Many world-class attractions and interesting little museums in Minneapolis and St. Paul are completely free to visit, and several others who usually charge for admission have frequent open days with free admission.
Museums, Galleries and Attractions in Minneapolis and St. Paul with Free Admission
- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts: A world-class art gallery. Admission is always free, gallery tours are free, and free music and art events happen frequently.
- The Weisman Art Museum: The University of Minnesota's modern art gallery. Finding free or cheap parking nearby is almost impossible though.
- The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: Always free, except when special events are happening in the garden
- The Minnesota State Capitol: Daily tours are free
- The Minnehaha Depot: A historic train depot in Minnehaha Park
- The NWA History Museum: You might think that the 2008 merger of once-great Northwest Airlines and Delta prompted the creation of a museum of NWA history and memorabilia at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Actually, the museum has been in operation for several years, well before NWA was assimilated into Delta and the NWA name was removed from their airplanes. The museum has plenty of retro memorabilia from the glamorous days of air travel, and lots for airplane buffs too.
- The Minnesota Air National Guard Museum: Located near the Minneapolis airport, this museum has a large collection of military aircraft, engines, flight simulators, and a library preserving the history of the Minnesota Air National Guard. The museum is only open during the summer months.
- Como Zoo and Conservatory: An amazing variety of animals, and beautiful plants and flowers in an elegant conservatory. Free, although a small donation is requested.
- The Museum of Russian Art: A simply stunning collection of Russian art. There is a general admission charge, but students are admitted free, or with a donation.
Free Days at Museums, Galleries and Attractions who usually charge for Admission
- The Walker Art Center: Free admission on the first Saturday of the month, and Thursday evenings after 5 p.m.
- The Bell Museum of Natural History: Free admission on Sundays
- The Minnesota Children's Museum: Free admission on the third Sunday of the month
- The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is free all day Thursday in the winter, and free on Thursday evenings from 4.30 p.m. until 8 p.m. or sunset in the summer. Winter is November 1 until April 24. The Arboretum also has free family events and music on Thursday evenings in the summer.
- The Minnesota Historical Society holds occasional open houses with free admission to its historical sites in the Twin Cities. It also has free admission days on special days. For example, this year Fort Snelling was free to military personnel on Memorial Day, and the Mill City Museum was free to mothers on Mother's Day. Free events vary, and details of upcoming events can be found on the MNHS website.