Free/cheap Family Events in Bloomington Area May 5-11 - Minneapolis,MN

Updated on April 29, 2012
L.N. asks from Minneapolis, MN
4 answers

My husband has a business trip to the Minneapolis area the second week of May. I am going to tag along with the kids and would like to find some free/cheap entertainment to do with them so we aren't stuck in the hotel room all day. They are an almost 3 years old girl and a 2 month old boy. Are there any fun parks? children's events? week day deals at museums? etc....

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answers from Minneapolis on They do charge for parking permit (daily or seasonal) No charge, they have a small museum area inside and walking paths outside

The Mall of America is in Bloomington and the Lego store has tables outside with Duplo blocks for the younger kids. Children's Museum can add up to $$$ but if you have a membership at your local children's museum check to see if it has a reciprocal relationship. It is a great place! Storytimes by library are listed, look at the Southdale library. Other libraries in Bloomington but Southdale is particualrily cool.

I forgot to add this park, indoors and costs a little, but great for a cold or yucky day.



answers from Minneapolis on

Unique Kid Shopping and Free Activities:

Saturdays from 11am to 3pm are FREE arts and crafts projects at Lakeshore Learning Store in St. Louis Park. The projects are good quality and fun! The store is a great stop if you're looking for educational fare.

Creative Kidstuff ....toy store has hard to find and educational toys, games and books and often has book readings, free crafts, and is just a fun place to play! No two locations are alike, and they all have fun attractions and things to touch, see and do. There are several locations, so you'L. want to check the individual calendars for list of events. The closest ones to you would be Edina, Minneapolis' Linden Hills, and St. Louis Park, Which all locations always have something going on...and most of the time the events are FREE.

Kiddy Wampus in St. Louis Park is another fun store to play and shop in. They have a calendar of both free events and workshops for a fee. See:

Wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis is a very unique bookstore experience for kids. There is a menagerie of live, friendly, cuddly and a couple of scaly animals to read to and play with. Many local children's authors will make appearances for book signings and readings of their latest works. All of this fun is FREE. And it's a fun and relaxing place to hang and it's located in a fun neighborhood with small, unique boutiques gift shops and cafes too.

Got a kid who loves trains? Can't get enough time playing with her/his BRIO or Thomas set? Likes to play with other kids who like this stuff? Go to Choo Choo Bobs. There's a play area that's free and fun...and lot's of shopping too.


The Works is a technology museum for kids. Not free, but a great place to take kids who like hands on stuff.

The Science Museum of Mn: Not free, but fun to see a movie in the Omni theater (3D) and to see dinosaur bones.

Got kids who like fire trucks and emergency vehicles? Not free but very reasonable donation.

Every 3rd Sunday is Target FREE family day at Minnesota Children's Museum. So no charge to get in!!

Stages children's theater in Hopkins is fun and affordable!

Minneapolis Children's Theater if fun and has performances regularly:

Minneapolis Institute of Art is free daily.

The Walker Art Institute is free Thursday nights and first Saturday of the month.


If you don't mind driving about 20 minutes to St. Paul, the Como Zoo and Conservatory is FREE but a donation of your choosing is recommended at the door for the general upkeep of the grounds. It is a beautiful, well designed zoo, with lots of neat local and exotic animals to see. There are alot of hands on activities and the live butterfly garden (if open) is amazing. The adjoining amusement park (Como Town) is not free, but the prices are very reasonable and the rides ideal for kids ages 2-12.


Woodlake Nature Center Saturday and Sunday Specials:

This is one of my favorite places to bring the kids! They have such good weekend activities that are well done. On weekends, for $3 per person, your family can enjoy a variety of nature related learning events. The teachers and naturalists are brilliant and the trails and facility beautiful. Quite the bargain for families wanting quality outdoor family time and a great learning experience. Look at the pdf. of the catalog. Look under the section titled Saturday and Sunday Specials to see weekly topic, times and other information. See:

For directions (only 5 minutes from Bloomington) see:

To see their calendar of events see:


Right next to the Mall of America at IKEA, you can have a really scrumptious breakfast for .99 cents before 10:30am at the IKEA cafe. The cafe is open all day and features daily dinner and lunch specials for .99 cents and sometimes FREE. Rib night is very good for the money, a big favorite with the locals is the Swedish Pancakes with Lingon Berry Sauce, and the $1.99 pasta marinara with meatballs is a real bargain. Kids can watch a free movie while having dinner in the kids' eating area. After you eat, shop! The kids toys, furniture and bedding are very affordable and unique. You might find something really neat to take home to jazz up their rooms. They have great prices on art supplies, and playroom furniture, toys and games. If you're looking for toddler beds, big kid furniture or decor, this is a great place to find a quality bargain.


INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS (Eden Prairie and Edina are closest to you) See:



If you don't mind crazy crowds, you may want to venture to St. Paul's West Side (about 20 minutes from Bloomington) for the Cinco de Mayo Festivities. There is usually a parade, street vendors, and the local Mexican restaurants featuring food, entertainment and more.




answers from Minneapolis on

The Mall of America; admittance is free :o). Edinborough Park in Edina is not free, but really fun for little ones, especially in bad weather, because it is an indoor park.

The Children's Museum in St. Paul is not free, but it is one of the best in the country, and totally worth a visit.

Como Zoo in St. Paul is free, and wonderful.



answers from Minneapolis on

Funny, I have children the same age and we live here in Southwest Minneapolis. I would suggest Mall of America for the indoor amusement park and Legoland, where the 3 yr old can build and play. Tuesdays children eat at MOA for free. There are wonderful parks, on nearly every corner, and the libraries have story hours. The childrens' museum and history museum are in St Paul but it is worth the drive. There is also Como Park Zoo, where the admission is free (you have the option to donate). One option is to stay at the Radisson where there is the Waterpark of America, might be a little tough though if you are 2 to 1. Have a great time here!

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