Minneapolis (min”ēăp’ulis) city (1990 pop. 368,383), seat of Hennepin co., E Minn., at the head of navigation on the Mississippi River, at St. Anthony Falls; inc. 1856.
150 Things to Do in Minneapolis / St. Paul
From Nordeast pub crawls to the Fringe, what we do for kicks is a big part of what makes us unique: We ski in the streets and we drive on the ice. We float milk-carton boats. We read in sculpture gardens, next to giant spoons and cherries.
We gathered 150 of our favorite things to do. 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. Enjoy lawn bowling on the roof at Brit’s Pub.
4. Run around Lake Calhoun, then grab a Jamba Juice at Whole Foods to refuel.
5. Sit on the deck of Tugg’s Tavern in Saint Anthony Main in the summertime—enjoy a stuffed burger and lemonade while taking in the skyline and riverfront views.
6. Play bocce ball at the Nomad World Pub, or outdoor at the many Minneapolis parks.
7. Canoe and look at the beautiful houses along Lake of the Isles.
8. Enjoy the patio views over dinner at Monte Carlo in the summer.
9. Shop and eat your way through Mill City Farmers Market on a Saturday morning.
10. Explore the city’s community Gardens.
11. View the largest fireworks display west of the Mississippi every July.
12. Catch some curb and watch the Art Car Parade in Uptown.
13. 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.
14. Catch a glimpse of a Queen (the Queen of the Lakes) at an Aquatennial Parade.
15. Watch the world go by at an outdoor concert in Peavey Plaza.
16. Get a bird’s eye view of downtown Minneapolis from Prohibition, situated on the 27th floor of the W at the Foshay
17. Dance, drink and get “diva-d” at Twin Cities Pride Fest, the largest free gay pride festival in the country.
18. Enjoy sidewalk dining at dozens of restaurants along downtown’s Nicollet Mall.
19. Float down the Mississippi on the Mississippi Queen.
20. Rent in-line skates in Uptown and glide around Lake Calhoun.
21. Sit under the stars and watch a movie in Loring Park.
22. After dinner in Uptown, saunter into Magers & Quinn bookstore—peruse the antique volumes and new bestsellers.
23. Rock out at the party “of a higher order”: the Basilica Block Party.
24. Nosh on pomme frites and sip great beers at Café Barbette‘s Bastille Day Block Party.
25. Get your hip hop fix at Fifth Element record shop in Uptown.
26. Go vintage at Via’s or Tatter’s boutiques.
27. Cool off with a pint and watch a game of soccer at The Local, a favorite Irish pub on Nicollet Mall.
28. Catch a flick at the Riverview Theater and then set up camp with friends and a flight of wine on the patio of the River View Wine Bar.
29. Dine outside and people-watch at Il Gato in Uptown.
30. Play softball in one of Minneapolis’s 170 parks, where the sport was created 100 years ago.
31. Attend a Sunday morning non-denominational service at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
32. Go back in time on the Lake Harriet Streetcar.
33. Attend the free family day at the Walker Art Center.
34. Learn about Minneapolis history in 19 minutes flat at Mill City Museum.
35. Grocery shop among chandeliers at Byerly’s.
36. Throw your tam in the air with Mary—the Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicollet Mall, that is.
37. Walk through the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center.
38. Cruise down Victory Memorial Drive to Theodore Wirth Parkway and beyond, watching the wildlife (yes, in the city limits).
39. Play Frisbee golf—the Minneapolis area hosts more disc golf parks than almost any other metropolitan area in the U.S.
40. Explore Minneapolis with your taste buds at Sanctuary, Spoonriver, French Meadow Bakery, La Belle Vie, Solera and Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine.
41. Enjoy dinner at the Oak Grille followed by a touring Broadway Show at the Historic State or Orpheum Theatre.
42. Sample the beer and sausage selection at favorite watering hole Bulldog NE in Northeast Minneapolis.
43. Find accessories galore—at purse-friendly prices—at Fun Sisters Boutique.
44. Do the James Page Blubber Run.
45. Relax over a yummy brunch at Keys Café.
46. Learn something from a book—and the architecture—at the Minneapolis Central Library.
47. Arrive early and stay late at Gasthof’s Oktoberfest festival every autumn.
48. Hear inspirational music at the Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest basilica in the country.
49. Enjoy a Tourtiere (French Meat Pie) after Sunday service at Minneapolis’s oldest church: Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
50. Take a trip back in time at Nye’s Polonaise Room, rated the best bar in the nation, and belt out a tune at the piano bar.
