Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

Minnesota is a top fishing destination, and for good reason! Our beloved state offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. From lakes to streams to rivers, we have abundant opportunity to catch a wide variety of fish. (My personal favorite for eating is perch, but I won’t turn down a nice walleye, either.)

Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

A regular angling license is relatively inexpensive (just $25/year as of 2019), but there are several opportunities to fish for free in Minnesota, as well. Here’s a list of current Free Fishing Days in Minnesota:

Girl Fishing in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Free Fishing Days in Minnesota

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend – May 11 – 12, 2019
Minnesota resident moms fish free.

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend – June 7 – 9, 2019
Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend – January 18 – 20, 2020
Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16.

kids fishing

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Fish for Free in Most MN State Parks

Minnesota residents can fish for free (a.k.a. without a fishing license) in most Minnesota state parks, including ice fishing. A Minnesota resident may fish in a state park without a fishing license when:

  • the body of water does not require a trout stamp
  • fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
  • fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park

All park rules must be followed as usual, along with any rules and regulations relating to the taking of game and fish. You will still need a vehicle permit to enter a Minnesota state park.

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Plus, many Minnesota state parks have loaner equipment available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fishing kits include a rod, a reel, and a stocked tackle box. Check out this map of all the state parks with free fishing opportunities, including some parks with free loaner equipment.

Free “Movies Under the Domes” Movie Nights at the Minneapolis Convention Center

Once a month, enjoy a feature film in the auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center for FREE as part of their Movies Under the Domes series! The next free movie night is coming up TONIGHT, so we wanted to give you the heads up as you will need to register in advance for your complimentary tickets.

Upcoming films include:

  • March 21st – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13)
  • April 25th – Moana (PG)
  • May 16th – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)

Date night, family night or a hang-out-with-friends night, each Movies Under the Domes evening is free to the public. Movie-goers must RSVP through Eventbrite for General Admission tickets, as seating is limited. The first 100 people through the door at all movies will receive a free two-pack set of Pepsi stainless steel straws.

In addition to free feature films, guests can relax in the MCC Craft Bar and Lounge, which will have Minnesota craft brews and light snacks available for purchase. Those under age 21 can purchase snacks and beverages outside the Craft Bar and Lounge, including Niki’s ice cream sandwiches. These treats are hand-crafted with fresh-baked cookies, made from scratch at the MCC, and featuring Minnesota’s own Bridgeman’s ice-cream.

Get your tickets HERE!

Need a place to park your car while you’re downtown? Grab this Minneapolis Convention Center parking discount from Groupon!

Free Movies, Popcorn, and Axe Throwing at Emagine Monticello Grand Re-Opening – Thursday, 3/21

Emagine Monticello

Got plans for Thursday? You do now! Emagine Monticello is having a Grand-Reopening Celebration in which you can enjoy a free movie, free popcorn, and axe throwing all day long.

Emagine Monticello now features 12 auditoriums with luxurious heated leather recliners, enhanced concessions, and a full bar with local craft beer, cocktails , and wine. Plus, you can enjoy axe throwing at Minnesota Axe in the same building! It’s an indoor competitive sport similar to darts, except you throw 1.5-pound hatches at wooden targets marked with a bullseye and score points based on where the axe sticks.

Minnesota Axe Monticello

Here’s the schedule of events for Thursday, March 21st:

  • 10:30 am – 8 pm: FREE movies, popcorn, live entertainment, and axe throwing
  • 4 pm: Official ribbon cutting with Monticello Chamber, executives from Emagine Entertainment, and Minnesota Axe
  • 6 pm: Live entertainment by local band, Slowspeed

Emagine Monticello

Emagine Monticello and Minnesota Axe are located at 9375 Deegan Ave in Monticello. Limit one movie, one popcorn, and one axe-throwing session per guest.

Rita’s First Day of Spring – Free Italian Ice

The first day of spring is Wednesday, March 20th and Rita’s is celebrating by giving away FREE Italian Ice! There are four Rita’s locations in MN (Apple Valley, Eagan, and Stillwater). Normal operating hours are 12 – 9 pm.

Start Spring Off Right—with FREE Italian Ice!

Every year we celebrate the first day of spring by giving away free Italian Ice. That’s right, for over 20 years we’ve treated each and every guest to a free Italian Ice. It’s a Rita’s tradition. Just our way of kicking off the season—and spreading a little happiness.

Last year, our guests showed their spring spirit—and their love of Rita’s Italian Ice in a big way. We gave away almost 1 million cups of Italian Ice in just a nine-hour period! Pretty cool, huh?

Free Explore Minnesota Travel Guides

Did you know that Explore Minnesota has a series of FREE travel brochures that you can order? These are fantastic resources that can help you get ideas for things to do, attractions to visit, and places to stay in Minnesota. I’ve lived in Minnesota most of my life, but I know there’s so much I haven’t seen!

