23 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. 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.
  2. Get lost in exhibits at the Walker Art Center on First Free Saturdays and every Thursday night.
  3. Explore at the Guthrie Theater and take a look at the river and St. Anthony Falls from the Endless Bridge.
  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. During the Minneapolis Aquatennial summer festival each July, catch the Torchlight Parade or Target Fireworks on the riverfront.
  7. Stroll or bike through the Mill District, the historic birthplace to Minneapolis.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 
  10. Stroll the Mill City Farmer’s Market and take in free entertainment and fun shopping on the riverfront on Saturday mornings. 
  11. Hike near Minnehaha Falls and Creek and stop to see the Song of Hiawatha statue. 
  12. Stop for gelato at Wilde Roast Café after a riverfront stroll. 
  13. For a small fee, visit the Foshay Observation Deck and Museum and get the only outdoor skyscraper view of the city of Minneapolis. 
  14. Shop from local emigrant businesses and have an inexpensive lunch at the Midtown Global Market.
  15. Visit Como Zoo and Conservatory in Saint Paul, a free zoo and historic indoor gardens with a Japanese garden and an inexpensive Carousel ride.
  16. Enjoy a free brewery tour at Summit Brewing in St. Paul. 
  17. Play Frisbee golf--the Minneapolis area hosts more disc golf parks than almost any other metropolitan area in the U.S. 
  18. Play in one of Minneapolis' 197 parks, the number one park system in the country for three years.
  19. Browse the boutiques in the hottest neighborhood in the country, the North Loop neighborhood.
  20. Window-shop in Linden Hills neighborhood. 
  21. Fly kites during the annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival. 
  22. Stroll through the gorgeous Lyndale Rose Gardens and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. 
  23. 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.