Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Week: April 8-12, 2024

Things to do this week in Minneapolis & St Paul with your kids!

This guide covers Twin Cities family activities for the week of April 8-12, 2024. If you are in search of things to do with your family this weekend, jump over to our WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE. We’ve got you covered no matter your corner of the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area!

As always, you can check our APRIL FAMILY GUIDE, the ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPRING FUN IN THE TWIN CITIES or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this week in the Twin Cities with your kids – satisfaction guaranteed (or close to it!)

children in a family bike ride

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Monday, April 8, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Monday:

Let them bounce off someone else’s walls! Our list covers open gyms for tots across the Twin Cities where they can work their wiggles off during cooler weather either FREE or at a low cost to you. SEE OUR FULL LIST OF TWIN CITIES TOT TIME OPEN GYMS THIS SPRING!

MONDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Maple Grove Community Center

12951 Weaver Lake Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Tots get a designated time in the gym just for them, and it’s cheap at just $4/child, caregivers free. Kick it up a notch with admission to MAPLE MAZE INDOOR PLAYGROUND, also located within the community center. Just look at that helix slide! April 8, 2024, 9-10:30am.


Maple Maze Indoor Playground in Maple Grove Minnesota

Twin Cities storytimes on Monday

MONDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Puppet Storytime at Westwood Nature Center

8300 W Franklin Ave, St Louis Park, MN 55426
Open play and exploration of
 Westwood Hills Nature Centernaturalist-led activities, puppet show and a hike. This month’s theme is “April Showers”. April 8, 2024. 10am-11am, $6/person. Registration required.

Westwood Hills Nature Center Interpretive Center, St. Louis Park, MN
The interpretive Center was created to help naturalists increase visitor understanding and appreciation of our natural world


There’s a solar eclipse today!

According to our friends at the BELL MUSEUM, Minnesota will see about a 75% coverage of the sun during the eclipse and the peak time to peek will be around 2pm. Of course, take proper precautions if you’re interested in viewing the eclipse from home or there are some fun family events going on around town where you can not only safely view but learn about the eclipse:

Solar Big Year – 2024 Eclipse Celebration

2088 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul, MN 55113
Solar-themed activities all day, a livestream and experts on hand to answer questions about the eclipse. Limited edition Bell Museum Eclipse Glasses will be on sale during the event – 1 pair for $3 or 2 pairs for $5. Remember, the museum is full of exhibits of interest to kids and is very family-friendly!  April 8, 2024, 10am-4pm. $12-$15/pp.

Experience the Eclipse at Dodge Nature Center

365 Marie Ave W, West St. Paul, MN 55118
Solar glasses to view the eclipse will be provided along with a host of other activities at the nature center. April 8, 2024, 1-2:30pm. $10/pp.

Science Museum of Minnesota: Eclipse Day

120 W. Kellogg Blvd Saint Paul, MN 55102
The museum will have glasses available for purchase for viewing at three terraces along with hands-on activities and demos, conversations with experts in the field and an eclipse livestream. Plus all the other high quality exhibits to enjoy! April 8, 2024, 11am-3pm. $20-$30/pp.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at Spring Lake Park Reserve

Schaars Bluff Gathering Center, 8395 127th St E, Hastings, MN 55033 MN 55033 
Be prepared for the eclipse starting around 1pm with the peak at 2pm and a wrap-up around 3pm. Bring your own seating; naturalists will be on hand to answer questions. April 8, 2024, 14-4pm. FREE.

Morning on Shepard Farm

8946 70th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
It’s farm babies season! Here’s a lovely spot in the Southeast Metro where you can greet the resident farm animals and explore the gardens, trails and bee apiary. Pre-registration is required and spots fill quickly. If you can’t snag a spot, the farm trails are open for independent wandering. Learn more about SHEPARD FARM, managed by Dodge Nature Center. April 8, 2024, 10-11am. $5/pp.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Tuesday:

Tot Time open gyms across the Twin Cities are absolutely a saving grace for parents of squirrelly kids when it’s still too sloppy to be outdoors:


14645 Felton Court, Suite #104, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Work out the wiggles with indoor playsets, trampolines and basketball courts. Cost is $8/child; parents and babies under 18 months free. Open play 9am-4pm, $8/pp.