51. Take a day to see nearly 100,000 items on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
52. Visit famous Twin Citians’ burial sites at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.
53. Take a backstage tour of the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater.
54. Find real deals at Off Fifth and Neiman Marcus’clearance floor in downtown Minneapolis.
55. Run around any of Minneapolis’s 22 lakes to train for the Twin Cities Marathon in October.
56. Take home something with a Latin flair from Mercado Central, a market on Lake Street with more than 40 Latino businesses.
57. Steal a kiss with your sweetheart on the Stone Arch Bridge.
58. Duck into the Chambers Hotel‘s lobby and view the modern art collection.
59. For a late-night dinner, eat where the chefs go at 112 Eatery.
60. Shop at one of the eclectic boutiques in Northeast Minneapolis for a little something new.
61. See a show, puppet-style, at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.
62. Watch a classic movie—from the 40s or the 80s—at midnight on Saturdays at the Uptown Theater.
63. Learn about Minneapolis history and explore mill ruins at the Mill City Museum and Mill Ruins Park on the Mississippi Riverfront.
64. Rent a canoe and float on Lake of the Isles while enjoying the fall colors.
65. Hop on a Twin City trolley for a city tour.
66. Grab a seat at a Gophers basketball game at the University of Minnesota.
67. Splash around in a 15,000-foot water park, then ice skate indoors at the Depot.
68. Take the whole family for “kids eat free” day (Sunday) at popular local restaurant D’Amico & Sons.
69. Catch a show at a discount —go through the rush line at many local theaters.
70. Shop Northeast Minneapolis on foot—Bone Adventure is a favorite (dogs welcome!) then stop at Pizza Nea for lunch.
71. Bike or run around Lake Calhoun on a sunny weekend afternoon.
72. Go antiquing.
73. Take a lengthy bike ride with a bunch of friends down the Mississippi along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.
74. 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.
75. Celebrate spring with friends over appetizers and drinks at Kieran’s Irish Pub.
76. De-stress with a walk at a fun park or trail.
77. Peruse the artists’ galleries and little shops at the Northrup King building in Minneapolis.
78. Meet an artist and buy their work at Northeast Minneapolis’s Art-a-Whirl weekend.
79. Picnic near “Spoonbridge and Cherry” at the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens.
80. Make the pilgrimage and find a treasure at the quaint Bryn Mawr neighborhood’s annual Festival of Garage Sales.
81. Catch a glimpse of blooming talent at the Children’s Theatre Company, the Tony Award-winning theater for youth. 82. Canoe down Minnehaha Creek, then view the fabulous Minnehaha Falls.
83. Learn Scandinavian customs and traditions in a historic mansion, the American Swedish Institute.
84. Bowl in the dark using blacklite pins and balls at GameWorks in downtown’s Block E.
85. Spice up your breakfast at the well-loved, Cuban-flavored Victor’s 1959 Café.
86. Stop to smell the flowers at the Macy’s Spring Flower Show in its eighth floor auditorium at the flagship downtown Minneapolis store.
87. Fish for walleye at Lake Nokomis and Musky at Lake Calhoun.
88. Window-shop and stop for a bite in the Linden Hills neighborhood.
89. Learn and have fun while you’re at it—take a Magical History Tour on a Segway.
90. Cool off in a revamped 50s gas station at Liberty Frozen Custard.
91. Line up for a May Day parade like no other on Bloomington Avenue.
92. Enjoy late-night cabaret theater every Saturday night at Balls at the Southern Theater.
93. Shop for locally designed clothing at Cliché, Local Motion and Design Collective.
94. Stroll Uptown at the annual CARAG neighborhood garage sale.
95. Ride a bike or cruise the Mt. Curve neighborhood, shaded by trees and gorgeous homes.
96. Hit the juice bar for OatsCreme at the Wedge—the highest grossing food co-op in the country.
97. Catch an indie film at the Lagoon Theater.
98. Get a taste of Eastern European goodness at Kramarczuk’s Deli in “Nordeast” Minneapolis.
99. Salsa dance at Picosa on a Saturday night, with the lights of the skyline behind you.
100. Be pampered for cheap at the Aveda Institute in Northeast Minneapolis.
101. Break out some verse at a poetry slam at Kieran’s Irish Pub.
102. Eat in the kitchen at Heidi’s in South Minneapolis. 103. Hang around for the hysterical improv session after a performance at the Brave New Workshop.
