22 Free & Inexpensive Family Activities

Minneapolis has a lot of things you can do with your family for FREE or a small cost! Seeing the sites of the city is a start, but when you want to entertain your family but not spend a lot, work your way through this list.

  1. Get lost in exhibits at the Walker Art Center on First Free Saturdays and every Thursday night.
  2. Take a walk through the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center and take your photo with the iconic Spoonbridge & Cherry.
  3. Walk across the Stone Arch Bridge and take a look at the Mississippi River.
  4. Explore Minnesota’s largest art educator, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which is free and open to the public daily.
  5. Take a walk around the Mall of America, the largest indoor shopping center in the nation.
  6. Stroll or bike through the Mill District, the historic birthplace to Minneapolis.
  7. Read your way through the Minneapolis Central Library, located downtown between Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet at Third Street. Check out Children’s section for an interactive play and family story time events.
  8. Stroll the Mill City Farmer’s Market and take in free entertainment and fun shopping on the riverfront on Saturday mornings. 
  9. Hike near Minnehaha Falls and Creek and stop to see the Song of Hiawatha statue.
  10. For a small fee, visit the Foshay Observation Deck and Museum and get the only outdoor skyscraper view of the city of Minneapolis. 
  11. Shop from local and diverse businesses and have an inexpensive lunch at the Midtown Global Market.
  12. Visit Como Zoo and Conservatory in Saint Paul, a free zoo and historic indoor gardens with a Japanese garden and an inexpensive Carousel ride.
  13. Bike or walk along the Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile long former railroad corridor that winds throughout the city.
  14. Grab takeout and have a picnic at one of our many parks.
  15. Learn about innovations in science, technology, and the humanities at the Bakken Museum.
  16. Grab a sweet treat from Mel-O-Glaze Bakery and then walk around Lake Nokomis.
  17. Take a walk through Boom Island Park and enjoy beautiful views of the downtown skyline.
  18. Stroll through the gorgeous Lyndale Rose Gardens in the Kingfield neighborhood and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary at Theodore Wirth Regional Park
  19. Head to one of our family and pet friendly breweries and enjoy craft beer, food, and nonalcoholic beverages. 
  20. Spend a day at the Minnesota Zoo. Walk around and observe all types of animals, from penguins to tigers to bears, and more!
  21. Visit the Weisman Art Museum and get a tour. Both admission and weekly tours are completely free!
  22. Run, walk, bike or people watch at Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun).