Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: January 20-21, 2024

the Twin Cities at different seasons

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers events in Minneapolis & St Paul the weekend of January 20-21, 2024. Want to discover family fun this weekend across the Twin Cities Metro Area? Browse our guides for the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest & Southeast communities. Happy exploring, wherever your weekend may take you!

What we appreciate after the holidays have wrapped is frugal entertainment. Most of our ideas for this weekend’s list of things to do in the Twin Cities are FREE or low-cost to attend. For more wintry inspiration, hop over to our JANUARY FAMILY EVENTS GUIDE, our ULTIMATE WINTER FUN GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR. We try to keep it stocked with options to fit your family’s needs while having a good time doing it.

Winter festivals this weekend in Minneapolis & St Paul

Rounded up in our Twin Cities Winter Festival Family Calendar are the best of the Twin Cities’ weekend winter festivals – ways to get out and play in the elements with your family! it’s a little quiet on the festival front in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend (the annual Ice Shanty Projects have been pushed out one more week), but there is plenty of wintry fun to be had across the Metro area.

Twin Cities-area community winter festivals this weekend:

  • BLOOMINGTON: Winter Fete Ice Harvesting Day – Cut ice blocks from the pond, watch an ice rescue demo and kicksled. January 20, 2024, FREE.
  • EXCELSIOR: Arctic Fever – “Arctic bowling”, a magic show and live reindeer. January 19-20, 2024.
  • FARMINGTON: Smores and More – Free smores, ice skating and games in the park. January 20, 2024, 2-4pm.
  • FRIDLEY: Springbrook Nature Center Winterfest – Fun in the snow (we hope) includes kicksledding, snowshoeing and games plus cozy stuff like smores, a bonfire and hot cocoa. January 20, 2024, 11am-2pm. FREE admission.
  • HASTINGS: Yeti Ice Sculpture Celebration – Scout yetis all over town and watch an ice carving demo. January 20, 2024, 11am-4pm.
  • NEW BRIGHTON: Brave the BRRR – Hunt for gnomes, browse an indoor winter market, see the Bartz Brothers newest snow creation! January 20-21, 2024, 11am-7pm.

Twin Cities Minnesota Festivals banner showing Rice Park in St. Paul Minnesota in the Winter - Family Fun Twin Cities

Fun activities in the parks this weekend in Minneapolis & St Paul

Featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.

Minneapolis & St Paul winter activity update

As of this writing, there isn’t much more than a dusting of snow on the ground. On a positive note, outdoor ice rinks in Minneapolis are currently being flooded in anticipation of skaters and over in St Paul the refrigerated rinks are now open as the community flooded rinks are being prepared. Here’s where you can find these skating spots:

  • North Dale Park, 1414 St Albans St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117 (includes one refrigerated hockey rink)
  • Palace Park, 781 Palace Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55102
  • Phalen Park, 1000 E Wheelock Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55106 (includes one refrigerated hockey rink)

More outdoor ice rinks across the Twin Cities metro:

People skating the canals of Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota.
Ice skating at Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

Winter Break Fundays at Battle Creek Winter Recreation Area

75 Winthrop Street S, Saint Paul, MN 55119
I got every single one of my tweens and teens to try this winter activity over winter break – and despite having never buckled on skis in their lives, they picked it up pretty quick! This was such a great way to introduce them to a new winter sport without heavy investment. Try cross-country skiing and kicksledding for FREE on select weekends this winter. January 20-21, 2024, 11am-1pm.

Featured Minneapolis park events this weekend:

Nature Art at North Mississippi Regional Park

5116 N Mississippi Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55412
Make art with the ice and snow around you – and even add some color to it. Meet at the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center – a fun place to explore when you need to warm up indoors. January 20, 2024, 1:30-2:30pm. FREE, but space is limited so please register at the link.

Family Ice Fishing Day at Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake, Robbinsdale MN
Ever been? Why not give it a try! Learn about and try your hand at ice fishing with an expert – all equipment provided. Class meets on the shoreline nearest Chowen Ave No. & Shoreline Drive on Crystal Lake. January 20, 2024. Two sessions: 10am-1pm & 2-5pm. FREE, but must register.

