Free Summer Fun for Twin Cities Kids & Families 2022
The Twin Cities has so many fun activities and events for kids and families – but did you know that many are FREE? So every year I compile a list of all the free fun I could find!
This guide is sponsored by my money-saving partners, Just Between Friends of Eagan and Apple Valley!
Just Between Friends Kids Sales are a fantastic way to save money on gently used (and new!) kids items, and to make some cash selling your kids’ used items!
Just Between Friends of Eagan and Apple Valley’s next sale is in August in Eagan!
Fall Kids Sale – August 4-6, 2022
Apple Valley Sports Arena
Apple Valley, MN
Do you have stuff to sell? Become a consignor now for their next sale in August and make some extra cash!
And be sure to follow my blog and follow JBF Eagan for updates!
Plus a free gift – here’s a FREE summer activity page for your kids, sponsored by Just Between Friends of Eagan!
BONUS: Download my FREE Printable Summer Activity Planner for Kids!
There are 8 pages of summer planning fun:
- Summer Bucket List (32 ideas for summer fun!)
- Summer Schedules with themes and ideas
- “10 Things I Want to Do this Summer” Worksheet
- 3 Coloring Pages
Print whatever pages you want! To get this FREE Printable Summer Activity Planner for Kids, be sure you’re signed up for my FREE weekly email! You’ll get the links to the FREE printables INSTANTLY, and you will be subscribed to my weekly email newsletter which so you can get MORE freebies, deals and fun! Your information will not be shared with anyone and you can unsubscribe anytime.
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Here are ideas for FREE summer fun for
kids & families in the Twin Cities 2022!
(NOTE: All of these listings are subject to change. Be sure to check before you make plans or go!)
Indoor and Outdoor Adventures
Free Bowling – Kids Bowl Free is a national program designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. There are dozens of bowling centers in Minnesota that participate. Just sign up on their website!
Free Roller Skating – Kids Skate Free is a nationwide program that partners with skating centers to give kids 2 FREE Roller Skating Passes every week of the year! To sign up your kids, you just search for a local participating skating center on the Kids Skate Free website, view details and sign up! Right now in Minnesota there are a couple of participating locations: Cheap Skate in Coon Rapids and Skatin’ Place in St. Cloud.
Free State Park Admission from select Minnesota libraries – The Department of Natural Resources collaborated with regional library systems across the state to provide free seven-day state park passes for checkout through June 2022. The goal is to provide a way for Minnesotans living in low-income communities across the state to visit state parks without the financial barrier of an entry fee. Find if any libraries near you have these FREE state park passes!
Free Fishing – Minnesota residents can fish without a fishing license in most Minnesota state parks, including ice fishing. You can also check out a free fishing kit at select parks. This map shows where you can fish for free state-wide.
Free Summer Memberships for Teens at Planet Fitness – From May 16th through August 31st, teens ages 14-18 can work out at Planet Fitness totally FREE.
Free Summer Memberships for Teens at Twin Cities area YMCA locations – Note that most of these spots have already filled up but there is some limited availability.
Free Twins Youth Baseball and Softball Clinics – Get out and play ball! The Minnesota Twins, Twins Community Fund and Play Ball! Minnesota offer free youth baseball/softball clinics for kids ages 6-12. The Play Ball! Minnesota Youth Clinics are available to participants and communities free of charge. See the full summer schedule on their website.
Free Splash Pads and Wading Pools – The Twin Cities has many splash pads and wading pools that are free for all, and many are open this summer. Check with your local city for one near you. Minneapolis has a great list of their wading pools. You can also explore Twin Cities splash pads and wading pools on this interactive map (above) though this doesn’t show which ones are open and which ones are closed.
Free Swimming Pools. The North Commons Water Park in Minneapolis, and the Tourtelotte Pool in Mankato are totally FREE for all this summer.
Note: I also include splash pads, pools and parks in my guide, “The Ultimate List of Minnesota Family Fun.”
Free Parks – The Twin Cities has so many parks available to residents. Get started exploring on the Metropolitan Council website, or on the Three Rivers Park District’s website. Some of my family’s favorites are Central Park in Maple Grove, Madison’s Playground in Woodbury, and Schaper Park in Golden Valley.
Free National Park Admission – Not every day this summer, but on August 4th you can get FREE admission to all National Parks. It’s the Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, and is one of 6 days this year you can get free admission to all parks.
Free County Fairs – Not all offer free admission, but several do. Expect to pay for food, rides and some entertainment, of course. See my full roundup of Twin Cities Area County Fairs 2022.
Free Carousel Rides. At Como Zoo in St. Paul, the famous Cafesjian Carousel runs every day all summer, but offers FREE rides on the last Tuesday of each month from 11:00am – 4:00pm! Check in advance as weather and other factors may affect its operating. (Note that the carousel is accessible with capacity for one wheelchair per ride.)
Free Puppet Shows – Several cities have puppet show events all summer long that are free for families and include the Roseville Puppet Wagon, Eagan’s Spark! Puppet Shows, and the Woodbury Puppet Wagon.
