Ahhh Minnesota summers. There really is nothing better. Minneapolis & St. Paul have PLENTY of things to do to either enjoy the great outdoors, or beat the heat with a frosty brew. Here is my list of awesome things to do during the shortest season in the state. Enjoy!
1) Check out some new taprooms. A few of my favorites: Dangerous Man, Inbound, Hammerheart, Excelsior, Able Seedhouse.
2) Catch a game at the not-so-new CHS Field. You can get in the door for $5. Bring your friends and a blanket and enjoy the post-game fireworks every Friday while chillin' in the outfield. Don't miss the MN Brews stand.
3) Take advantage of the many, many lakes. Kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, running, beaching...
4) Escape the heat while checking out a museum. Admit it, you've lived here for a while (if not your whole life) and you haven't been to the MIA. Or the History Museum. Or the Science Museum. Or the Museum of Russian Art. Or the Bell Museum. You get the idea.
5) Scandinavian? Or just interested in seeing how Ragnar Lothbrok ate before pillaging villages throughout Europe? Take a cooking class at the American Swedish Institute. Not only is the building gorgeous and full of history, but you'll enjoy a fab meal. More info: http://www.asimn.org/calendar
6) Celebrate like the French during Bastille Day 2016. July 17th at Barbette in Uptown. More info: www.bastilledayblockparty.com/
7) Can't make it to New York? Catch a Broadway show in the nations #2 theater district. I'm dying to see Lion King, which starts at the Orpheum on July 5th. More info: http://www.hennepintheatretrust.org/
8) Peruse fresh produce at one of the many farmer's markets in the Twin Cities. My favorite? Mill City Farmers Market. Located right next to the Guthrie, it's not only beautiful but features many local farmers, artisans, and restaurants. More info here: http://millcityfarmersmarket.org/.
9) Check out "plant nite", where you get together with friends, drink wine, and put together a beautiful little table top garden. How cool is that? Just as messy as paint nite, but you get to bring home a pretty little plant. More info here: https://www.plantnite.com/pages/home/index
10) Did you know our beloved Twin Cities used to be a haven for the likes of Al Capone, John Dillinger, and Babyface Nelson? Learn more at the super-cool Gangster Tour, which brings you back to prohibition times in St. Paul when Dillinger was evading the newly-created FBI. More information here: http://www.wabashastreetcaves.com/gangster.html.
After the tour, belly up to the GORGEOUSLY remodeled Commodore Bar for a Sidecar or "Ma Barkers Nightcap", a delicious cocktail made using local coffee, rum, baileys, and coffee whipped cream.
11) Grab your best girlfriends, throw on an effortlessly French-inspired outfit (don't forget the red lipstick!) and brunch at St. Genevieve. You will swear you're in Paris.
12) Celebrate Grand Old Day the first weekend in June! On Sunday, the Avenue will shut down and there will be food trucks galore, special offers from Grand Ave businesses, and live music from the likes of Charlie Parr and Tim Sigler.
13) Looking to do a little miniature road trip? Grab a coffee and drive on down to my favorite neighborhood in Minnesota - Excelsior, the second weekend in June (the 11th & 12th) for art, food, drinks, etc! When you're done perusing the art tents, walk up to Yumi's for the best sushi in town.
14) Try cuisine from around the world at Midtown Global Market.
15) Pack a picnik and enjoy an outdoor movie in the park (Minneapolis' park system was just votied #1 in the country!!)- more information here: www.minneapolisparks.org
16) Belfast Cowboys at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Don't miss it.
17) Minnesota Zoo. Are you military? The zoo offers FREE entry to military personnel (and half price for family members) from July 1-7.
18) Scavenge for treasure and one of the cities many vintage/consignment shops. My favorites? Rewind, June, Fashion Avenue, and GH2.
19) Dying to go to Cuba now that the restrictions have been (sorta) lifted? Instead of traveling all that way, enjoy an authentic Cuban meal at Victor's 1959. Tip? Their brunch is amazing.
20) Get a library card. Use it.
21) Try your hand at salsa dancing! Friday & Saturday nights at the Loring Pasta Bar. I've been wanting to do this FOREVER.
22) Visit the coolest speakeasy in town, Volstead's Emporium. Try to find the secret room.
23) Learn some fascinating Minneapolis history while enjoying an awesome view from the Foshay Museum and Observation Deck. More information here: www.wminneapolishotel.com
24) Pay tribute to Prince and see a show at First Ave.
25) Grab a scoop of ice cream at one of the Twin Cities many amazing ice cream shops: Grand Ole Creamery, Izzys, Sebastian Joes, Milkjam...
26) Try to get reservations at Travail. Still waiting to go, and delightfully intrigued...
27) It's not Churchill Downs, but Canterbury is the MN version. Thrown on a big hat and throw down some cash on a horse.
28) Leave a note for the elf on Lake Harriet. Come back the next day for his response. Look for the tiny wooden door in the base of an ash tree along the trail.
29) Take a free outdoor yoga class. More info: http://twincitiesonthecheap.com
30) Take a moment and thank those who make our beautiful Twin Cities safe. Whether it's a police officer, a fireman/woman, an EMT/paramedic, a veteran...take just a moment out of your day if you happen to run into one of these individuals and say "thank you". The put their lives on the line day in and day out. They deserve our respect and gratitude.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer?