Jun 08 2010
Minnesota has a lot of great museums and attractions to offer. Better yet, many of them are free, or offer free days or events that are free to the public. If you’re looking to do something fun without breaking the bank, check out these free options.
- Como Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul (A donation of $2/adults and $1/children is requested but is not mandatory.)
- Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, St. Paul
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis (except for certain special exhibitions)
- Target Family Day, held one Sunday a month, is also free of charge.
- Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis (adjacent to Walker Art Center)
- Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul (including hourly tours)
- SPAM Museum, Austin
- Weisman Art Museum, U of M Campus, Minneapolis
Regularly-scheduled free days
- Bell Museum, U of M Campus, Minneapolis: Free on Sundays from 12-5.
- Cafesjian’s Carousel at Como Zoo, St. Paul: Free on select Mondays. (Check website for dates.)
- Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul: Free on 3rd Sunday of each month from 9-5, sponsored by Target. (Because of the crowds, it is requested that you not bring strollers inside on the free admission days.)
- Minnesota History Center, St. Paul: Free on Tuesdays from 5-8.
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska: Free on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 4:30-sunset, April-October.
- Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul: Playdates on Mondays from 9:30-noon are free for ages 5 and under. (Regular admission is charged for other visitors.) Projects, programs, and demonstrations for preschoolers are included in the program.
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Free on Thursday nights from 5-9, sponsored by Target. Free First Saturdays, which include family programs) from 10-3.
Free for special events
- Wanda Gag House, New Ulm: Free for Wanda Gag’s birthday party each March.
- The Works, Edina: Free for Tech Fest, held annually, in March. There are lots of extra programs on this day in addition to free museum admission.
- Charles A Lindbergh House, Little Falls: Free on the 1st Sunday of June. (Other Little Falls museums and attractions are also free on this day.)
- Minnesota State Parks, statewide: Free Saturday, June 12, 2010, for National Get Outdoors Day. No entrance fee at parks during this annual open house.
- Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors: Free admission on DNR Open House day. 2010 date: June 12, from 10-6.
- American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: Midsommar event, Saturday, June 19, 2010, from 10-4.
- Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River: Grandparents are free with paid admission of a grandchild on Grandparents Days. 2010 dates are June 30 and August 18.
- The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis: “10 Best Days of the Bakken,” which coincides with Minneapolis Aquatennial. July 16-25, 2010. Special events are planned in addition to free museum admission.
Other ways to see things for free
- Check out a Museum Adventure Pass from a metro-area library for free admission to several area museums.
- Get a membership to a museum you like, and enjoy free visits for the year. Benefits may extend to other museums as well.
- Check out these other money-saving tips.
Do you know of any other free museums, free days, or free events at Minnesota attractions? Please share below in the comments.