Crayola Experience: Free Admission for Kids Ages 4 and Under – Weekdays Through April

Crayola Experience is treating little ones to a day of fun by offering free admission on weekdays to all kids 4 and under, now through 4/30/19. Please note that you’ll need to present a copy of your child’s birth certificate.

Of course, you’ll still need to buy tickets for the rest of the family, but you can get discount tickets for $14.99 with coupon code thrifty1 online to save for the rest of you, too! (Code is case-sensitive.)

Other current savings opportunities and special offers:

  • Members to Other Attractions: Got a membership to another museum or attraction? Show your current annual or season pass/membership to receive 50% off general admission every Monday in April. Valid for up to 4 admissions.
  • Social Workers: Free admission daily through 4/30/19; 25% off admission for immediate family (spouse, children, grandparents)
    Bring pay stub, work ID, or proof of employment
  • Teachers: Free admission daily; 25% off admission for immediate family now through 4/7/19
    Bring valid teacher ID (school badge or recent pay stub + photo ID)
  • First Responders: Free admission daily; 25% off admission for immediate family on Sundays
    Bring valid ID
  • Birthday Freebies: Free admission within 7 days of your birthday
    Valid with proof of birthdate (driver’s license or birth certificate)

2019 NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis – Free and Low-Cost Activities All Weekend (April 5th – 8th)

NCAA Final Four Minneapolis Logo

The 2019 NCAA Final Four is coming to Minneapolis! Even if you’re not a huge basketball fan, there are a lot of low- to no-cost activities available during Final Four weekend (April 5 – 8). Mark your calendars now!

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s going on:

NCAA Final Four Minneapolis Fan Fest


Final Four Fan Fest – Minneapolis Convention Center

Enjoy a sports wonderland of interactive games, special celebrity and athlete appearances, and autograph signings. They’ll have a Home Run Derby, free cheer clinics, a rock wall, and more.


Friday, April 5 from 11 am – 7 pm
Saturday, April 6 from 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, April 7 from 11 am – 6 pm
Monday, April 8 from 11 am – 6 pm

Ticket prices:

Adults: $8 in advance, $10 at the door
Kids 12 and under: FREE
Military (with valid ID): $4 in advance
Seniors (60+ with valid ID) and College Students (with valid ID): $4 in advance, $5 at the door
Capital One Cardholders: FREE entry (limit two) + Priority Access Lane

NCAA Final Four Minneapolis Activities


Final Four Friday – US Bank Stadium

On Friday, April 5 you’ll be able to check out each of the Final Four teams in their final open practice before Saturday’s national semifinal games. Admission is FREE and open to the public. You can also stick around for the College All-Star Game in the afternoon and catch an All-Star team autograph session.

NCAA Final Four Minneapolis Ready Set Dribble


Ready, Set, Dribble! – Minneapolis Convention Center

Youth ages 18 and under are invited to participate in this unique parade, joining thousands of fans dribbling their way through the heart of downtown Minneapolis. (Hopefully we won’t have an April blizzard!) Date and time is Sunday, April 7 at 2 pm. The first 3000 participants will receive a T-shirt, basketball, and entry into Final Four Fan Fest for participant(s) and accompanying adults.

This event is FREE, but pre-registration is required and must be completed at select local Buick dealerships. **Pre-registration is now closed. If space allows, limited onsite registration will begin at 1:30 pm.

NCAA Final Four Minneapolis March Music Madness Armory


*SOLD OUT* March Madness Music Series – The Armory

This FREE music series takes place Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7. Tickets are completely sold out.

  • Friday, April 5 at 7 pm – AT&T Block Party featuring The Chainsmokers
  • Saturday, April 6 at 7 pm – Jonas Brothers presented by Coca-Cola
  • Sunday, April 7 at 7 pm – Capital One Jamfest featuring Katy Perry and Zedd

Tip-Off Tailgate – Nicollet Mall

On your way to or from Final Four Fan Fest or the big games, stop by this FREE event for fun interactives and entertainment.

Check out the full schedule and more details HERE.

Free Family Fun Fest in Lakeville – Friday, April 5th

Free evening activities for the whole family are not always easy to find, especially on Friday evenings. Here’s one to add to your fun list this weekend: Free Family Fun Fest is taking place in Lakeville at the Ames Arena starting at 5 pm. They’ll have inflatable jumpers, kids activity tables, turf games, and chair massages – all for free. Ice skating is also free, but skate rentals are available for $1.

In addition, they’ll have sponsor booths and concessions. At 7 pm you can end the evening by matching a movie on the turf, Ralph Breaks the Internet. Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket to sit on!

Ralph Breaks the Internet Poster

Minnesota Easter Egg Hunts 2019

The BEST list of all the Easter Egg Hunts in Minnesota!

It’s time once again for the annual list of Minnesota Easter Egg Hunts 2019 and events! We’ve tried to include as many as we can but please leave a comment or email us at [email protected] if you know of any we missed that you feel we should include.

For each of the hunts below, click on the city name for further information and find out details, some require advance registration. We have tried to include as many FREE hunts in Minnesota on the list that we could find, but found some that have an admission and we noted that (those are marked by an asterisk).  The list is alphabetized by the town name so be sure to check the date and times.

FREE Minnesota Easter Egg Hunts 2019

(In alphabetical order by city.)

April 20th – Andover (Prairie Knoll Park) 1-2:30pm
Come and enjoy the Modern Home Team’s first annual Easter Egg Hunt.

