10am, thru 8/9/17 | $4 plus tax deal for ticket, popcorn & drink.

For more FREE & cheap summer movie deals, check the following link below:

Michaels Kids Club Crafts | Twin Cities Michaels locations | Ongoing Saturdays in August, 10am-noon | $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.

Saturday Mornings on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista | Ongoing Saturdays in August, 9:30am-noon | $5/pp | Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required.

FANtastic Saturdays | The Blast Indoor Playground, Eagan Community Center | 5-8pm | $4/pp ages 18 mon-12 years, all others free. | Better bang for your buck every Saturday evening: $4 will get you into the Blast Indoor Playground, the gym for games, and provide a movie and crafts (parents must stay to supervise their kids).

Summer Performance Series | Caponi Art Park, Eagan | Ongoing Sundays thru 8/27/17, 6:30pm | $5/pp, under 12 FREE | A wide variety of entertainment: cultural performances, orchestra, humor and more.

Raptor Center Tours | Gabbert Raptor Center, St. Paul campus of the U of M | 30-minute tours every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, ongoing Tues-Fri | $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults | Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids’ play corner.

Bowl for a Buck | University of MN’s Coffman Union (Thurs, 5pm-close) & St. Paul Student Center (all day Wed) | $1 per game plus $2 shoe rental.



Minnesota State Parks | $5/daily vehicle pass or $25/annual permit

Explore the great outdoors in July right alongside your children! Nature centers and parks across the Twin Cities host hundreds of low-cost programs throughout the year. Please check our Family Fun Calendar for exact dates, times and costs for each family nature program.

Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center | Hastings
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park | Brooklyn Park
Eastman Nature Center | Dayton
Lowry Nature Center | Victoria
Maplewood Nature Center | Maplewood
Richardson Nature Center | Bloomington
Springbrook Nature Center | Fridley
Wargo Nature Center | Lino Lakes
Westwood Hills Nature Center | St Louis Park
Wood Lake Nature Center | Richfield

Maplewood Nature Center

For more FREE summer play at Twin Cities Nature Centers, check the link below:


Eagan Community Center: Preschool Open Play | Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am | $4 per child, under 18 mons free | A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor playground.  For kids ages 1-5.

Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground | Open Play hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm | $5.25/per child ages 1-12, adults free.


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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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