All year round, you can visit free attractions, free parades, free festivals, free museums, free family activities, and find free things to do in Minneapolis, St. Paul and around the Twin Cities.
There's at least one major festival, parade or event every month in the Twin Cities, and most of them are free - like the Holidazzle Parade, the Winter Carnival, the Irish Fair, and the MayDay Parade. Here's a planner of the year's events and festivals in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
2. See Free Sporting Events and Get Active For Free in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis offers regular yoga and dance classes which are free to join. They are held right in the middle of the market so it helps if you don't mind an audience! At other malls around the Twin Cities, you can find free mall walking and free mom-and-baby stroller fitness classes.
The Minnesota Vikings training camp, held in late July and early August in Mankato, is free to watch.
The US Pond Hockey championship is held at Lake Nokomis every January, and is free for spectators.
And in March, the free Let's Play Hockey Expo attracts thousands of fans to the Xcel Center..
3. Visit Minneapolis/St. Paul Landmarks and Famous Places for Free
Many Twin Cities landmarks are open to the public. Here's a couple that are free to visit.
The Guthrie Theater is a stunning building inside and out, for the glass floors, the intriguing spaces, and the wonderful Endless Bridge over the Mississippi River.
The Cathedral of St. Paul is free to visit. There's a great view of St. Paul from the Cathedral's steps.
The Minnesota State Capitol gives regular free tours of the Capitol building, chambers, artworks, and weather permitting, the tours visit the golden horses on the Capitol's roof.
And you can get to see behind the scenes at more Twin Cities institutions like the Minneapolis Central Library, Twin Cities Public Television studios, and Minneapolis City Hall by taking a free guided tour.
See free performances by local acts and touring bands, unknowns and national stars at venues across Minneapolis and St. Paul, from record stores, parks, the center of downtown Minneapolis, on the Mississippi river banks, to the coolest bars and the most venerable institutions in the cities. There's something for everyone, from jazz to indie rock to classical to hip hop. Here's where to see free music shows and performances in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
And during the summer, parks across Minneapolis and St. Paul have free live music, as well as plays, comedy and movies. There's something happening in parks across the Twin Cities every summer evening and weekend.
Where can you take your children without spending any money? Here's a list of places with free admission, places to see free shows and entertainment, free art activities, and more.
See a free show, or get free tickets to a play, comedy, ballet or puppet show. Here's how to find free shows and free tickets in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Several museums and galleries in Minneapolis and St. Paul are free to visit. Other museums and galleries who usually charge for admission have frequent free days. Here's a list of Twin Cities museums that are free to visit, and the museums who have a free day.
Another way to visit museums attractions for free comes from the library. A Museum Adventure Pass can be checked out at any Twin Cities library, and the pass admits two people to one of around 20 participating destinations. Museums and attractions change every year but currently include the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Zoo, and the Minnesota History Center.
Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the nation's leading metro areas for Twitter use. A large number of local businesses and organizations use Twitter and to reward their followers, many offer Twitter-only freebies and special offers. Be the first to know about exclusive events, savings and freebies by following your favourite stores, restaurants, venues and museums on Twitter. Here's some suggestions of businesses who tweet freebies to start you off. Twitter is free to sign up. Another tip is to become a fan of your favourites on Facebook - but the best deals are usually on Twitter.
9. Drink Free Beer and Wine in Minneapolis/St. Paul
Take a free brewery tour, and sample some Summit beer at the Summit Brewery in St. Paul on selected Saturdays. Reservations are required. The Surly brewery in Brooklyn Center has free tours, with Surly beer samples, on Friday nights. Reserve your place at Surly's website. The Flat Earth Brewing Co, also in St. Paul, has monthly free tours and tastings.
The Four Firkins, a specialty beer store in St. Louis Park has regular beer tastings. And free wine tasting are held at several local stores. Trader Joe's hold weekly wine tastings. And Surdyk's, the liquor store and deli, has regular free wine and beer tastings.
And once a year, on St. Patrick's Day, the Nomad World Pub pours free beer... until someone has to pee.
10. Free Parks, Lakes, Scenery and Nature in Minneapolis/St. Paul
Minneapolis has more city parks than almost any other large city in the nation, and St. Paul isn't short on parks and lakes either. In Minneapolis, Lake Harriet and Minnehaha Park and Minnehaha Falls are great destinations for a walk, bicycle ride, or a summer picnic.
St. Paul has Como Park, and Indian Mounds Park with ancient burial grounds and beautiful view of downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River.
Nature Centers and gardens like the Harriet Alexander Nature Center in Roseville, and Minneapolis' Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary are free to visit.
In the winter, local parks freeze ice rinks for free ice skating. Many local lakes are popular for ice skating, and any park with a hill turns into a sledding hill.
As the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Several online message boards help residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul find new homes for unwanted items of all kinds. Scan the messages for a free item you need for an art or craft project, supplies for remodeling your home or garden, and lots of other projects.
And the annual event with the most free items and giveaways? The Minnesota State Fair, where visitors can pick up free yardsticks, reusable shopping bags, pencils and samples from local businesses.
12. Experience Minneapolis/St. Paul History for Free
Visit some of the historical sites of the Twin Cities for free.
Take a walk along Summit Avenue in St. Paul, the best preserved section of Victorian housing in the country, and see houses of St. Paul's most famous residents, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James J. Hill.
In Minneapolis, Milwaukee Avenue in the Seward neighborhood is two continuous blocks of early nineteenth century housing, some of the oldest in the city, saved from demolition and restored in the 1970s.
See the foundations of Minneapolis, the "Mill City", in downtown Minneapolis. Mill Ruins park, the ruin courtyard of the Mill City Museum, the Stone Arch Bridge, and the Riverfront District, make a pleasant walking tour of Minneapolis' industrial past.