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:
Want to find free things to do in the Minneapolis-St Paul area this weekend? Find our current WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE, packed with suggestions.
50 FREE THINGS TO DO IN THE TWIN CITIES THIS January
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.
TWIN CITIES FREE winter FUN IN January
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
SAINT PAUL WINTER CARNIVAL 2023 FAMILY EVENTS – FREE Events
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 Competitions. Sculptures 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
TWIN CITIES January FREE FUN WITH THE ARTS
7650 Equitable Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
Drop in for storytime & an art project. Mondays, January 9-30, 2023, 10-11am.
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.
Take a free art class from resident mentors. Must register in advance, spots fill quickly. January 14, 2023, 10-11am.
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.
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!
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.
Ongoing kid-friendly performances at the amphitheater. January 12 & 26, 2023, 11am.
Historically, MLK celebrations have been held at community spaces in Minneapolis. January 16, 2023.
Twin Cities Museums with Free Admission
- Minneapolis Institute of Art – FREE daily, plus Family Day is great for all ages.
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis – FREE Thursday evenings & First Saturdays of each month
- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis – FREE daily (reopening January 2022)
FREE WEEKLY TWIN CITIES 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.