Photo by Stephen Geffre
I saw it, you guys. I saw my first convertible rider of the year. The temperature was barely north of 30 degrees, but there he was, streaking past in his red mustang, top down and radio blaring in the afternoon sun like an angel sent from on high trumpeting the arrival of spring to the tune of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”
Minnesota is probably one of the few places where the first convertible appearance garners a hallelujah. But is it that surprising? After all, you'll also find people wearing shorts and licking ice cream cones, exclaiming, “Beautiful weather!” to everyone on the street even though the thermometer reads, “Hey, water might turn to snow, maybe bundle up.” I’d be a liar if I said I weren't right there with them, so in honor of this “beautiful” weather, I thought I’d outline some of the best activities that make springtime in Minnesota so special—besides Jack Frost taking a hike for a few months.
Nothing says springtime in Minnesota quite like chowing down on a ballpark frank and singing along to the seventh inning stretch at a Twins baseball game. Target Field opens its gates and welcomes the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, April 5, for the Twins Home Opener, and from there, it’s a summer full of nightly downtown skyline views, vendors yelling, “Cold beer!” the smell of freshly cut grass, and hopefully a whole lot of wins.
Like Canadian geese, food trucks return in droves to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul every spring to serve up their culinary creations. These meals-on-wheels can be found at breweries, events and festivals throughout the season, but your best chance at feasting on their fare is lunch time in downtown Minneapolis during the week when a flock of them line the streets outside U.S. Bank Plaza and U.S. Bank Stadium. Whether you’re hungry for tacos, burgers or a jumbo-sized sandwich from Sasquatch—my personal favorite truck—these mobile kitchens have are sure to hit the spot.
Sure, going out to eat or for drinks with friends is almost always enjoyable. But taking it to the next level—literally—makes it even more delightful. I’m of course talking about rooftop dining. Couple your meal and conversation with spring- and summer-time Minnesota weather, and you’ve got a duo as dynamic peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese. Some of the more popular spots include Brit’s Pub, The Liffey Irish Pub and Union Rooftop.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are known for being popular places to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, and all it takes is one look at the award-winning parks blanketing the Twin Cities to see why. Ranked No. 1 and 2 on The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore—each earning a perfect 5-bench rating—the metro’s 10,001 acres (that one is important) provide plenty of room for activities from swimming to horse back riding and everything in between. Experience the Quaking Bog at Theodore Wirth Regional Park, marvel at Minnehaha Regional Park‘s 53-foot waterfall or check out animals from every corner of the globe at Como Zoo at Como Regional Park.
Centennial Lakes Park
One of the most picturesque spots in Edina is also one of the most popular. The 24-acre park features a man-made pond that is quite popular with the local wildlife and which you can cruise by paddle boat. Get your land legs back under you with an 18-hole mini golf course with greens ranging from 57 to 125 feet in length and courts for croquet and lawn bowling, too.