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40 Free Activities in the Twin Cities

What’s better than the fabulous activities and attractions found around Minneapolis, Minnesota? Well, the free things to do of course! We have combined the top 40 free things to do in the Twin Cities that everyone, from locals to tourists, will fall in love with!

Whether planning a last-minute nature road trip or looking for a way to get out of the house, these free activities in the Twin Cities are perfect for you. Stick around to hear about my favorite free attractions in the Twin Cities area (from a MN native) in this extensive list of free things to do in the Twin Cities!

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Outdoor Free Activities in the Twin Cities

  1. 1Stone Arch Bridge: Stroll down this scenic bridge to enjoy the awe-inspiring views of neighboring St. Anthony Falls.  
  2. 2Elm Creek Park Reserve: Hike around a relaxing park boasting over 4,900 acres of land!
  3. 3Mississippi Gateway Park: Walk across the magnificent Mississippi River on a bridge overlooking the powerful river.
  4. 4Fish Lake Regional Park: Spend an afternoon relaxing on a walk around Fish Lake or try your cast at fishing.
  5. 5Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: Explore the iconic red cherry and spoon at this well-known sculpture garden. Make sure to pack your camera for some memorable shots!
  6. 6Yoga class: Rewind in a completely free yoga class at one of the regions park. Maple Grove, Brooklyn Center, and Brooklyn Park are all home to some fun free yoga classes.
  7. 7Minnehaha Falls Regional Park: Discover over 190 acres of natural land filled with limestone bluffs and river outlooks by searching for the park’s magnificent 53-foot tall waterfall.
  8. 8The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: This spot offers free admission every third Monday of the month, so mark your calendar!
  9. 9Palmer Lake: Walk or run one of the popular 5k runs offered around Palmer Lake loop in Brooklyn Center.
  10. 10Quarry Park & Nature Preserve: A little further out from the Twin Cities in St Cloud you can enjoy a refreshing dip in a cool pool of water  and cliff dive into an abandoned quarry field.
  11. 11Gold Medal Park: Stroll around and observe the area’s newly renovated historic buildings to take a trip to the past.
  12. 12Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary: Explore the Theodore Wirth Regional Park by identifying the 500+ types of plants and more that 130 bird species.
  13. 13Lilydale Regional Park: Hunt for fossils and learn about Lilydale’s history as the former Saint Paul Brickyards.
  14. 14Chain of Lakes Regional Park: Walk, jog, swim, or bike the chain of lakes– one of the many attractions of the Twin Cities excellent Park system.
  15. 15Lake Calhoun: This lake offers a perfect 3-mile loop along a paved path for a nice morning or evening stroll.
  16. 16Grand Rounds Scenic Byway: This beautiful walkway also serves as a bike path around the Twin Cities area.
  17. 17Mill Ruins Park: This park is located across the Stone Arch Bridge and offers beautiful scenery perfect for a walk back in time of the mills that used to operate in downtown Twin Cities.
  18. 18Fort Snelling National Cemetery: This historic cemetery is free for guests to pay their respects to the fallen heroes that remain.
  19. 19Music Wall: If you are a Prince fan, this stop is a must. This wall is filled with music and is filled with historic significance.
  20. 20Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam: Discover the only waterfall found on the Mississippi River as a great introduction to free activities in the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis downtown

Indoor Free Activities in the Twin Cities

  1. 1Cathedral of Saint Paul: Take a quick tour of the historic Cathedral of Saint Paul located in the center of St Paul.
  2. 2Landmark Center: Learn about the history of this building through a free public tour.
  3. 3Guthrie Theater: This impressive building welcomes anyone inside to tour the public spaces– including the remarkable bridge and the Amber Room which features a glass floor.
  4. 4Minneapolis Institute of Art: This museum offers a world-class collection of world-famous masterpiece for visitors to enjoy for free!
  5. 5Ramsey County Courthouse: Take a self-guided or walking tour of the Ramsey County Courthouse for free.
  6. 6Bell Museum of Natural History: Go on a free guided tour at the Bell Museum of Natural History offered every Sunday throughout the year.
  7. 7Como Zoo & Conservatory: Explore the tropical and exotic animals from around the world in this free, public-access zoo.
  8. 8Mall of America: It is completely free to walk around and explore this world-renowned mall. Of course if you want to bring anything home you will have to purchase it.
  9. 9Weisman Art Museum: Enjoy and observe the stunning artwork completed by 20th-century American artists at the Weisman Art Museum.
  10. 10Walker Art Center: This magnificent center is free from 5pm- 9pm every Thursday and the first Sunday of every month during the year.
  11. 11Saint Paul City Hall: This art deco themed building is a great example of the Depression-era architectural-style and holds the beautiful statue known as Vision of Peace.
  12. 12Minnesota State Capitol: The state capitol offers free guided tours every day of the week. These cover the entire Cass Gilbert-style building which is the second-largest self-supported marble dome found in the world.
  13. 13Minneapolis Skyway System: You can get practically anywhere in Minneapolis for free in the Skyway system, perfect for the sub-zero temperatures in winter.
  14. 14Basilica of St Mary: After Sunday Mass, docents welcome visitors to an informative guided tour around the Basilica explaining the building’s fascinating history and architecture.
  15. 15Midtown Global Market: Aside from purchasing food, this free-entry market offers handmade home goods and clothing.
  16. 16Minneapolis Central Library: Head over to the library to grab your favorite book or next-best read while you are out and about!
  17. 17Du Nord Craft Spirits: Play Chinese Checkers or Trivial Pursuit at this popular patio area offering games and other free activities in the Twin Cities.
  18. 18St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral: Explore the magnificent cathedral found in the Twin Cities by observing the remarkably beautiful architecture.
  19. 19The Minnesota African-American Heritage Museum and Gallery: This nonprofit museum was founded in 2019 and is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturdays during the morning and afternoon hours.
  20. 20The Wells Fargo History Museum: This is one of the 12 United States public museums operated by Wells Fargo and Company, offering one the best free activities in the Twin Cities.

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