50 Free Things To 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.

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 in the parks – Minneapolis & St Paul

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. 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.

January Family Funday at North Mississippi Regional Park

5116 N Mississippi Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55412
All about squirrels this month: Track squirrels on a hike, play a squirrel game and make a craft. Drop-in program, but must register as space is limited. January 13, 2024, 10:30am-12pm.

Free fun in the Twin Cities North Metro parks

January Free Family Fun Days at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
Free nature drop-in programming each Sunday in January thanks to Three Rivers Parks. Themes at Mississippi Gateway include tracking animals, observing birds and learning about the solar system. Saturdays in January, 2024, 1-3pm.  Learn more about MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK.

January Free Family Fun Days at Eastman Nature Center

13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Free nature drop-in programming select Sundays in January courtesy of Three Rivers Parks. Themes at Eastman Nature Center include observing and learning about snowflakes and winter birds. January 14 & 28, 2024, 1-3pm.  Learn more about EASTMAN NATURE CENTER.

Puppet Art Adventures at Silverwood Park

2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followed by make-and-take nature-inspired art. A hike with a park naturalist is scheduled from 2-3pm.  January 14, 2024, 1-3pm. Learn more about SILVERWOOD PARK.

Free fun in the Twin Cities South Metro parks

Forever Wild Family Friday: Sledding party

Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan MN
Bring your own sled for a night of sledding and snow-sculpting. January 5, 2023, 6-7:30pm.

Free 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 6, 2024, 9am-12pm.

Pond Dakota Mission Park January 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, January 6-28, 2024. 

January Free Family Fun Days at Richardson Nature Center

8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Drop in for free nature programs courtesy of Three Rivers Parks. Themes at Richardson Nature Center include animal encounters, outdoor activities in the snow, and fire building. Saturdays, January 7, 14 & 28, 2024. Learn more about RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER.

Free fun in the Twin Cities West Metro parks

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 6-27, 2024, 10am-1pm.

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 2024: Bloomington Winter Fete

January 6, 2024: Eden Prairie Winter Blast

January 7, 2024: Edina Winter Ice Festival

January 13, 2024: White Bear Center For the Arts Winter Open House

January 19-20, 2024: Excelsior Arctic Fever

January 20-February 11, 2024: Art Shanty Projects (Minneapolis)

January 20, 2024: Springbrook Nature Center Winterfest (Fridley)

January 25 – February 3, 2024: St Paul Winter Carnival

January 27 – February 11, 2024: Coon Rapids Snowflake Days

January 27, 2024: Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival

January 27, 2024: St Louis Park Bundled Up! Winter Fun Day

January 27, 2024: Golden Valley Winterfest

January 27, 2024: Wargo Nature Center Snow Day (Lino Lakes)

January 27, 2024: Stillwater Winter Ice Cream Social

TBA 2024: Powderhorn Park Art Sled Rally

Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2024 free family events 

snowy st paul

JANUARY 26-FEBRUARY 4, 2024: Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds
Chill out at the Fair with the following free family-friendly events:

  • JANUARY 20: Giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
  • JANUARY 26-28: 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.
  • TBA: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with a treasure hunt for kids and a snow maze thru Feb 4.

JANUARY 25: Light the Park: Winter Carnival ice sculpture carving and displays in Rice Park begin.

JANUARY 27: King Boreas Grande Day Parade

JANUARY 30: Frozen Family Fun Night at Landmark Plaza.

Twin Cities January free fun with the arts

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 art activities. January 6, 2024, 10am-3pm.

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. This weekend kids use watercolors to paint a picture frame. Sundays, January 7-28, 2024, 2-4pm. FREE.

Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day

2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
Includes hands-on art activities, live music and dance, artist demos and special tours designed for kids. January 14, 2024, 10am-5pm.

Family Art Day with Rumriver Art Center

Take a free art class from resident mentors. Must register in advance, spots fill quickly. January 20, 2024, 10-11am.

MacPhail January 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 20, 2024, 10am-12pm.

Urban Expedition: Argentina

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 21, 2024, 1-3pm.

More Twin Cities free family entertainment in January

Free special events for families!

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Kids can put together simple DIY projects the first Saturday of the month for free. January 6, 2024, 9am-12pm.

January First Free Sunday at Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Explore the top-to-bottom FUN and just for kids museum FREE of charge; you may have to wait in line for admission as this is a very popular event. January 7, 2024. 9am-5pm.

Mall of America Toddler Tuesdays 

In-person entertainment for the stroller set on the second Tuesday of each month. Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 10am – noon.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Celebrations

Historically, MLK celebrations have been held at community spaces in Minneapolis. January 15, 2024. 

Twin Cities museums with free admission

Free weekly Twin Cities activities in January

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.

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