This is a valuable list of what days the pay museums are FREE, and other amazing FREE tours that are offered around Minneapolis. Minneapolis has some of the most important Museums in the region and country, and this is how to see them for free. Also there are many other public and private spaces which offer free tours,and this is how to find them.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is a huge museum and is the best of all of the Free Museums in Minneapolis, so plan on staying a whole day!
Weisman Art Museum
The Weisman is a contemporary art Museum on the U of M campus in a stunning building designed by famous architect Frank Gehry. The Weisman is a smaller Contemporary museum, but it is well curated and the collection is very fluid. It is worth the trip just to see the building which is ivy league on one side, and spaceship landed on the banks of the Mississippi on the other side
Free on second Saturday of the month
The Bakken Museum is a first class science museum focused primarily on electricity. There are programs and explorations for all ages, but it is especially geared for young adults and preteens. The Bakken museum is in a gorgeous part of town, right on Lake Bde Maka Ska, formerly Lake Calhoun. The museum is in a huge amazing mansion on the lake, donated for the purpose.
Walker Art Center
Free First Saturdays and Free every Thursday from 5-9
The Walker is a premier contemporary museum and the free nights are fun because it is so busy. It is amazing the one of the top Contemporary Art Museums in the country can be accessed for free. Walker is considered one of the big five, up there with the MOMAs as a world-class art museum. Of course the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is adjacent to the Walker, andis always free every day. There are more than 60 sculptures and installations in the park including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry.
The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA)
Free Third Thursday
TMORA is a highly recommended and well curated museum which is also open on Monday unlike the others! The Museum of Russian Art doesn’t sound fabulous, but it really is. The collection is comprehensive and comparative. You learn and are inspired. The art is moving,especially in the context of Russia’s incredibly tumultuous history.
Bell Museum of Natural History
Free on Sundays
The Bell Museum is native of Minneapolis, but recently relocated to a superior facility in St Paul. So it is not really one of the free museums in Minneapolis, but it’s close. The Bell Museum has a planetarium and is a deep dive into the wildlife of Minnesota. The founder’s mansion, the Bell Mansion, is also located next to the sponsor of this resource, 300 Clifton Bed and Breakfast.
Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG)
MAAHMG is free to get in and also free parking, and they offer a fresh perspective on Minnesota history. It is a heritage museum with interesting historical information, and it is also a gallery, so a lot of the art is for sale. There are items from textiles to books and artwork created by local black artists for sale at the museum.
Hennepin History Museum
Near MIA, the Hennepin History Museum is predominantly an archives for Hennepin history and they also have fluid displays in the rooms of the mansion. The mansion is worth visiting just for the architecture. What is on display is small, but creatively curated, and fun to explore with the backdrop of the mansion. Hennepin is the County where Minneapolis is located, so this is a history museum for the county.
Minneapolis City Hall
Always Free, Free Tour 3rd Wednesday – noon in the Rotunda off 4th St
City Hall has impressive architecture and history. You can always do a self guided tour with the brochure at the desk, but a guided tour is given every 3rd Wednesday at noon. City Hall is full of amazing art, including the Father of Waters Sculpture in the Rotunda, stained glass windows, gorgeous lighting and incredible marble throughout.
The monuments and memorials around Lakewood cemetery are stunning and architecturally significant. See Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, because it is a one of a kind in the nation. The grounds with the reflecting pool by the mausoleum are stunning. There is a brochure you can get, or download which highlights important people buried at Lakewood and where they are located.
Park Board’s Public Art Tour
This is an incredible way to locate and understand the public art around Minneapolis. This is an outdoor free museums in Minneapolis. There are seven updated maps of the Minneapolis Art Collection Tour. This is an incredible resource because so much of this art is difficult to find and even more difficult to find out about. The Park Board maps can be used as a reference as you move around the city, or can be a free tour guide dedicated to moving from spot to spot.
Basilica of St. Mary Minneapolis
Explore the art and architecture of one of Minneapolis’ most significant buildings. Free tours of the Basilica after the 9:30 and 11:30 mass on Sunday morning, or you can download the brochure here. The brochure is also available in the building before you go into the nave. the artwork and the architecture of the Basilica is mind blowing and was an architectural feat at the time. It is still an architectural wonder.
Lake St. Museum in the Streets
Lake St is a dynamic neighborhood, rich in history. Follow the 60 plaques to learn its history. Like the Park Board art tour, this is one of the outdoor free museums in Minneapolis. The tour is split into three sections with brochures you can find here. Uptown has long been known for its creativity. Once a hippie enclave, Uptown and Lake Street still broadcasts those roots. This is an incredible free tour along one of the most incredible streets in Minneapolis.
300 Clifton Bed and Breakfast
Minneapolis is an incredible city, and in many ways it is the best city in the world. It is our mission at 300 Clifton Bed and Breakfast to share the superlatives of Minneapolis through our Lodging and our Trolley Tours, Minneapolis Trolley Tours.