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Five best family fun summer activities in Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN

Oh Minneapolis, you are beautiful.

We made a quick trip to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis / St. Paul) this past Memorial Day. We had family to visit and places to explore. Happy to share that the weather was great, and the people, lovely.

If you want to explore the Twin Cities, here are the must-do's:

  1. Chain of Lakes Regional Park

  2. Sculpture Garden

  3. Stone Arch Bridge

  4. The George Floyd Memorial

  5. University of Minnesota Disappearing Statues

Read about these in detail as you scroll down. At the bottom of this post, I also offer some more suggestions for those who have the time to explore more. I also have a few restaurant recommendations with vegetarian options, so make sure you review them too.

Here we go!

1. Chain of Lakes Regional Park:

This is the most popular destination in the Minneapolis park system and a district of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Bike, boat and picnic in this area popular with kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddle boarders. For more information, including boat rentals, visit this Park and Recreation city site.

2. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden:

Check! The garden showcasing works from the Walker Art Center’s renowned collections of modern and contemporary art in the setting of an urban park.

3. Stone Arch Bridge:

The sound and power of water - Amazing! It's really quite wonderful walking the length of the bridge, and exploring the surrounding areas like the Mill City Museum, the phenomenal and futuristic-looking interiors of the Guthrie Theater and the parks.

"The Stone Arch Bridge is the only bridge of its kind over the Mississippi River. It is made of native granite and limestone, and measures 2100-feet long by 28-feet wide. The bridge consists of 23 arches, and spans the river below St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, MN." (Source: NPS.GOV)

4. The George Floyd Memorial:

Drive to the square, park your car and walk down to the square.

"The intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis is the site of George Floyd's death and has become a gathering place for people to pay their respects and remember him. It is an important space for racial healing and justice among many members of the community and visitors from all over. This area, also called George Floyd Square, pays tribute to his life and is a powerful way for the Minneapolis community to rally around the importance of Black lives."

5. University of Minnesota Disappearing Statues:

You have to see this - Click on the video to how the sculptures disappear! Here is an excerpt written by the creator:

”My design for a sculptural installation for the University of Minnesota’s new Physics and Nanotechnology Building is inspired by a view of the human body through the lens of quantum physics.The German title of the installation (literally “tension field”) originated in physics but is used in contemporary German almost exclusively in a metaphorical sense, implying a dynamic tension, often between polar opposites, that permeates everything in its vicinity.“Spannungsfeld” consists of two 10′ (3 m) tall figures in a basic kneeling pose, a male and a female, facing each other. The two figures represent nature’s omnipresent pairs of opposites. These dualities are a fundamental facet of nature and are found in Western science as well as in Eastern traditions…”

While you are on campus, check out the Weisman Art Museum as well as some of the other buildings.

From Wiki:

The University of Minnesota is in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & Saint Paul. The Twin Cities campus comprises locations in Minneapolis and Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, approximately 3 miles apart. The Twin Cities campus is the oldest and largest in the University of Minnesota system and has the ninth-largest main campus student body in the United States.


Got more time on your hands? Here are some more suggestions!

Check out the 53-ft-high Minnehaha Falls in a popular park that welcomes thousands of tourists every year!

Explore the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA): Home to more than 90,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history, Mia is one of the largest art museums in the United States.

Watch something at Guthrie Theater, or at least tour the new facility - It is impressive!

Drive by the Capital Building and the Cathedral

Finally, restaurants - Too many good ones to count but the three vegetarian-friendly ones we went to were exceptional!

Owamni: This is a full service indigenous restaurant by the Sioux chef. On its menu are decolonized ingredients - foods of Mini Sota Make, Land where the waters reflect the clouds! It is located on OwamniYomni, the sacred site of peace and well-being for the Dakota and Anishinaabe people. Needs reservation! Also, in 2022, this restaurant won the James Beard award for best new restaurant!

Nico's Taco and Tequila Bar: Inspired by traditional Mexican street food, chef Alejandro Victoria brings authentic recipes from his homeland in Michoacan to the plate. Def noteworthy are the salsas!

Kumar's Minneapolis: Great South Indian food establishment. Winner of Best Indian Food in Dallas for 5 years, this spot is now in Minneapolis. It also won 2021 Star Tribune Best Indian Restaurant. Authentic!


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