50 things to do in the Twin Cities before you die

Your Twin Cities bucket list from lawn bowling to parades

50 things to do in the Twin Cities before you die
Rachel Joyce
Rock the Garden

The Twin Cities has a knack for topping best-of lists, but when you live here, it's easy to lose track of all the amenities.

Our community has created a blossoming arts and music scene in flyover country, and congregates outside during the coldest weeks of the year to celebrate the ice and snow.

The following list compiles 50 of the best and most iconic activities that every local should check off their to-do list. From First Avenue to the Mall of America, this list proves there's always something to do in the Twin Cities.

May Day Parade
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May Day Parade

50. Take the light rail to Mall of America. A top-notch shopping center and theme park at best, and a crowded tourist trap at worst, the Mall of America is only getting bigger. Just getting there is half the battle, so take the light rail and save yourself a parking headache.

49. Enjoy a summer happy hour at Vic's on St. Anthony Main. For wine lovers, Vic's beautiful patio on St. Anthony Main has a deal for you. On Monday through Friday, the summer progressive happy hour offers entire bottles of wine for $2, $3, or $4, depending on the hour.

48. Take a free outdoor yoga class. From the rooftop at Brit's to lakeside classes, yogis around the city can enjoy free outdoor instruction from some of the top studios around town during the summer months. Corepower's Summer of Yoga offers free outdoor yoga at several locations in the metro area, and Yoga Sol, a donation-based studio in Northeast, offers a number of community events throughout the year at a pay-what-you-can rate.

47. Cheer on the Gophers football team at TCF Bank Stadium. During football season TCF Bank Stadium fills with students and fans thankful for a reason to drink on a Saturday morning. Win or lose, grab your maroon and gold to cheer on the Gophers in their beautiful, open-air stadium.

46. Head to downtown St. Paul for St. Patrick's Day. Once a year, downtown St. Paul fills with 100,000 people dressed in green to celebrate one of the longest running and most decorated St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the country. The parade begins at noon and travels down Fifth Street before ending at Rice Park. Downtown St. Paul Irish pubs O'Gara's and the Liffey are usually filled to capacity by noon, so make sure to start your day early.

45. Warm up with some pho at Quang on Eat Street. Freezing? Pho should do the trick. Head to Quang and order a huge bowl of delicious pho. A favorite of local Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern, Quang's fragrant broth and tender cuts of meat draw a crowd during lunch hour.

44. Celebrate fashion in Minnesota. While we are far away from New York Fashion Week, there are still a number of talented designers who reside in the Twin Cities. The University of Minnesota continues to host its Senior Fashion Show, and resale shops like b. resale frequently partner with local designers to put on smaller-scale fashion and trunk shows. Small boutiques like Parc Boutique and Mona Williams in Northeast also hold happy hour events where the fashion-minded can gather, drink wine, and enjoy discounts while they shop.

43. Test your luck with mystery beers at Liquor Lyle's. The wonderful thing about Lyle's is that regardless of the time of day, it always feels like midnight. The windowless dive bar in Uptown is notoriously cheap and serves $3 mystery beers at various times every day. You never really know what you're going to get, but does it really matter?

42. Browse the vintage stores of St. Paul and Minneapolis. At the intersection of Selby and Snelling in St. Paul you will find a pair of vintage shops that stock affordable as well as higher-end pieces. Lula Vintage is modern and approachable, with many pieces that can be easily translated into everyday life. If you can't find anything there, Up Six is just down the street. If you are looking for jewelry, Hunt & Gather in Minneapolis houses a treasure trove of costume and vintage pieces waiting to be worn.

41. Sample the homemade vodka at Moscow on the Hill. Moscow on the Hill seems like a bar where the Russian mob might hang out. Dark and cozy, it has more vodka on hand than one person could sample in a month. Try the house-infused vodka, which includes flavors like horseradish, tiramisu, garlic and dill, and ginger.

40. Spend a snowy Sunday in St. Paul. Take a Sunday drive down St. Paul's Summit Avenue to gawk at the historic homes. Roll past the mansions of Cathedral Hill, then stop by the Saint Paul Cathedral for a self-guided tour. If you are feeling extra historic, the Minnesota History Center and the Minnesota State Capitol await just a short walk away.

39. Go lawn bowling at Brit's Pub. The Nomad World Pub on the West Bank has a wonderful lawn bowling league, but for a game with a view, head to Brit's Pub and throw some heavy balls across a rooftop in downtown Minneapolis. The lawn is located right in the middle of a full rooftop patio and bar, and you can easily watch or participate while enjoying a pint. Brit's also sells British candy bars!

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