50 Free Things Do Do in January in the Twin Cities: Kids & Family Events

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 after the holidays? Our list of free Twin Cities January Family Events & Activities is stocked with dozens of ways to save money and have free family fun. For more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events for kids and families in January 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, packed with suggestions.


New year, new ideas for fun things to do with kids in the Twin Cities – that go easy on the pocketbook after the splurge of the holidays.


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!

More free winter fun ideas

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Winter Checklist

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events in January 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 Thursdays. Each themed week is packed with free games, art projects and sensory tables. Thursdays in January 2023, 10am-12pm.

Forever Wild Family Friday: Snow Fun

Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan MN
Bring your own sled for a night of sledding and snow-sculpting. January 6, 2023, 6-7:30pm

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, Jan 7-28, 2023. 

January 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. Sundays, January 1-29, 2023, 1-4pm. Please see schedule for details!

Family Nature Exploration Saturdays 

Sunfish Lake Park & Sally Manzara Nature Center, 3554 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
No registration is needed, just show up to explore nature. Saturdays, January 7 & 21, 2023, 10-11am.

Family Ice Fishing

Lake Rebecca, 415 Lock & Dam Road, Hastings, MN
Learn to ice fish with Park & Rec staff with equipment provided. Please register. January 7, 2023, 10-11am.

Puppet Art Adventures

Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followed by make-and-take nature-inspired art. January 8, 2023, 1-3pm.

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, January 14-28, 2023, 10am-1pm.

The Greatest Snowman at Stans House

235 Fuller Street South, Shakopee, MN, 55379
Winter fun including a snowman contest, hot cocoa and cookies for purchase, and a special guest. January 14, 2023, 10am-12pm.

Family Funday: North Mississippi Regional Park

Learn how Minnesota animals have figured out ways to survive the winter cold. Drop-in program, but must register. January 22, 2023, 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.

Twin Cities Minnesota Festivals banner showing Rice Park in St. Paul Minnesota in the Winter - Family Fun Twin Cities

Throughout January 2023: Bloomington Winter Fete

January 7, 2023: Eden Prairie Winter Blast

January 8, 2023: Edina Winter Ice Festival

January 20-21, 2023: Excelsior Arctic Fever

January 21-February 12, 2023: Art Shanty Projects

January 21, 2023: Springbrook Nature Center Winterfest

January 21, 2023: White Bear Center For the Arts Winter Open House

January 26 – February 5, 2023: St Paul Winter Carnival

January 28, 2023: Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival

January 28, 2023: St Louis Park Winter Fun Day

January 28, 2023: Powderhorn Park Art Sled Rally

January 28, 2023: Golden Valley Winterfest

January 28, 2023: Wargo Nature Center Snow Day

January 28, 2023: Stillwater Winter Ice Cream Social

TBA 2023: Coon Rapids Snowflake Days


snowy st paul

JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 5, 2023: Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds
Chill out at the Fair with the following free family-friendly events:

  • JANUARY 21: Giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
  • JANUARY 27-29: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting CompetitionsSculptures will be on display at the Fair through the run of Winter Carnival.
  • JANUARY 29: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with a treasure hunt for kids and a snow maze thru Feb 5.

JANUARY 26: Light the Park: Winter Carnival ice sculpture carving and displays in Rice Park begin.

JANUARY 28: King Boreas Grande Day Parade

JANUARY 31: Frozen Family Fun Night at Landmark Plaza.


Free Story & Art Time at Eden Prairie Art Center

7650 Equitable Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
Drop in for storytime & an art project. Mondays, January 9-30, 2023, 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. Tickets must be reserved online in advance. January 7, 2023, 10am-3pm.

Walker Art Center
Stopping at a Listening Station

 Family Art Day with Rumriver Art Center

Take a free art class from resident mentors. Must register in advance, spots fill quickly. January 14, 2023, 10-11am.

MacPhail Free Family Music Series

MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Activities at this fun musical event include free family concerts at 10:15am and 11:15am, a chance to explore instruments hands-on and snacks. January 21, 2023, 10am-12pm.

Urban Expedition: Mexico

Landmark Center, 75 5th St. W, St Paul MN 55102
Travel the globe and learn about a new culture without hopping a plane! Experience through music, food, crafts and exhibits. January 22, 2023, 1-3pm.

More twin cities free family entertainment in January

Free Special Events for Families!

Mall of America Toddler Tuesdays 

In-person entertainment for the stroller set on the second Tuesday of each month. Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 10am – noon.


Kids can put together simple DIY projects the first Saturday of the month for free. January 7, 2023, 9am-12pm.


10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Explore the revamped museum FREE of charge; expect to wait in line for admission. January 8, 2023. 9am-5pm.

Free Children’s Entertainment at Edinborough Park

Ongoing kid-friendly performances at the amphitheater. January 12 & 26, 2023, 11am.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Celebrations

Historically, MLK celebrations have been held at community spaces in Minneapolis. January 16, 2023. 

Twin Cities Museums with Free Admission


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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top