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It is always fun to visit new cities, but one thing I have found is it is hard to know what to do when you get there. Many cities have signature attractions, but sometimes those places cost a fortune. Here are some amazing things to do in the beautiful midwestern city of Minneapolis that won’t break the bank. In fact, all of these activities are FREE!
Surprisingly, Minneapolis is becoming one of the most popular cities in the US to travel to. Most wouldn’t think of traveling there, but Minneapolis is quickly becoming one of the coolest places to be and is fast becoming a cultural hotspot! While there are over a hundred different free things to do in the Twin Cities, we’ve compiled a list of 25. So grab your bags and let’s go!
This is a great collection of art and is free every day (except Mondays when it’s closed)! It has artworks and artefacts from all over the world and all different time periods. Then you can grab a coffee from Spyhouse Coffee a few streets over after your visit (Minneapolis is ranked number 7 in the US for best coffee city!).
2. Maple Syrup
That’s right! You can learn how to make maple syrup in one of the many parks in Minneapolis in the springtime! This is a great opportunity for the kids! Fort Sneling State Park is right next to the MSP airport and offers several days in the spring for maple syrup making for the whole family.
It’s the perfect place to indulge your inner botanist. This beautiful place is right next to Lake Harriet where you can enjoy an afternoon full of amazing flowers.
If you’re looking for a break from the kids, Surly Brewery offers free daily tours. If you’re hungry, there are loads of food trucks that sell good food outside. It’s located in Brooklyn Park.
If you’re there in February, there is a fun event for the whole family! Located in nearby Hudson, this Hot Air Balloon festival is filled with fun activities from parades to geocaching, arts and crafts, and of course, lots of balloon launches!
The state capitol offers free daily guided tours. This is a great opportunity to learn about a different state and to look at some amazing architecture.
Inspired by European cathedrals, this beautiful church building is open for free tours Tuesday through Friday at 1pm. It’s a magnificent building with a much different layout than most cathedrals.
8. The 331 Club
In northeast Mineapolis has Blingo night! Enjoy this fun game every Tuesday from April 1st.
On that same note, the Minnesota Sinfonia often has free concerts for adults and families in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This is a great opportunity to treat your kids to the beauty of classical music.
You can catch some of the greatest views in the whole city from this pedestrian walk bridge that crosses directly over the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls. Be sure to look at the Mill City Ruins which makes it the perfect afternoon hangout spot.
This garden of statues is located opposite the Walker Art Center and has some very famous pieces of modern sculpture such as the Spoonbridge and Cherry and the Standing Fish. The Art Center itself is also a really great visit and you can visit it for free on the first Saturday of each month.
On the wild side, Como Park Zoo is fun for the whole family! They have everything from animals, gardens, carousel and other park rides, pieces of art, and plenty of gift shops. It’s also FREE!
If you’re in the mood for a run, a bike ride, or even just a leisurely walk, Minneapolis’ location on the Mississippi River makes it the perfect place to enjoy some exercise and the riverfront. With 3000 miles of bike trails along its banks, there is no shortage of distance to walk, run , or bike.
This is a great way to entertain the entire family! You can watch them in a beautiful Twin Cities park to make this evening even better.
This is the same idea as movies in the park, only with a variety of local bands to entertain you during the evening.
16. Minnehaha Falls
This is a very important location to the people of Minnesota, especially to the Dakota Indians. It’s an impressive sight in summer but is especially cool to watch in winter when it is frozen over.
17. Classic Cars
If you’re into classic cars or just want to flit back to the past, just head into nearby Hastings and enjoy admiring cars as people bring them in. They host them every other Saturday from May to October from 5-9pm.
If you’re there during the winter months, this fun sporting event is free and is held in January. Watch this fun winter sport take place on Lake Nokomis and keep warm with a mug of hot chocolate while you watch.
Every Tuesday morning, Mall of America hosts free arts and crafts, storytime and character appearances from 10 am till noon for toddlers and their caretakers.
Svenskarnas Dag is an annual festival held every June at Minneha Park. It’s a great way to learn about Swedish culture and how that has greatly shaped Minnesota and its people. It’s a great way to learn about a different culture.
Not only is Minneapolis home to people with Swedish ancestry, but many have Polish ancestry as well! This fun festival is held every August in the downtown area and has many things that the whole family can enjoy.
This wonderful museum is full of animal specimens from around the world. Their dioramas are one of the best and capture animals at distinct moments in their habitat. It is a neat way to learn about wildlife in Minnesota and they have many exhibits that are kid-friendly.
23. Art Sled Rally
This is a really fun activity during the winter months and is not only free to watch but free to enter! People make all kinds of sleds and race them down the slopes at Powderhorn Park. It’s a whacky and fun event to watch and to be creative at if you decide to join in the fun.
This is the perfect place to wander at this elaborate indoor garden. You can also tour the outdoor Zen garden for free!