5 Great Place to Have a Picnic in Minneapolis/St Paul, MN

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Minneapolis or St Paul.

Como Park

One of the best parks for picnicking in any state. The picnic areas are vast and well-maintained. One of my favorite spots is the Como Park Fire Pits, located in the Southwest part of the park, where picnic tables, grills, and large fire pits are laid out for a perfect day of picnicking. Como Park is also home to a zoo and conservatory as well as a large lake and golf course. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a must-see in this park. Another favorite place is the Hamm Memorial Falls where flowering bushes adorn pathways with charming waterfalls and lake views. 

Minnehaha Falls Regional Park

A 193 acre park along the Mississippi River, Minnehaha is a beloved Minnesota park, and its waterfall has even been celebrated in a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem. For the poetic at heart, the miles of wooded trails through the park leading to dramatic waterfalls cannot be missed. You can pack a lunch to eat on the large rocks below the waterfall or on the beach near the water. Wabun Picnic Area has several picnic shelters, a playground, disc golf, and a wading area to cool down in the water. For a more romantic picnic take a stroll through Minnehaha Falls Pergola Garden.

Hidden Falls Regional Park

Located directly across from Minnehaha Falls is this lesser-known, but no less beloved park. There are miles of trails winding up, down, and around the Mississippi River to the hidden waterfalls of this park. Make sure to bring a camera as you go through this park. There are plenty of designated picnic pavilions as well. 

Lilydale/Harriet Island Regional Park

Nestled between the Mississippi and Pickerel Lakes, this park is situated on an island just south of St Paul. There are several scenic, open lawns with picnic tables scattered about. You can enjoy a relaxing picnic watching Riverboats go by or track the sunset above vibrantly colored trees in the Fall. 

Theodore Wirth Regional Park

Minnesota is known for its natural beauty and this 759-acre park with a lake and urban forest is proof. Bassett Creek runs through almost the entirety of the park and its many hiking trails follow it. A Beach House with a nearby playground sits beside Wirth Lake. The Southern part of the park is home to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, one of the best places for a day out in nature and a picnic.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Minneapolis, MN

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Mall of America

2131 Lindau Lane, Bloomington, MN 55425

The Mall of America opened in 1992 and is the seventh-largest shopping mall in the world and the largest in the western hemisphere. Approximately 40 million people visit the Mall annually, and eighty percent of visitors are from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Illinois, Ohio, and Canada. In addition to the Mall, outside of the Mall are additional hotels, restaurants, and stores. The Mall of America and the additional businesses meet at the South Loop District in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Minnehaha Falls

4801 S Minnehaha Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Minnehaha Park is a city park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, and home to Minnehaha Falls and the lower reaches of Minnehaha Creek. The park was designed by landscape architect Horace W.S. Cleveland in 1883 as part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system and was part of the popular steamboat Upper Mississippi River “Fashionable Tour” in the 1800s. The park preserves historic sites that illustrate transportation, pioneering, and architectural themes. Preserved structures include the Minnehaha Princess Station, a Victorian train depot built in the 1870s; the John H. Stevens House, built-in 1849 and moved to the park from its original location in 1896, utilizing horses and 10,000 school children; and the Longfellow House, a house built to resemble the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Nickelodeon Universe

2131 Lindau Lane, Bloomington, MN 55425

Nickelodeon Universe is the name of two indoor amusement parks located at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, and American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey, consisting of attractions and rides based on Nickelodeon’s popular franchises. The amusement parks are owned and operated by the Triple Five Group with licensing rights from ViacomCBS, which owns Nickelodeon. On August 18, 2009, Nickelodeon and Southern Star Amusement announced that a Nickelodeon Universe would be built in New Orleans, Louisiana, to replace the former Six Flags New Orleans that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and would open around the end of 2010. It was set to be the first outdoor Nickelodeon Universe theme park, but on November 9, 2009, Nickelodeon announced that it had ended the licensing agreement with Southern Star Amusements.

Stone Arch Bridge

100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire Mississippi River. It is the second oldest bridge on the river next to Eads Bridge. The bridge was built to connect the railway system to the new Union Depot, which at that time was planned to be built between Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Minneapolis

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! While the pandemic continues to put a damper on things and Minneapolis just announced it has canceled its Red, White, and Boom fireworks display for the second summer in a row, there are still some celebrations returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Minneapolis this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

City Sponsored Events

One of the main reasons for the city’s aforementioned decision to cancel the Red, White, and Boom fireworks show was that they simply didn’t have enough time to plan it by the time they realized that that type of outdoor gathering would be safe this summer. So instead, the Park and Recreation Board is planning to host an assortment of fun Fourth of July events at various parks around the city. It’s all still in the works, but you’ll want to check back here for more details as the date approaches!

