Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun FREE things to do in Minnesota!

Here's kind of a hodge-podge list of a bunch of FREE things to do in Minnesota!  Minnesota is a wonderful place to visit and explore - and what better way then doing something for free!

Do you know of a place that offers FREE admission in Minnesota?  Please let me know so I can add it to this list!

Birch Coulee Battlefield - Morton
Just before sunrise on Sept. 2, 1862, the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the hardest fought battles of the U.S.-Dakota War. The Dakota kept U.S. soldiers under siege for 36 hours before a relief detachment arrived from Fort Ridgely.
Walk a self-guided trail through recreated prairie and read about the battle from the perspectives of Joseph Anderson, a captain in the U.S. Army, and Wamditanka (Big Eagle), a Mdewakanton soldier

Big Honza's Museum of Unnatural History - Montgomery
Minnesota's Newest Legend - Big Honza Giganticzech! The free museum is filled with unnatural attractions that will tickle your funny bone. This self-guided tour is rated PG for families. Donations requested

Cabela's - East Grand Forks, Rogers and Owatonna
The huge physical outgrowth of mail-order outfitter Cabela's poaches the best aspects of the classic wildlife museum, and doesn't charge you a penny. Except if you buy something -- this is, after all, a store. But it's the kind of store that includes a live bait room, a gun library, a 53,000-gallon aquarium filled with Minnesota fish, and hundreds of dead animals in action position

Como Park Zoo - St. Paul
Free parking and free admission to the Como Zoo!

Lac Que Parle Mission - Montevideo
Learn about life at this pre-territorial mission, the development of the Dakota alphabet and the translation of the Bible.  A mission and fur post overlooked the Minnesota River 150 years ago and today the mission still stands.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center - Duluth
The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is operated as a free service by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. The Boatwatchers Hotline number is 218-722-6489. The schedule of vessel traffic and web cam of Duluth Ship Canal from the Visitor Center is also available

Lakewood Cemetary - Minneapolis
The final resting place of Tiny Tim.  Herbert "Tiny Tim" Khaury's tomb can be found at the Lakewood Cemetery Mausoleum. The eccentric entertainer was buried with a ukulele in his hand and a tulip.

There are also several free tours available at this historic cemetary.

LARK Toys - Kellogg
One of the largest independent specialty toy stores in the country. With over 20,000 sq. ft. to explore, children of all ages find delights old and new.  You can see Purple waterfalls, Ride a wooden carousel (cost $1.00),or exploe over 10 inter-active play areas!

Marine Mill - Marine on St. Croix (near Stillwater)
Site of Minnesota's first commercial sawmill, built in 1839 - Scenic walking trail above historic sawmill ruins. Views of sawmill foundation ruins, Mill Stream and falls.

Midtown Global Market - Minneapolis
offers regular yoga and dance classes which are free to join, and many family friendly events!  Check their schedule.

Minneapolis Institue of Arts - Minneapolis
Free daily admission (closed Mondays)

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden - Minneapolis
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of Minnesota's crown jewels and its centerpiece, the Spoonbridge and Cherry, has become a Minnesota icon. The Sculpture Garden is essentially a free museum in a park

Minnehaha Depot - Minneapolis
An 1875 gingerbread-style depot along the first Minneapolis-to-Chicago rail line. - Authentic train departure board and telegraph key - Near Minnehaha Falls, trails and lookouts.

Minnesota State Capital - St. Paul (free hourly tours)
A signature work by influential American architect Cass Gilbert. - State Senate, House and Supreme Court Chambers - Civil War and Spanish-American War flags - Decorative and fine arts throughout building - Monuments on Capitol Mall - Guided tours - Cafe

Minnesota Vikings Training Camp - Mankato (July30 - Aug12th)
All training camp activites are free - Mankato State University charge $7.00 for parking.  Also visit The MN Vikings website for more info

Munsinger Clemens Gardens - St Cloud
This well-known beautiful garden park is located along the Mississippi River in St. Cloud. The Munsinger portion of the gardens began in the 1880's.  The Clemens portion is dedicated to different varieties of roses. During summer months, there are also free music concerts within the gardens.
Admission is free and the gardens are open sunrise until 10PM

Museum Adventure Pass
New experiences await you at an array of Twin Cities cultural destinations! Check out a Museum Adventure Pass using your valid MELSA library card at any MELSA library location. Consider checking out a new destination each time you check out a pass.  For the fourth year of the Museum Adventure Pass program (September 10, 2009 - September 9, 2010), please note these changes:
•All passes admit two people to participating destinations.
•Passes may not be combined to admit more than two people (one pass per family or group per visit).

Northland Arboretum - Brainerd/Baxter
The Northland Arboretum encompasses over 500 acres in the heart of Brainerd/Baxter. The Arboretum is dedicated to getting people involved and aware of nature.  4 Seasons of fun are provided with 20 kilometers of hiking and cross-country ski trails. Admission is free, donations accepted

Oak Hill Splash Park 3201 Rhode Island Avenue South - St. Louis Park
The water playground at lets tots activate bubbling hoses, water nozzles and sprinkler arches. Just wave your hand over the sensor bollard and get ready to splash in the sun! It’s the equivalent of running through the sprinkler on a grand scale. This facility is unsupervised so parents should accompany children. Proper swim attire and swim diapers must be worn at the Splash Pad.

Red Wing Shoe Museum - Red Wing
The museum/retail store boasts the world’s largest boot (size 638½ D), built in front of the store for the company’s 100th anniversary.  The Red Wing Shoe Co. in Red Wing. Minn. also offers free public tours of its factory.
For more information call 651-388-6233

SPAM Museum - Austin
The museum features 16,500 square feet of SPAM® artifacts, history and fun—and all for free! Yes, that’s right— it’s free admission to check out vintage advertising, answer SPAM® trivia, try your hand at canning SPAM® products, stock up on collectible SPAM® memorabilia, and learn about all the SPAM® products, even the hard-to-find varieties

Traverse des Sioux - St. Peter - free self guided tours
On the self-guided tour, the trail signs introduce you a portion of the 10,000-year-old Minnesota River Valley. While enjoying a quiet walk through the site, learn more about Dakota Indian culture, the 1851 Treaty and its effects on people, transportation, the fur trade, and the town site of Traverse des Sioux.

Treasure City -Royalton
Treasure City is a classic American tourist trap located on what used to be the main artery out of Minneapolis into the wild northern reaches of Minnesota

Universal Labs Museum/Ergot - Dassel
The Universal Laboratories museum is the home of the Dassel Area Historical Society. The main exhibits of the beautifully restored building focus on telling the story of ergot. (Ergot is a fungus that grows on grain and was used by the pharmaceutical industry.) This small town was the largest US supplier of raw ergot to drug companies for many years

Waterskiing Shows -
Shockwaves - see schedule (Shakopee/Prior Lake)
Ski Otters - Free shows Sundays 6pm (White Bear lake)
Twin City River Rats - Free shows Thursday nights at 7pm (near Mpls)

William S Marvin Training and Visitor Center - Warroad
Experience the history of Marvin Windows and Doors. The exhibits include a combination of artifacts and interactive presentations that create a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.  Free admission


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