Since becoming a stay-at-home mama, I am constantly on the look-out for free or inexpensive things to do with my little one. I love being home, but let’s be honest: adjusting to one income can be tough! Thankfully, I’ve had the last 2 years to adjust and find fun things to do.

Hunter Playing

A recent post on our wonderful New Mama Group page on Facebook prompted me to share my research with you all! Here’s my top 5 favorite inexpensive things to do with kids in the Twin Cities!

1. Minnehaha Park

This is a great place for babies and antsy toddlers alike! For babies, the sound of the falls and the creek can be quite calming. When my little one was just a baby, the sound of the falls put him right to sleep. For toddlers, there’s lots of space to run and things to explore. There is also a number of playgrounds for them to play on. To make your visit even better, bring a picnic lunch! There are lots of picnic tables and areas to eat. Or, grab some ice cream at the Sea Salt Eatery!

2. Kid’s Concert Series at the West End

Every Wednesday during the summer, from now through August 20th, Creative Kidstuff brings great kids’ music to The Shops at the West End in St Louis Park. Bring a blanket, pack a lunch (or grab a bite at the local eateries!) and let your kids get silly to great music! Local favorite The Okee Dokee Brothers end the series on August 20th. The events begin at 10am!

3. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

This one makes lots of lists and for good reason! Its FREE and it’s amazing! While it’s smaller than the Minnesota Zoo, it’s much cheaper and you can see the animals better. With the exhibits being a tad smaller, the kids are actually able to see the animals up close. Bring a picnic lunch, there’s lots of great places to sit and eat with your kids! On Mondays now through Labor Day, members of the Jack Brass Band lead a parade around the zoo at 10:30, 11:45, and 12:40. What fun!!

4. Walks Around the Lakes

There’s nothing that tires a child out quite like fresh air! Why not get some exercise while you’re at it? I love taking my son for walks around the lake. My favorite place to walk is around Lake Harriet. There’s plenty of shade, a great playground, and a fabulous place to grab a snack at the end of a successful walk!

5. Toddler Tuesdays at Mall of America

Inevitably, summer weather will turn sour some days and you will need to find indoor activities to occupy the kids. The Mall of America has a great solution: Toddler Tuesdays! Most restaurants offer “Kids Eat Free” with a purchase of an adult meal. There are also free kid movies, and great ride discounts at the amusement park. From 10am to noon, there are special character appearances from Radio Disney Junior, arts and crafts, story time, and more!

We would love to hear from you! What are your favorite free (or inexpensive) things to take your babies and toddlers to in the Twin Cities??