104. Ask the Lake Harriet elf a question, via note (he lives in a tree). Come back the next day to find the answer.
105. Have dinner along a window table at Café Lurcat on a winter night, overlooking Loring Park covered in snow and lit by the streetlights.
106. During the holidays, watch the Holidazzle parade on Nicollet Mall while drinking hot chocolate.
107. Go ice-skating on lakes, ponds and community center fields.
108. Try rock-climbing indoors at Midwest Mountaineering for free.
109. Sample the house-made beer selection at Town Hall Brewery.
110. Bowl! Pick a lane at Bryant Lake Bowl, Elsie’s or Stardust Lanes.
111. Be a kid again and play board games at a bar or coffee shop like Chatterbox Pub.
112. Go ice-fishing on the frozen lakes.
113. Spoil yourself for no apparent reason: Fogo de Chão, M & S Grill or Ichiban.
114. Feeling cheap? Go people-watching in Uptown.
115. Play shuffleboard (and, for Green Bay Packer fans, watch the game) at the Herkimer Bar.
116. Stop and smell the roses at Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
117. Saddle up to bar at the historic Band Box Diner for a classic breakfast, straight from the griddle.
118. Challenge your creativity at Paper Source in Uptown.
119. On a cold winter night, warm up with the sizzling pizza at Pizza Luce—open late!
120. Skate where the ice never melts—inside at the historic Depot in downtown Minneapolis.
121. Learn to in-line skate inside the Metrodome.
122. Get competitive with the hipsters at the Uptown VFW on bingo night.
123. Visit the club that made Prince famous: First Avenue.
124. Cross-country ski at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis.
125. Get a touch of summer at Surf Night at the Hexagon Bar (first Saturday of every month).
126. Explore the inner author in you at Open Book literary arts center in the Warehouse District.
127. Peruse global flavors of the world at Midtown Global Market on Lake Street.
128. Get cozy with melt-in-your-mouth pot roast and a glass of red wine at the Modern Café.
129. Buy a cigar at the world’s largest humidor: Surdyk’s liquor store.
130. Sample wines from around the world at Lucia’s in Uptown.
131. Catch performance artists from around the world at Cedar Cultural Center in the West Bank.
132. Sip a drink in the Ice Bar at the Chambers Hotel—bring your mittens!
133. Warm up with the comfort rotisserie cooking at Brasa.
134. Grab a bite at Hubert’s Too and then catch a Timberwolves game at the Target Center.
135. Discover your inner artist with a class at Intermedia Arts.
136. Stock up on paintings, photography, sculpture and more at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s annual student art sale.
137. Take a tour of holiday lights with MetroConnections.
138. Take in 5,000 years of art and culture at the always-free Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
139. Fly kites during the annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival.
140. Take photos of St. Anthony Falls from the Guthrie’s Endless Bridge that jets out over the Mississippi.
141. Ski—or just watch—the breathtakingly beautiful Luminary Loppet each February. The course is lit by thousands of candle lights.
142. Bundle up and go watch amateur and pro athletes compete in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in January on Lake Nokomis.
143. Venture out during the intermission of a show at the Guthrie Theater to savor a view of the riverfront.
144. No matter the season, take a brisk walk around Lake Harriet.
145. 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.
146. See a radio show: The new Electric Arc Radio Show is taped live at the Women’s Club Theatre.
147. Go to a sporting event—from roller derby and broomball to baseball and basketball.
148. Play pub trivia every night of the week at a different cool spot: 331 Club (Sunday), Triple Rock Social Club (Monday), Club Jager or Pi (Tuesday), The Corner Bar, Nomad World Pub, Pizza Luce or Leaning Tower of Pizza (Wednesday), Brit’s Pub (Thursday), The Little Wagon (Friday), Chatterbox (Saturday).
149. Deck out your digs with cool furnishing finds at Warehouse District shops.
150. Chow on fabulous, budget-friendly sushi at Wasabi.