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Cheap Fun Family Time Activities In Minnesota

Updated on September 27, 2012

Things to do in Minnesota with Children!

Want to have a nice day out with the children? Family day? Or simply want to go on a vacation in town with the kids? I have found myself asking these questions, "What can my husband and I do with little children? What is there to do that's kids friendly? I just paid my bills, anything inexpensive to do with the kids in town?" At first it was complicated. Well, here are a few places I have picked up around town with little ones. Note: These places are very handicap friendly since I have a special needs child myself.

Como Town - 1301 Midway Pkwy., Saint Paul MN 651-487-2121

Free parking. Family amusement park made for kids ages 2-12.

2011 Points Passes

Individual Point

1 Point: $0.22

Flamingo 68 Points + 4 bonus: $14.95

Sparky 91 Points + 7 bonus: $19.95

Giraffe (Best Deal!) 158 Points + 22 bonus: $34.95

Lion 205 Points + 30 bonus: $44.95

Polar Bear 455 Points + 95 bonus: $99.95


Star Light Saver Wristband (after 4 p.m.): $13.95

Adult Unlimited Ride Wristband (18 yrs+): $6.95

Season Pass Unlimited: $69.95

Season Pass (under 40 inches tall) Unlimited: $59.95

Rides and attractions require 4 to 18 points.

--Rides and Attractions require 4 to 18 points.--

Minnesota Children Museum - 10 W. 7th St., Saint Paul MN 651-225-6000

Target Free Third Sunday: every third Sunday free of charge from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Ages 1-101: $8.95

Museum Members: Free

Children under one: Free

Tuesday - Thursday:

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday & Saturday:

9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3 Hour Parking: $4.00

There is also a McDonald and fast-foods located outside of the museum but still inside the building.

Inside Children Museum

Inside Children Museum
Inside Children Museum

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

Como Park Conservatory - 1225 Estabrook Dr., Saint Paul MN 651-487-8200

Take a stroll in the Marjorie McNealy Conservatory. Enjoy exotic plants and the beautiful display of garden. The kids will enjoy the sunken garden with the beautiful fish.

Free Parking. Free entrance. Donation at drop box is appreciated.

Como Park Zoo - 1225 Estabrook Dr., Saint Paul MN 651-487-8200

Free Parking. Free entrance. Donation for the animals is appreciated.

Have a wonderful day with the polar bears, pink flamingos, sea lions, tigers, lions, and many more.

Maplewood Plaza - 1847 East Larpenteur Maplewood, MN 55109 (651) 770-7969

Despite the looks. It is well worth it for the pricing and an enjoyable thing for kids.

Admission: All Seats: $2.00 Tues All Seats: $1.00 Children 2 under is free.

Doors Open 15 minutes prior to 1st daily showing.

Cash only facility. Do NOT accept checks or credit cards.

You can get 2 large butter popcorn and 4 large drinks for: $16.00. 1 large butter popcorn goes around 3bucks. (Pricing might change due to their policies but it's a great deal!)

Cannot beat this deal! You get what you pay but my kids, nieces, and nephews LOVE this place!

Science Museum MN - 120 Kellogg Blvd. W., Saint Paul MN 651-221-9444

Enjoy a day with the kids with a room full of dinosaur skeletons, wetlands, nature devices such as mini tonados and waves, questionable devices, and the Omnitheatre.

Museum Hours

Sunday: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday: Museum Closed

Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Members are Free

Non-Members Pricing

Omnitheater + Museum Admission: Adult: $19.00, Child (4-12), Senior (60+): $16.00

Omnitheater Only: Adult: $8.00, Child (4-12), Senior (60+): $7.00

Museum Admission Only: Adult: $13.00, Child (4-12):$10.00, Senior (60+): $10.00

There is three food (snack/meal) locations within the Museum.

Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium: Underwater World: Mall of America - 120 Broadway E., Bloomington MN 952-883-0303

Take a stroll under the 300 foot glass tunnel surrounded by sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and many other sea creatures. Touch and look at live starfish and other sea creatures. View the beautiful display of live jellyfish and sea horses with the children.

Free Parking.


