Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

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Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities.
Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

With 12 children between them, the parents of the Family Fun Twin Cities team sure appreciate a good deal. And October is filled with them – from FREE Halloween events and fall festivals without admission fees to ongoing family art programs, special grand openings and open houses. For hundreds more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events & entertainment in October, visit our Family Fun Calendar.
Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities


10/3/17: Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks | 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).

10/6/17: Forever Wild Family Friday | Lebanon Hills Park Visitor Center, Eagan | 7-8:30pm

10/7/17: First Free Saturday: Material World | 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.

10/7/17: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Family Concert: Race for the Reef | Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul | 2 sessions: 10 & 11:30am | This 50-minute concert is geared for kids 6-12 w/ caregivers. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at the link.

10/7/17: Home Depot Kids Workshop | 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.

10/7/17: Drop-in Discoveries: Reps & Phibs | Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake | 10am-12

10/8/17: Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day | Minneapolis | 11am-5pm | A day packed with hands-on art activities, scavenger hunts in the galleries and live cultural entertainment.

10/10/17: Ballet Tuesdays | Landmark Center, St. Paul | 12-1pm | Excerpts from the classics, perfect for budding ballerinas.

10/14-15: Highland Park Water Tower Open House | St. Paul | 9am-5pm | One of only two weekends a year the tower is open for viewing! Check out the fall colors and learn about water utility.

10/15/17: 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.

10/28/17: Free Ink Day | Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis | 12-4pm | An all-ages intro to the art of relief printmaking. Learn More: Family Fun: Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

10/28/17: Start the Music! with St Paul Chamber Orchestra | Capri Theater, Minneapolis | 10am | Start the Music is SPCO’s outreach to kids ages 3-6, introducing them to the instruments of the orchestra through stories, games and a shorter concert. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.

Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities


Dozens of FREE Halloween events have made their way into our Twin Cities Family Halloween Guide. Find our quick list here or click on the graphic below to get all the details:

10/12-10/22: Waconia Scarecrow Tour, Waconia
10/14/17: PunkinMania | Triangle Park, Mahtomedi

10/14/17: Great Pumpkin Giveaway | Richfield Fairwood Park

10/15/17: Family Art Sunday | Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley

10/21/17: Pumpkin Fest 2017 | 50th & France, Edina

10/21/17: Coloring Contest & Halloween Fun | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka

10/21-22 & 10/27-29 & 10/31: BareBones Halloween Extravaganza | Hidden Falls Park, St. Paul

10/27/17:  Halloween at the Creek | Plymouth Creek Center

10/28/17: Afton’s Annual Trick-or-Treat Trail | St Croix Trail through Afton

10/28/17: Anoka’s Grand Day Parade | Main Street & Fifth Ave, Anoka

10/28/17: Halloween Comic Fest

10/28/17: Halloween Kids Kraft | Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee

10/28-29: Main Street Trick or Treat | Downtown Stillwater

10/29/17: Great Pumpkin Halloween Festival | Landmark Center, St. Paul

10/29/17: Halloween Skating Party | Burnsville Ice Center (skate rental $3)

10/29/17: BooFest on Grand | Grand Avenue, St Paul

10/29/17: Free Family Fun Days: Spiders and Other Creepy Crawlers | Richardson Nature Center

10/31:  Vadnais Heights Community Halloween Party | Vadnais Heights Commons

Please see our FFTC Guide to Halloween Fun in the Twin Cities for a complete listing of FREE library and bookstore Halloween programs and Halloween events at Minneapolis and St Paul Parks & Recreation Centers.

Monster Bash
| TC Michaels locations

Jerry’s Halloween Creepy Crawly | Jerry’s Foods – Woodbury, Edina & Eden Prairie
Halloween Spooktacular at America Girl, Mall of America
Halloween Party | Bloomington Ice Garden


Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

10/1: Pahl’s Market Fall Festival | Pahl’s Market, Apple Valley | 9am-5pm | Family highlights: Pick a pumpkin, send the kids through the straw maze and corn box, enjoy storytime, face painting and more.

10/1/17: Fall Color Blast – 50th Anniversary Event | Warner Nature Center, Marine on St Croix | 12-5pm | Family highlights: Celebrate Warner’s 50th anniversary with a canoe paddle, live music, bee hive demos, and Lift Bridge Brewery is providing root beer!

10/3-4: Annual Apple Festival | Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings | 9:30am-5pm | Family highlights: Activities at the orchard including their wagon rides, straw mountain, farm animals and family-friendly corn maze.

10/5-15: Fall Fair | Afton Alps, Hastings | Family highlights: Family entertainment at Afton’s annual Ski & Snowboard Swap includes chairlift rides, inflatables, live music, movies and more.

10/7/17: UFC Farm Supply Harvest Festival | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista | 9:30am-3:30pm | Family highlights: Dog shows, pumpkin weigh-off, wagon rides, crafts, cooking demos & more.