Besides the free Minnesota travel guides, you can also request free guides for golfing, biking, spring/summer activities, and more. If you’re looking for information about a specific region, city, or town, you can request to have your information forwarded to specific community tourism organizations.

You can request to have them sent to you, but many of these are also available to view online or to download to your computer (save a tree)!

Free Rides at Nickelodeon Universe to Celebrate WONDER PARK

Head to Nickelodeon Universe this Friday to celebrate the wonder of WONDER PARK with FREE rides! Visit Nickelodeon Universe (South Entrance at the Mall of America) on Friday, March 15th from 10 am – 12 pm to get in on all the fun.

Paramount Pictures and the Mall of America are joining forces and opening the gates to offer families complimentary point passes (while supplies last) to explore the awe and wonder of Nickelodeon Universe in celebration of WONDER PARK‘s opening day in theaters.

You’ll also have the chance to win WONDER PARK prizes including sweatshirts, cinch bags, full-day wristbands to Nickelodeon Universe, and a gift card to CMX Cinemas to see the film.



Here’s a little more about WONDER PARK:

A precious 8-year-old with a knack for engineering designs a spectacular imaginary amusement park, only to discover that it has become real. But when her beloved park is threatened, only she can save her creation – with the help of her soaring imagination and some very special friends. A delightful and inspiring fable for all ages, WONDER PARK features a star-studded voice cast that includes Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, Matthew Broderick, Norbert Leo Butz, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Ken Hudson Campbell, and newcomer Brianna Denski.

Free Play Snow Day at Three Rivers Park District – Saturday, March 16th

There is an upside to all of the snow we’ve been getting…thanks to the best snow conditions in recent memory, Three Rivers is hosting Free Play Snow Day on Saturday, March 16th. Recreation passes and equipment rentals will be FREE all day for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, kicksledding and more!

Beyond the freebies, Three Rivers Park District will also be offering deals on tubing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding, as well as low-cost events. Check for a full lineup of what’s included. Here are some highlights:


HärdsMälta Festival and Pond Skim
1-3 PM | Hyland Hills Ski Area | Free with non-perishable food donation (2 items)

Tubing, Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding

Hyland Hills Ski Area
Bush Lake Ski Jumps at Hyland Lake Park Reserve – Free ski jumping lessons 10 AM-noon. No previous experience required! Boots and skis provided.

Free Cross-Country Ski Passes, Rentals & Lessons

Rentals available at the following locations:

Free Lessons (reservations recommended)

Free Snowshoe Rentals

At the following locations:

Free Sled Rentals

At the following locations:

At the following locations:

Free Dog Off-Leash Passes

Free day passes for all dog off-leash areas!

Kids Bowl Free MN – Two Free Games of Bowling for Kids Each Day All Summer Long

I know it’s crazy to think about summer right now…just looking out the window makes me wonder if summer will ever come. Well, time marches on and soon enough we’ll be looking for ways to keep the kids occupied during summer break.

One option is Kids Bowl Free in which registered kids receive two free games of bowling each day at participating centers, all summer long! You may need to pay for shoe rental, and every location has different hours for this promotion.

As for adults, there is a Family Pass you can purchase for $29.95 that allows up to 4 adult family members to bowl with your kids all summer long, too.

There’s a HUGE list of participating centers in Minnesota, so hopefully, you can find one that’s within driving distance for you:

Project Prom: Free Prom Dresses for Teens

Project Prom is an organization that gives prom dresses away – free of charge! – to teens in need of a prom dress. (Those dresses can be expensive!)

This year’s event is taking place at a storefront in The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove from March 22nd – 24th. Please note: You will have to register in advance to reserve your spot as this is a very high-demand event. At your appointment, a volunteer will help you “shop” for your perfect dress.

If you’d like to donate a new or gently used prom or bridesmaid dress, Project Prom has several donation sites located around the Twin Cities metro area.


Dakota County Seed Library

If you live in Dakota County and have an interest in gardening, the Farmington Library is home to a seed Library.  The seed library is put on by a partnership between the Dakota County Library and the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners.

Checkout process

  • Select your seeds.
  • Fill out a checkout sheet.
  • Drop the checkout sheet in the lockbox located near the seed cabinet.
  • Choose up to five packets per person to help us spread this resource throughout the community.
  • Any Dakota County resident may use the Seed Library – no library card required.

Farmington Minnesota Library,

It might not be quite time to start the garden but the snow won’t be around forever, there’s dirt under there somewhere!  Do you know of other places in MN that offer free seed libraries?  We would love to let our readers know if this is a common thing!