Free & Inexpensive Family Fun

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.

  • Take a break at Lake Harriet Bandshell and watch a concert or a movie during Music & Movies in the Parks. Many Minneapolis parks offer free family-oriented movies under the stars and live musical performances throughout the summer.
  • Get lost in exhibits at the Walker Art Center on First Free Saturdays and every Thursday night.
  • Explore at the Guthrie Theater and take a look at the river and St. Anthony Falls from the Endless Bridge.
  • Explore Minnesota’s largest art educator, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which is free and open to the public daily.
  • Take a walk around the Mall of America, the largest indoor shopping center in the nation.
  • During the Minneapolis Aquatennial summer festival each July, catch the Torchlight Parade or Target Fireworks on the riverfront.
  • Stroll or bike through the Mill District, the historic birthplace to Minneapolis.
  • Explore Stone Arch Festival of the Arts, featuring arts, music, cars and entertainment in June.
  • Check out the annual winner of the Creative City Challenge on the Minneapolis Convention Center plaza.
  • Tour the city on Nice Ride bike-share bikes for a small rental fee.
  • Read your way through the Minneapolis Central Library, located downtown between Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet at Third Street.
  • Stroll the Mill City Farmer’s Market and take in free entertainment and fun shopping on the riverfront on Saturday mornings.
  • Hike near Minnehaha Falls and Creek and stop to see the Song of Hiawatha statue.
  • Stop for gelato at Wilde Roast Café after a riverfront stroll.
  • For a small fee, visit the Foshay Observation Deck and Museum and get the only outdoor skyscraper view of the city of Minneapolis.
  • Shop from local emigrant businesses and have an inexpensive lunch at the Midtown Global Market.
  • Visit Como Zoo and Conservatory in Saint Paul, a free zoo and historic indoor gardens with a Japanese garden and an inexpensive Carousel ride.
  • Enjoy a free brewery tour at Summit Brewing in St. Paul.
  • Play Frisbee golf--the Minneapolis area hosts more disc golf parks than almost any other metropolitan area in the U.S.
  • Play in one of Minneapolis' 197 parks, the number one park system in the country for three years.
  • Browse the boutiques in the hottest neighborhood in the country, the North Loop neighborhood.
  • Window-shop in Linden Hills neighborhood.
  • Fly kites during the annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival.
  • ​Stroll through the gorgeous Lyndale Rose Gardens and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Santuary.
  • Get free visitor advice and ideas at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet at 5th Street, then take your photo with the famous Mary Tyler Moore statue.