50 Free Things To Do in September: Twin Cities Family Events

Fall into September savings on fun things to do with your family in the Twin Cities – many apple orchards and pumpkin patches offer free admission along with a full harvest of fall festivals. Also make sure to check our TWIN CITIES SEPTEMBER FAMILY GUIDE our complete GUIDE TO FALL FUN IN THE TWIN CITIES and our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for a full listing of events around town.


Caponi Art Park

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Wander the self-guided trails through the sculpture park. 9am-8pm thru September 2023. FREE admission, donations appreciated.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Seasonal events include the opening of the Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Come visit the seals at Como Harbor, new habitat and walk through the peaceful Japanese Garden.  Suggested donation of $2/child & $3/adult, but all welcome whether or not you choose to donate. Open daily in September 2023, 10am-6pm.

More free things to do at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory: 

  • 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 September 2023.

    Free carousel rides in September: CAFESJIAN’S CAROUSEL in Como Park offers free spins on September 26, 2023.

    girl riding cafesjian's carousel at Como Park in Saint Paul Minnesota

Forever Wild Family Friday 

860 Cliff Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Visit the park the first Friday of every month for outdoor activities. This month learn all about Owls. September 1, 2023, 6-7:30pm. Free. No registration necessary

Pond Dakota Mission Park open houses

401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge. New themes each week. Ongoing Saturdays, September 2-23, 2023.
Drop in from 1-4pm.

Free Tuesday @ Washington County Parks

Explore Washington County Parks free on the first Tuesday of every month (non-holiday). No permit required. Find a listing of parks here. September 5, 2023.

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 am-10:30 am) and Saturdays (2 pm-2:30 pm) in September starting September 2, 2023, FREE. 

Movies on the Hill at Hyland Hills

Hyland Hills Ski Area, 8800 Chalet Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438 
Food trucks begin at 5 pm, the movie Hocus Pocus (1993) begins at dusk. September 8, 2023.

Nature Rocks! Open Houses

Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Pkwy, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Enjoy free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more. Ongoing Saturdays, September 9-23, 2023. 10am-1pm.

Silverwood Park Field Trip

Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
The 13th annual arts and environment festival.  Outdoor concerts, artmaking, crafts, games and food trucks. September 23, 2023, drop in between 12-4pm.

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

September Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK, EASTMAN NATURE CENTER, & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays, September 3-24, 2023. 1-3pm.

Drop-in Discoveries at Tamarack Nature Center  

Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake
Stay to play in the amazing outdoor nature playground Discovery Hollow while you still can! Sat, September 9 and 23, 2023, 10am-12pm.

Raptor Center Fall Raptor Release 

Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center, Hastings
The Raptor Center releases rehabbed birds plus wagon rides, kids activities and educational displays. September 23, 2023. More details to come.

Bird Watching Fall on the Flyway at North Mississippi Regional Park

5116 N Mississippi Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55412
Birds use the Mississippi Rive to guide them during their migration.  Learn more as you hike with a guide along the Mississippi itself. Registration required. September 30, 2023, 2 pm-3:30 pm.

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 September Movies in the Park


AFTON: Art in the Park (September 23-24)
BAYPORT: Derby Days (September 15-16)
BLAINE: World Fest (September 16)
BURNSVILLE: Fire Muster (September 6-9)
Oktoberfest (September 16)
EAGAN: National Public Lands Day Celebration (September 23)
Fall into the Arts Festival (September 9-10)
EXCELSIOR: Art & Apples on the Lake (September 15-17)
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS: Inver Grove Heights Days (September 6-10)
LAKEVILLE: Lakeville Art Festival (September 16-17)
MINNEAPOLIS: Linden Hills Festival (September 30)
MINNEAPOLIS: Open Streets West Broadway (September 10)
MINNEAPOLIS: Monarch Festival (September 9)
OTSEGO: Prairie Festival (September 16)
PLYMOUTH: Plymouth on Parade (September 23)
RED WING: Minnesota Children’s Book Festival (September 16)
ROSEVILLE: Wild Rice Festival (September 16)
ST LOUIS PARK: Roctoberfest (September 23)
ST PAUL: Mac-Grove Fest (September 9)
ST PAUL: Oktoberfest at German-American Institute (September 8-9)
WACONIA: Nickle Dickle Day (September 16)
WAYZATA: James J. Hill Days (September 8-10)


Walker Art Center’s First Free Saturday

725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
During this special First Free Saturday, enjoy music and dancing in the garden, pick up a craft kit, and, as always, free admission to the Walker’s galleries. September 2, 2023, 10am-3pm.

MacPhail Center for Music’s Kidfest

501 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Two sessions will include a half hour of instrument exploration, outdoor activities, and a sample class. The Bazillions, a favorite kid-friendly band, will perform. Snacks to follow. Sept 9, 2023 two performance times: 10:15-10:45am OR 11:15am-11:45pm. FREE.

Minneapolis Institute of Art Family Day

Arts and Folk Crafts – kid-friendly activities related to the MIA exhibition, then pick up an art kit to experiment with different materials at home. Sept 10, 2023. 10am-5pm.



First Free Sunday at Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Explore the revamped museum FREE of charge; tickets become available at 10 am on the Monday two weeks before each event September 3, 2023. 9am-5pm.

MOA Toddler Tuesdays 

Live entertainment and activities guaranteed to excite the stroller set at the Mall of America Rotunda. Ongoing Tuesdays in September 2023,  10am – noon.


Fresh, family entertainment – music, storytelling, puppets and more. Check the schedule for more details. Saturdays in September, 2023, 11am.

Rockin’ Robins Kids Music at Midtown Global Market

Blue Tree Music Education created this music class for preschoolers ages 3-5. Preschoolers and caregivers alike make music, move to the beat, sing, dance together! September 16, 2023, 11 am-11:45 am.

Games Galore at Union Depot

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

September Touch-a-Truck Events

  • ST LOUIS PARK FIRE DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSE – kid-friendly activities, including Sparky the Fire Dog and a squirt house, along with fire truck displays. There will be Hot dogs, chips, cookies and water available. September 19, 2023, 5pm-7:30pm. Fire Station 1, 3750 Wooddale Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55416.
  • COMMUNITY CHILI COOK-OFFAdmission includes police squad and fire truck displays as well as chili tasting, live music, games and Sparky the Fire Dog. Saturday, September 16, 2023, 11am-2pm. $10/pp. Food shelf donations welcome. Faith Church Minnetonka, 12007 Excelsior Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55343.
  • CHANHASSEN FIRE DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSEKids can see firetrucks, try out a fire-fighter obstacle course, play in a bounce house and watch demos. Snacks, ice cream and drinks available. Monday, September 25, 2023. 7610 Laredo Drive, Chanhassen, MN 55317.
  • FIRE FIGHTER STORYTIME – meet the Roseville Fire Department with their trucks Free. Drop In. Roseville: Friday, Sept 22, 2023 10:30, 2180 N Hamline Ave
  • SPECIAL GUEST LAKE JOHANNA FIRE DEPARTMENT Meet a firefighter, and explore a fire truck. Free. Drop In. 
    Shoreview: Monday, Sept 25, 2023 10:30 am  and Tuesday, Sept 26, 2023 6 pm, 4560 Victoria St. N


Baby by pumpkin patch at Pleasant Valley Orchard in Shafer, Minnesota
Pumpkins at Pleasant Valley Orchard

Spending a day in the pumpkin patch is classically fall and can be budget family fun when admission is free! These patches do not charge a fee and some have free activities, too.


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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