St Paul is one of the great Twin Cities, along with Minneapolis, in Minnesota and man, are they great places to live and/or visit if you are feeling Minnesota. I would know because I am a Twin Cities native, born and raised, all of my life. So, if you are looking for some frugal fun in the Twin Cities, check out my list of free things to do in Minneapolis and this list of free things to do in St Paul!
Visiting St. Paul
St. Paul has so much to offer visitors. The quieter and smaller partner city to Minneapolis to make the Twin Cities, St. Paul is rich in dining, shopping, entertainment, and attractions. The capital city of Minnesota, St Paul is filled with historic character.
Free Things to Do in St. Paul
Whenever we travel, visiting attractions is one of the biggest budget busters there is. In order to fully enjoy our trips, I look for free or budget-friendly things to do. For anyone visiting the area, here are free things to do in St. Paul.
Minnesota State Capitol
St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota and offers some of the most impressive buildings. The State Capitol building is no exception. Visit the Capitol building and take one of the free tours that are offered daily. Learn about the architecture, art, and history of the area.
The Landmark Center, built in 1902, resembles a castle in downtown Saint Paul. The Landmark Center is the perfect place to visit for any history lover. The Landmark Center was a federal post office and a courthouse. Two US Supreme Court Justices presided at the courthouse, the Prohibition enforcement act was written at the courthouse, as well as some famous gangsters were tried here. Today, the building is a free arts and cultural center.
The Cathedral of Saint Paul
Beautiful and amazing, the Cathedral of St Paul offers guided tours on weekdays at 1 pm. Learn about life in the Cathedral including sacraments, the ministries, and faith formation. The tour also shares the history, art, and architecture of the Cathedral. The landmark cathedral is open to explore on your own every day except during Sunday mass because it is still a working church.
Minneapolis and St Paul is known for having some of the best park systems in the nation. Harriet Island is part of the park system and it is a free park that is worth checking out. One of St. Paul’s best-known parks, located alongside the Mississippi River, the island is perfect for picnics, hiking and walking and is a great place to host events like parties and weddings. Located near downtown, there are many open to the public events that take place. Harriet Island is a great place to get great views of the downtown skyline or take pictures from Raspberry Island.
This was the first zoo in St Paul was on Harriet Island when in 1897, the city of St. Paul received a gift of three deer. Additional animals followed, when more room was needed to house the animals they were moved to facilities at Como Park. Como Zoo continued to grow through donations of animals and money.
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory was first opened to the public in November 1915. This facility is open to the public every day of the year. It contains beautiful botanical displays year-round. Both the zoo and the conservatory are free to the public and completely reliant on donations.
Minnesota Museum of American Art
Currently closed for renovations, the Minnesota Museum of American Art will be open in the fall of 2018, so I wanted to make sure it is on the list. This art museum focuses on artwork from the 19th century to the present that has been created mostly by local artists. The museum is located in the historic Pioneer Endicott building that was designed by Cass Gilbert.
The Bell Museum of Natural History
Recently renovated, the Bell Museum of Natural History offers free admission every Sunday. There are detailed wildlife dioramas, a green roof and observation deck, touch and see lab for hands-on learning, Geology exploration area, solar station, and a digital planetarium.
There is a wide variety of free things to do in Saint Paul. This is only a short list to help you find fun activities to fill your time whether you are visiting St Paul or live there.