Have Fun Before, During & After General Conference
From picturesque lakes and parks to Broadway-worthy live theater to sporting events, Minneapolis has activities for all ages and interests. Here are some of our favorites that we recommend to you during your stay.
The Walker began as the private art collection of lumber baron Thomas Barlow Walker in the late 1800s and is one of the five most visited modern and contemporary art museums in the country. And the sculpture garden, which opened in the 1980s, is one of the nation’s largest urban sculpture parks. Its centerpiece, the famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” has become a beloved symbol of the Twin Cities.
The big draw is the park’s 53-foot Minnehaha Falls. The park is one of the oldest in Minneapolis and also features beautiful limestone bluffs and river overlooks. In the summer, visitors can enjoy performances at the bandstands, bike along the paths, play disc golf, and walk through the garden.
The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge-turned-scenic walkway crossing the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls. Made of native granite and limestone, it consists of 23 arches and offers magnificent views of St. Anthony Falls, downtown Minneapolis, the Guthrie Theater, and the city’s old mill ruins. The bridge is surrounded by green space, bike paths, and scenic rest spots.
Minnesota summers and outdoor baseball at Target Field go hand in hand. Before attending a game, you might consider walking around the outside space called Target Plaza. It offers multiple photo opportunities, including an oversized bronze glove, statues of former Twins Hall of Famers, and the “Tradition Wall” that recognizes every player who has ever worn a Twins jersey. If you’re a die-hard baseball fan and want to go behind-the-scenes, you can even tour the stadium.
This internationally themed public market features unique gifts, cultural experiences, and world-class food. Home to about 45 businesses spanning 22 cultures, it’s a vibrant economic and cultural center and a gathering place for local groups. Go there to dine, to shop, or both.
Admission is free to this fine art museum, admired by a half million art lovers each year, —and guests can browse masterpieces by famous artists from around the world, in addition to 40,000-year-old artifacts. There are always special exhibits as well (they do require paid tickets).
Minnesota is the land of (more than) 10,000 lakes, so you might as well see some of them while you’re here! The shorelines of Lake Harriet, Bde Maka Ska, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake, and Brownie Lake are connected to each other by more than 15 miles of biking and walking trails, and to Lyndale Park. And you can do a lot more than walk around the lakes; other amenities include canoe rentals, sand beaches, playgrounds, a fishing pier, a rose garden, and a bandstand with free movies and music in the summer.
Como Zoo in St. Paul offers an impressive array of free animal exhibits, including a seal island, a large cat exhibit and a variety of aquatic life, primates, birds and African hoofed animals, along with a world-class polar bear exhibit. The beautiful indoor conservatory contains two acres of plant life, including ferns, orchids, seasonal flowers, and bonsai trees.
Since its opening in the early 1990s, the Mall of America has been a big draw to the Twin Cities. The outer ring of the mall features multiple floors of shopping, and the center is home to Nickelodeon Universe, a theme park with rides. The mall is the largest in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. There’s enough space inside to fit seven Yankee Stadiums.
Located in the western suburb of Chanhassen, Paisley Park was the late-musician Prince’s private estate and production complex. Its construction began following the success of Purple Rain in the 1980s. Prince created, produced, and performed inside this private sanctuary. It’s now open to public tours, providing fans the opportunity to experience what his life there was like.
Credits: Header Image, Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory credit Therese Jennings/Footer Image, Chain of Lakes credit Jeremy Yoder