Kayaking the Mississippi River

Kayaking the Mississippi River

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150 Things to do in Minneapolis

We gathered 150 of our favorite things to do. Visit Go Minneapolis to save on all activities. No matter the season, this list will keep you busy:


  1. Walk around Lake Harriet at sunset so you end up at the band shell for a little summer music. Then head up the hill to Sebastian Joe's for ice cream (two scoops, of course).
  2. Spend the first two weeks of August racing from show to show for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Bonus: The first weekend in August, you can catch a Fringe performance in Uptown and then spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the Uptown Art Fair. End the day with a cool drink and good food at Chino Latino.
  3.  Find adventure on the Mississippi and kayak with the pros at Above the Falls Sports.
  4. Enjoy lawn bowling on the roof at Brit's Pub.
  5. iPod out of juice? Head on over to one of the five major Minneapolis parks anytime during the week to hear live music, part of Minneapolis Music and Movies in the Parks.
  6. Sit on the deck of Tugg's Tavern at Saint Anthony Main in the summertime—enjoy a stuffed burger and lemonade while taking in the skyline and riverfront views.
  7. Play bocce ball at the Nomad World Pub, or outdoors at the many Minneapolis parks.
  8. Canoe and look at the beautiful houses along Lake of the Isles.
  9. Enjoy the patio view over dinner at Monte Carlo in the summer.
  10. Shop and eat your way through Mill City Farmers Market on a Saturday morning.
  11. 450 different types of food served up deep fried, in a bucket, wrapped up and even on a stick warrant a trip to the Minnesota State Fair.
  12. View one of the largest fireworks displays in the country on the riverfront on July 4, then return for an even bigger one that wraps up the Minneapolis Aquatennial each summer.
  13. Catch some curb and watch the Art Car Parade in Uptown.
  14. Stroll through a Japanese peace garden and the country’s second oldest public rose garden, located on picturesque Lake Harriet—on Minneapolis's Chain of Lakes.
  15. Catch a glimpse of a Queen (the Queen of the Lakes) at an Aquatennial Parade.
  16. Watch the world go by from a patio table outside most restaurants in Minneapolis.
  17. Get a bird's eye view of downtown Minneapolis from Prohibition, situated on the 27th floor of W at the Foshay.
  18. Dance, drink and get "diva-d" at Twin Cities Pride Fest, the largest, free gay pride festival in the country.
  19. Watch the biggest Internet Cat Video Festival in the world with the Walker Art Center.
  20. Float down the Mississippi on the Minneapolis Queen.
  21. Rent a bike built for two, or four -- or a boat! -- from Wheel Fun Rentals, and glide around or in Lake Calhoun. 
  22. Sit under the stars and watch a movie in Loring Park.
  23. Hop on a Nice Ride bike at one of the hundred+ stations and explore the city on two wheels of eco-friendliness.
  24. Rock out at the party "of a higher order": the annual Basilica Block Party.
  25. Nosh on pomme frites and sip great beers, French, of course, at Café Barbette's Bastille Day Block Party.
  26. Get your hip hop fix at Fifth Element record shop in Uptown, the official Rhymesayers store.
  27. Go old school at Via's Vintage Wear in Uptown.
  28. Cool off with a pint and watch a game of soccer at The Local, a favorite Irish pub on Nicollet.
  29. Catch a flick at the Riverview Theater and then set up camp with friends and a flight of wine on the patio of the Riverview Cafe wine bar.
  30. Get your Mary Tyler Moore pic at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet & 5th, then Shop Minneapolis for artistic, locally made retail items.
  31. Play softball in one of Minneapolis's 179 parks.
  32. Attend a Sunday morning worship service at the Lake Harriet Bandshell or Minnehaha Falls.
  33. Go back in time on the Lake Harriet Streetcar.
  34. Attend the free family day at the Walker Art Center.
  35. Learn about Minneapolis history in 19 minutes flat at Mill City Museum.
  36. Hop on the Tiki Tram running between Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, Betty Danger's Country Club and Donny Dirk's Zombie Den in "Nordeast" Minneapolis to try all three hot spots in one evening.


