Free Museums & Art Attractions in the Twin Cities

Art is meant to be free. These museums make it so.

There’s plenty to do and see in Minneapolis and St. Paul, especially when it comes to museums. But an admission ticket to a local museum can get pricey, especially when you’ve got the whole family along.

Luckily for those of us in the Twin Cities, there’s plenty of free options as well. Here are a few free museums and attractions that can keep you busy for the day without breaking out your wallet.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

A staple of the city, specifically housing the signature Spoon and Cherry sculpture, the Minneapolis sculpture garden is always free for anyone to walk around in. You’ll find some truly inspiring art that will captivate even your kids.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

MIA is an internationally-recognized art museum and has multiple floors of classical artwork to see — and it’s all free, every single day.

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Take the family to the Como Zoo and Conservatory to check out all sorts of animals from giraffes to gorillas, tropical plants, and flower species. Although it’s free, generally a small donation is asked for upon entry. But there’s no better way to spend a day!

NWA History Centre

If you’re an airplane buff, you’ll want to check out the NWA History museum — best of all is it’s free to the public. NWA was founded to preserve the history of Northwest Airlines, which is no longer in service. You’ll find exhibits, memorabilia, and more for everything about air travel you could want to immerse yourself in.

Minnesota Air National Guard Museum

Dedicated to the history of the Minnesota Air National Guard, you can schedule a tour at this museum to see military aircraft, engines, and historical archives. Although free, you may want to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

Weisman Art Museum

This modern art gallery on the University of Minnesota campus is free to the public. Significant financial gifts and donations have helped create a staple art landmark on the U of M campus.

Museums with free days/events:

There are a number of other museums around the cities that have a day or two where they are free to the public. Be sure to check them out:

Minnesota Children’s Museum: Free on the third Sunday of each month.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Free on every 3rd Monday of the month

Walker Art Center: Attached to the sculpture garden, the museum is free on the first Saturday of the month, and every Thursday from 5-9 PM. Sponsored by Target.

Bell Museum of Natural History: Free on Sundays.

For more on Minnesota museums, read this next: Afternoon Art: Weisman Art Museum