Adult (13+): Box Office: $19.99 +tax: Online: $14.99 +tax

Child (3-12yrs): Box Office: $15.99 +tax: Online: $9.99 +tax

Child (under 3): FREE


Monday - Thursday 10:00AM - 7:30PM

Friday 10:00AM - 8:30PM

Saturday 9:30AM - 8:30PM

Sunday 10:00AM - 6:30PM

Minnesota History Center - 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul MN 651-259-3000

Enjoy and learn the history of Minnesota with the kids through hands on fun activities and presentations. Enjoy free live outdoor music and dance on the History Center's terrace, Tuesday evenings in July and August. Always free for MHS members and children age 5 and under. Go to website to join MHS members.

Paid Parking.


Free for everyone on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

$10.00 adults

$8.00 seniors (65+)

$8.00 college students (valid ID)

$5.00 children ages 6-17


Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ;

Closed Monday (open Monday holidays year round)

Minnesota Zoo: Discovery Bay - 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley 952-431-9200

Come and enjoy a great day with dolphins at the zoo with sea animals in the Discovery Bay and touch live sharks. Go for a walk through the Tropics Trail and Minnesota Trails with the gray wolf and kangaroos. And many more!

Parking Cars: $5.00, Buses: $10.00 and Motor coaches: $15.00


Age 0-2: Zoo Only: Free Zoo/IMAX Combo*: Free

Age 3-12: Zoo Only: $12.00 Zoo/IMAX Combo*: $18.00*

Age 13-64: Zoo Only: $18.00 Zoo/IMAX Combo*: $25.50*

Age 65+: Zoo Only: $12.00 Zoo/IMAX Combo*: $18.00*


Oct 1, 2011- April 30, 2012: Mon.-Fri.: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun.: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

May 1, 2012 - May 27, 2012: Mon.-Fri.: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun.: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

May 28, 2012 - Sept 3, 2012: Mon.-Fri.: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun.: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Go to website for Memberships and more group pricing.

Choo Choo Bobs Train Store - 2050 Marshall Ave. (Cleveland & Marshall) St. Paul, MN 55104 (651) 646-5252

Have a fun experience with the children with many wonderful trains thorughout the store. Listen to train stories, listen and sing to songs at 10'morning at the train store. This is a great landmark in Saint Paul that everyone must pay a visit to.

Store Hours:

Monday - Friday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Go to Website for more events.

Nickelodeon Universe - 120 Broadway E., Bloomington MN 952-883-8800

Admission to Nickelodeon Universe is always free. To ride rides points/tickets must be purchase. This is one of the more expesive trip for my children.

Unlimited Ride Wristband: $29.95 Purchase Tickets Online and Save $4!

Galaxy Package - 85 Points: $62.90

Milky Way Package - 50 Points: $44.10

Comet Package - 35 Points: $31.50

Meteoroid Package - 20 Points: $18.90

Single Points: $1.00 ea.

$10.00 off an All-Day Unlimited Ride Wristband! Offer good for member of the military and up to four family members.

Twlight Hours: $19.95(+tax) All-Day Unlimited Ride Wristband after 5 p.m. Not valid during special events or with other discounts.

Toddler Tuesday: Purchase a 25-Point Pass for only $11.95(+tax). Redeem this offer at the Nickelodeon Universe® Guest Service desk or retail stores


Monday-Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - 9:30p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Eat at the small Pepsi Food Court located inside Nick Park. It has a few fast food stores. Order a soda in a big plastic cup. Come back all day for do it yourself refills. This is the only place in the entire mall with free do-it-yourself refills.

If you have toddlers I personally perfer to buy a wristband for the toddler than points since it might get expensive buying points per ride. Most toddler rides allow 1 adult chaperone per toddler for free.

The Walker Art Center - 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minnespolis MN 612-375-7600

First Saturday of everyone month: art projects for entire family and music, gallery, stories, films, and outdoor activities when weather is good.

McDonald Play Area - 551 JEFFERSON ST ST. PAUL MN 55102 - (651)291-8668

Have a fun simple day with the children at McDonald's PlayPlace. What I do is I buy Happy Meals for my kids at a price around 4bucks. We sit there for hours whiles they play to their heart's content. :)

Go to website for more locations near you.

Appreciated if kids wear socks.

Library - 651-266-7000

Your local public libraries host various activities and reading programs for children of all ages. Such as puppet shows and reading groups.

Grand Slam - 12425 River Ridge Blvd. Burnsville, Minnesota 55337 763-427-1959

Have fun family day in a batting cage, trampoline, crazy cars, mini golf, snack bar, and many more amenities. Over 30,000 square feet of activities, games, rides and sporting activities for entire family!

