So many times, when I visit a different town. Heck, even where we live! I’m looking for affordable and free things to do with the family. Last year, Hannah and I made a trek over to St. Cloud, Minnesota for a fun little getaway. I also shared 48 Hours In St. Cloud, MN but I thought it would be nice to share a more complete list of other fun and affordable things to do around St. Cloud Minnesota. So if you’re heading to central MN, which we hope to do again soon, take some notes.
Fun And Affordable Things To Do Around St. Cloud Minnesota
Whether you have a big family or small, it’s always nice to find ways to entertain on a budget. So I’ve compiled this list of fun and affordable things to do around St. Cloud Minnesota.
They offer play passes where you can bring your children in for some indoor play on their showroom. Fully covered and heated, it’s perfect for any weather. Located just minutes from downtown St. Cloud, Rainbow Midwest St. Cloud welcomes kids of all ages to come out and play at their huge indoor playground — no reservations required! ($7-$9 per child with ages 16 months and under playing for free.)
This is, of course, a summer activity. But this large splash pad also features two nearby playgrounds as well as a walking path around the lake. Plus, it’s FREE! They also have a free Playtime At Lake George for ages 0-5.
They also offer paddle boats for rent in the summer! And you may even find some wildlife.
A fun time for all ages! The Lake George area will be transformed into a fun and active place every Wednesday with free live music from local and regional bands, local vendors, artisans, and a kid’s zone for the entire family to enjoy! Definitely a must do in the summer. Check their site for all the details.
Immerse yourself in a truly unique botanical experience. Awaken your senses. Delight in the natural beauty. This beautiful spread of gardens is located along the Mississippi River and is FREE to visit. Definitely a must see during spring, summer, and fall.
They offer a variety of open gym options with some of the cheapest being $3 per child/$5 per family! Check their site to learn more and find the best open gym options for your family.
You’ll find the St. Cloud Quarry Park and Nature Preserve currently contains 683 acres. It is the largest in the Stearns County Parks system. This park has much to offer for those who love the outdoors. And extraordinary natural features include scenic woodlands, open prairie, wetlands, and un-quarried bedrock areas. The Park is open year-round and a daily parking permit is just $5 while a yearly one is $20.
- Rock Climb
- Cross Country Ski
- & More
7. Jump City
This large inflatable bounce park features bounce houses, obstacle courses, arcade games, and more. Jump for a day or purchase an unlimited monthly pass.
Enjoy a day with the entire family for just $16! Their pool and water slide will surely be a hit.
You’ll be able to choose from a huge array of art projects at a variety of price points. Glass blowing, pottery making, canvas painting, pottery painting, and so much more!
This huge splash pad also features a playground next door. And the best part is that the playground has artificial grass! Lots to do here and it’s free. Check out all the options:
- Baseball / Softball
- Baseball / Softball Diamond
- Batting Cage
- Concession Stand
- Disc Golf Course
- Hockey Rink
- Ice Skating Rink
- Pickleball Courts
- Picnic Areas
- Picnic Tables
- Splash Pad
- Warming House
- Water Fountains
Beaver Island Trail follows the route of an inactive railway that was originally part of a charter railroad of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. This beautiful trail features activities such as: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing,Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing.
Check out one of their gorgeous nature trails! Open to the public, there is no fee for parking either. You’ll come across nature, plants, animals, water, statues, and more along the routes. Definitely a must see and do if you’re in the area.
This is a local landmark that has been around for a long time. Open skate starts at just $5.99 and goes up from there. They also offer pizza, snacks, arcade games, and laser tag for additional fees.
This community center features an indoor playground ‘kid center’ you can visit for free!
15. Great River Children’s Museum – COMING SOON
Not yet open when I wrote this post, but this children’s museum will be coming to central Minnesota soon. Children’s museums are popular, neutral spaces for learning new information.
Just outside of Target inside the mall, there’s an indoor play place geared for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Visit for free and then walk the mall or grab lunch at the food court when you’re done playing.
17. Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud
Free local libraries are almost always a hidden treasure. They typically have play areas, computers, games, and of course, tons of books! A great way to spend a day any time of year.
The Lake Wobegon Regional Trail is Minnesota’s above-average trail that is enjoyed by all ages. Over 60 miles long, 10 feet wide, and paved end to end, it’s just waiting for you to explore on foot, bike, rollerblades, scooter, or snowmobile.
19. Hemker Zoo, Freeport
Take your family for a walk on the wild side, and experience more than 50 wildlife species from around the world in a semi-natural setting. Their ‘Close Encounters’ program will get you up close and personal. Pet a penguin, feed the birds in their famous Budgie Buddy House, or get close-up with Cookie, a 10-foot boa constrictor.
Join the Ninja Warrior way by heading over to this fun filled park, perfect for ages 7 through adult. There are obstacles, workouts, individual free play, and more. They pride themselves on safety and coach supervision. All activities start with a focused warm-up to minimize the risk of injury. Get active and have fun!
A fun time, always! And they even offer a 7 Game Summer Pack where you get tickets to all the best games as well as free food! Each Rox home game features tons of fun with special activities enjoyed by all ages.
The Paramount Arts Underground offers people of all ages the opportunity to come and play in the Paramount Arts Studios to develop artistic skills in a variety of mediums. Working with a studio mentor, you can try your hand at throwing a bowl on the wheel, piecing a mosaic together, turning a wooden bowl on the lathe, forming a sculpture out of clay or creating a painting or drawing. The Paramount has all of the supplies and equipment you need to try something new. Arts Underground welcomes teens, adults and supervised children to come and create together.
Pottery, Ceramic Sculpture, Mosaic, Painting, Drawing, Fused Glass, Wood Turning, Movement/Dance
Always a great show on stage, check their calendar to see what’s available when you’re in town.
24. Parkwood Cinema – $5.00 Movies All Day On Tuesdays
Check their schedules and websites for the latest information. Because they change up their specials. But during the summer, Parkwood Cinema usually plays kids movies starting at 10AM on certain days at discounted prices.
So much to do at this fun outdoor theme park. Choose from a large water slide, go karts, indie karts, bumper boats, batting cages, mini golf, and even a Kids Kountry for the younger family members.
Although smaller, the local Chick-fil-A features a clean and friendly environment and play place for young children. Plus, as usual, great food and phenomenal service!