Thursday, January 31, 2013

what is there to do in Minneapolis?





See the title of the post? What is there to do in Minneapolis? I was asked that question several times before we moved, and it always sounded more like this:

What is there to do in Minneapolis?

I was asked this mainly by people who lived in the mid size cities in Louisiana in which I had lived. Places where we found ways to have fun, but that certainly weren't considered hot spots of activity. I found it an odd question to ask -- although I didn't know a lot about Minneapolis, I knew there was a major airport and a baseball team; common knowledge that seemed like hallmarks of a place where there would be Things To Do.

I know these people read my blog from time to time, and it occurred to me recently that the blog might still leave them scratching their heads about what, exactly, there is to do here besides, well, blog.

Surprisingly, there are things to do in a city that has 4 professional sports teams and the biggest theater scene outside of New York City, has 2 major art museums and is constantly getting mentioned in magazines for its music scene, travel appeal and up and coming restaurants.

I'm not getting defensive (I don't think you're allowed to be defensive of a place you've only lived for seven months), our move just really clued me in to some Louisianians' ignorance of any state outside of the Louisiana-Texas-Mississippi (and maybe New York or California) spectrum.

FOR EXAMPLE: A conversation I had with someone at work in Shreveport:

Him: Where are you moving?
Me: Minneapolis
Him: Ohhh, the Twin Cities! Too bad Payton Manning just left.
Me: Huh?
Him: He's a football player.
Me: THANKS. I am aware of the Mannings. What does he have to do with Minneapolis?
Him: He doesn't play for the Colts anymore.
Me: The Colts are in Indianapolis.
Him: I know, I thought you were moving to Minnesota.
Me: I AM moving to Minnesota.
Him: Minneapolis and Indianapolis. The Twin Cities! Why don't you understand?
Me: Why don't YOU understand?!?!

I digress.

As part of my attempt to tell you more about what there is to do here, I'm going to share my 2013 Minneapolis resolutions with you.



1. Take a stand up paddle board class -- my excuse last summer was that they were all too early. Now I'm used to waking up on a resident's schedule, so... bring it on!
2. Picnic at the lake
3. Go to a music festival. Last year I missed The Lumineers, Feist, The Avett Brothers, Fitz and the Tantrums, etc, etc. NOT THIS YEAR.
4. Progressive bike dinner -- meaning biking to different restaurants for drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert
5. See a play -- I just so happen to have tickets to see Book of Mormon next month!




6. Go to all 4 professional sporting events -- Twins Baseball, Vikings Football, Wild Hockey, and TImberwolves Basketball
7. Bike the chain of lakes -- we did this last year, but now that it's  negative 3 zillion degrees outside, I'm not sure why we didn't do it every weekend.
8. Eat farm pizza -- I heard about this interesting experience on the radio. Drive out to a farm in rural Wisconsin, order pizza made with ingredients found within spitting distance, wait an hour and explore the farm, bring your own silverware, eat on a picnic blanket. I'm intrigued.




9. Cross country ski
10. Go apple picking




11. Kayak on the mississippi (even though this slightly terrifies me, what with the waterfalls...)
12. Get lost in a museum -- The Walker Art Center (modern art), The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the American Swedish Institute, The Minnesota Science Museum are just a few to choose from.
13. Go on a brewery tour. There are at least 3... not including our guest room, where Y is letting his home brew ferment.
14. Eat on a rooftop patio.
15. Bike to [one of] the farmers markets.
16. Visit the headwaters of the Mississippi & more. One of my friends at work, A, suggested we do this, since I've seen the other end of the Mississippi. I told her it was the most romantic thing anyone's ever invited me to do, akin to Mandy Moore's boyfriend in A Walk to Remember taking her to the state line so she could stand in two places at once. Then we sang along to Mandy Moore in my office. A made an entire separate list of things I need to do this summer, which I don't have in front of me, but is encompassed in #16.


Am I missing anything, Minnesota-savvy friends??

Other FAQs coming soon: what is there to do when it's negative degrees outside; what do you wear when it's negative degrees outside; what does it feel like when your hair freezes; are you sorry you moved to this frozen tundra (spoiler alert: NO.)

20 comments:

  1. that Indianapolis comment did NOT happen! shut up! bahahaha. Gosh, I always love hearing what insane things people from outside MN actually think of MN. I was in NYC once and someone asked me if we all have cows in our yards. Seriously.

    Also: yes yes to rooftops. AND if you have an aversion to large slow moving crowds, like I do, go to the farmers market as early as humanly possible. EVERY YEAR I Say I'm going to go every saturday and stock up, but I don't get there until 9:30 and then BAM, zoos of slow moving cattle. The one on Nicollet mall (Thursdays from May-October or so) is pretty sweet too, I walk around their on my lunch hour sometimes but I imagine if you can get there earlier or sometime that is NOT lunch, it'd be even better!