Free Summer Movies:
Burnsville offers “Flicks on the Bricks” which are free movies this summer. Located at Nicollet Commons Park. The schedule:
June 24 “The Boss Baby – Family Business” (PG)
July 8 “Raya and the Last Dragon” (PG)
July 29 “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (PG)
Aug. 12 “Encanto” (PG)
Starlight Cinema offers a FREE summer movie series at Ojibwe Park in Woodbury. Starts June 9th! Here’s the schedule:
June 9: Encanto
June 23: Boss Baby 2: Family Business
July 7: Clifford the Big Red Dog
July 21: Luca
August 4: Sing 2
Minneapolis Movies in the Parks offer free movies all summer long. Find out more here.
St. Paul also offers Movies in the Parks all summer long. Learn about it here.
Check out your own city or area if you don’t live in these areas.
Free Summer Concerts – The Minneapolis Music in the Parks Series brings live music to parks. Check out the schedule! St. Paul’s Music in the Parks Series is also free outdoor fun. Check your city for local entertainment!
Free Water Ski Shows – You can catch free shows by local water ski teams all summer long. The Twin Cities River Rats perform throughout the summer on the Mississippi river at 1758 West River Rd N. in Minneapolis. The Ski Otters perform in White Bear Lake, and the Shockwaves perform in the area, primarily at Quarry Lake.
Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids – Kids can earn rewards for reading this summer! View my full list of Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids including Chuck E. Cheese and Pizza Hut.
Free Local Library Events – Libraries have so much for all ages! Events for kids, teens, and adults are back to being in-person and filling up calendars.
Free Storytimes – Libraries and bookstores alike have free storytimes for kids and families, and make a great, quiet summer break from the heat or rain.
Free Crafts & Projects – Home Depot has a free kids workshop on the first Saturday of the month. Some crafts can be picked up to take home: JoAnn Fabrics has a FREE kids craft to pick up on the first Saturday of the month. JCPenney has a FREE craft kids can pick up on the second Saturday of the month.
Also visit my Crafts & DIY page for at-home options!
Free Build-a-Bear Virtual Workshop Every Wednesday – Build-a-Bear is offering free Virtual Workshops every Wednesday! There are activities, crafts and free printables. It will definitely help keep your kids busy during this time!
Free Minnesota Zoo Virtual Fun – The Minnesota Zoo is open but also offers online learning options.
Free Minnesota Printables, LiveCams and Activities to Do at Home – Check out my roundup of interactive, online Minnesota fun!
Free Microsoft Online Summer Camps for Kids – Microsoft Store has offered free summer camps in previous years, and you can currently find virtual options.
Free Community Camps – The Sanneh Foundation gives kids ages 5-12 a safe, healthy and FUN camp experience every summer by offering FREE community sports camps throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. There are many camps offered each year.
Museum & Attractions
Free Museum, Attraction & Concert Passes – The MELSA SmARTPass program offers library card holders in the Twin Cities area free passes to a wide variety of museums, theater productions and other art experiences. Just sign up on their website by entering your library card number.
Free Museum Family Days –
- Como Zoo – St. Paul
Free every day
- Minneapolis Institute of Art – Free family days offered the second Sunday of the month!
- Minnesota Children’s Museum – FREE First Sundays mean free admission for all, but you have to sign up in advance. Otherwise, save $3 per admission any day with my code TCFM (mention in person). (St. Paul)
- Minnesota State Capitol – St. Paul
Free 45-minute guided tours every hour on Mondays to Fridays from 9:00am – 4:00pm (or 10:00am – 4:00pm starting June 11th), and Saturday 10:00am – 2:00pm.
- Walker Art Center – Check out Free First Saturdays for families!
Create Your Own Adventure!
A few years ago I put together this list of fun places to visit called “Hidden Gems for Families in the Twin Cities.” Some of our favorites are the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport’s Aircraft Viewing Area and Brooklyn Park Library, Though you’ll need to check in advance which ones are currently open, take your family out and about to explore places on the list or discover your own!
Also visit my Deals & Events Calendar regularly for happenings in the area!
When All Else Fails
There are many options listed in this guide, but when all else fails and the boredom hits at home, my 12-year-old daughter put together this list of 100 Things for Kids to Do at Home When Bored!
These times have been hard on everyone, so check out my guide to Coronavirus Financial Relief & Resources for Minnesota Families!
Also check out my guide: “How to Get Free Food in Minnesota During COVID.”
DISCOUNTS DISCOUNTS DISCOUNTS
Check out my Twin Cities Discount Guide for Families! You can save on many museums and attractions in the area, including the Minnesota Children’s Museum (save $3 per admission with my special code!).
Also, limited income families can receive free or discounted admission to these museums and attractions in Minnesota.
Did you know I have the LOWEST-PRICED Valleyfair tickets? Get them here!
Don’t miss my guide: The Ultimate List of Minnesota Family Fun!
Twin Cities Newspaper Deals!
Twin Cities Newspaper Deals – Find more ideas for fun and save money with coupons when you subscribe to a local newspaper like the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press! I have some AWESOME deals! Check them out!
Get some free stuff with my guide: FREEBIES for Kids & Families in Minnesota!
Do you have a FREE idea to add to this list? Do you have an update or correction? Comment below or email me at email@example.com.
Fantastic resource! Can we share a link in the community section of our next newsletter?
TC Frugal Mom says
Hi April! Sure! I would appreciate that. Thanks! -Lisa