Open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Open 10:00 a.m. until Midnight Friday and Saturday.

There are walk-in packages pricing listed at website but these are the individual pricing listed below:

Individual Play Pricing:

Mini Golf


Lazer Tag


Krazy Kars


X-treme Trampoline


Batting Token


NOTE: Trampoline will need a signed wavier. Booking parties are allowed too!

Como Planetarium - 780 West Wheelock Parkway St. Paul, MN 55117 (651) 293-5398

Public shows are offered on selected Thursdays of each month. Reservations are not needed. It is first come first served. To be assured a seat, it is a good idea to arrive by 6:30 PM. The planetarium seats 65 people comfortably. If you are thinking about bringing a large group to a public show, please consider scheduling your own Public Show ON DEMAND (Go to website for further detail). There is also a schedule of events listed at website.

Shows begin at 7:00 PM and last about an hour.

Cost is $5.00 per person.

NOTE: Any other times is schedule for school classes only!

Padelford Riverboats - Harriet Island St. Paul, MN 55107 651-227-1100

Boat ride along the Mississippi River through attractions such as St. Paul High Bridge, Pig's Eye's Cave, Minnesota River mouth, Pike Island, Fort Snelling, and more.

Saturdays & Sundays beginning May 12 at 2:00 p.m.

Seven-Days-A-Week at Noon & 2pm (June through August).

September and October see website for special offerings.


$16 (+tax and port fee) for Adults

$14 for Seniors(65+)

$8 for Children 3-12

(2 and Under free)

NOTE: No outside food. There is a bar with snacks such as hot dogs.

Raptor Center - 1920 Fitch Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108 612-624-4745

The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 700 sick and injured raptors each year. A raptor is a carnivorous (meat-eating) bird such as Eagles, Hawks, Owls and more that the kids will enjoy to learn about and watch.


- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. : Tuesday through Friday

- Noon to 4 p.m. : Saturday and Sunday


- Mondays

- University holidays

- Days hosting special events

FREE : Donations are greatly valued!

Cathedral of Saint Paul - 239 Selby Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102 651-228-1766

Visit one of the historical landmark with the family!


Seven days a week for visitors, guests, and parishioners.

Sunday - Friday : 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday : 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Guided tours are available to the public:

Monday through Friday at 1:00 p.m. (Except Holy Days and Civil holidays).

Free: Donations are gratefully received.

NOTE: Please gather in the front pew of the center aisle of the Cathedral. No appointment is necessary, but larger groups are requested to call our office in advance.

Eagles Nest Indoor Playground

400 10th St. NW New Brighton, MN 55112 NEW BRIGHTON COMMUNITY CENTER (651) 638-2130{12AE7B32-840E-4AD2-A9AA-F1285B4B6A01}

My children absolutely loves this place. Not a day goes by that my daughter asks to have her birthday here or a play-date. It is kids friendly. And you can bring your own food. Many mazes and platforms for children and adults to climb through. There is a space reserved just for little ones under age 3.

Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 8:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am - 5:00pm


-$5.50 (children ages 12 months to 12 years)

-Twilight Special: $3 admission after 6:00 pm (Monday - Friday only)

-No charge for parents, grandparents or caregivers

-Complimentary lockers

-Socks must be worn in the Eagles Nest and can be purchased for $2.50 per pair

-Youth Punch Pass: $55 (12 visits for price of 10)

-Youth Membership: Enjoy unlimited play!

-Birthday packages available

-Free Parking

Promote Healthy Children

Our staff work hard to keep the Eagles Nest clean of germs for children and parents. Please help us by keeping children who have recently been sick from entering the play area until 48 hours after the last sign of symptoms. With your help we can keep children healthy (Eagles Nest).

More Activities to Share with Everyone?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      gr8 lens,thanks for the great information.............

    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 

      7 years ago from United States

      Good to see the time and prices of the places to visit. It will help in planning a trip budget.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 

      7 years ago

      The Walker Institute has one of best sculptures in the world. That spoon with the cherry on it is awesome!

    • pajnhiaj profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks! Enjoy your time in the Twin Cities. There many more things to do :)

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      7 years ago

      Nice job, I have now found more things to do when in the Twin Cities area. Lots of great info!


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