  1. Buy some original art at the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association Fall Fine Arts Show.
  2. Cruise down Victory Memorial Drive to Theodore Wirth Parkway and beyond, watching the wildlife (yes, in the city limits).
  3. Play Frisbee golf—the Minneapolis area hosts more disc golf parks than almost any other metropolitan area in the U.S.
  4. Explore Minneapolis with your taste buds at Spoonriver, Fogo de Chao, Saffron and Borough.
  5. Enjoy dinner at FireLake Grillhouse followed by a touring Broadway show at the Historic State or Orpheum Theatre.
  6. Grab a monocle, top hat and your best British accent and sample some bangers and mash with authentic English beer at Brit’s Pub.
  7. Get your football fix by watching a Gophers game at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, then get professional and watch the Vikings there on Sunday.
  8. Do the Mill City Suds Run or any of the numerous runs hosted by Twin Cities in Motion.
  9. Relax over a yummy brunch at Keys Café Foshay.
  10. Learn something from a book—and the architecture—at the Minneapolis Central Library.
  11. Arrive early and stay late at Gasthof's Oktoberfest festival every autumn.
  12. Hear inspirational music at the Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest basilica in the country.
  13. Enjoy a Tourtiere (French Meat Pie) after Sunday service at Minneapolis’s oldest church: Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
  14. Shop the hottest boutique scene in town in the Fodor’s 2016 Go List ranking of world destinations to visit – the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis.
  15. Take a day to see nearly 100,000 items on display from 5,000 years at the always-free Minneapolis Institute of Art (call it Mia).
  16. Toga up and taste authentic Greek food and wine (along with music and cooking demos) at the Minneapolis Greek Festival.
  17. Take a backstage tour of the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater.
  18. Pick an apple or a bushel up at the Apple House at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
  19. Run around any of Minneapolis's 22 lakes to train for the Twin Cities Marathon in October.
  20. Take home something with a Latin flair from Mercado Central, a market on Lake Street with more than 40 Latino businesses.
  21. Steal a kiss with your sweetheart on the Stone Arch Bridge.
  22. Duck into the LeMeridien Chambers Hotel's lobby and view the modern art collection.
  23. Honor the dining greats of the year and your inner foodie at the annual Charlie Awards
  24. Shop at one of the eclectic boutiques in Northeast Minneapolis for a little something new.
  25. See a show, puppet-style, at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.
  26. Watch a classic movie—from the 1940s or the 1980s—at midnight on Saturdays at the Uptown Theater.
  27. Learn about Minneapolis history and explore mill ruins at the Mill City Museum and Mill Ruins Park on the Mississippi Riverfront.
  28. Rent a canoe and float on Lake of the Isles while enjoying the fall colors.
  29. Have a pint and a pedal on a Pedal Pub or the Traveling Tap.
  30. Grab a bench at a Gophers basketball game at the University of Minnesota.
  31. Starting in November, ice skate indoors at The Depot ice rink on Washington Avenue.
  32. Take the whole family for "kids eat free" day (Sunday) at popular local restaurants D'Amico & Sons or Mozza Mia (parents may need to purchase entrees).
  33. Get artsy with the Zenon Dance Company at the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts.


  1. Known as the “Best of the Midwest,” check out the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.
  2. Bike or run around Lake Harriet or Lake Calhoun on a sunny weekend afternoon.
  3. Enjoy outdoor baseball in one of the best ballparks in the nation: Target Field.
  4. Take a lengthy bike ride with a bunch of friends along the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.
  5. Take the walking path out of Boom Island, down to St. Anthony Main and across the Stone Arch Bridge, following the Mississippi River back to Boom Island.
  6. Celebrate spring, St. Patty's day or not, with friends over appetizers and a pint at Kieran's Irish Pub.
  7. De-stress with a jaunt or ride on a new trail with a map from Bike Walk Twin Cities.
  8. Peruse the artists' galleries and studios at the Northrup King building in Minneapolis.
  9. Meet an artist and buy his or her work at Northeast Minneapolis's Art-a-Whirl weekend.
  10. Shop the boutiques of the North Loop, starting at the massive MartinPatrick 3.
  11. Make the pilgrimage and find a treasure at the quaint Bryn Mawr neighborhood's annual Festival of Garage Sales.
  12. Catch a glimpse of blooming talent at the Children's Theatre Company, the Tony Award-winning theater for youth.
  13. Canoe down Minnehaha Creek, then view the storied Minnehaha Falls.
  14. Learn Scandinavian customs and traditions in the historic Turnblad mansion at the American Swedish Institute.
  15. Spice up your breakfast at the well-loved, Cuban-flavored Victor's 1959 Café.
  16. Stop to smell the flowers at the Macy's Spring Flower Show in its eighth floor auditorium at the flagship downtown Minneapolis store.
  17. Fish for walleye at Lake Nokomis and Muskie at Lake Calhoun.
  18. Get out that formal wear and celebrate local theatre at the Minneapolis-St. Paul area's own version of the Tony Awards, the Iveys.
  19. Take a trip on two wheels you don't have to pedal with a Magical History Tour on a Segway.
  20. Cool off with a cone from Izzy's Ice Cream (and don't forget the Izzy's scoop!).
  21. Line up for a May Day parade like no other on Bloomington Avenue.
  22. Enjoy late-night cabaret theater every Saturday night at Balls at the Southern Theater.
  23. Shop for locally designed clothing at Cliché, Local Motion and Design Collective.
  24. Stop and smell the roses at Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
  25. Cruise the Mt. Curve neighborhood, shaded by trees and surrounded by gorgeous homes.
  26. Hit the certified organic juice bar at the Wedge—one of the highest grossing food co-ops in the country.
  27. Catch an indie film at the Lagoon Theater.
  28. Get a taste of Eastern European goodness at Kramarczuk's Deli in "Nordeast" Minneapolis.
  29. Salsa dance at Loring Pasta Bar in a place Bob Dylan used to live above.
  30. Be pampered for cheap at the Aveda Institute in Northeast Minneapolis.
  31. Break out some verse at a poetry slam in Live Literature at Kieran's Irish Pub.
  32. Eat at a place that started at a food truck: World Street Kitchen
  33. Hang around for the hysterical improv session after a performance at the Brave New Workshop, the country's oldest satricial comedy club.
  34. Ask the Lake Harriet elf a question via note left inside his door (he lives in a tree just past S. Oliver Ave.). Come back the next day to find the answer, always ending with "I believe in you."


