50 Free Things To Do In July: Twin Cities Family Events

Before your kids can even THINK about uttering the B-word (it’s “BORED” at my house), arm yourself with our huge list of free activities going on across the Twin Cities during the month of July: OUTDOOR CONCERTS and MOVIES IN THE PARK, swimming at BEACHES, WADING POOLS & SPLASH PADS, classic community SUMMER FESTIVALS and much more. And, in order to better serve our readers, we’ve organized our usual roundup of activities by regions of the Minneapolis-St Paul (Twin Cities) metro area. As always, if you don’t see a favorite event listed in YOUR hometown, please drop us a line and we’ll add it. Happy July savings from FFTC!

More to do in July: Make sure to check our TWIN CITIES JULY FAMILY GUIDE, our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER IN THE TWIN CITIES and our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for a complete listing of events around town.

Things to do this weekend in Minneapolis-St Paul

Want to find free things to do in the Minneapolis-St Paul area this weekend with your kids? Find our current TWIN CITIES WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE, packed with suggestions.

children in a family bike ride

Free summer meals in the Twin Cities

In case your family is needing a nutrition boost this season while you’re out and about, FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS are offered at more public venues than you would imagine – parks, libraries, elementary schools, churches and many more. There is no income level requirement to participate.

TWIN CITIES JULY OUTDOOR FUN IN THE PARKS: Free summer music, movies & more entertainment

There is loads of fun to be had out in our local communities this summer. Literally, something to do every day of the week (consult our TWIN CITIES GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK for hints) and much of our carefully curated community events are FREE: local parks are buzzing with festivals, theater in the park, farmers markets and the puppet wagon. Live music is performed most nights of the week. The beaches and pools are awaiting swimmers. Bike trails beckon. And don’t forget – libraries don’t take a summer break. There is FREE programming going on all summer long.

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.

Minneapolis & St Paul

Minneapolis Music & Movies in the Parks

Live music and movies screened across multiple Minneapolis parks most nights during the summer. And yes, all free! See the 2023 Calendar for bands, movie titles and park locations. Starts Memorial Day Weekend and continues through summer.

Go Outside with Hennepin County

Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza & Target Field Station
Reasons to get outdoors in downtown Minneapolis that are kid-friendly: free movies at Target Field Station – July 6 (Puss In Boots: The Last Wish) and July 20 (Legally Blonde). 7pm.

Garden Storytime at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

1 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55405
A naturalist hosts a different nature themed story each week within the Garden followed by an activity. Meet just outside the Visitor Shelter. Bring a blanket to sit on. Ongoing Thursdays (10-10:30am) & Saturdays (2-2:30pm) in July 2023. FREE. 

Young girl using binoculars at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Eloise Butler Wildflower & Bird Sanctuary

Twin Cities River Rats Waterski Shows

West River Road, Minneapolis
Amazing free waterski tricks to amuse you Thursday evenings on the Mississippi River. Ongoing Thursdays in July 2023, 6:30pm.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Summer Checklist

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events in July include the Summer Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Make sure to take along our COMO SUMMER CHECKLIST to hit all the seasonal highlights. Suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. 10am-4pm.

Lil Explorer Thursdays are back! The hall between the Visitor Center & 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. Ongoing Thursdays in July 2023.

Free carousel rides in July: CAFESJIAN’S CAROUSEL in Como Park offers free spins on July 25, 2023.

Free Twin Cities April

Groovin’ in the Garden

Como’s outdoor music event offers free concerts and lawn activities while the music is on. Food is available for purchase or bring your own picnic. Ongoing Wednesdays in July 2023, 6-8pm.

Saturday Vibe at Central Library

George Latimer Central Library, 90 W 4th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Fresh, free entertainment including live music, puppetry, magicians, storytelling and more. Saturdays, July 8 & 22, 2023, 11am-noon.