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  2. I love how you make me fall in love with this city even more. It's like seeing something through a child's eyes. But in the case, it's seeing Mpls through a transplant's eyes. Perfect summary. Great goals. And a biking pub crawl? I've totally done that. And in the burbs no less. But doing it in Mpls would be so much better. And a rooftop? We've done that one together!!

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  3. I've got a few suggestions:

    St Paul Winter Carnival: http://www.winter-carnival.com/

    Music and Movies in the park (Free!): http://www.mplsmusicandmovies.com/
    Easy to bike to and every night of the week.

    The TC Polish Festival: http://www.tcpolishfestival.org/2012/09/19/2013-festival-dates-announced/

    The Renaissance Festival: http://www.renaissancefest.com/

    Como Zoo (Free!): http://www.comozooconservatory.org/

    Head over to St Paul and check out ice skating in Mears Park

    Pedal Pub: http://www.pedalpub.com/

    Art-a-Whirl in the NE Arts District (Fabulous art fair with live music everywhere): http://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl

    Aquatennial: http://www.aquatennial.com/

    So fun to read about someone falling in love with the TC! I moved back after being gone for 12 years and am rediscovering the nooks and crannies myself :-)

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  4. Definitely the Renaissance Festival! It's a must-go for me every year!

    And Minneapolis & Indianapolis??? Oh boy...

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  5. hahahaha...Minneapolis/Indianapolis...HILARIOUS!!

    Some more suggestions...The May Day Parade, The Sculpture Gardens, St. Paul Saints Game....and now I'm drawing a blank. haha So many fun things to do here in MN. You have a GREAT list going.

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  6. Love this. I'm so happy you're enjoying your time here. I'd recommend adding the State Fair to the list. It's rated something like #3 in the country - and honestly, it's an experience that you just can't miss. Awesome people watching...

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  7. This is fun! It's got me thinking that I should make a THINGS TO DO list for San Antonio, since we're down to only two more years here! Hmmm...

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  8. My husband interviewed in Minneapolis for fellowship and I tagged along. While he didn't like the program, I really liked the city! We only had time to eat at a few places and drive around, but I really liked it! And of course I went to the Mall of America while he was interviewing :)

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    1. And this is coming from a Louisiana girl ;)

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  9. You're making me want to move there. . . Seriously. I also have stand up paddle boarding on my to-do list for this summer. Did you know there are yoga classes on those board too? I'm not sure I can handle that but it sounds cool in theory.

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  10. Ditto the Como Zoo ( also Japanese garden there)
    Grand Old Days on Grand Ave in St Paul
    Downtown Stillwater is amazing!

    Rooftop dining at Solera was one of my faves - get the $5 sangria. And while you are on a roof, head over to Brit's for either bocce or a movie.

    The Nicollet Mall farmer's market also draws a lot of food trucks which are fantastic.

    Art hop the 1st weekend in Aug in Uptown is fun too.

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  11. Ditto the Como Zoo ( also Japanese garden there)
    Grand Old Days on Grand Ave in St Paul
    Downtown Stillwater is amazing!

    Rooftop dining at Solera was one of my faves - get the $5 sangria. And while you are on a roof, head over to Brit's for either bocce or a movie.

    The Nicollet Mall farmer's market also draws a lot of food trucks which are fantastic.

    Art hop the 1st weekend in Aug in Uptown is fun too.

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  12. Sometimes it takes a year in to figure out all the stuff you need to do, especially when you're so busy getting settled in at first... we added lots to our Cincinnati to do list in the 2nd year and it was fun!

    I've done stand up paddle boarding in Michigan - that definitely should be on your list. And the rest kind of make me want to move to Minneapolis.

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  13. Seriously. I want to move to Minnesota because you seem to like it so much. Also, Minnesota Public Radio. lol. Your list sounds like fun!

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  14. I love your list - nothing better than exploring your new city. And, I gotta say, Minneapolis treated us well when we were there!

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  15. Be sure to enjoy Como Park. The Zoo is free and very good. The Garden is very pretty in the summer.

    I am from South Dakota and enjoying going to Minneapolis - there is so much to do. Glad you like the city.

    Love the Minneapolis/Indianapolis "Twin City" comment. Guess geography isn't everyone's strong suit!

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  16. i was there for 1 day last summer and we loved it!! so much to do! i want to go back

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  17. I know these people read my blog from time to time, and it occurred to me recently that the blog might still leave them scratching their heads about what, exactly, there is to do here besides minneapolis wedding djs

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