50 things to do in the Twin Cities before you die

Your Twin Cities bucket list from lawn bowling to parades

38. Win a Friday meat raffle at the 1029 Bar. There are only a handful of places in the world where it's popular to raffle off meat while drinking, and Minnesota is one of them. Be sure to remember that meat raffles are charitable causes, therefore any "donations" are tax deductible.

37. Fly a kite at the Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival. At the end of each January, hundreds of colorful kites take to the skies above Lake Harriet. Minnesota Kite Society experts show off their tricky maneuvers, flying traditional kites as well as large-scale models shaped like bears, alligators, and fish. Besides kite flying, this free event offers ice fishing, snowshoeing, and a medallion hunt for the youngsters.

36. See a movie in Father Hennepin Park with a picnic from Surdyk's Cheese Shop. The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board hosts more than 200 free concerts and movies in the parks of Minneapolis during the summer months. While each venue is perfectly charming and romantic, it doesn't get more picturesque than an outdoor movie on St. Anthony Main. With the Stone Arch Bridge as your backdrop, take in a classic movie while enjoying a picnic from nearby Surdyk's Cheese Shop.

Caroline Smith playing at First Avenue
Erik Hess
Caroline Smith playing at First Avenue

35. Take your friends on a Northeast brewery tour. We make some great beer in the Twin Cities, and thanks to the Surly Law, breweries can now serve pints on site. Head to Northeast for the brewery trio of 612 Brew, Indeed Brewing Company, and Dangerous Man Brewing Co. Start with a beer at 612's warehouse-style taproom before heading to Indeed's outdoor patio. Pick up dinner from Anchor Fish & Chips before heading to Dangerous Man, which doesn't serve food but is more than happy to allow guests to bring their own.

34. Bring your kids to Wild Rumpus bookstore. Wild Rumpus is a 20-year-old Linden Hills bookstore that keeps some special furry friends around to greet young readers. With roaming and caged pets including a ferret, chicken, and tarantula, as well as a few cats, the playful store is a huge hit among animal-loving children.

33. Spend an evening in Linden Hills and see a performance at the Lake Harriet Band Shell. The Lake Harriet Band Shell offers free live music basically every day of the week May through September, so there's no excuse to miss out on the fun. Pre-show, make sure to stop by neighborhood favorite Tilia for food and the possibility of a Josh Hartnett sighting.

32. Check out the Midtown Global Market. Great for gift shopping on a budget, and even better for eating, the Midtown Global Market is the treasure of Lake Street. It will take more than one visit to sample everything here, from authentic international food to the James Beard-nominated bakery Salty Tart.

31. Grab dinner at Sea Salt Eatery and walk to Minnehaha Falls. Don't let Sea Salt Eatery's concession-style setup fool you. This small eatery is only open during the warmer months, and is located in the middle of a nearly 200-acre park overlooking the Mississippi River. It's a perfect summer evening destination, where you can grab a fish taco and take a walk to the 53-foot waterfall.

30. See a show at the Gay 90's. If you can manage to make your way through the bachelorette parties, a show at the Gay 90's is just about the most fun a person can have in downtown Minneapolis. Each night a number of performers take to the stage, performing in drag as such icons as Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. Be sure to tip graciously.

29. Do an ice cream crawl. If you're eating Ben & Jerry's in the Twin Cities, you're doing it wrong. Our independent ice cream shops are filled with delicious, creative ice cream. Start in south Minneapolis at Crema Café, then head to Uptown's own Sebastian Joe's. Next make your way downtown to Izzy's brand new shop before crossing the river to Sweet Science in St. Paul. Schedule time for a sugar coma afterward.

28. See a play. Any play! Minneapolis is the third largest theater market in the nation, with venues ranging from big players like the Guthrie and the Ordway to smaller venues like the Southern, Brave New Workshop, and Mixed Blood. There are festivals and performances for any age and price range, making the theater scene diverse and entertaining enough to please even the most theater-averse.

27. Explain Scott Seekins to someone. The enigma that is Scott Seekins is such a fun thing to explain to out-of-towners, or any locals living under a rock. Who is Scott Seekins? Oh, just this man-about-town whose simple change from a black suit to a white suit marks the beginning of summer and brings joy to an entire city.

26. Tour the Northeast Arts District during Art a-Whirl. A perfect event for first-time buyers, long-time collectors, and everyone in between, Art-a-Whirl is a very Northeast way to spend an afternoon. The imposing brick buildings of the Arts District open their doors to thousands of visitors for an afternoon of artistic expression. With everything from food and drink to paintings, sculpture, and performance art, Art-a-Whirl is a welcome way to kick off spring in Minnesota.

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