Twin Cities Northwest Metro Free Summer Events

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Andover, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Otsego, Plymouth & St Anthony. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our NORTHWEST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:

Brooklyn Park

July Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, 10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK. New themes each week. Sundays, July 2-30, 2023, 1-3pm.

Events at Historic Eidem Farm

4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Travel back and experience the historic farm through self-guided walking tours, old-time demos and free special events during the summer including:

Maple Grove

Maple Grove Town Green Park

  • SOUNDS OF SUMMER 2023 concerts include free kids shows on Thursdays and free outdoor movies every Friday starting July 14. Town Green, 7991 Main Street, Maple Grove, MN.

July Activities at Eastman Nature Center

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369

New Brighton

New Brighton History Center Museum

700 Park Drive, New Brighton, MN 55112
Visit the restored train depot in LONG LAKE REGIONAL PARK and let your kids climb aboard the caboose. Open June-Sept, the museum exhibits are open weekends from 1-4pm. FREE admission.

St Anthony

Free Activities at Silverwood Park

2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421

Photo Collage of kids enjoying Silverwood Park in St. Anthony Minnesota -- Girl in a pink dress dancing in field of yellow flowers, girls skipping rocks, girls in the doorway of a tiny art house

Twin Cities Northeast Metro Free Summer Events

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Maplewood, Roseville, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights & White Bear Lake. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our NORTHEAST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:


Brunetrup Heritage Farm

2170 County Rd D E, Maplewood, MN 55109
Operated by the Maplewood Historical Society, the farm is open during summer open houses and for special events. The public is permitted to walk the grounds and trails at any time.


  • ROSEVILLE PUPPET WAGON – Make way for the puppets, coming to 9 Roseville parks this summer. Tues-Thurs in July, 2023. 9:30-11:30am.
  • DISCOVER YOUR PARKS – Family activities at eight Roseville parks, refreshments and a bounce castle. Ongoing Wednesdays July 12-26, 2023.
  • LIVE AT THE ROG! PERFORMANCE SERIES – Free concerts at the amphitheater in Central Park. Ongoing Sundays in July, 2023.

White Bear Lake

Tamarack Nature Center

What really shines at Tamarack is its glorious outdoor DISCOVERY HOLLOW & GARDEN, the ultimate nature playground for kids. Bring a change of clothes and prepare to spend hours if you’re able.

Twin Cities Southeast Metro Free Summer Events

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Rosemount & Woodbury. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our SOUTHEAST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:


Nicollet Commons P ark

12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
The public space is part of the area Burnsville calls the “Heart of the City“. Families will love the park’s amphitheater where the city hosts summer concerts, movies and story times. There is also room to picnic and a beautiful water feature to splash in.

Kids dancing at a Rockin Lunch Hour Performance at Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville, MN


Caponi Art Park

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Wander the self-guided trails through the sculpture park. Open 9am-8pm. FREE admission, donations appreciated.

Eagan Market Fest

1507 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121
The Eagan Central Park grounds buzz with weekly concerts and themed nights including one devoted solely to families. Get some fresh produce and let the kids enjoy the splash pad. Ongoing Wednesdays, 4-8pm July, 2023.



Twin Cities Southwest Metro Free Summer Events

Covering the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Bloomington, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka, New Hope, Richfield, Shakopee, St Louis Park & Victoria. Some highlights and family fun ideas from our SOUTHWEST METRO SUMMER EVENTS GUIDE:


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, July 1-29, 2023. 

July Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays, July 2-30, 2023, 1-3pm.


Eden Prairie

Staring Lake Park – Entertainment in the Park

  • KIDSTOCK – Staring Lake Amphitheater, Tuesdays July 11-25, 2023, 10:30am. 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.
  • CHILDREN’S THEATER WORKSHOP – free performances in the park. July 28-30, 2023. Please see website for times.


Centennial Lakes Park

Edina’s crown jewel of a public park is a haven for summer entertainment. Free summer events are held daily Sun-Thurs and include family-friendly concerts at the outdoor amphitheater, Movies in the Park ongoing Thursday evenings, and the Farmers Market.


