We all know that the Twin Cities are packed with endless options for fun in any season. But sometimes we get stuck in a rut and need ideas to spice up our weekend plans. If you and your family are looking to add a twist to your typical weekend routine, here are four unique indoor spaces…new adventures to explore that get you out of the house but home by dinner time.
Midtown Global Market | 920 E. Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55407
Home to over 45 businesses spanning over 22 cultures, the Midtown Global Market provides a global experience to its visitors with an extraordinary variety of tastes, arts and crafts as well as music and dance programs throughout the week.
Start your exploration by touring the various arts and crafts stalls to find goods sourced directly from the hands of artisans from all over the world. Next, and this is my favorite part, it’s time to embark on a worldwide culinary food tour. The only complaint I have of the food stands is how do you pick just one? My best recommendation is to go with an adventurous group and order around the world. I have some very choosy eaters in my house and even I am surprised when they fall in love with a samosa.
On top of the culinary and shopping adventures, you’ll get to experience the sounds of the world, too, with some incredible performances. Most Fridays from 5 to 7 pm and Saturdays from noon to 2 pm, Midtown Global Market hosts live music at its Center Stage featuring local musicians and songwriters. Sundays you can try salsa dancing lessons from 11am-noon with Rene’s Latin Dance & Music Studio. A couple of times a month, Midtown Global Market hosts Family Fridays. Each one focuses on an upcoming holiday or features a new guest, like a storyteller, choir, author, or musician. They’re usually from 5 to 7 pm and feature free entertainment, food, crafts, and more. Make sure to check their website for specific programming dates before you go.
With so much to see, eat, and do, you’ll feel like you escaped the city for the weekend without the hassle of a flight to catch.
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am-8 pm, Sun 11 am-6 pm
Bell Museum | 2088 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul, MN 55113
Sometimes the best escapes mean going back in history, and the Bell Museum is the perfect place to do just that. Minnesota’s official natural history museum and planetarium are now located on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus in Saint Paul. Explore the cosmos in the planetarium. Take a walk through the state of Minnesota, featuring the world-famous wildlife dioramas. Be wowed by a giant wooly mammoth. Engage all your senses in our Touch & See Lab with 10,000-year-old fossils, living plants and animals, and more. There is so much to see and do, you’ll want to return again and again!
Hours: Wed-Sun 10 am-4 pm
Admission: Adults $12, Children 3-21 $9, Children 2 and under free. Planetarium tickets additional fee.
The Mill City Museum | 704 South 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55401
There is no greater place to celebrate the unique history of the Twin Cities than a trip to the Mill City Museum! Located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront the museum is actually built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. Believe it or not, there is a fascinating story to be told of Minneapolis’ flour mills, and a great learning experience for all. Kids will enjoy the interactive water stations to learn how the mill worked. They can even get the chance to bake or mill flour of their own in the testing kitchen. But the highlight of the entire visit is the elevator tour where visitors sit in an oversized elevator moving up and down the museum as it tells the history of the flour mills. You also might want to consider a Minnesota Historical Society membership which gives you admission to tons of other historical sites around the state, including the Minnesota History Center (another great museum to explore!)
Hours: Thurs-Fri 10 am-4 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am-5 pm
Admission: Adults $12, Children 5-17 $8, Children 4 and under Free. MNHS Membership is $50-$99 annually.
Guthrie Theater | 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Believe it or not, you don’t need a theater ticket to explore one of our city’s most iconic theater venues, the Guthrie Theater. This award-winning designed building is an adventure waiting to be explored. While tours are currently suspended, you can take a tour on your own to view the highlights of this incredible space.
The Pohlad Lobby outside the Dowling Studio features an amber glass box that is cantilevered 15 feet from the face of the building and provides a near 360-degree view of our historic neighborhood. Take a walk down the Endless Bridge, one of the Guthrie’s most noteworthy features. The cantilever bridge extends 178 feet from the face of the building and hovers 55 feet above the parkway. Even the artwork throughout the building is eye-catching like the 7,000 onionskin papers printed with production images on the walls or the backlight images of past productions lining the walls. Don’t miss the fourth-floor lobby where the blue transparent wall allows you to get a peek into the backstage. It’s a great way to feel inspired by the dramatic arts before your family is ready for a long sit-down performance.
Hours: Tues – Fri 11am–8pm (10am for matinees), Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
Note: On days with no performances or matinees only, the building closes at 6 p.m.