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.

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

Throughout January 2022: Bloomington Winter Fete

January 16, 2022: Edina Winter Ice Festival

January 8, 2022: Eden Prairie Winter Blast

January 15-30, 2022: Art Shanty Projects

January 15, 2022: Excelsior Arctic Fever

January 22, 2022: Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival

January 22, 2022: Springbrook Nature Center Winterfest

January 22, 2022: White Bear Center For the Arts Winter Open House

January 22, 2022: St Louis Park Winter Fun Day

January 28-29, 2022: Stillwater Fire & Ice Winter Social

January 28 – February 6, 2022: St Paul Winter Carnival

January 28 – February 6, 2022: Coon Rapids Snowflake Days

January 29, 2022: Powderhorn Park Art Sled Rally

January 29, 2022: Golden Valley Winterfest

January 29, 2022: Wargo Nature Center Snow Day

January 29, 2022: Scandia Vinterfest


Free Twin Cities January Family Events

JANUARY 22-FEBRUARY 6, 2022: Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds
Chill out at the Fair with the following free family-friendly events:

  • JANUARY 22: Giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
  • JANUARY 29-29: 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 30: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides and a treasure hunt for kids.

JANUARY 27-29: Winter Carnival ice sculpture carving and displays in Rice Park.

JANUARY 29: King Boreas Grande Day Parade

Twin Cities January Free outdoor Fun in the parks

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!

Featured Free Fun in Twin Cities Parks

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

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.

Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks 

Explore Washington County Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No vehicle permit required. Find a listing of parks here. Jan 4, 2022.

Forever Wild Family Friday 

Thompson County Park, West St Paul
Explore trails and a bonfire. Meet at the Empire Shelter. Jan 7, 2022, 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 8-29, 2022. 

January Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays, Jan 2-30, 2022, 1-4pm.

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, Jan 1-29, 2022, 10-11am.

Puppet Adventures & Let’s Get StARTed

Silverwood Park | 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followded by make-and-take nature-inspired art. Jan 9, 2022, 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, Jan 8-29, 2022, 10am-1pm.

Family Ice Fishing

Lake Rebecca, 415 Lock & Dam Road, Hastings, MN
Learn to ice fish with Park & Rec staff with equipment provided. Please register. Jan 8, 2022, 10-11am.

Skate the Hilde

Hilde Performance Center, 3500 Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth, MN 55447
Lights, music, hot cider and a family-friendly night of ice skating. Free skate rentals while supplies last. The ice rink will be maintained through January, weather permitting. Jan 13, 4-7pm.

Ramsey County Winter Recreation Sampler

Lake McCarrons County Park, 1795 North Rice Street, Roseville, MN 55113
Free winter fun for all ages! Try out kick-sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and more. Jan 22-23, 2022. 11am-4pm.

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. Jan 23, 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.


Free Story & Art Time at Eden Prairie Art Center

7650 Equitable Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
Drop in for storytime & an art project. Mondays, Jan 10-31, 2022, 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. Jan 8, 2022, 10am-3pm.

Walker Art Center
Stopping at a Listening Station

Winter Kids Craft To-Go at Stans House Museum

Stop by the museum to pick up a take-home activity kit. Instructions and supplies are provided. Free, but register. Pick up Jan 10-14, 2022, 9am-4pm.

Virtual free Family Art Day with Rumriver Art Center

Take a free art class from the comfort of your home. January’s lesson will be learning to draw a winter cardinal. Register for Zoom link. Jan 15, 2022, 11am-12pm.

Urban Expedition: China

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. Jan 16, 2022, 1-3pm. Postponed to February 20, 2022.

More twin cities free family entertainment in January

Free Special Events for Families!

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Celebrations

Historically, MLK celebrations have been held at community spaces in Minneapolis. Stay tuned for more news.

Friday Family Movie Night at Edinborough Park

7700 York Ave S, Edina, MN 55435
Free admission to the family movie Arctic Dogs. Jan 14, 5:30pm.

Stillwater Winter Ice Cream Social

Lowell Park, Stillwater
Enjoy free root beer floats and ice cream at this Stillwater winter tradition. Jan 29, 2022, 12-4pm. While in town, visit the free WINTERTIME IN STILLWATER LIGHTS DISPLAY! Daily, 5-10pm.

ONGOING January WEEKDAYS & Weekends – FREE Events

Mall of America Toddler Tuesdays 

Back in-person entertainment. Meet Bubble Guppies in West Market Square and more. Ongoing Tuesdays, 10am – noon.

Free Children’s Entertainment at Edinborough Park

Ongoing kid-friendly performances at the amphitheater. Thursdays, 11:30am.

Saturday Vibe at George Latimer Central Library

Fresh, family entertainment – music, storytelling, puppets and more. Check the schedule for more details. Most Saturdays in January, 11:30am.

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.

free January events we hope to return in 2022

More free twin cities events for kids and family

Winter festivals we hope to be announced in January 2022

The Big Chill | Firemen’s Park, Chaska
Linden Hills Winter Fest | Linden Hills Park, Minneapolis
Winter Play Day | Silverwood Park, St Anthony

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