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Looking for a place to go on a playdate that won’t break the bank? Parks work great, except for when the weather isn’t on your side.  Here are our favorite 5 picks that are free and indoors.

Mall Play Areas
Easy and practical. You can sit on the sidelines while your kids run around, and then pick up that pair of pants you’ve been looking at on the way out. If you have early risers, see if your mall opens early for a mall-walking playdate.

Nature/Interpretive Centers
We’re HUGE fans of nature centers. They’re less crowded than indoor playgrounds, give children an opportunity to experience nature (both indoors and outdoors), typically have a few animals, and children’s books & toys around, as well. Richardson Nature Center in Bloomingtonpictured above, has beautiful mural-covered walls and a puppet theater, to boot. Of course there are also trails to explore outdoors, too.

Coffee Shops/Restaurants with Play Areas
Caffeinate at a coffee shop with kid’s play area, like Sovereign Grounds, or refuel at a restaurant with an indoor playground. You’ll pay for the food, but the playtime will be free.

Free Admission Museums
Take in some art or history at one of our museums. The Twin Cities has several museums that are free to visit every day, such as the Weisman Art Museum or Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and several more offer Special Free Admission Days on a weekly or monthly basis.

Recreation Centers
Spend some time in a recreation center to meet new friends, learn new skills, keep fit and stay healthy. Recreation centers offer safe and fun places to participate in activities, programs and special events. Check the schedule for open gym times, free programs, or just hang out in the building.


sKIDaddlers was started by 2 local Minnesota moms with a love for traveling and a knack for research.  Learn more about us and what you can find on our site here.

Related: Kids Eat FreeKids Bowl Free All SummerFree Birthday TreatsIndoor Spaces for Early Risers, All Free Indoor Places

#Best of Minnesota