Featured St Paul winter event this weekend:

Springboard on Ice

262 University Ave West, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Bring or borrow a pair of skates to the outdoor rink, watch a performance and take a spin yourself. Free lessons if needed! And free refreshments. January 20, 2024, 1-4pm. FREE.

More ideas for things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with kids

Many families feel more comfortable with a little extra armor during the Minnesota winters. We’ve beefed up our annual Winter Break Survival Guide to help you make the most of the season whether you want to get out and play or stay in and be cozy.

Cozy indoor activities in Minneapolis & St Paul

LOTS AT LANDMARK THIS WEEKEND: Beautiful, historic Landmark Center in St Paul is a hub for culture and the arts, much of it very family-friendly and the bulk of it FREE! Come on down this weekend and see for yourself:

  • Urban Expedition: Argentina – Travel the globe without hopping a plane! A new cultural experience each month, complete with family activities, entertainment and food. January 21, 2024, 1-3pm. FREE.
  • While you’re exploring Landmark Center, stop in at the free Schubert Club Music Museum to see the instrument “cyclone” and tinker with interesting instruments. Plus free snacks and activities from 10am-2pm.
  • The Gallery of Wood Art welcomes little hands to its “Touch This!” exhibit and offers live woodturning demonstrations from 12-4 the third Sunday of each month (January 21). FREE.

Family Fun at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, Minnesota - Shubert Club Museum, Ballet Tuesdays, Urban Expedition

More kid-friendly museums in Minneapolis & St Paul

Kids at the Castle: The Box King

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Music, movement and play aimed at kids ages 2-5 presented in a real castle-like mansion! Registration in advance is required as space is limited. January 20, 2024, 9-10am. $15/family, museum admission included. 

Holiday Night Trains at Twin City Model Railroad Museum

668 Transfer Rd Ste. 8, St Paul, MN 55114
A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights. January 20, 2024, 3-7pm. $15/pp.

FINAL WEEKEND! Ball-o-rama at Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Oh boy did my son love Ball-o-rama each time it cycled through the Children’s Museum when he was a squirt. Ball ramps and races (which the exhibit uses to teach physics laws) would hold his attention like nothing else. Time for a new generation to explore! Included with museum admission. Open Tues-Sun, 10am-4pm. Save online, tickets $15/pp.

MacPhail January Free Family Music Series

MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Activities at this fun musical event include free family concerts at 10:15am and 11:15am, a chance to explore instruments hands-on and snacks. Entertainment by the MacPhail Faculty Jazz Combo. January 20, 2024, 10am-12pm.

Michaels Sunday Makebreak

1620 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1643
Participating Michaels stores across the Twin Cities are offering free weekend “Makebreak” classes and “Take & Make” Kids Club crafts. They’re simple, yet could lend a nice personal touch to a small gift. This weekend kids use watercolors to paint a picture frame. January 21, 2024, 2-4pm. FREE.

Free Open Swim Sundays at Great River Water Park

270 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN 55104
A special FREE open swim will be hosted Sundays starting this weekend with water safety training provided from 3-3:25pm. The zero-depth entry splash pool is perfect for tots trying to get used to the water and there are two tube waterslides for the big kids. January 21, 2024, 12-5pm.

Kids Yoga & Music Class at Midtown Global Market

920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Limber up with a yoga class just for kids at 10:30 by the stage in the central court, then groove and sing along with a Rockin’ Robins Music mini-class at 11. You’ll want to stay and pick a lunch spot from one of the many delicious market vendors. January 20, 2024. FREE.

Museum of Russian Art Storytime in the Gallery

5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
A special storytime geared for kids ages 3-8 that includes a read-aloud connected to the gallery exhibits, a scavenger hunt and a take-and-make activity. Please register in advance. January 20, 2024, 10:30-11am. FREE.

Always free to visit weekends

Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!

During this cold weather, find tons of fun indoor games for kids you can play right at home.

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