Millz House Indoor Playground in Minnesota

Twin Cities storytimes on Tuesday:


2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410
This is a popular story time for toddlers & preschoolers in the sweet Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. Stick around to see how many critters (yes, animal critters) you can spot slinking around the store! April 9, 2024, 10:30am. FREE.

Girl standing in front of the tiny people door at the Wild Rumpus Bookshop in Minneapolis, Minnesota

More family fun ideas for Tuesday: Indoor play & activities

Mall of America Toddler Tuesday

This week, little ones can celebrate Earth Day with interactive storytime and other eco-activities. Meet at the Rotunda. April 9, 2024, 10am-12pm. FREE.

Family fun Twin Cities' Guide to the Mall of America - floor by floor - Title backdrop Pineapple Poppers ride at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Family fun Twin Cities’ Guide to the Mall of America

Tuesday is Discount Movie Day!

Traditionally, Tuesday is the day of the deal at Twin Cities-area movie theaters. While we can’t guarantee a kid-friendly flick will be screening at your local cinema, we do keep track of a list worth checking out. $5 movies are offered across theaters in communities like Minneapolis, St Paul, Eagan, Shakopee, Woodbury and more. Pass that popcorn!

Two girls sharing popcorn during a movie at the Mall of America in Bloomington Minnesota
Grab some popcorn and watch a cheap movie. Yes, these are my daughters. To this day, their favorite pastime is fighting over treats.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Wednesday:

WEDNESDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Parent/Tot Open Gym at Rosemount Community Center

13885 S Robert Trail, Rosemount, MN 55068
Fun and FREE, youngsters 5 & under can play with balls and large motor equipment. Drop in Mon/Wed/Fri, 9:30-11am.

Twin Cities storytimes on Wednesday:

WEDNESDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Storytime at Kiddywampus Hopkins

1023 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343
Spring storytime starts this week! Interactive stories, songs & rhymes for kids ages 2-5 at one of the coolest independent toy shops in the Twin Cities. No registration required. April 10, 2024, 10:30am. FREE.

Games Galore at Union Depot

214 4th St E, St Paul, MN 55101
This is a great indoor activity – play giant-size versions of favorite games like chess, checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes, Jenga and more. Plus, the historic depot is great for train lovers to explore! April 10, 2024, 10am-8pm. FREE.

Games Galore
Image courtesy Union Depot

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Thursday:

THURSDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Turf Tots at Hopkins Pavilion

11000 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins, MN 55343
Drop-in and play with fun, gross motor equipment like bounce houses, a climbing wall, sport balls, crawl tunnels, blocks, trikes and more. No registration necessary. The program is for children 5 and under. April 11, 2024, 8am-1pm. $5 per session per child.

Twin Cities storytimes on Thursday:


891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Storyteller Angela hosts a storytime at the charming bookshop perfect for 3s & under (but all welcome). April 11, 2024, 10:30am. FREE.

Summer Reading Programs at Local Bookstores

More family fun ideas for Thursday: Nature play

Lil Explorer Thursday at Como Zoo

1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103
Lil Explorer Thursdays
 is a fantastic free event aimed at preschoolers and includes all kinds of hands-on activities, manipulatives, games and crafts. Meet in the Visitor Center. April 11, 2024, 10am-noon. FREE.

April weather not cooperating for outdoor plans? Stay as toasty as the tropics wandering the indoor gardens and exhibits. The animal enclosures are heated, too. Please note that reservations are a must. FREE, donations appreciated.

28+ Days of Cozy Indoor Play in February

More family fun ideas for Thursday: Free museum visits

Here’s a chance to visit a couple of family-friendly Twin Cities museums FREE today.

Free Thursday Night at American Swedish Institute

2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Have your kids ever thought it would be awesome to explore a castle? Here’s their chance (and yours) while the very family-friendly AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE offers FREE admission every Thursday after 3pm. There is a rotating family gallery kids will enjoy playing in and nooks and crannies to explore. 
PAIR A VISIT WITH DINNER: Our kids have enjoyed the Swedish meatballs at FIKA Cafe in the museum. Plus happy hour pricing from 3 until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.Dala Horse at American Swedish Institute

Free Thursday Night at Walker Art Center

725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
We recommend this chance to visit the Walker for free with older children or teens who enjoy art in a less hands-on experience. For a more kid-friendly (and still admission-free) opportunity, make sure to visit the first Saturday of each month for special programming. April 11, 2024, 5-9pm.