Wabun Picnic Area

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Wabun Picnic Area in Minnehaha Regional Park. It has picnic shelters (both for reservation and first-come-first-served), picnic tables, restrooms, a wading pool, and disc golf. You’re allowed to bring a grill as long as you don’t dispose of charcoal in the park’s garbage cans.

If you’re planning to make a full day of it, there are plenty of adventures to be had in the greater park. Minnehaha Park is the home of hiking trails where you can come across beautiful limestone bluffs, overlooks of the river, and the 53-foot Minnehaha Falls.

Go to a Concert

The nearby town of White Bear Lake, less than half an hour from Minneapolis, is hosting A Bluegrass Fourth of July all day on the 4th. The event takes place at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center, runs from 12:30 – 8:30 pm, and costs $10 per band, or $20 for an all-day ticket. There will three bluegrass bands performing on the outdoor stage and you’re encouraged to bring a lawn chair or a blanket. There will be food trucks and beverages, too!

Cedar Lake East Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and since Minnesota is known as The Land of 10,000 Lakes, you won’t have trouble finding beaches near Minneapolis! You can find a full list of beaches managed by the recreation department here, but a great one to go to is Cedar Lake East Beach. This lovely, sandy spot is popular for both swimming and other recreational activities like fishing.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Minneapolis

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Normandale Japanese Garden

9700 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

As long as Normandale’s buildings are allowed to be open, the garden will remain open as well.  The beauty and serenity of the garden make it ideal for contemplation and renewal of the spirit.  The garden is open year-round at no charge, except when reserved for special events. We ask that children under 12 not visit the garden without supervision. A self-guided tour brochure is available inside the square shelter located in the garden. If you are not able to visit the garden, our online tour describes the landscaping and architectural features.

NE Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens

3300 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

The focus of the gardens is to study reblooming iris for Minnesota gardens, to collect and preserve Minnesota Iris Introductions, past and present, and to showcase for public education the unique variety of colors and characteristics the many different iris species display. Specifically, to research which iris species and cultivars grow and rebloom well in Zone 4 Minnesota gardens.

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

1225 Estabrook Dr, Saint Paul, MN

Enjoy exotic plants and beautiful displays in our various gardens.

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

3675 Arboretum Blvd, Chanhassen, MN 55317

At the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, we seek to: welcome, inform, and inspire all through outstanding displays, protected natural areas, horticultural research, and education.

JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden

2900 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

In a picturesque corner of Theodore Wirth Park sits the one-acre JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden.  From grand expanses to hidden gems, gardens throughout the park system offer flowers, history, sculpture, community hubs, and more.

Munsinger Gardens and Clemens Gardens

Riverside Dr SE, St Cloud, MN 56301

These are two distinct but adjacent gardens on the banks of the Mississippi River. Both Gardens dazzle from late spring deep into fall. The gardens are open every day from 6:00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m., spring to fall. There is no admission fee.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Minneapolis

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Hi-Lo Diner

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Minneapolis, there’s no better place for brunch than Hi-Lo Diner, a hip spot set in a 1957 diner! There’s a lovely assortment of breakfast foods, pies, and non-alcoholic beverages available, but make sure you try one of their house-made donuts while you’re there!

Lakeside Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Gold Medal Park -the name says it all, right? Here, you can take in lovely views of the Mississippi River and a large sculpture. Conveniently located downtown, this green space is near a bunch of yummy places where you can pick up take-out, too, in case you don’t feel like packing picnic food.

Socially Handcrafted

If you want something unique to do with your mom, try a group crafting workshop at Socially Handcrafted. This fun, woman-owned DIY spot is located in the warehouse district of nearby Burnsville and is the perfect place for a girls’ night. You and mom will get to make and take home a fun project! If you prefer, they have the option of creating a “Make and Take Kit” so that you can DIY from the comfort and safety of your home.

Afternoon Tea

Do you and your mom enjoy feeling fancy? If so, there’s not much fancier than enjoying n English-style high tea! You can enjoy this event in style at the St. Paul Hotel, sipping tea while you’re serenaded by live piano music. Your tea will come with a two-tier platter of sweets, scones, and tea sandwiches. The tea on Mother’s Day begins at 1 pm and lasts for two hours – make sure to reserve your tickets well in advance as their teas often sell out.

Hai Hai

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a night out at a famous restaurant. Consider one of the most accoladed restaurants in Minneapolis: Hai Hai. This Southeast Asian restaurant was named on “best new restaurant” lists by Thrillist, Eater, and Esquire in 2018. Its chef has also been a James Beard award finalist for Best Chef: Midwest in both 2020 and 2019.

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Best Car Washes in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Minneapolis has to offer.

