50 Free Things To Do in May: Twin Cities Family Events

May is literally blooming with free events and activities in the Twin Cities! Make sure to check our TWIN CITIES MAY FAMILY GUIDE , our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPRING IN THE TWIN CITIES and our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for a complete listing of events around town.

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 May Free outdoor Fun in the parks

There is so much FREE family fun to be had out in Twin Cities-areas parks during the lovely month of May. Here’s a sampling of the best free events Twin Cities-area parks have to offer this month:

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events in April include the Summer Flower Show (starting May 7) in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Warm up with the indoor exhibits when the weather isn’t cooperating. 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.

Free Twin Cities April

Caponi Art Park

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Wander the self-guided trails through the sculpture park. Opens May 1, 2022. 9am-8pm. FREE admission, donations appreciated.

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. May 3, 2022.

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 starting May 5, 2022, 10am, FREE. 

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


Thompson County Park, 1200 Stassen Lane, West St. Paul, MN 55118​
All ages can join park naturalists to learn birding basics and discover which birds are returning for the spring. May 6, 2022, 6-7:30pm. FREE.

Staring Lake Animal Open House 

Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Parkway, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347
Interact with a variety of animals including rabbits, a hedgehog, turtles and more. May 7, 2022, 1-4pm.

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, May 7-28, 2022. 

Nature Rocks! Eden Prairie Outdoor Center Open House

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, May 7-28, 2022, 10am-1pm.

May Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays, May 8-29, 2022, 1-4pm.

Puppet Adventures & Let’s Get StARTed

Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followded by make-and-take nature-inspired art. May 8, 2022, 1-3pm.

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

Family Funday: Toads, Frogs & Polliwogs 

North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Ct, Minneapolis, MN, US 55430
Learn about amphibians, play games and create a toad home for your yard. Drop in, FREE.
May 22, 2022. 1-3pm.

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.


These outdoor swimming holes typically open Memorial Day Weekend, weather permitting. Make sure to double check the websites before packing up the swimsuits and heading out.

Nicollet Commons Park water feature

12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
The prettiest splash pad you ever did see. Open daily when weather permits. Free entertainment offered during the summer.

tm nicollet commons park

Oak Hill Park Splash Pad 

3201 Rhode Island Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55426
Residents admitted free, non-residents pay $1/pp. Daily, 10am-8pm.

Minneapolis Wading Pools & Beaches

We have all the details on the FREE MINNEAPOLIS WADING POOLS and the FREE MINNEAPOLIS BEACHES Please note that wading pools attached to a Minneapolis public school will remain closed until the school year is done. Beaches remain unguarded until mid-June. Open daily 10am-9pm. FREE.

Wabun Picnic Area Pool


Webber Natural Swimming Pool 

4300 Webber Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55412
The pool water is treated with plants instead of chemicals. Zero-depth entry for the littlest swimmers.
FREE admission.

Free Twin Cities family artS events - May 2022

Art in Bloom Family Event

Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404 
May Day is celebrated with singing, dancing, and storytelling, plus a special May Day headpiece craft. May 1, 2022, 10am.

Free Story & Art Time at Eden Prairie Art Center

7650 Equitable Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
Drop in for storytime & an art project. Mondays, May 2-23, 2022, 10-11am.

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 pick up an art kit to take home. May 7, 2022, 10am-3pm.

Walker Art Center
Stopping at a Listening Station

MacPhail Free Family Music Series: The Jolly Pops

MacPhail Center For Music, 501 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
MacPhail’s Free Family Music series features two 30-minute concerts by a very kid-friendly band, instrument-making and snacks. May 7, 2022, concerts at 10:15 & 11:15am. No tickets necessary.

Michaels Sunday Makebreak

Participating Michaels stores across the Twin Cities are offering free weekend “Makebreak” classes and “Take & Make” Kids Club crafts. They’re simple, yet could lend a nice personal touch to a small gift. Sundays, May 8-29, 2022, 2-4pm.

