**Updated November 2018**
There’s a jam-packed calendar of exciting Family Fun Events in the Twin Cities for 2018. Best of all, many of them offer free admission, or are entirely free!
Others may require a small ticketed price, but this list features the top affordable family events around.
Whether you’re just visiting or want to show off how much you love our community, you’ll find something exciting each month to enjoy!
Museums on Us
Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders are automatically allowed to participate in the Museums on Us program. Each first full weekend of every month, these customers are entitled to head to one of four area museums, absolutely free!
2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival
The Winter Carnival is a mix of free and ticketed events running daily at Rice Park from January 25th until February 10th. Art, crafts, family activities, and more!
The Children’s Theater Company and Penumbra Theatre present the Wiz, debuting January 25th and running until March 18th. Tickets for this retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz runs $16-$45, with shows scheduled Thursday through Sunday.
Heart of the Beast Theatre May Day
The local mask and puppet theater group display their handiwork in this annual celebration. For more than 44 years, this family event throws a parade, a ceremony, and a fun festival to attend.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
The annual celebration happens on the west side of St. Paul. This all-day event includes a parade, live music and entertainment, free family activities, and hours of fun!
Festival of Nations
Each year, the local community comes together to celebrate the diverse people that make Minnesota great. Held the first weekend of May, this event showcases 90 different ethnic groups, performances, music, and more entertainment options.
This art gallery open house and workshop lasts all weekend long (May 18th-20th) and may be just what you need to shake off some winter blues. Tickets cost only $10, and there is a special RSVP after party on Sunday evening.
Grand Old Day
The annual Grand Old Day celebration kicks off summer on the first Sunday of June. Among the most significant one-day parties in the state, you can join in the fun with over 150 food vendors, festival gardens, art, and family activities.
24th Annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Presented by General Mills, this annual event conquers Father’s Day weekend with classic cars, free live concerts, family activities, and over 200 artists. Sample some local brews, find a new piece of art and listen to talented performers all weekend long, June 16th-17th!
Twin Cities Juneteenth
The annual Juneteenth celebration is a favorite family event. Parking is free, and you can look forward to live music, family activities, local vendors, and more.
It’s not summer until it’s Aquatennial time! July 18th to 21st, attend the community event that blends fitness and fun, featuring an evening parade, fireworks, a 5K and more exciting activities!
Loring Park Art Festival
Enjoy a stroll outdoors while taking in some talented local artists and their works. On July 28th and 29th, the annual public event showcases local art, food vendors, and live music performances.
Annual Uptown Art Festival
The 55th Annual Uptown Art Festival is bringing more than 350 artists and 20 food and beverage vendors for a weekend of family fun. Head over to the downtown area for an exciting public event August 3rd-5th.
The fringe festival features over 200 local artists, performers, musicians, and more artistic exhibits that live on the fringe. This bold annual art event runs August 2nd to the 12th.
Powderhorn Art Fair
For nearly 30 years, this annual art fair draws in artists from all across the country. During August 4th and 5th, you can catch this juried art celebration with 18,000 friends and neighbors.
Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Festival
The annual neighborhood gathering takes place the first week of August and is not one to miss. Attendees can get their faces painted, have a caricature drawn, go on a canoe ride, and enjoy other fun family events.
Irish Fair of Minnesota
The country’s largest free Irish fair is a weekend-long annual celebration. From Friday, August 12th through 14th, visitors can participate in exciting activities that celebrate Irish heritage.
Festival of the Monarch
Combining a love for nature and fun family events, the Festival of the Monarch is a local favorite. Taking place at Lake Nokomis on September 8th, this annual celebration features food, dancing, music, and family activities.
37th Annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend
Arguably, the Twin Cities Marathon is among the best local fitness events, and it’s happening this October 5th-7th. Considered the most beautiful urban running event, the marathon includes thrilling athletics and a health and wellness expo.
Wells Fargo Winter Skate, St. Paul
Daily skating at Rice Park from November 18th until February 11th. Skate rentals are $4 unless you have a Wells Fargo credit or debit card which grants you free skates.
Winter Skate at Loring Park
Not to be confused with the Wells Fargo-sponsored event, this family skating event is free to attend, and free skate rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis. Beginning November 22nd, Winter Skate is a great way to enjoy time outdoors for cheap.
The Holidazzle is ideal for anyone who believes that the winter holiday season starts just after Thanksgiving. Your family can look forward to fireworks, live entertainment, movies, and local vendors all winter long at Loring Park.
Starting on December 1st, Union Depot transforms into the “Hub for the Holidays” with a spectacular winter light display. The first night offers fireworks and live music, while the European Christmas Market brings international holiday flair.
Christmas doesn’t officially begin in Minnesota until the Grand Meander is in town! This favorite local event gets everyone into the holiday spirit on the first Saturday in December, and offers a breakfast with Santa, live reindeer, art exhibits, and a tree lighting ceremony!
Holiday Flower Show at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
There’s no better way to liven up the holidays than with pink poinsettias. This free (donations of $3 welcomed) event goes on from December 2nd until January 7th with its gorgeous flower displays.
As you can see, there are many things for you to enjoy throughout the year in Minnesota. We hope to see you around.