50 Free Things to Do: Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

fall guide

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 & FALL FESTIVALS without admission fees to ongoing family art programs and other free entertainment. For hundreds more ideas on how to find free Twin Cities events for kids and families in October visit our: 

Want to find free things to do in the Minneapolis-St Paul area this weekend? Find our current WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE, packed with suggestions. We also publish a fresh update of THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK WITH KIDS in the Twin Cities. Our jam is inspiring you parents and caregivers to explore local communities and decide how best to invest the valuable time you’ve got with your young ones.

50 Free Things to do in the Twin Cities This October

Don’t view these ideas as a bucket list or one more to-do list you’ve got to hurry and check off before the end of the month. Rather, think of them as a back-pocket list you can whip out when it’s time to plan some family time.

Twin Cities Free Fall Fun in October

Visit a free pumpkin patch

We can’t promise free pumpkins, but when the patch doesn’t charge admission it could make for a frugal fall outing. (Do note: there may be fee-based activities to choose from and your kids will be very interested.) Here’s a quick rundown of our favorite free Twin Cities pumpkin patches; find our complete guide at the link.

  • BARTEN PUMPKINS, New Prague: Free activities include live music most fall weekends, a nature play area for kids and photo opps. Open daily. 
  • COUNTRY SUN FARM, Lake Elmo: Free admission and a free petting farm. Small fee for other activities. Open daily.
  • LENDT’S PUMPKIN PATCH, Wyoming: Free admission and a corn box.
  • MARSHALL’S FARM MARKET, Eden Prairie: Doesn’t charge admission but requests you make a purchase. There’s also a free corn maze. 
  • PAHL’S MARKET, Apple Valley: Free admission plus free fall festival first weekend in October w/ small straw maze, corn pit and pumpkin games.
  • PETER’S PUMPKINS & CARMEN’S CORN, Shakopee: Complete with free hayrides.

Jump in the leaves at Caponi Art Park

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Our favorite time to visit the art park is during the annual Leaf Fest when we can also jump in giant leaf piles, roast smores and play outdoor games. Can’t make the festival? You can wander the self-guided trails to find the sculptures Tuesday-Sunday through the end of October. Learn more about CAPONI ART PARK. Admission is always free; any donations you choose to give are appreciated. Festival is October 16, 2022, 1-4pm.

More twin cities fall festivals with free admission

Get ready for a bumper crop of free fall festivals this October in the Twin Cities. Find these fun family events near the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area all throughout the fall season. We’re so excited to get back to picking out pumpkins, taking hayrides, jumping in the corn pit and soaking in all the colors. The following fall festivals offer FREE admission; find our complete listing on our FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL CALENDAR:

Fall Flowers in Bloom at Como Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Autumn colors are on fire at the
Fall Flower Show in the Conservatory’s sunken garden. Plus, it’s all indoors and balmy so noses won’t freeze. Admission is always free w/ donations gladly accepted. Daily, 10am-4pm.

More free fall fun at COMO PARK ZOO & CONSERVATORY: Don’t miss Como Lil’ Explorer Thursdays. Each themed week is packed with free games, art projects and sensory tables. Thursdays in October 2022, 10am-12pm.

Climb the Highland Park water tower

782 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
Get a beautiful, birds-eye view of the fall colors blanketing the city of St Paul. This is one of only two chances a year to climb the historic tour and learn about public waterworks for free. October 8-9, 2022.

Solve a free corn maze

5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
Rockpoint Church hosts a traditional fall corn maze – and admission is FREE. Plus other fun stuff like pedal cars and wagon rides. You can’t beat the price tag of a free corn maze, but if this one isn’t in the cards we have a list of 10 more to choose fromMaze open the first two Saturdays of October 2022, 11am-4pm.

Three girls standing by a corn maze with talk bubble that says "Top 10 Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families"

Warm Up around a Free Bonfire

Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Dakota County parks are host to Forever Wild Family Fridays – free outdoor activities the first Friday of every month. And, in chilly months like October, a bonfire is included. October 7, 2022, 6-7:30pm.

Pond Dakota Mission Park Living history  open houses

401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Hands-on living history programs fun and free of charge. New themes each Saturday.
Drop in from 1-4pm. 

October Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. Sundays in October 2022, 1-3pm.

