What to Do
Is it really a visit to Minnesota if you haven’t strolled around a lake? We think not. Take in the views on the shores of Lake Bde Maka Ska, the largest link in the Chain of Lakes, then head to the fascinating galleries of the Bakken Museum, a Smithsonian-affiliated temple to scientific and technological innovation and invention. For an artsier gallery experience, the Walker Art Center offers indoor modern art exploration and the iconic (and free) outdoor sculpture garden featuring the selfie-magnet Spoonbridge and Cherry.
If you’ve ever wanted to expose yourself to Scandinavian culture beyond a trip to Ikea, the American Swedish Institute is the epicenter of Minneapolis’s sizeable Nordic community, and a fantastic place to explore Norse history, peruse great design and find fantastic gifts at the ASI Museum Store, and imagine the good life in a true Minneapolis mansion.
Shop your way through the afternoon! Local gift shop CorAzoN, located in the Longfellow neighborhood on Lake Street, offers a collection of stationary, shape-of-the-state home goods, cookbooks, local jewelry, and curious gifts for kids, friends, and pups that will keep you browsing for hours. (Be sure to grab a bottle of Cry Baby Craig’s pickled habanero & garlic hot sauce made by Minneapolis chef Craig Kaiser.) 14 Hill Gift Shop is another worthy stop showcasing “uncommon goods for uncommon people.” The eclectic, women-owned store features everything from barware and quirky ornaments to handmade games and beautiful bags, scarves, and jewelry. With several locations around the Twin Cities, home decor haven Patina also hosts a surprising collection of jewelry, toys, apparel, succulents, books, and stationary. The selection is always evolving, giving you a good reason to stop by whenever you’re in town again.
For a musically minded evening, find your way to Icehouse, an intimate, two-story music venue with an eclectic roster of low- or no-cover shows (think jazz, americana, West African, and local singer songwriters) you can watch from the comfort of your dinner table, or stop into Tapestry Folk Dance Center in South Minneapolis if you’re feeling social and kick up your heels. Over 28 dance styles are represented every week, like Flamenco, Somali, Hungarian, and Scottish or English Country Dance.