Introducing St. Paul (and Minneapolis) to Someone New

When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC years ago, my neighbor and enduring friend gave us a list of all the fun activities for a family in the area. This year we’re sharing our Minneapolis-St.Paul knowledge with a family from Chapel Hill!

Here’s a list of just some of the fun things my family likes to do.

Target Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The museum is always free, but monthly they do a special family event:
Today is “Family Day and Peace Games: Inside/Out”

Walker Art Museum
The sculpture garden is always free (and really cool). The museum is free on Thursday nights (6-9) thanks to Target and the first Saturday of the month with special family events (

St Paul Public Library Museum Passes / Passport to Play //
Check out free passes to local museums, the zoo, etc.

Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education
After school programs require registration through Community Ed. Gymnastics, swimming and other youth/adult programs are offered too.

Parks & Recreation
Sports, art, fitness, crafts etc. Linwood Community Center, for instance, has lots of kids dance programs and adult yoga.

Music in Mears Park, Downtown St. Paul
Free on Thursday nights at 6 pm

MN History Center – Nine Nights of Music
Free music on Tuesday nights

Lowertown St. Paul Farmers’ Market
290 E 5th St, St. Paul, MN 55101
Saturday and Sundays 6/7 am – 1 pm
Fruit, veggies, meat, baked goods, Hmong crafts & prêt-à-manger food
Plus there’s a lovely coffee shop on the corner (The Black Dog

Como Zoo and Conservatory
Always free and the Conservatory is heavenly in the winter!

Parks and Rec, lots of soccer club programs (Blackhawks, Joy of the People etc.)
Low key programs available through HGRA ( including Sunday, fall baseball for 9+. It’s fun with lots of emphasis on sportsmanship and learning the game. HGRA also offers spring track and summer soccer and baseball. Hockey is huge, but we just play “pick up games” at the local parks, many kids start at age 4 and play very competitively. St Paul Community Ed has awesome gymnastics programs for all ages, too.

Don’t forget the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Science Museum, and all the pools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Today’s the last day of the Irish Fair until next year

Coming up….

MN State Fair
Aug 23 – Labor Day
Lots of Park and Ride bus lots, discount tickets at Cub Foods
From seed art to crazy food on a stick with the best people watching in the state

Lowertown Art Crawl
Fall 2012: Friday October 12, Saturday October 13, & Sunday October 14

Ice Skating Downtown St. Paul (
Of course there is skating at all the local parks, too!

St. Paul Winter Carnival (

MUSIC I’ll leave for another day!

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