Free Twin Cities Halloween Events for kids & Family

Free Twin Cities October Family Events & Activities

A scary-huge list of FREE Halloween events have creepy-crawled their way into our 2022 TWIN CITIES FAMILY HALLOWEEN GUIDE. Please find our list here – click on the graphic for all the details – because there are far too many free Halloween events in the Twin Cities Metro to list all of them here! Here’s a spooky sampling of our favorite FREE finds:

Anoka’s Halloween Grand Day Parade

Main Street & Fifth Ave, Anoka
Curious as to why Anoka has been dubbed the Halloween Capital of the World? Find out during one of the myriad FREE events scheduled for 2022’s celebration including the huge Halloween parade. October 29, 2022, 1-3:30pm.

Landmark Center Great Pumpkin Halloween Festival

75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Get out your costumes for all the free stuff: a parade, treats, storytelling and a live entertainment. October 30, 2022, 1-3pm.

Free Twin Cities Halloween Trunk-or-Treat Events

Halloween trunk-or-treat – it’s a twist on traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating that may be a great option for your family. The setup is typically a church parking lot where kids can move between vehicle trunks (often all decked out for the season) and collect candy. Bonus – all the church parking lot trunk-or-treat events on our list are FREE to attend.


  • MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET FAMILY FRIDAY, Minneapolis: Free trick-or-treating around participating market stalls. Free music, art, crafts and balloons too. October 28, 2022, 5-7pm.
  • 50TH & FRANCE TRICK OR TREAT, Edina: Enjoy trick-or-treating at local businesses starting at 3pm (look for the sign in the window, kids 12 & under only, please). October 29, 2022.
  • STILLWATER MAIN STREET TRICK-OR-TREAT: Free event with over 45 participating businesses. October 29, 2022, 1-4pm.



  • KOWALSKI’S BOO BASH – Free trick-or-treating for families around the stores – wear your costume if you like! All Twin Cities Kowalski’s locations, October 25, 2022. 
  • LUNDS & BYERLY’S BOO BLASH & FALL FESTIVALS – Whether your local store calls it Boo Blast or Fall Festival, kids can dress up, troll for treats and enjoy other activities. October 23-29, 2022. Find your local store at the link.

More Free things to do in October in the twin cities

October is Fire Prevention Month!

Whose got kids that stop in their tracks at the sight of one of those monster safety vehicles? There are more chances this month to see the big rigs than any other – check our Twin Cities Touch-a-Truck Calendar to plan ahead! Cities that are hosting FREE meet-and-greets with firetrucks and their handlers:

Free Twin Cities Family Arts EVents in October

Walker Art Center October First Free Saturday

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. Get out and explore the awesome sculpture garden while fall weather permits. October 1, 2022.


Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 912 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Relief printing in the Rain Garden: Spend a weekend afternoon creating fall or Halloween-themed prints to take home. October 15, 2022, 12-4pm. FREE.


75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Join the Saint Paul Ballet as they perform excerpts from the company repertoire. It’s the perfect sample outing for budding ballerinas. While you’re at Landmark Center, stop in and play with the instruments in the SCHUBERT CLUB MUSIC MUSEUMAn entire afternoon of free fun for young ones! October 11, 2022, 12pm.

Ballet Tuesdays at the Landmark Center

Free kids entertainment in October 


10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Explore the revamped museum FREE of charge; expect to wait in line for admission. October, 2022. 9am-5pm.


Live entertainment for the stroller set each week at the Rotunda. Plus, on Toddler Tuesdays you can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for Nickelodeon Universe for just $15 and kids eat free at participating restaurants w/ purchase of an adult meal. Tuesdays in October 2022, typically 11am-12pm with some exceptions.



90 W 4th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Fresh, family entertainment – music, storytelling, puppets and more. Check the schedule for more details. Saturdays in October, 2022, 11:30am.


7700 York Ave S, Edina, MN 55435
A free magic show in the indoor park’s balmy amphitheater. Stay to enjoy the huge indoor playground (not free, but reasonably priced for a full afternoon of fun). October 27, 2022, 11am.

What am I going to do over MEA Weekend in the Twin Cities?

Well, first of all you’re going to consult our TWIN CITIES WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE. And if that doesn’t do the trick, jump over to our GUIDE TO MEA WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES. Fear not families, you’ll find something that fits your needs. And then, what a treat the long weekend will be.


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. TWIN CITIES 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 & TOT TIMES to run your littles ragged during the cooler months. Explore from our links below.



October Family Funday 

Oct 31 | North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis
Come dressed as your favorite animal if you like to play games, visit animals and make masks. 1-3pm. Registration required.

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