Storytime in the Gallery

Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Currently, the museum is offering a FREE Storytime in the Gallery the third Saturday of the month with no charge for adults to accompany their kids. Take home a copy of the story and explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt. May 21, 2022, 9:30-11am.


More FREE Twin Cities special events - May 2022

Free Special Events for Families!

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 Thomas and Friends admission-free the first Sunday of each month thanks to Securian Financial. Reservations required. May 1, 2022.

Bell Museum May Star Party

Bell Museum of Natural History, 2088 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul, MN 55113
Explore the night sky with the aid of pros and a telescope on the museum’s outdoor observation deck. Recommended for families with kids ages 7+. FREE, but please register. May 6, 2022, 8:30-10pm.

Memorial Day at Lakewood Cemetery

3600 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Write custom postcards, create origami, take a guided tour, and enjoy live music and refreshments. May 30, 2022, 10am-2pm.

ONGOING May WEEKDAYS & Weekends – FREE Events

Mall of America Toddler Tuesdays 

Each week there’s live entertainment and activities for the stroller set in the Mall of America Rotunda.  Ongoing Tuesdays in May, 2022. 11am-12pm. FREE! HOT TIP! WHEN YOU VISIT, TAKE ALONG OUR MALL OF AMERICA GUIDE: FLOOR BY FLOOR.

Union Depot Games Galore

214 4th St E, St Paul, MN 55101
Play giant-sized versions of classic games including chess, checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes and more. Ongoing Wednesdays in May, 2022. 10am-8pm.

Saturday Vibe at George Latimer Central Library

Fresh, family entertainment – music, storytelling, puppets and more. Check the schedule for more details. Saturdays, April 9-30, 2022, 11:30am.

Find more free things to do in the twin cities!

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. And dozens of St Paul & Minneapolis recreation centers offer free open gyms and tot times to run your littles ragged.

Events we hope to return later in 2022

Art Start’s EcoArts FestMinnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Interactive art and nature activities. 11am-4pm.  WILL BE BACK IN 2023.

Drop-in Discoveries | Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Township
Hands-on, family-friendly themed nature stations. Drop in anytime.

First Saturday Science: Saving Planet Earth | Metro State University, St Paul
The first Saturday of each month, kids explore a specific scientific field in a hands-on lab setting.

Free 3rd Monday | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska 
Free admission to explore the arboretum, 8am-5pm.

Free Tuesday Nights | Minnesota History Center, St Paul | Ongoing Tuesdays, 3-8pm | Explore the highly interactive and kid-friendly exhibits.

Home Depot Kids Workshops | TC Home Depot locations
The first Saturday of each month is workshop day at Home Depot. Kids get a kit to build, apron and pin while supplies last; adults must accompany their kids.

Immigrant for a Day | Gammelgarden Museum, Scandia
Step back into the 1850’s with Swedish immigrant family activities and tours. 1-4pm.

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

Lil Explorer Thursdays | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul
Ongoing Thursdays starting through April. The hall between the Visitor Center and 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.

Second Saturdays at TPT | Twin Cities PBS, St Paul
Activities are all free but reserving a time slot is required.

Wee Wednesdays | Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis | Ongoing Wednesdays, 10:30am – 1pm. In the past, MGM has offered dance troupes, cooking lessons, and live animals to entertain kids. Stay for lunch — there are many tasty ethnic vendors to choose from, and several offer specials on Wednesdays. Park in the adjacent Midtown Exchange Ramp up to 1.5 hrs. free with validation.

3 thoughts on “50 Free Things To Do in May: Twin Cities Family Events”

  1. Pingback: Twin Cities May Family Events & Activities Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities

  2. Virginia M Hoffmann

    Great ideas for the family. We have a family of six, so time, scheduling, and money are important. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

    1. We are so glad you find it useful, Virginia. Anne, Gianna and I also each have 4 kids, so we know the balancing act between time, scheduling & money and still finding family fun time. Please drop us a line if you find anything cool we’ve missed.

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