Girl by large wooly mammoth diorama at Bell Museum of Natural History.


Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Friday, April 12, 2024

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Friday:

FRIDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Gleason’s Gymnastics Open Gyms

2015 Silver Bell Rd #180, Eagan, MN 55122
So flipping fun! This used to be a family go-to when the cold set in and my kids needed to get their wiggles out. Yours will love the opportunity to bounce on trampolines, scoot through obstacle courses, and play on the gym equipment. Register in advance for a discount. And hey, teens and tweens! There’s an open gym for you, too. April 12, 2024. Preschool open gym: Wednesdays & Fridays: 9:30 – 11:30am. Pre-register: $10/child; $15/family ($13/$20 at the door).

Collage of Preschool Open Gym at Gleason's Gymnastics School in Minnesota

Twin Cities storytimes on Friday:

More family fun ideas for Friday: Indoor activities

Splish splash at indoor tot swims

Littles can splash the winter blues away at special TOT OPEN SWIMS reserved just for them. Here’s a couple indoor pools in the Twin Cities metro area that offer tot swims on Friday mornings (please tip us off if you know of others):

  •  CHILDREN’S POOL HOUR AT GREAT RIVER WATER PARK – Monday, Wednesday and Friday hours are “children’s pool only” from 9am-10am at this perfect little indoor splash spot. And admission isn’t bad either – $7/pp or $25 for a group of 5. April 12, 2024. 270 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN 55104.
  • SHAKOPEE INDOOR AQUATIC CENTER – Ages 6 & under, 9-10:30am, $6-$11/child and caregivers FREE. 1255 Fuller St S, Shakopee, MN 55379.


New Brighton Tots & Tires

Hansen Park, 400 10Th St. NW, New Brighton, MN 55112
Get ready for big tires attached to big trucks, tractors and more vehicles. There will also be a special storytime hosted by Ramsey County Libraries. We’re guessing the stories may be about big trucks, too. April 12, 2024, 9:30-11:30am.

Touch A Truck Calendar for the Twin Cities Minnesota Metro Area

More ideas for Friday night family fun

Friday Family Movie Night at Edinborough Park

7700 York Ave S, Edina, MN 55435
Bring the family down to the lovely indoor EDINBOROUGH PARK tonight for a screening of YOGI BEAR in the amphitheater. Admission to the enormous ADVENTURE PEAK INDOOR PLAYGROUND within the balmy park is sold separately. The whole family can climb, slide and navigate the webs on this giant, multi-story play structure. April 12, 2024, movie from 5:30-7pm. Playpark admission $9/child. Edinborough Park - Adventure Peak Indoor Playground

Fun things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities – April 13-14, 2024

Too many fun things to list here, I’ll tell you that. So we publish a separate guide each weekend with up-to-the-last-minute ideas for spending family time together.

children in a family bike ride


Ideas to pull out of your “back pocket” nearly any day of the week!

Best Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities

Kids bursting with extra energy (and their caregivers who often can’t keep up) will appreciate all the free and low-cost TOT TIME OPEN GYMS across the Twin Cities. Especially so when the weather is cold and we can’t just head down the street to the park. Most often, these unstructured programs offer balls, other gross motor play equipment, and room to run. Find our list of the communities that offer special open gym time this spring:

Oplen Play, Gym & Swim Spots for Tots in the Twin Cities, Minnesota - Family Fun Twin Cities

Twin Cities-Area Library Storytimes

Your local library is a wonderful place for kids to curl up for a storytime, browse books, play with educational toys and games and slow their pace. We cover more than 100 Metro area library branches in our GUIDE TO TWIN CITIES LIBRARIES: MAPPED. Or, pick from this quick list to find library storytimes and events:

101 Twin Cities Libraries - Mapped


We cover the top places for the indoor fun your kids are craving: climbing, sliding, jumping, crawling and just plain blowing off some steam.

Indoor Playgrounds in the Twin Cities, Minnesota - Child Playing in a Ball Pit


Early spring is an exciting time to visit a Twin Cities area nature center, fresh with the promise of a new season and programming. But, as we know, April weather can be as temperamental as a toddler. Good thing these interpretive venues can be nearly as fun indoors as out.



Giant Minnesota Post Card displayed at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul.

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