Who doesn’t appreciate a whole lotta FREE after the holidays? Free events, free activities, free admission – January is stocked with opportunities for free family fun in the Twin Cities!
Check out our Partners’ Events this Month
1/2/19: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks – this Jan it’s on Wednesday | SE Metro, find a listing of parks here | Explore Washington County Parks with no vehicle permit required the first Tuesday of the month (non-holiday).
1/4/19: Forever Wild Family Friday: Fun on the Ice | Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, Eagan | 7-8:30pm
1/5/19: First Free Saturday: Sharing Stories | 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.
1/5/19: Home Depot Kids Workshop: Easel w/ Whiteboard | 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.
This page brought to you in part by Snapology
Sundays in January (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
9am – 11am
Snapology Discovery Center – 2649 Lyndale Ave South, Mpls, 55408
Enjoy 1 delicious beverage from Bob’s Java Hut (next door to Snapology) while your kiddo plays at Snapology for a reduced price! Either bring your drink over to the Discovery Center to build with your child, or if they are 5+, leave them with us while you enjoy your coffee or tea over at Bob’s.
1/10/19: Skate the Garden | Millennium Garden, Plymouth Creek Center | 6-8pm | Skate on the garden pond turned illuminated ice rink; free cocoa will be served. Bring your own equipment.
1/12/19: Second Saturdays at TPT | Twin Cities PBS, St Paul | 8-11am | Free tickets, but reserve yours quickly; they go fast.
1/13/19: Urban Expedition | Landmark Center, St Paul | 1-3pm | Travel the globe without hopping a plane through music, food, crafts and more.
1/13/19: Family Fun Day: Winter Arts & Animals | Carl Kroening Interpretive, Minneapolis | 1-3pm | Drop in for naturalist-led activities and self-guided exploration of the visitor center’s interactive exhibits.
1/19/19: MacPhail Free Family Music Series: The Bazillions | MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis | 10am-12pm | Designed for kids 8 & under, the musical open house features sample classes, crafts, snacks and live performances at 10 & 11am.
1/19/19: Winter Ice Cream Social | Lowell Park, Stillwater | 12-4pm | Enjoy free root beer floats and ice cream at this Stillwater winter tradition!
1/20/19: Family Day: Onward! | Minnesota Museum of American Art, St Paul | 1-4pm | Explore the new space and get into family art-making activities.
1/20/19: Free Family Art Day | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka | 2 sessions: 12 & 2pm | Take a free, hour-long art class designed for kids ages 5+ with caregivers. Reservations are required and can be made by phone at 763.323.8830 or online here.
1/21/19: Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebrations | Minneapolis
Powderhorn Recreation Center | 11am
Central Gym | 3pm
MLK Recreation Center | 6:30pm
1/26/19: Winter Fun Kids Kraft | Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee | 10:30am | Ages 4-8 can take in themed stories and hands-on crafts, then explore the museum. Registration required.
1/26/19: Music & Melody Makers | Minnesota Youth Symphonies, St. Paul | 9-11am | Kids ages 3-14 can try out instruments of the orchestra, ask the musicians questions, and hear a mini-concert. Registration required.
1/26/19: Family Ice Fishing Days | Lake Rebecca, Hastings | 9am-12pm | Please register to ensure there’s enough equipment for all. Instruction provided by the NPS.
1/27/19: Target Free 3rd Sunday | Minnesota Children’s Museum, St Paul | 9am-5pm | Explore the newly renovated and expanded museum free! Keep in mind that this program is very popular and you may wait in line to be admitted.
STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR 2019
Polarpalooza | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul | 10am-4pm
The following Twin Cities museums are FREE to visit:
- Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis – FREE daily, plus Family Day is great for all ages.
- Minnesota History Center, St Paul – lots of interactive exhibits (FREE Tuesdays after 3pm)
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis – FREE Thursday evenings & First Saturdays of each month
- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis – FREE daily
Metro-wide free outdoor ice skating rinks are open daily; many have warming facilities and lighting, some have free skates to loan! Find our directory of rinks here or below on the graphic. Twin Cities sledding hills are also in abundance, and we’ve got plenty of free options for you.
