The Super Bowl Bucket List

by | Jan 29, 2018

While we love having the angular gem of U.S. Bank Stadium on our skyline, there is so much more to do in Minneapolis and St. Paul than going to the Big Game. Our chefs are James Beard Award winners, our music clubs are shaped by Prince and our arts scene is diversity come to life across dozens of venues. Still, to really get the taste of the Twin Cities, you have to have a mix of the world renowned and the locally loved. That could mean sitting front row at the Orpheum Theatre for a touring Broadway show or grabbing a bar stool at Mickey’s Diner, our iconic 24/7 streetcar. It could be going all-out on a shopping spree at Mall of America or lacing up a pair of skates and enjoying our 10,000 frozen lakes. Super Bowl LII may have brought you here, but once you go through our bucket list, you might just find you want to stay a little longer … or come back again.

#1 - Prince's Home

Don purple and visit Chanhassen’s Paisley Park, once Prince’s Minneapolis residence and recording studio, now a museum devoted to his legacy.

Courtesy of Paisley Park

Paisley Park

#2 - Shop Our Enormous Mall (And Pay No Sales Tax on Clothes and Shoes!)

Redefine your idea of a mall at the largest retail and entertainment destination in North America. Bloomington’s Mall of America is home to the largest indoor amusement park in the world, an aquarium, four floors of entertainment, dining, and more than 520 boutiques, international brands and specialty stores.

A photo of the exterior of the Mall of AmericaCourtesy of Meet Minneapolis

The Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

#3 - Visit Our (Free!) Art Museum

Span millennia, continents and cultures at the Minneapolis Institute of Art—all for free. Some of our favorite longstanding pieces are the 18th-century carved jade mountain, olive trees by Vincent van Gogh and the 2002 sculpture “Your Dog” by Nara Yoshitomo.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

#4 - Track Down All the Snoopy Statues

Spot as many Charles Schulz-inspired “Peanuts” statues as you can around the metro. Here’s a start: The first one many out-of-state folks might see is in MSP International Airport.

Photo of oversized statue of Snoopy, the Peanut's character, wearing a bomber jacket at the airportCourtesy of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport

Snoopy Statue at MSP Airport

#5 - Catch a Live Theater Show

Take your family to see the musical “The Wiz,” put on by our award-winning Children’s Theatre Co. in collaboration with Penumbra Theatre, one of three full-season, African American professional theaters in the nation. Catch “Sister Act” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres or stick around a few more days after the Super Bowl for more shows from the Orpheum Theatre and the Guthrie Theater.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts and The Children's Theatre Company

#6 - Spend Some Time at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Go to Chaska’s Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for snowshoeing and cross country skiing outdoors plus art galleries and a tropical conservatory indoors.

Springtime along the three mile drive at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

#7 - Giant Spoonbridge and Cherry

Snap the ultimate selfie by Walker Art Center’s Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Spoonbridge, Cherry and Topher

#8 - Explore the Cities' Winter Wonderlands

Walk under the lights of St. Paul’s Rice Park and catch The Great Northern festival activities all around the metro. Venture back to southeast Minneapolis for the frozen 53-foot waterfall in Minnehaha Regional Park, a much different sort of ice sculpture.

Ice Structure at the 2016 Winter Carnival, now part of The Great Northern

#9 - Go Ice Skating

You aren’t a true Minnesotan until you strap on skates and go outside. Edina’s Centennial Lakes is 10 acres of picturesque urban lake skating inside a 24-acre park complete with warming hut and hot cocoa. Too warm to be on the lake? Try the free rink by the historic Landmark Center in St. Paul.

#10 - Hang Out on Lake Harriett

Walk among the Art Shanty Projects and peer inside the art galleries that dot Lake Harriet’s frozen surface on weekends Jan. 20-Feb. 11. Don’t miss the burst of color against the snow as the Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival takes to the sky on Jan. 27.