First, we recommend Twin Cities Mobile Car Wash & Detailing. This shop has several packages to choose from, including a basic hand wash, interior detailing, exterior detailing, or the whole shebang. Fees increase with the size of your vehicle. They service cars, SUV’s, trucks, minivans, and full-sized vans. They have special a la carte services that you may add on to your detailing package, such as degreasing your engine, leather cleaning and conditioning, clay bar and hand wax, or carpet cleaning. Call or go online to book your appointment today.

Second, we suggest Supa Auto Detailing. This shop offers three packages for detailing. You can choose interior only, exterior only, or both together in their complete detailing package. This shop is by appointment only, so be sure to call or go online to do so. They service vehicles of all kinds, from cars to trucks, from SUV’s to minivans, to full-sized vans to sports cars, whatever you drive, you’ll be able to come on down to have it look like it did the day you drove it home. With over 20 years of experience, you really can’t go wrong at Supa Auto Detailing.

Finally, Sincere Detailing Pros might just be what you’re looking for. This shop is on the move. Whether you’re at work or home, for an extra fee, they’ll come to you! They have several packages from which to choose, from the simple Sincere Hand Wash to the Full Sincere Butler Dealership Package. They also offer add-on packages for whatever your car might need, including pet hair removal, engine detail, and light assembly treatment. They even treat black paint and work hard to remove those swirls. Their motto is, “We like it dirty, you like it clean.” Come on down and find out what all the fuss is about. Call or go online to book your appointment.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Wash Me Car Wash on Nicollet Ave., Central Car Wash on Central Ave. NE, or Village Express Wash on NE Stinson Blvd. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Minneapolis

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Minneapolis and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Minneapolis that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than the Radisson RED. This hotel is on the cutting edge, with modern features like streaming, app-based room service, keyless room entry, and an Events and Games Studio that comes equipped with Wi-Fi and an LED projector. Cool artwork abounds throughout the hotel in the form of murals, colorful décor, and art tiles. You can enjoy delicious food and craft cocktails in the onsite bar and restaurant, or venture out into Minneapolis’s East End, a vibrant neighborhood with attractions like the Guthrie Theater. The hotel allows up to two dogs or cats who are 40 lbs. each. Contact the hotel if your pet weighs more than 40 lbs. to discuss terms for a waiver. Your pet will get VIP treatment and will receive a bandana, a bed, and a water and food dish.

Loews Minneapolis

Traveling with more than just a pet? A fun place for families with kids to stay is the Loews Minneapolis. They have a “Loews Loves Families” program, that includes cribs and nightlights, kid-friendly menus, activities, and city guides chock full of family-friendly things to do. A stay at this luxury hotel will be very comfortable for adults in your party, too, due to amenities like their spa and bar & lounge. Better yet, U.S. News & World Report named it the best hotel in the state of Minnesota! Loews goes above and beyond for pets, too. Your pet will be presented with treats and food bowls upon arrival and the hotel will provide you with whatever else is needed – litter and litter boxes, scratching posts, bedding, leashes and collars, doggie pick-up bags, and more. You may have up to two pets per room and well-behaved pets are allowed to stay in your room unattended.

Airbnb Studio

If you like doing your own thing, you should rent this Airbnb studio in a historic brownstone, where you and your pet will have private access to the whole place! This includes free parking, both powerful Wi-Fi and ethernet, and a kitchen. The Airbnb is stylishly decorated with an eclectic blend of antique and modern furnishings. You may bring up to two pets for a cleaning fee of $35 per pet.

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What to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you’ve found yourself in Minneapolis, Minnesota without anything to do, we have a few fantastic ideas that might get you excited to go on a new adventure. Minneapolis is full of fun and amazing things to do; these are only a handful. But perhaps you’ll be inspired and have a great time in this wonderful city. Let’s take a look at what Minneapolis has to offer.

First, we recommend the breathtaking American Swedish Institute. This campus includes the sweeping and epic Turnblad Mansion. Minnesota has a deep and rich history with Sweden, and this institute means to educate and keep that history alive. With art, artifacts, and various things on display, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time. Sweden is proudly displayed at the institute, and you will be in awe as you explore the city’s vast Scandinavian heritage.

Next, we suggest the iconic Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This garden is free to all and open every day of the year from 6am to 12 midnight. Come and peruse the grounds and see for yourself the famed Spoonbridge and Cherry, or the giant blue rooster known as Hanh/Cock! Various other art installments are on display, including “shadows” on the concrete. Sculptures are literally everywhere; you’ll be here for hours discovering it all. Come on down, pack a lunch, and bring the kids for a fun-filled day!

