5/2 & 5/4: MayDay Build Workshops | In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis • 7-9pm • Come help create floats for the annual MayDay celebration in Powderhorn Park. Artists will guide volunteers in creating a piece of their own or a contribution to a parade float.
5/5: Forever Wild Family Friday: Pollinators | Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, Eagan • 7-8:30pm • Geocache with the park for hidden treasure.
5/6: First Free Saturday: Give and Take | 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.
5/6: MacPhail Free Family Music Series: World Sing Along | MacPhail Center For Music, Minneapolis • 10am & 11am concerts • Open houses include concerts geared towards kids, a chance to play with instruments, snacks and more.
5/6: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Build a Flower Pot | 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.
5/13: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: Xplorchestra! | Capri Theater, Minneapolis • sessions at 9:30 & 11am • Aimed at kids ages 6-12, the program is interactive and fast-paced. Free tickets must be reserved at the above link.
5/20: Public Works Open House & Tour | Bloomington Public Works Building • 9am-noon • Get up close to that big equipment, plus displays, demos and snacks for all ages.
5/20: Teddy Bear Clinic | HCMC Emergency Dept, Minneapolis • 8-10am • Kids can bring their teddies in for a little repair and activities aimed at taking the scare out of a visit to the emergency room. Free bike helmets for kids while supplies last.
5/21: Puppet Adventures of Ned the Naturalist | Silverwood Park, St Anthony • 1-3pm • Join Ned the Naturalist as he stops Trasher the Trash Can from trashing nature. Try art making with a take-home activity.
5/29: Memorial Day at Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis • 10:30am-3pm • Ceremony begins at 10:30am followed by live music, refreshments, trolley tours, horse-drawn carriage rides and art activities for kids.
TWIN CITIES ATTRACTIONS OPENING IN MAY – FREE
Open on or before May 1: Caponi Art Park, Eagan, 9am-7pm • Sculpture park, free entertainment, special events.
Open by 3rd weekend in May: Nicollet Commons Park water feature, Burnsville, (weather dependent)
5/27-29: Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Minneapolis • pre-season 5/27-29, 1-7pm :
5/27-29: Jim Lupient Water Park pre-season admission, Minneapolis • $3-$5/pp • 1-7pm
TWIN CITIES MAY FESTIVAL CALENDAR – FREE ADMISSION
5/6: Union Depot’s Train Day | Union Depot, St Paul • All will enjoy a wide variety of free transportation-inspired activities. The weekend will include train equipment, musical entertainment, special events and activities for all ages.
5/6: Arbor Day Walk & Green Fair | Staring Lake Park, Eden Prairie • 9am-12pm • Take part in family activities, take home a seedling to plant.
5/6: Cinco de Mayo, West Side of St Paul • 9am-6pm • A full day of events and entertainment celebrating the vibrant and diverse District del Sol neighborhood in St. Paul’s West Side. For a complete schedule of events, click here.
5/7: May Day Parade & Festival | Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis • Parade begins at noon at 25th Street & Bloomington Ave, festival to follow in the park with Tree Lighting Ceremony at 3pm. Get the full schedule of events here.
5/19-21: Art-A-Whirl, Northeast Minneapolis • Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-5pm • Spanning the entire weekend, Art-A-Whirl is the ultimate open house for artist studios. Many offer hands-on activities or demonstrations that interest kids as well as their adults. A listing of Art-A-Whirl family offerings can be found here.
5/20: Hopkins Mainstreet Day | Hopkins • 9am-4pm
5/20: Blaine World Fest, Blaine • 1-4pm • Bring the whole family for music, dance, cultural learning booths, demonstrations, and delicious ethnic food samples ($7 punch card covers the food).
5/20: Arts in the Park | Purgatory Creek Park, Eden Prairie • 9am-4pm • Local craft vendors plus music and entertainment just for kids.
TWIN CITIES MOTHER’S DAY EVENTS & FREE FOR MOM
5/13: Mother’s and Father’s Day Cardmaking | Articulture, Minneapolis • 1-3pm
5/13: Saturday Crafts for Kids: Mom’s Favorite Recipes Box | Lakeshore Learning locations • 11am-3pm
5/14: Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk | Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary, Minneapolis • 11am-noon & 3-4pm.
5/14: Mother’s Day Photo Booth | Eastman Nature Center, Dayton • 1-4pm
5/14: Mother’s Day Nature Collage | Lowry Nature Center, Victoria • 1-3pm
5/14: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis • noon-5pm • Moms & grandmas admitted FREE!
5/14: Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis • 12:30-8:30pm • Moms ride FREE!
ONGOING MAY WEEKENDS – FREE
Minneapolis Institute of Art | Minneapolis • Daily, 11am-5pm
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul • spring hours 10am-6pm • suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all are welcome whether or not you choose to donate • Seasonal events include the Spring Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day. Open year-round.
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.
Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St Paul • Ongoing Saturdays, 11:15am • Fresh entertainment weekly including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center • 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.
May Free Family Fun Days | Three Rivers Parks
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (Brooklyn Park side of the river) Sundays: 5/7, 5/14 & 5/21 , 1-3pm
Richardson Nature Center • Sundays: 5/7, 5/14, 5/21 & 5/28, 3-4pm
Naturalist’s Table (Sat, 11am-3pm) & Family Funday (Sun, 12:30-3:30pm) | Carl Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis • Drop in Saturdays for naturalist-led activities or Sundays for self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits.
Gideon Pond House Open House | Pond Dakota Mission Park, Bloomington • Ongoing Sundays, 1:30-4:30pm • Drop by for a house tour and living history activities.
ONGOING WEEKDAYS IN MAY – FREE
Let’s Sing music class | Teeny Bee Boutique, 1560 Selby Ave, St Paul • Ongoing Tuesdays, 10:30-11:15am • Aimed at kids ages 0-6 with singing, movement and rhythm. Free, but donations of $5 per family appreciated.
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.
Drop-in Playtime | Amma Parenting Center, Edina • Ongoing Fridays, 11:45am-12:45pm • Drop-in play for newborns through walking age.
• Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities – many local bookstores, libraries and other businesses offer FREE storytimes during the week. Click the link to read our picks.
• Kid-friendly Twin Cities coffee shops and cafes with dedicated FREE play spaces.
• Twin Cities Nature Centers offer FREE admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week. We’ve reviewed several: Dodge Nature Center & Farm, Indoor & Outdoor Play at SW Metro Nature Centers, and Indoor & Outdoor Play at NE Metro Nature Centers.
• St. Paul Recreation Centers offer free open gym Tot Times at 16 sites across the city. Minneapolis Recreation Centers also offer free options. Click this link and search “parent tot”.
Want more great ideas? Check out Family Planning, FFTC’s Monthly Newsletter.