A photograph of people touring shanties a frozen, snow-covered lake under a blue skyCourtesy of Shanty Projects

Art Shanty Projects on Lake Harriett

#11 - Hell’s Kitchen & Angel Food

Who knew hell had a 35-foot Bloody Mary Bar? If the red and black digs of Minneapolis’ Hell’s Kitchen don’t hit your fancy several flights of stairs below Ninth Street in Minneapolis, visit their neighboring Angel Food Bakery for some divine doughnuts, cupcakes, scones and more.

Photo of fruit-topped pancakes and a bloody Mary from Hell's KitchenTodd Buchanan

Brunch at Hell's Kitchen

#12 - A Cocktail in the Sky

Make your way up to the 30th floor of the historic Foshay Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Minneapolis, for a museum and a 360-degree view of the city skyline. On your way down, stop by the 27th floor for an amazing craft cocktail at the Prohibition Bar.

Photo from the ground looking up to the top of a skyscraperCourtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Foshay Tower and the W Hotel

#13 - Check out a Show at First Avenue

See the stars of Prince, R.E.M., Metallica and others on the outside of Minneapolis’ First Avenue before you head in for a concert in their main room.

Stars with musician's names, including Prince, painted on the side of a brick building Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Stars on the wall of First Avenue

#14 - Cheese-stuffed Hamburgers

Compare Juicy Lucy burgers at Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club—even if you can’t decide which one invented the double-patty meets molten cheesy goodness, it’s worth the investigation.

A photo on a white background of a hamburger with pickles and sauceTJ Turner

A Juicy Lucy from Matt's Bar

#15 - Stop in for a Bite at Mickey’s Dining Car

It may be frosty outside, but Mickey’s Dining Car in St. Paul will warm you up with a cup o’ joe and some hearty American food. You’ll be sure to recognize its Art Deco booths from about a dozen blockbuster movies, including “The Mighty Ducks.”

A photo of the exterior of a dining car at nightTodd Buchanan

Mickey's Dining Car

#16 - Tour Historical Architecture
Tour the grand architecture at the Basilica of St. Mary, Alexander Ramsey House, James J. Hill House, Cathedral of Saint Paul or the recently re-opened State Capitol.

#17 - Carriage Ride along the Mississippi

Bundle up in a horse-drawn carriage with The Hitching Co. and go down the Minneapolis riverfront for a tour perfect for romantics, history lovers, first-time visitors and more.

Photo of a horse-drawn carriage crossing a bridge on a snowy dayCourtesy of The Hitching Co

Take a ride over the river in a horse-drawn carriage

#18 - Stroll along the River

Cross the mighty Mississippi on the pedestrian Stone Arch Bridge and learn more about Minneapolis’ flour milling heritage from the Mill City Museum.

Pillsbury A Mill and Stone Arch Bridge, 4th of July

#19 - Warm Up with Some Zoo Animals

If you’re worried the Minnesota Zoo’s wolves and sea otters are laughing at your puffy coat as they play in the snow, head inside to the 80-degree Tropics Trail where the toucans, red pandas, lemurs and flamingos are more sympathetic to the weather in Apple Valley.

Photo of toucanCourtesy of Minnesota Zoo

One of the Zoo's colorful toucans

#20 - Cheer on a Minnesota Team

Switch up sports and attend a Minnesota Timberwolves in the newly remodeled Target Center or see why we’re the “State of Hockey” at a Minnesota Wild game.

Sitting near the floor at a ‘Wolves Game

#21 - Pop Over to Hudson, Wisconsin

Hot air balloons dot the horizon at the Hudson Hot Air Affair Jan. 26-28, just across the St. Croix River in Hudson, Wisconsin. Parades, fireworks, and a craft fair and marketplace help round out the weekend. Insider tip—make sure to catch the Moon Glow event to see the night sky lit up with glowing balloons.

Hudson Hot Air Affair 2014

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