For those who love to step into nature, the Minnehaha Regional Park is perfect for a lovely hike. This park is one of the state’s oldest, and it is also one of its most popular. A 53-foot waterfall is its crowning feature, sure to take your breath away. Not only that, but limestone bluffs and overlooks on the river abound, making this one of the most scenic hikes you’re likely to take in the area. If you love the great outdoors, you do not want to miss the Minnehaha Regional Park. 

Finally, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is sure to tantalize your inner art lover. They feature exhibits by local artists, as well as regional. Currently, their most popular exhibit is In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art. This exhibit showcases art from African Americans of the American South and celebrates their legacies as well as gives homage to their ancestral memory. This beautiful and colorful art installment is a must-see for anyone in Minneapolis. Do not leave the city without seeing it at least once!

Other sites to see in Minneapolis include the Children’s Theatre Company, the Mill City Museum, or the Walker Art Center, just to name a few. But don’t take our word for it, take some time and check out Minneapolis for yourself. You might just find a few hidden gems on your own. Whether you’re on vacation, a business trip, or even if you’re a local, there is plenty to do in this town. Whatever you decide to do, one thing is for sure, the whole family will have a great time!

Links

On Air Parking (MSP) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Minneapolis-International-Airport-MSP

American Swedish Institute – https://www.asimn.org/

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – https://walkerart.org/visit/garden

Minnehaha Regional Park – https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks__lakes/minnehaha_regional_park/

Minneapolis Institute of Art – https://new.artsmia.org/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near MSP

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Minneapolis Health Department

505 S Fourth Ave, Room 520

Minneapolis, MN 55415

612.673.2301

Several Minneapolis retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Hy-Vee Pharmacy

·         Walgreens

·         Walmart

·         Sam’s Club

·         CVS

·         Costco

There is also the choice of being vaccinated at one of the participating hospitals or health centers.  Again, contact the hospital ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         Hennepin Healthcare Brooklyn Park Clinic

·         M Health Fairview – Oxboro

·         Hennepin Healthcare Richfield Clinic & Pharmacy

·         Specialists In Internal Medicine, PA

·         Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center

·         Hennepin Healthcare Whittier Clinic & Pharmacy

·         Park Nicollet Creekside Clinic – St Louis Park

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Why Minneapolis Should Be the Destination for Your Next #Adventure

Airport parking near MSP, try onairparking.com for the best rates!

Given the current situation with COVID-19, many people are cutting back on international travel and the number of places Americans are currently allowed to go internationally is very limited. So, if you’re looking to take a trip in the near future, your best bet is to make it a domestic trip. Read on to see why Minneapolis makes a fantastic adventure destination.

The Great Outdoors

Perfectly situated between The Chain of Lakes (Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet) and the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is a fantastic base for exploring the great outdoors. In addition to opportunities for kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing on the lakes and river, there are many parks within and just outside of city limits. For example, Minnehaha Park is a 193-acre city park just 5 minutes from MSP International Airport that offers a hike to a beautiful waterfall.

Should you want to venture further out, Minneapolis is a gateway to more remote outdoor locations. To visit a National Parks site, you can drive 3.5 hours to Lake Superior for kayaking around the jaw-droppingly beautiful Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. Or if you want something a bit closer, Taylor’s Falls is a cute small town surrounded by bluffs with lots of opportunities for hiking, camping, and canoeing. You can peruse more epic outdoor options across the state here.

Foodie Paradise

Chances are, Minneapolis is not the first town that comes to mind when you think of great food. But believe it or not, the city has an incredibly colorful food scene, mainly thanks to its large multicultural immigrant community.

In Minneapolis, foodies will be able to explore authentic cuisines that include Korean, Indigenous American, Somalian, Hmong, Afghani, and Scandinavian! A few great restaurants to start with include:

·        Owamni, an exciting new restaurant by The Sioux Chef team launching this Spring.

·        My Huong Kitchen for unbeatable banh mi and bubble tea.

·        Swedish Crown Bakery for Scandinavian pastries with a healthy twist.

Culture Trip

Minneapolis is a fantastic city for the arts, culture, and museums. There are too many good museums to list, but here are highlights:

·        You can get your art fix by taking a stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or dropping in to the Walker Art Center or the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

·        If you want to learn more about the immigrant populations that influenced the city, check out the American Swedish Institute, The Somali Museum of Minnesota, or The Museum of Russian Art.

·        To learn more about the original caretakers of the land, you should visit the Minneapolis American Indian Center, which has a gallery, a café featuring native food, and a gift shop with crafts by local artists.

And the city is also home to The Guthrie Theater who is working hard to participate in this new virtual landscape with virtual class offerings and streaming plays that celebrate Black voices. It’s been a tough year for the theatrical community, so you should be sure to give them some support.

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