50 things to do in the Twin Cities before you die

Your Twin Cities bucket list from lawn bowling to parades

13. Attend the Pride parade. Minnesotans are proud of our thriving GLBT community and come out in droves to celebrate equality and love in Minnesota. With more than 300,000 people attending each year's colorful festival, there's always a range of fascinating characters. From rainbow-painted dogs to dancing drag queens, the Pride Parade is a sight to behold for young and old alike.

12. Go ice-skating outdoors. If you cannot stand up on ice skates, you probably weren't born here. When the temperature dips below freezing, a number of local parks flood their baseball fields for wintertime fun. From popular rinks like those created in Powderhorn Park and on Lake of the Isles, to smaller rinks like the one at Van Cleve Park near the University of Minnesota, there's more than enough ice to go around.

11. Hunt for St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion. A tradition since 1952, the St. Paul Winter Carnival's Medallion Hunt challenges participants to solve daily clues found in the Pioneer Press. In order to win up to $10,000 in prize money, one skilled hunter simply needs to register their Winter Carnival button and follow the clues to find a small medallion hidden somewhere in Ramsey County. Easy, right?

10. Spend a Saturday at the CC Club. The CC Club is one of the most iconic drinking institutions in the Twin Cities. The dark, dingy bar has been serving cheap, strong drinks for as long as most Minnesotans can remember. Its convenient south Minneapolis location attracts quite a collection of characters, from Uptown's hipster crowd to regulars that have been closing down the bar for decades.

9. See art on the ice at the Art Shanty Projects. A fun tradition that moved locations this year, the Art Shanty Projects offer a four-weekend exhibition of artwork on a Minnesota lake. You can think of the shanties as super tricked-out fish houses that are staffed by their artists on the weekends. Projects this year include a shanty completely covered in mirrors reflecting the surrounding lake and a giant polar bear bicycle.

8. Day drink at a block party. There used to be relatively few days during the summer when you could legally stand around and­­­­­ drink in the street, but things sure have changed over the past few years. Last summer it seemed as though every restaurant in the city was trying to get into the block party game. From the Pizza Lucé block party that has featured local talents like POS and Motion City Soundtrack, to Kräftskiva, the Bachelor Farmer bash where guests wear pointy hats and drink Aquavit, there are plenty of occasions for local drinkers who are more than happy to spend a day in the sun.

7. Paddle the Chain of Lakes. Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet in Uptown offer canoe, paddleboat, kayak, and paddleboard rentals for your summer enjoyment. That's not to mention the miles of connected walking and biking trails surrounding Uptown's Chain of Lakes. Work up an appetite and stop by the Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun or Bread & Pickle on Lake Harriet.

6. Travel Minneapolis by ski or snowshoe. For some Minnesotans, snow and ice are simply vehicles for winter recreation. With more than 40 parks offering access to 20 miles of cross country ski and snowshoe trails throughout Minneapolis, enthusiasts can enjoy the great outdoors anywhere in the metro area. For the very best in winter sporting, head to February's City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival.

5. See Prince at Paisley Park. It's not often that Prince invites outsiders to his Chanhassen complex, but when Paisley Park opens for business it tends to draw a crowd. Even after all these years, Prince continues to reward his hometown fans with pancake-themed dance parties that draw national attention. Prince isn't much for set times, so expect to spend the entire night and much of the next morning waiting for his Purpleness to appear. When he shows, Prince often tries out newer material along with classics like "Purple Rain." Dress 2 impress.

4. Get lost in the skyway system. While the maze of climate-controlled tunnels can (hypothetically) get you from one side of downtown to the other, the twists and turns can be trying at times. Luckily, most seasoned veterans are more than happy to point lost travelers in the right direction. If you work downtown, the busy tunnels are filled with delicious places to eat lunch and grab coffee without ever having to venture into the cold. Businesses have found all kinds of creative ways to take advantage of the tunnels, including the downhill bike races in St. Paul's skyways and the U.S. Bank Skyway Open golf tournament.

3. Eat something on a stick at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. From fried macaroni and cheese to salad, if you can eat it, you can get it on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota's largest annual event brings together hundreds of thousands of people during the hottest month of the year so we can all complain about the heat together. Expect to see heart attacks waiting to happen, like the original "Big Fat Bacon" (a quarter-pound slab of bacon on a stick), as well as creative new creations like last year's popular deep-fried olives.

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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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