Wondering what to do with the kids this summer? Here are some suggestions for activities that won’t break the bank. Post this list to help plan some outings with your kids this summer. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have on the cheap. You might want to call first for details such as location and hours.
There are libraries, parks with pools, local community centers, walks on the parkway and lake paths, and many more places that you will discover on your own. Enjoy your summer!
Gardens and Interpretive Nature Centers
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul 651-487-8200 http://www.comozooconservatory.org (suggested donation only)
Raptor Center, St. Paul 612-624-4745 http://www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu/raptor/home (Family Fun nights and some other events are free.)
Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield www.woodlakenaturecenter.com 612-861-9365 (Free – Interpretive center and walking paths. Some cost for activities and classes)
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, 612 854 5900 www.fws.gov/midwest/MinnesotaValley (Free – Interpretive center and hiking paths)
Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington, 763-694-7676
(Free – Interpretive center and paved walking path)
Chutes and Ladders Park, Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington 952-941-4362 http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/parks/park.cfm (Free)
Creative Play Area – toddler area and climbing net structure–Bryant Lake Park, Eden Prairie. (763) 694-7764 http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/parks/Bryantlakeregional.cfm Also features swimming beach and fishing pier.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis 612-870-3200 www.artsmia.org (Free)
Twin City Model Train Museum, Bandana Square, St. Paul 651-647-9628 www.tcmrm.org (Children 5 and under are free.)
Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis 612-375-7622 www.walkerart.org (Free – Note: no climbing on sculptures allowed.)
Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul 651-225-6000 http://www.mcm.org (Free on third Sunday of each month) All exhibits are accessible to people with disabilities.
Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis 612-870-1329 www.hhmuseum.org (Children under 6 are free)
Ellingson Car Museum, Rogers 763-428-7337 www.ellingsoncarmuseum.com (Free to children under five.)
Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul 651-726-1171 www.mnhs.org/places/sites/hfs (Free for kids 5 and under)
Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul 651-296-2881 http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/msc/featured.html (Tours are free and held regularly.)
Lake Harriet Trolley, Minneapolis 651-228-2363 http://www.trolleyride.org (free for children ages 3 and under, $2 per person)
Minnehaha Depot, St. Paul 651-228-0263 http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/md (Self-guided tours are free; train rides are not.) Check out Minnehaha Falls nearby.
Lock and Dam #2, off Minnehaha Parkway near Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis 612-673-5095 Observation deck. (free) http://www.nps.gov/miss/maps/model/lock_dam_2
St. Anthony Falls Historic District, Minneapolis, 612-627-5443 http://www.nps.gov/miss/maps/model/stanthony.html (free) Take a walk or bike ride over the Stone Arch Bridge.
Gale Woods Farm, Minnestrista, 763-694-2001
Working farm. Check for regular activities (Free admission. Some programs have fees.)
Carver County Historical Society, Waconia 952-442-4234 www.carvercountyhistoricalsociety.org (Free)
PACER has a list of many recreational and therapeutic activities as well: http://www.pacer.org/funtimes/recreation-and-sports.asp