April 13th- Anoka- George Green Park 10am-11:30am
Egg hunt, games and crafts. Hunt eggs outside then come inside and play games and have a snack. Basket Raffle $1 a ticket otherwise this event is free

April 20th – Anoka (Restoration Church) 10am
Indoor event that includes breakfast, egg hunt, tons of candy, music, door prizes, and MORE!

*April 16th – Apple Valley (Redwood Community Center) 7:30-9:30pm
Meet for some Easter crafts and coloring contest, followed by an Egg Hunt with a bit of a challenge when the sun sets. Bring your flashlight and a basket, the eggs will be hidden in the DARK! Join in for this unique egg hunt by moonlight and win some fun prizes too! Parents can stay to assist their child, as needed. **$12/child.

[Read more…]

Nature Rocks! Outdoor Center Open House in Eden Prairie – Saturday Mornings

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? We found a great free event. Each Saturday morning from 10 am – 12 pm, the Outdoor Nature Center in Eden Prairie hosts an open house. Enjoy free family friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interactions with live animals, craft projects and more!

The Eden Prairie Outdoor Center is a refurbished cabin located on the north shore of Staring Lake at 13765 Staring Lake Parkway.

A wide range of classes, workshops, trips and activities in outdoor recreation and environmental education are offered.

Every Saturday from 10 – 12 pm.


Kids Skate Free MN – Free Roller Skating for Kids

Similar to Kids Bowl Free, there’s also a Kids Skate Free program with participating skating centers across the US. Unlike Kids Bowl Free, this program is available year-round so you can sign up and get started anytime.

There are currently three participating centers in the state of Minnesota:

There is a $4 per child administrative fee assessed each year. Registered kids can skate for free during select hours and days of the week, and rentals are extra so you may want to buy your own if you plan to take advantage of this frequently.

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 or Low-Cost I Can! Outdoor Skill-Building Programs through Minnesota State Parks and Trails

Yeah, I know…it’s only March, but it’s never too early to be thinking about your summer plans! One frugal option for Minnesotans is the popular I Can! series of outdoor skill-building programs from Minnesota State Parks and Trails.

You can now register for these beginner-level programs, all of which are either free or very reasonably priced. Instruction and essential equipment will be provided. A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year), but this permit is included in the cost of some of these programs.

Options include:

I Can Camp! These one- or two-night overnight programs are your chance to introduce your kids to the fun of camping—no experience necessary. ($60 for 1 night or $85 for 2 nights)

I Can Paddle! Your kids will discover the kind of amazing views only seen from the water during one of these programs designed especially for first-time paddlers. (cost varies by trip)

I Can Mountain Bike! Remember your kids’ joy and triumph when they first learned to bike? Take that joy off-road with this exhilarating program. ($15/child, $25/adult)

I Can Fish! Share the fun of casting into the water and the excitement when there’s a tug on the line. This program is all about the anticipation and thrill of your kids learning to catch fish. (free for children 12 and under, $7/adult)

Archery in the Parks Be your own action heroes and go beyond video games! This program lets you share the exact moment when your child first aims for a goal and hits it. (free, but you do need a vehicle permit to enter)

Be sure to sign up ASAP if you’re interested as these classes typically fill up quickly. Head to the MN DNR website to get started!

Hop Into Spring Weekend at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Hop Into Spring Weekend

Spring is almost here…can you feel it in the air? Show your excitement by jumping up and down…or how about hopping? This Saturday and Sunday we can celebrate spring with Hop Into Spring Weekend at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

On Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th from 10 am – 4 pm each day, Como will be celebrating the wonders of frogs and toads during this special family-friendly environmental education weekend presented by Xcel Energy.

Hop Into Spring Weekend

Visitors will be able to create their own fun frog craft, partake in a music station for mimicking Minnesota’s amphibian chorus, experience free play for the younger ones on our pond rugs & tree log, enjoy our Noon Story Time featuring the story A Frog In The Bog and check out some interesting, rarely seen frog & toad species at our Amphibian Station. Our friends at Xcel Energy will also be on hand to teach visitors how to save themselves some “green” on their energy bills!

March 16 also marks the opening of the Spring Flower Show in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Sunken Garden. This year’s Spring Flower Show will showcase red and yellow tulips, yellow daffodils yellow crocus white hydrangeas, hyacinth, asiatic and calla lilies giving this show a unique aesthetic andwill provide some color therapy to Minnesotans weary of winter.

Daily Schedule
10:30 am – Polar Bear Program at Polar Bear Odyssey
11 am – Zookeeper Talk at Visitor Center Lobby
11:30 am – Gorilla Program at Primate Building
12 pm – Story Time: Frog in a Bog at Visitor Center Lobby
12:30 pm – Snow Leopard Program at Large Cats Building
1 pm – Gardener Talk at Conservatory
2 pm – Gorilla Program at Gorilla Forest
2:30 pm – Polar Bear Program at Polar Bear Odyssey

Como Camera Challenge – look for signs of spring in the Zoo Grounds & Conservatory that show the start of spring – such as buds on the trees, birds singing, bulbs blooming (conservatory), animals shedding, etc – take a picture with your phone or camera – show your love for Spring & Como by posting your photos to Instagram, Twitter & Facebook tagged with #SpringatComo and #MyMMC

Admission is always free at Como Zoo & Conservatory, with a suggested donation of $3 per adult and $2 per child.

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.