1/12/19: Winter Trails Day | Fort Snelling State Park
1/13/19: 28th Annual Winter Ice Festival | Centennial Lakes Park, Edina
1/18/19-1/20/19: Arctic Fever | Excelsior, Shorewood & Tonka Bay
1/18/19: The Big Chill | Firemen’s Park, Chaska
1/19/19-1/27/19: 15th Annual Winter Fete | Bloomington
1/19/19: Winter Open House | White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake
1/21/19: Winter Play Day | Silverwood Park, St Anthony
1/24/19-2/3/19: St Paul Winter Carnival | St Paul
1/25/19: Winter Blast | Staring Lake Park, Eden Prairie
1/26/19: Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival | Lake Harriet Park, Minneapolis
1/26/19: 12th Annual Art Sled Rally | Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis
1/26/19: Winter Fun Day | Oak Hill Park, St Louis Park
1/26/19: WinterFest | Lake Elmo Park Reserve
1/26/19: Scandia Vinterfest
1/26/19: 19th Annual Snow Day | Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes
1/26/19-2/10/19: Coon Rapids Snowflake Days
1/31/18-2/3/19: City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival | Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
TBA FOR 2019
Pond Dakota Winter History Festival | Pond Dakota Mission Park, Bloomington
Seeking funding for 2019: Art Shanty Projects | Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
1/24/19-2/3/19: Kellogg Mall Park | St Paul
Stroll through the 2019 Winter Carnival ice carvings to pick out your favorite and take a free spin on the ice courtesy of Wells Fargo WinterSkate (bring your own skates or $4 rental fee).
1/25/18-2/3/18: Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds | Falcon Heights
Chill out at the Fair with the following fun family-friendly events:
- Jan 19: Giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
- Jan 25-27: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition (Fri) and the Amateur Snow Sculpting Contest (Sat). Sculptures will be on display at the Fair through Feb 3, 9am-10pm.
- Jan 25-Feb 3: Plummet down the Giant Snow Slide (if you dare!) A fee of $2 per ride is charged, sleds provided.
- Jan 27: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides, a mini-medallion hunt for kids and more. 11am-3pm.
TBA: Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt | Ramsey County public land sites
1/24/19: Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade | 401 W Robert St to Rice Park, St Paul, 6pm
1/26/19: Winter Carnival Kids Day | Landmark Center, St. Paul
1/29/19: Frozen Family Fun Night | Rice Park, St Paul
2/2/19: Winter Carnival Family Day | Landmark Center
10 Free Things to Do in January in the Twin Cities
Minneapolis Institute of Arts | Minneapolis | Daily, 11am-5pm
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | St Paul | Daily, 10am-6pm | Suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. | Seasonal events include the Holiday Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.
Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St Paul | 11:15am | Fresh entertainment every Saturday in January including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.
Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie | 9am-noon | The first Saturday of each month enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more.
Open House at Pond Dakota Mission Park | Bloomington | Ongoing Sundays in Jan, 1:30-4pm, please check the website first | FREE, donations appreciated | Come by the historic Gideon Pond house in the park for tours, living history lessons and other interactive activities.
Parent/Tot Time & Preschool Open Gym | Apple Valley Community Center | Ongoing Mon/Wed/ Fri, 9:30-11am | Ages 5 & under w/ caregiver | Burn off some energy with other kids, develop motor skills and coordination. A special tot time for tykes ages 2 & under is held from 9-9:30am followed by open play for 5 & under until 11.
Free Tuesday Nights | Minnesota History Center, St Paul | Ongoing Tuesdays, 3-8pm | Explore the highly interactive and kid-friendly exhibits.
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.
Lil Explorer Thursdays | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul | Ongoing Thursdays starting through April 2019, 10am-noon | 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.
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.
|Top Kids Storytimes in the Twin Cities||Kid-friendly Twin Cities Coffee Shops|
|Twin Cities Nature Centers||St Paul & Minneapolis Free Tot Times|