  • MUSIC IN THE PARK & FARMERS MARKET  Live music and fresh products. Market runs Tuesdays, in July, 2023. 3-7pm. Minnetonka Civic Center Campus Ice Arena B Parking Lot, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd.


Richfield Veterans Park

6335 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN 55423
Veterans Park (also called Veterans Memorial Park) is Richfield’s largest park. It is home base to a number of free events each summer including:

  • RICHFIELD SUMMER PLAYGROUND: Free supervised activities for kids ages 6-12 at 4 Richfield parks. See PDF for more information. Registration required. Mon-Thurs in July 2023, 9am-3pm.
  • FRIDAY FUN AT AUGSBURG ADVENTURE PARK – Read-a-Story Theater followed by time to play at the inclusive park. July 7 & 21, 2023, 10am. 7000 Nicollet Avenue, Richfield MN.




Second Saturdays at Grimm Farm

Carver Park Reserve, 7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria, MN 55386
Step back in time with interpreters and old-fashioned lawn games.  July 8, 2023, 1:30-4pm.

Multiple Twin Cities Park locations

July Universe in the Parks

See our out-of-this-world Universe in the Park article to get more details on these stargazing opportunities. $7 vehicle permit required at programs in Minnesota state parks, no fee at nature centers. July 2023 dates: 7, 8 & 15, 2023.

Free Twin CIties Independence Day/July Fourth Events & More 2023 July Festivals

For more details and paid Fourth of July events, skip over to our TWIN CITIES INDEPENDENCE DAY/FOURTH OF JULY events page.
ANOKA: Anoka Fireworks, Castle Field
APPLE VALLEY: Freedom Days Festival, Johnny Cake Ridge Park East 
BLAINE: Blaine Fireworks, National Sports Center
CHANHASSEN: 4th of July Celebration, City Center Park
Coon Rapids 4th of July, Coon Rapids Ice Center
Delano 4th of July Celebration, 559 North River Street
EAGAN: Eagan July 4th Funfest, Eagan Community Center festival grounds
EDEN PRAIRIE: Eden Prairie 4th of July Hometown Celebration, Round Lake Park
EDINA: Edina 4th of July Parade, Edina City Hall
EXCELSIOR: Lake Minnetonka 4th of July, Excelsior Commons Park
FOREST LAKE: Forest Lake 4th of July
HAM LAKE: Freedom Festival, Ham Lake Lions Park
HUDSON: Booster Days, Lakefront Park, Hudson WI
LAKE ELMO: Fourth of July Kids Parade, Lake Elmo Ave & 32nd
LAKEVILLE: Pan-O-Prog Fireworks, Lakeville North High School
MAPLEWOOD: Maplewood Light it Up, Hazelwood Park
MINNEAPOLIS: Find more FREE neighborhood Fourth of July events at the link.
Happy Birthday America Parade, Hilde Performance Center

SHAKOPEE: Shakopee Happy Birthday America Parade, Lions Park

STILLWATER: Stillwater 4th of July Fireworks, Lowell Park
ST LOUIS PARK: St. Louis Park July 4th Fireworks Celebration, Aquila Park
ST PAUL: 4th of July at Langford Park
WHITE BEAR LAKE: White Bear Lake Fireworks – Manitou Days, Memorial Beach
WOODBURY: Woodbury’s Hometown Celebration, HealthEast Sports Center

Free Twin Cities July Events

More Twin Cities July Festivals with free admission


You don’t have to look far to find a free spot to take a dip in the Twin Cities. The following beaches, pools & splash pads beckon to little swimmers and charge no vehicle fee or admission. Make sure to double check the websites before packing up the swimsuits and heading out!

Free Twin Cities Beaches

Carver County swimming beaches

Free swimming beaches located at BAYLOR REGIONAL PARK (Norwood Young America), LAKE MINNEWASHTA REGIONAL PARK (Chanhassen) & LAKE WACONIA REGIONAL PARK (Waconia).

