I am always looking for new places to take the kiddos on a weekend or during any of the many breaks in the school year. We don’t’ have a lot of money to spend on entertainment, so I must search for places the whole family can go on the cheap or even better, for free!!! Lucky for you, I have put together a list of some of these places in the Twin Cities, MN. Although, I’m sure that many other cities in America may have some of the same type of deals. This list can at least give you an idea of where to start.

Some of these deals are only available to low income families and some of them are available to everyone. Being from a low income background, it has been awesome to be able to take my kids somewhere that they may never have experienced had it not been for these programs. And I am forever grateful for that.

Free or Discount places to visit

  1. Science Museum of Minnesota– The science museum has a discounted program for low income families to visit the museum and omnitheater at an awesome discounted rate. All you must do is show your EBT card, WIC folder or other documentation at the box office and ask for the low income discount. You will have to pay for parking in the ramp though and it varies depending how long you stay. Click here for more info.
  2. Children’s Museum of Minnesota– Another awesome discount program for low income individuals. You do have to fill out an application and submit supporting documentation. Once you do though, you will have membership for an entire year for free for the entire family! They also have Target Sundays, where the whole museum is free to everyone on the 3rd Sunday of every month. When visiting the location in St. Paul, you will have to pay for parking.
  3. Children’s Theater in Minneapolis– This is a low income program that you will have to fill out an application, but you can do it online. Once approved, you will receive a login. Periodically, as new plays are showing, you will receive an email from the theater. This will give you a chance to purchase ACT passes for $5.00 per person. You login through the email to purchase your tickets. This a great program to see plays that would otherwise cost my family a fortune! Click Here
  4. Como Zoo– Free for everyone!!! And you don’t even have to pay for parking!!! Although, they do ask for a donation if possible. I always like to try to give at least $1 for each of us when we go, which would be $7. But if we’re low on cash that week, we can still enjoy all of the animals for free! Plus parking is free too!
  5. Minnesota Zoo– The Minnesota Zoo has a program for low income individuals as well. You just need to show your WIC folder or EBT card at the window and you can get in for free!!!! You do have to pay for parking, which was $7 last time we went.
  6. Walker Art Center– While youth under 18 years old are always free, adults are $14 each. Which isn’t too bad of a price for this museum located near downtown Minneapolis. But if you just can’t afford it, you can wait until Thursdays between 5-9pm, where admission is free or the first Saturday of every month, admission is free all day!
  7. Weisman Art museum– You know that really awesome looking building that looks like a big metal castle on the Mississippi river? That’s the Weisman Museum! Admission is always free for everyone!!
  8. Choo Choo Bobs Train Store– Located in St. Paul, this little train store has daily story time and special days and events often. While I have never taken the kids there myself, I have only heard good things about this place.
  9. Parks, Lakes and Trails- These are always free and so much fun to go exploring with your kids. The kids often just want a new set of scenery, even if the playground equipment is pretty close to the same thing! The twin cities has tons of parks and trails to check out. Also, check your city Park and Recreation website. There are so many free events that take place in the parks, especially in the summer!
  10. Community Centers- The community centers and parks often have free or way cheap activities and programs the kids can do. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your little ones new interest (or they just are always changing their interest), check out the community centers and parks for available programs. Ours has really cheap swim lessons and dance classes!
  11. Lowes– This department store has free monthly workshops for kids! At Lowe’s Build and Grow,  they will build anything from bird feeders to planters! Check your local store to see about dates and times. Seating might be limited and you may have to pre register online.
  12. Humane Society and Rescue groups- These are always great places to take the kids to hang out. Who doesn’t love looking at adorable puppies and kittens??? Just be sure to let the kids know ahead of time if your not planning on bringing a furry kid home today.
  13. Riverview Theater– located in south Minneapolis, this awesome theater only costs $3 a ticket! They only have one screen and tend to get the newest movies a little later on. But if you want to see something on the big screen, but can’t afford the big theaters crazy prices, this is the place to go!
  14. Heart of the Beast– This is an amazing puppet theater located in South Minneapolis. They have Main production performances that are pretty cheap (around $15 per ticket). Also, they have kids puppet shows on Saturdays. These are only $7 per person, $2 if you live in the Phillips or Powderhorn neighborhoods. They also have workshops for kids on Saturdays that are only $5 for kids, $3 for adults.
  15. Local Community Gardens- If you check your city and/or neighborhood website, often there are community gardens that you can sign up for a spot for around $25 a season. This is a great learning opportunity for the kids to know where their food comes from and to help in the growing of it!. Also, many have volunteer opportunities for the family as well.

Hope this list will help you and the kids get out of the house and on an adventure!! This is just a small list that I will add to as I find more free and discount deals to share with you all.