Twin Cities May Budget Family Events & Activities

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It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities! You’ll find seasonal and ongoing events and activities in May listed here that all cost $5-$6 or less per person to attend. For our complete listing of events (including hundreds of freebies), please check our Family Fun Calendar.


5/12/18: Family Dance | Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis | 6:30-8pm | $5/pp or $10/family | The focus is on teaching simple dances that everyone in the family can enjoy. Breaks will feature snacks and kid-friendly activities.

5/11/18-5/13/18: Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival | Washington County Fairgrounds, Stillwater | 9am-5pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun | $5/pp ages 9+, under 9 FREE | Events include Minnesota’s largest fleece competition, sheep shearing demos, animals in the barn, and more.

5/18/18: Family Fun & Fitness Fridays | Great River Water Park, St Paul | Find Open Swim hours here | $2/pp during Open Swim hours. Further discounts: Sundays at the waterpark are just $4/pp and half-price swim is featured Mon & Wed.

5/18/18-5/19/18: Kids at the Castle: Muddy May | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis | 11am-noon (feel free to stay after and explore the castle) | $8/family | Before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, and movement inspired by ASI’s exhibits that will encourage creative young minds. Suggested for ages 2-5.

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Explore the great outdoors right alongside your children! Nature centers and parks across the Twin Cities host hundreds of low-cost programs throughout the year. Please check our Family Fun Calendar for exact dates, times and costs for each family nature program.

Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center | Hastings
May special: Preschool Storytime – Awesome Aliens | 5/3/18, 10-11am | $5/child age 2-5

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park | Brooklyn Park
May special: Family Fun – Geocaching | 5/20/18, 1-3pm | all ages, FREE

Eastman Nature Center | Dayton
May special: Mother’s Day Photo Booth | 5/13/18, 1-4pm | FREE

Harriet Alexander Nature Center | Roseville
May special: No special events scheduled, but the nature center is open for exploration or head outside and hike the boardwalk and trails.

Lowry Nature Center | Victoria
May special: American Stories & Dolls | 5/12/18, 12:30-2:30 | $5/pp | Bring your doll if you like.

Maplewood Nature Center | Maplewood
May special: Mother’s Day Wildlife Stroll | 5/12/18, 1-2:30pm | $5/pp | Hike and cardmaking

Richardson Nature Center | Bloomington
May special: Family Fun – Digging in the Dirt | 5/13/18, 3-4pm | FREE

Springbrook Nature Center | Fridley
May special: Saturday Family Fun Day | 5/12/18, 10-11am | FREE, donations appreciated | New themes each month; dress for the weather.

Wargo Nature Center | Lino Lakes
May special: No special events scheduled, but the nature center is open for exploration and if the weather permits, the nature play area.

Warner Nature Center | Marine on St Croix
May special: No special events scheduled, but the nature center is open for exploration.

Westwood Hills Nature Center | St Louis Park
May special: Spring Wildflowers on Mother’s Day | 5/13/18, 12:30-2pm | Note: this activity is $7-$9/pp but mothers are welcomed FREE.

Wood Lake Nature Center | Richfield
May special: Sunday Special – Wonderful Warblers | 5/6/18, 1pm | $5/pp


Cheap Flicks: Twin Cities Movie Theater Discount Days – all seats $2-$5/pp

Budget Twin Cities April

Saturday Mornings on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista | Ongoing May Saturdays, 9:30am-noon | $5/pp | Calling all farmhands! Help out with chores, spend time with the animals and participate in other spring farm activities. Closed-toe shoes required. Strollers not allowed in the barn or around animals.

Michaels Kids Club Crafts | Twin Cities Michaels locations | Ongoing Saturdays in May, 10am-noon | $2 per project, ages 3+. Check the link for details.

Raptor Center Tours | Gabbert Raptor Center (St Paul campus of the U of M) | 30-minute tours every half hour, 10:30am-3:30pm, ongoing Tues-Fri | $3/ages 3-17, $5/adults | Bring kids of any age for a fun and educational visit to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center. Meet some resident raptors, get hands-on with natural materials, and visit the kids’ play corner.

Public Star Shows | Como Planetarium, St Paul | Ongoing Tuesdays starting at 5:30pm | $5/pp | Please check the schedule online for the dates and times of these shows. The earlier show is geared towards younger children; later shows appeal to older kids and adults.

Bowl for a Buck | University of MN’s Coffman Union (Thurs, 5pm-close) & St Paul Student Center (all day Wed) • $1 per game plus $2 shoe rental.

Theater Explorers: Storytime Drop-in | Steppingstone Theater, St Paul | Wednesdays in May | $5/family | Introduce toddlers and preschoolers to theater arts through this weekly drop-in program filled with stories, songs, art projects and creative play.

Friday Family Funday | Grove Cove Aquatic Center, Maple Grove | Ongoing Fridays in May, 9am-8pm | $6/pp or $22/family for all members.


Budget Twin Cities April

Braemar Field: Tot Time, Edina | Ongoing Mon & Wed, 9-11am | $5/child | Room to run, age appropriate toys and some organized games.

Braemar Field: Family Night, Edina | Ongoing Saturdays, 6:30-8:30pm | $5/pp | Stay active under the dome during the cold months with room to run and play. Temp is set at 55 degrees.

Brookview Backyard Indoor Playground, Golden Valley | Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm & Sun, 9:30am-5pm | $4-$5/pp | This brand-new, 3,000 sq ft facility opened December 2017.

Eagan Community Center: Preschool Open Play | Ongoing Mon-Fri, 9-11:30am | $4 per child ages 1-5, under 18 mons free | A variety of fun toys and sport equipment are available to play in the gym as well as play time in the Blast Indoor Playground.

Eden Prairie Community Center: Tot Time Open Gym | Mon, Wed & Fri | 9-11:15am | Best for ages 1-4; $4.50-$5.50 per child, adults free | Participate in free play with balls, hoops, scooters, jump ropes, tumbling mats, parachutes, music and more. For $6/pp, admission to the Prairie Play Zone indoor playground is included.

Hopkins Pavilion: Turf Tots | Ongoing Thurs & Fri starting March 1 2018 | 9 mon-5 years | $4/child | In the spring, playtime moves to the indoor turf where there’s more room to run!

Twin Cities Tot Times and other activities to do with my preschool child.

Maple Grove Community Center: Parent/Tot Time | Ongoing Mon & Wed, 10-11:30am | $3/resident youth, $3.50/non-res youth, caregivers free | Best for ages 5 & under.

Millz House (Apple Valley): Open Play | Weekdays, 9am-4pm, $6/child or $18/family & Weekends, $8/child or $24/family. Find weekend hours here. | Work out the wiggles with indoor playsets, trampolines and basketball courts.

Plymouth Field House: Open Play | Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30am-1:30pm | $4/resident youth, $5/non-resident youth, caregivers free | During the chilly months, heat in the field house is turned on to 55 degrees for fun with inflatables, slides, nets and lots of space to run the kids ragged. Best for ages 3-5.

Saint Louis Park Rec Center: Little Tot Playtime | Tues-Fri, 9:30-11:30am | Ages 1-5 with caregiver | $2 per child | Bounce in the inflatables, ride the big wheelers, play dress up or build with blocks on the creative carpet.

Shoreview Community Center: Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground, Shoreview | Open Play hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 8pm, Sun: 8am – 6pm | $5.25/per child ages 1-12, adults free

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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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