50 things to do in the Twin Cities before you die

Your Twin Cities bucket list from lawn bowling to parades

25. Observe the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Head to Lake Nokomis in mid-January to witness the nation's largest pond hockey tournament. With 25 rinks smoothed out of the snowy ice, watching (or participating) in a large-scale outdoor hockey tournament is just about as Minnesota as it gets.

24. Put your MPR and Walker memberships to use and buy some tickets to Rock the Garden. Basically anything can happen at Rock the Garden. A thunderstorm could hit, forcing thousands of people to watch a show inside of a parking ramp. A band could fill an entire set with one 47-minute song. Hell, it could even be a perfect Minnesota afternoon. No matter what, make sure to get to the Current's summer music festival at least once and appreciate all that our local public radio station offers its music-loving fans.

23. Enjoy an Eastern-European evening in Northeast. Order a sausage at Kramarczuk's 60-year-old deli before heading to Nye's Polonaise Room for kraut, a cocktail, and some live piano. If you're there Friday or Saturday, you might catch the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band, a local favorite that's been entertaining at Nye's since the '70s.

22. Take a Nice Ride tour. Pick up a lime-green bike and get your exercise for the day. Bop about town, dropping off and picking up new bikes at various stations throughout the city. After the initial checkout fee of $6, you pay for Nice Ride by the half hour. All you need to do to avoid wracking up a tab is return your bike to a station within 30 minutes, and check out another one. Nice Ride's website offers a number of tour ideas, and with options like the "Bridges of Minneapolis" tour and the "Prince for a Day" tour, you're sure to get the most out of your day of biking in the Twin Cities.

21. Go to a Minnesota Twins game in every weather condition. Sure, it's been a few years since the Twins have done anything worth noting, but that doesn't take away from the fact that we have one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country squeezed right into the middle of Minneapolis. Since baseball season lasts forever, try to get to the ballpark a few times and soak up all that Minnesota's unpredictable weather patterns have to offer.

20. Attend the Minnesota Fringe Festival. With hundreds of performances over 11 days, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is a great way to celebrate the lively arts community in the Twin Cities. The un-juried lineup makes for a lovely mish-mash of performance art. With venues spanning from Uptown to the West Bank and downtown, the festival is the perfect way to get your indie art fix for the year.

19. Eat an Al's Breakfast pancake. The University of Minnesota area seems to be getting new developments faster than students, but the Dinkytown favorite has remained intact. The cramped diner serves the best pancakes in town, and has a charm that cannot be matched, with walls covered in old trinkets and money from around the world. There are only 14 seats, and guests usually have to move once or twice during their meal to accommodate new groups. While there is usually a line that stretches out the door, an Al's Breakfast pancake is well worth the wait.

18. Take in the May Day parade at Powderhorn Park. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre's annual May Day Parade has been celebrating the end of winter for the past 39 years. Hand-built puppets and masks come together with music and performance art for a dazzling parade that draws nearly 50,000 people each spring.

17. Participate in the TC Marathon. Okay, you don't have to actually run a marathon, but definitely stake out a spot to watch. Beginning in downtown Minneapolis and finishing near the state Capitol in St. Paul, the course winds around the Chain of Lakes and along the Mississippi River. At the very least you will be inspired by the 12,000-plus participants of all ages who are able to cross the finish line after 26.2 grueling miles.

16. Take in a night of karaoke at Otter's Saloon and Vegas Lounge. They may be cramped, but these Northeast gems have karaoke every night of the week and a slew of regulars who know their way around a power ballad. From classics like "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to Spice Girls hits from the '90s, the set list usually inspires the entire bar to sing along. Just stay away from the mystery shots if you want to remember the night.

15. Compare Juicy Lucys at Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club. Both claim to be the creator of Minnesota's famous cheese-filled hamburger, and so the debate between Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club rages on. If you live anywhere in the metro area, you've probably had one or the other. But have you had them both in one day? Surely that is the only way to settle this question once and for all.

14. Check out some lesser-known museums. You probably know about the Walker, the Weisman, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, but there's also a trove of smaller museums to visit throughout the Twin Cities. The American Swedish Institute gives guests a glimpse into a 1900s Minneapolis mansion, and the intimate Museum of Russian Art showcases decades' worth of artifacts. If you're looking for something with more local roots, the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota has quite the collection of taxidermy.

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87 comments
westonlwinkler
westonlwinkler

Have a Tiki Drink @psychosuzi'smotorlounge on the patio.

Norm Dutot
Norm Dutot

I know one of them will NOT be watching the Vikings win the Super Bowl.

Brandi Stillings
Brandi Stillings

Definitely needed more research before compiling this easy list!

Karen Watson
Karen Watson

I love you City Pages, but not this list.

smlenzo
smlenzo

St Paul...Picnic in Mears Park, dinner and dance at Mancinis, the Farmers Market, Como Zoo, Antique Show at State Fair Park, Jazz the Artist Quarter, CommonGround Bookstore

Zoë Garrison
Zoë Garrison

Hear that Ka Thao? You've been drafted! *cackles evilly*

Adriana Leal
Adriana Leal

The ones you don't do, I'll do and the ones I don't do, you'll do and the ones we both don't want to do, we'll bully Ka into doing them! Deal?

Zoë Garrison
Zoë Garrison

What? You sing much better than I do!!! Of course, I don't like singing in public... Maybe this won't work >.

Zoë Garrison
Zoë Garrison

...except the ones involving running... haha

Adriana Leal
Adriana Leal

Wait, but if we've already done these, do we have to do them again?

Adriana Leal
Adriana Leal

#32 though! #4 Haha Some of these sound way out of my comfort zone, but I'm up for the challenge! Going to the capitol on prom night sounds like it should be up in the teens! Haha

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

#45? Apparently Zimmern hasn't been to the other side of the river, home to the best pho and other Azn soups.

LuteFisk
LuteFisk

Wow! I've done so many of these things. It might be time to conquer a new city.

AmyChap
AmyChap

@13Mikey I can already check off #19, #23 and #35...only 47 left to do!!

shoe42horn
shoe42horn

Quality over quantity would be better. I think aiming for the top 50 was over stretching the article. I've lived in Minneapolis for a while now and I could have come up with the same list in less than a half hour. Although I appreciate the outdoor yoga event I had no idea about thanks!

Brian Udell
Brian Udell

3, 4, 9, 11, 17, 22, 29, 40, 41, 42 and 46 are all St Paul or eastern burbs. 6, 8, 12, 28, 44, and 48 use Minneapolis as an example but can be done in St Paul.

Karen Watson
Karen Watson

I have got to say that many of these are not anything I would consider doing, ever. I love ya City Pages, and I love the Twin Cities, but didn't get the list.

Josh Jahnke
Josh Jahnke

whats up with 23? i need some info...

Willy Hutchins
Willy Hutchins

Half the shit on this list is Booze or Sports... Lame

mailmandug
mailmandug

I hope whoever stated that #38, win a meat raffle at the 1029, and you can write off the raffle ticket purchase as a "charitable donation" doesn't do their own taxes! The IRS treats this activity as gambling, and it certainly IS NOT tax deductable. Just because the organization selling the meat raffle ticket may be a non-profit, doesn't mean you can deduct the cost of the ticket. They are selling you a chance to win a prize....this is not a donation.

catfish
catfish

All of those City lakes and no mention of the fishing possibilities. Shame on you!!

 
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