Dakota County swimming beaches

Free swimming beaches located at SCHULZE LAKE BEACH (Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Eagan) & LAKE BYLLESBY REGIONAL PARK (Cannon Falls).

Kids playing in water at Lebanon Hills Park in Minnesota
Lebanon Hills Park

Minneapolis beaches

So many free swimming opportunities to choose from at Minneapolis beaches: BDE MAKA SKA has 3 beaches alone (32nd Street Beach, North Beach & Thomas Beach), CEDAR LAKE also boasts 3 beaches (Cedar Lake East Beach, Cedar Lake Point Beach & Cedar Lake South Beach), LAKE HARRIET has a respectable 2 beaches (Lake Harriet North Beach & Lake Harriet Southeast Beach), You can also swim free at LAKE HIAWATHA BEACH, two locations at LAKE NOKOMIS PARK (Lake Nokomis 50th Street Beach & Lake Nokomis Main Beach) and WIRTH LAKE BEACH.

Three girls playing in the water at Lake Nokomis Beach in Minneapolis, MN
Lake Nokomis Beach

Ramsey County swimming beaches

Many opportunities to splash and swim at well-maintained beaches within Ramsey County: LAKE GERVAIS COUNTY PARK (Little Canada), LAKE JOSEPHINE COUNTY PARK (Roseville), LAKE MCCARRONS COUNTY PARK (Roseville), LAKE OWASSO COUNTY PARK (Shoreview), LONG LAKE REGIONAL PARK (New Brighton), TONY SCHMIDT REGIONAL PARK (Arden Hills), TURTLE LAKE COUNTY PARK (Shoreview), VADNAIS-SNAIL LAKES REGIONAL PARK (Shoreview) and WHITE BEAR LAKE COUNTY PARK (White Bear Lake).

Girls on hammocks at Long Lake Park in New Brighton, Minnesota

Three Rivers Park District swimming beaches

More Minneapolis-St Paul free public beaches:

Free Twin Cities Swimming Pools & Wading Pools

Minneapolis wading pools

The wading pools that dot Minneapolis parks are the perfect place for toddlers and kids who have not yet learned to swim but love to make a good splash. See the link for all the details on these free wading pools.

Webber Natural Swimming Pool 

4300 Webber Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55412
Uniquely filtered by plants and boasting free admission – a great outdoor swimming deal in Minneapolis.

Free Twin Cities Splash Pads

Simple spots where you might beat the heat with your youngsters, there are more than 40 splash pads (or spray parks, interactive fountains, call them what you will) scattered throughout the Minneapolis-St Paul metro. Free to use and cool off in all July long.

Find our list of the best splash pads in the Twin Cities!

Girl playing in Nicollet Commons Park - Splash Pad in Burnsville, Minnesota




First Free Saturday at Walker ARt Center

725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Free gallery admission for the whole family every first Saturday of the month. Don’t forget to explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden! July 1, 2023, 10am-3pm.



Free days are BACK at the museum and we’re super excited about it! Explore the exhibits, including the brand new Shipwreck Adventures admission-free the first Sunday of each month thanks to Securian Financial. Reservations required. July 2, 2023.


Unlike school, there is no “summer break” at your local library! This year many summer reading programs have been tweaked to provide activities and challenges you can complete at home. Remember, most locations are open for online checkout and curbside pickup! Find your local branches and full summer schedules below:

Twin Cities July events we hope to see return

Open Eye Figure Theater Ice Cream Social

Free ice cream cones, carnival games and puppet shows! Sweet way to end July. 1-3pm.

4 thoughts on “50 Free Things To Do In July: Twin Cities Family Events”

  1. Thank you for your hard work in putting together this amazing website! Being new to Twin cities area, this website is where my weekend planning begins…

  2. This website is amazing. Thank you for compiling all this information into one area!!! It’s my daily go-to for entertaining my 3 y/o!

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