Twin Cities Thrifty Traveler-Winter Edition
A full week of free winter activities in the Twin Cities.
By Claire Noack
Experience the wonders of the Twin Cities in the best way possible—for free! Whether you’re a tourist worried about spending too much on entrance fees or are a local looking for cheap activities during the winter months, we’ve got you covered. Follow our daily schedule for a week packed with free events and fun entertainment that will pique your interest to see how much the Twin Cities has to offer.
Start the week off among hilarious company by attending open mic night at Acme Comedy Company. If you’re a jokester or have some sidesplitting “dad jokes” up your sleeve, sign up to take the stage between 6 and 7 p.m. Grab a drink from the bar and settle in for the free 8 p.m. show. First-timers get three minutes to make the audience fall out of their seats laughing. Whether the jokes bomb or leave you in stitches, gear up for a night of good-humored fun and laughter. | 708 N. First St., Minneapolis, 612-338-6393
Take advantage of free admission to the Minnesota History Center, every Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. Learn more about Minnesota’s unique history as an industrial center and one of the largest metropolitan hubs in the Midwest. Current exhibits educate museum-goers on Minnesota-made inventions, the history of the grain elevator, and personal stories from Minnesotans who lived through the Great Depression, WWII and the post-war boom. | 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-259-3000
Feel free to get competitive while playing life-sized versions of your favorite board games at the St. Paul Union Depot’s Games Galore event every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Challenge friends and family to a game of giant-sized chess, checkers, dominos, Connect Four, Jenga or tic-tac-toe. It's great for family game night or an afternoon with friends. | 214 Fourth St. E., Suite 300, St. Paul, 651-202-2700
Image by Lorie Shaull/flickr
Spend the evening being inspired by visual artwork from artists around the world at the Walker Art Center. Admission is free every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Moving performances and screenings at the Walker showcase the varied medium of art, while sculptures, paintings and mixed media pieces challenge viewers’ perspectives on society. | 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, 612-375-7600
Quick—Name what country 80’s rock band AC/DC is from! Get ready to answer questions like this and test your movie and music knowledge at trivia night at 331 Club in Northeast Minneapolis. Brush up on random trivia facts every Friday starting at 7 p.m. Stay afterwards for the lively atmosphere, cheap drinks and free live music every night of the week. | 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-331-1746
Image by Summit Brewing Co.
Enjoying the brewery culture is a must when visiting the Twin Cities. Local craft breweries and microbreweries have taken over the metro area as places to meet up with friends, drink great beer and enjoy the friendly, laid-back atmosphere. For a free look at one of Minnesota’s largest and most-beloved craft breweries, take a tour of Summit Brewing Co. Make a reservation online for a 60-minute tour and tasting, with three free samples of your favorite Summit brews. Warning: you're on your own for purchasing drinks after the free tasting! | 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul, 651-265-7800
End the week by experiencing the beauty of the Twin Cities with a hike in Minnehaha Regional Park. Take a walk to see the majestic, frozen 53-foot waterfall and large limestone bluffs. Trace the river starting at Minnehaha Falls all the way to where it meets the Mighty Mississippi for a breathtaking winter hike. | 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400