10/7 & 10/14: Family Fun Saturdays | Barten Pumpkins, New Prague | 10am-2pm | Family highlights: Take the kids for free pony rides, hay rides, and caricature drawings. FREE admission.

10/7/17: Harvest  Fest | Frogtown Farm Park, St Paul | 11am-2pm | Horse-drawn wagon rides, fall food samples, recipe take-homes and pumpkin painting.

10/7-8 & 14-15: Annual Apple Festival | Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, Hastings | 9:30am-5pm | Family highlights: Activities at the orchard including their wagon rides, straw mountain, farm animals and family-friendly corn maze.

10/14-15: Apple Fest | Carpenter St. Croix Nature Center, Hastings | 10am-5pm | FREE admission

10/14-15: Stillwater Harvest Fest, Downtown Stillwater | 10am-6pm | Family highlights: Kids activities all day both days, plus don’t miss the pumpkin regatta & giant pumpkin drop.

10/15/17: Wargo Fall Festival | Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes | 2-4pm | Details: Play pioneer games, try cider pressing and take nature walks.

TBA: Prospect Park Annual Harvest Festival | Prospect Park Garden, Minneapolis | 5-8:30pm | Family highlights: Food fresh from the garden and live entertainment! FREE.

Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities


Barten Pumpkins | New Prague
Open September 20 through Halloween 2017, 9am to 7 pm. Free admission, thousands of pumpkins are $1 to $6. Free pony rides (see website for day and time), free hay rides (see website for day and time), free play natural play area every day.

Country Sun Farm | Lake Elmo
Open daily, 9am-7pm weekdays & 9am-5pm weekends starting Sept 19 thru Halloween, 2017. Free admission with a charge for all fall activities with the exception of the petting farm and outdoor display photo ops.

Lendt’s Pumpkin Patch | Wyoming
Open daily, Sept 23 thru Oct 31, 2017 – 9 am to dusk. PYO pumpkins/$4 ea. Weekend hayrides $3/pp.

Marshall’s Farm Market | Eden Prairie
Open daily 10-6:30. Free admission, pumpkins range from $1-$12.

Pleasant Valley Orchard | Shafer
Open daily 10am-6pm. Admission is free; extra fee for weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch ($3/pp).

Tom’s Pumpkin Farm | Lindstrom
Open daily, 10am-dusk Sept 23 thru Halloween, 2017. Free admission, pick-your-own pumpkin and carry it out, $3.99 any size.

Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn | Shakopee
Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 9am – 6:30pm. Free admission and hayrides to pick-your-own pumpkins from the field. Enjoy the working farm and free face painting on October weekends.

Waldoch Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze | Lino Lakes
Open daily, Sept 23-Oct 31, 2017; 10am-7pm. Hayride to the pumpkin patch is complimentary, pumpkins are sold by size and starting at $3. You can also tour Joyer Barnyard without paying an admission fee.


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 Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.

Materials Lab | Minnesota Museum of American Art, St Paul | Open during exhibition hours, ongoing Sat/Sun in Oct, 10am-4pm | All ages can drop in and get creative with available materials and a little guidance.

Nature Rocks! Open House | Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie | Ongoing Saturdays in Oct, 9am-noon | Enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more.

Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids | TC locations | Ongoing Saturdays in Oct, 10am-3pm.

Saturday Live! | George Latimer Central Library, St Paul | Ongoing Saturdays in Oct, 11:15am | Fresh entertainment every Saturday including live music, puppetry, magicians and more.

October Free Family Fun Days | Three Rivers Parks
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (Brooklyn Park side of the river) select Sundays, 1-3pm
Richardson Nature Center select Sundays, 3-4pm

Open House at Pond Dakota Mission Park | Bloomington | Ongoing Sundays, 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.


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  Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden, storytime at noon, and animal programs throughout the day.

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.

MOA Toddler Tuesdays | Mall of America Rotunda | Ongoing Tuesdays, 10am – noon | Live entertainment and activities guaranteed to excite the stroller set. Upcoming event schedule here.

Free Tuesday Nights | Minnesota History Center, St Paul | Ongoing Tuesdays, 3-8pm

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.

Games Galore | Union Depot, St Paul | Ongoing Wednesdays, 10am-8pm | Play giant-sized versions of classic games including chess, checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes and more.

Lil Explorer Thursdays | Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul | Ongoing Thursdays starting 9/7/17 through April 2018, 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 Children’s Entertainment | Edinborough Park Amphitheater, Edina | Ongoing Thursdays starting 9/17/17, noon.

Top Preschool Storytimes in the Twin Cities – many local bookstores, libraries and other businesses offer FREE storytimes during the week. Click the link to read our picks.

Story Time Any Time

Kid-friendly Twin Cities coffee shops and cafes with dedicated FREE play spaces.

Twin Cities Nature Centers offer FREE admission and hands-on exhibits and outdoor play opportunities most days of the week.

St. Paul Recreation Centers offer free open gym Tot Times at 16 sites across the city.

Minneapolis Recreation Centers also offer free options. Click this link and search “parent tot”.


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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.


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