  1. Have dinner along a window table at Café Lurcat on a winter night, overlooking Loring Park covered in snow and lit by the streetlights.
  2. During the holidays, shop and drink warm Gluhwein at Holidazzle, Minneapolis' version of a European holiday market.
  3. Go ice skating on lakes, ponds and community center fields.
  4. Try rock-climbing indoors at Midwest Mountaineering for free.
  5. Sample the house-made beer selection at Town Hall Brewery.
  6. Bowl! Pick a lane at Bryant Lake Bowl, Elsie's or Memory Lanes.
  7. Enjoy a classic Christmas custom by taking in the annual rendition of A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater.
  8. Go ice-fishing on the frozen lakes.
  9. Spoil yourself for no apparent reason at Fogo de Chão, Chino Latino or Ichiban.
  10. Feeling cheap? Go people-watching in Uptown.
  11. Become a kid again at Macy’s 8th Floor Holiday Display, "A Day in the Life of an Elf." (Leave your letter for Santa, too.)
  12. Peruse (and buy) a new car at the Twin Cities Auto Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
  13. Saddle up to bar at the historic Band Box Diner for a classic breakfast, straight from the griddle.
  14. Challenge your creativity at Paper Source in Uptown.
  15. Warm up with a hot pizza pie at Pizza Luce—open late!
  16. Have the book butler at the Commons Hotel bring a volume up to your room and curl up for a read.
  17. Ride a rollercoaster or cross the park on a zip line at Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor theme park in the nation.
  18. Get competitive with the hipsters at the Uptown VFW on bingo night.
  19. Visit the club that made Prince famous: First Avenue.
  20. Cross-country ski at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis with a view of the skyline ahead of you.
  21. Jitterbug every Thursday night at Northeast Minneapolis' 301 on Main at TC Swing's Late Night Swing starting at 10 p.m.
  22. Explore the inner author in you at Open Book literary arts center in the Mill District.
  23. Peruse global wares and flavors of the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street.
  24. Walk the skyways AND play golf at the Skyway Open. Careful, though; the IDS skyway breaks left.
  25. Release your inner rowdy college side at a Minnesota Gopher basketball or hockey game.
  26. Sample wines from around the world at Lucia's in Uptown.
  27. More worldly fun: Catch performance artists from around the globe at Cedar Cultural Center on the West Bank.
  28. Sip a drink at the Ice Bar at Marin—bring your mittens or stand next to the fire! Or just head downstairs to the cozy library.
  29. Warm up with the comfort rotisserie cooking at Brasa.
  30. Grab a bite at Hubert's and then catch a Timberwolves game at Target Center.
  31. Discover your inner artist with a class at Intermedia Arts.
  32. Stock up on paintings, photography, sculpture and more at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's annual student art sale.
  33. Take a tour of holiday lights with MetroConnections.
  34. Tuck under a cozy blanket with your sweetie and watch the sights from the horse-drawn carriage of the Hitching Company.
  35. Take photos of frozen St. Anthony Falls from the Guthrie’s Endless Bridge that jets out over the Mississippi.
  36. Ski—or just watch—the breathtakingly beautiful Luminary Loppet each February in the City of Lakes Loppet. The course is lit by thousands of candle lights.
  37. Bundle up and go watch amateur and pro athletes compete in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis.


  1. Get the only outdoor observation deck view of Minneapolis and learn a little history at the Foshay Museum and Observation Deck on the top of the Foshay Tower.
  2. Sing along with the dueling pianos at The Shout House.
  3. Take in some tunes at one of the many local bars and theaters. Favorites include: Triple Rock Social Club, Fine Line Music Cafe, the Varsity Theater and 331 Club.
  4. Explore the secret doorways of The PourHouse, then hop on their Party Bus for a ride to the Parlor Bar or Constantine.
  5. Go to an alternate sporting event—from roller derby and broomball to skijoring and Ultimate Frisbee.
  6. Play pub trivia every night of the week at a different cool spot: The Lyndale Tap House (Sunday), Aster Cafe (Monday), Insight Brewing (Tuesday), Grumpy's NE, Hexagon, Pizza Luce or Legends (Wednesday), Brit's Pub (Thursday), 331 Club (Friday), Mad Jack's (Saturday) (and many, many more. We really enjoy trivia night.)
  7. Enjoy the views and the food year-round from the patio of Union Rooftop, with or without the glass enclosed cover.
  8. Chow on fabulous sushi or steaks at Seven, then enjoy their rooftop Sky Bar (year-round!).
  9. Sip a brew at the Minneapolis Convention Center's Craft Bar & Lounge or any of the members of the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild.