Things to Do in Minneapolis
As I mentioned in my previous blog Where to Eat & Drink in Minneapolis, there really was so much to do during the summer in the city that I needed at least two posts to cover everything. That's everything we did - certainly not everything this is to do! From art to shopping and everything in between, here are the highlights from our trip to Minneapolis!
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
When I started researching things to do in Minneapolis, I kept seeing this huge spoon with a cherry on top. As it turns out, this famous art piece and others throughout the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden have become true symbols of the city. You have to see it to believe how huge this blue rooster is, and of course there's a "love" sign in this city full of acceptance.
Can Can Wonderland
Far from your average putt putt place, each hole at Can Can Wonderland is a work of art. The course is so creative that when you take a swing, your golf ball might go into a frog's mouth, take a ferris wheel ride, power a clash of cymbals, dodge a twister, or even pay homage to Prince on a purple runway.
Not only does the Minneapolis-St. Paul artist community design the holes, but they're supported by your admission too. The whole thing is housed in an old American Can Company warehouse (think Campbell's Soup), and while you wait to tee up, there's no shortage of vintage arcade games and carnival food favorites.
I Like You
Forget political signs in your yard...many Minneapolins (is that a word?) had rainbow yard signs reading "all are welcome here," and of course you can find them at a store called I Like You. This shop's iconic, highly-Instagrammable wall caught my eye in searching for places to shop in Minneapolis, and I'm so glad it did. It's full of fun trinkets, artwork, cards, jewelry and more, most of which are made by local artisans. It sounded - and it was - right up my alley.
50th and France
Have you ever seen a cuter retro pink movie theater sign? 50th and France is a wonderful little collection of both boutique businesses and bigger brands in an area called Edina (hence the sign). As with the rest of Minneapolis, there was a Caribou Coffee on every corner. After a while I realized they were based in Minneapolis, and I have to say they brew some good stuff!
Basilica of Saint Mary
We were originally planning to make the drive to Minneapolis on a Sunday, but when we discovered the Basilica of Saint Mary in our planning, we decided we had to drive up a day early so we could go to mass there on a Sunday. A church becomes a basilica by papal designation, and this church was actually the first basilica in the United States. It's one of the biggest and most beautiful sanctuaries I've ever seen, and to my delight they welcomed exploring after mass.
Target might seem like an odd destination on most vacations, but let's not forget Target is based in Minneapolis, and this store was right next to the downtown corporate headquarters. I called it the "Target of the future" because I bet (or hope) this is what they will all look like one day. I mean can you believe the cityscape by the elevators or the dressing room? Not to mention the best product selection ever.
Kayaking on Lake Calhoun
I am admittedly only selectively outdoorsy. I love horseback riding and running, and I can even do lakes and waterskiing, but I had never been kayaking. It wasn't easy, but I did get the hang of it, so rest assured if I can do it, you can do it :) It was also perfect weather for anything outdoors, and I love that there are lakes right there in town.
Mall of America
Last but not least, you can't go to Minneapolis without hitting up the Mall of America. I think our iPhones said we walked multiple miles in that place, so Shake Shack was well deserved. From the Lego experience store to the American Girl place, this mall is its own playground. Don't worry, we went in some non-kid-stores too :) I even found a jacket at cool regional chain called Ragstock.