Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer’s Guide (Countryman Press, 2008), as well as the upcoming Backroads & Byways of Minnesota (Countryman Press, spring 2011).
She grew up in northern Minnesota, attended the University of Minnesota, and bounced around various careers including managing a maternity store and working as a travel agent before settling into her writing career.
She’s married with two teenage boys and two rather poorly trained dogs.
Winter has been all over the place this year, but one aspect holds steady: the St. Paul Winter Carnival, which runs through this weekend. One of the many fun things to do is to visit Rice Park and see the entries in the Ice Sculpture competition.
What’s there to do in Duluth in the deep dark of winter? Glensheen has an answer: the return of the Flashlight Tour.
So much for our warm spell — the cold is about to return. Avoid cabin fever and frostbite at the same time by taking in the annual Omnifest at St. Paul’s Science Museum of Minnesota. The festival runs through March 3. Plan ahead and pre-order tickets, especially for weekends because this is a popular event.
The holidays are over, winter looms ahead — but never fear. Minnesotans don’t easily give up on the idea of finding something to celebrate.
One aspect of this time of year that can’t be overstated in importance is food. Whether you’re looking for something for an office potluck, family appetizer night, hostess gift, or full-fledged holiday dinner, food is a key component of holiday celebrations. Fortunately, in the Twin Cities we have several purveyors of fine foods, many with a local touch. Here are some places to seek out unusual and sometimes extravagant gifts.
It’s almost Christmas, but there’s still plenty of festivities to check out all around Minnesota.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is, as usual for this time of year, decorated to the hilt. The annual event, called Making Spirits Bright, is—as always—a delight to visit.
The holiday jollity continues for this weekend.
One place you can certainly find a great deal of holiday cheer is at the American Swedish Institute. Every year the Institute fills the beautiful historic Turnblad Mansion with depictions of holidays past.
The month of December is an exceptionally busy one for this festival-fond state. To try and get as much coverage as possible without creating a blog post that’s a mile long, I’m going to report weekly this month.
Halloween is almost here, and there’s plenty going on. Let’s take a look at a sampling of Halloween events around the state. Friday night is Haunted High Ropes at the Eagles Bluff Environmental Center near Lanesboro. Go trick-or-treating on the high ropes course—and watch out for ghosts and skeletons along the way.
There’s a lot going on at the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts these days, both inside and out. The main exhibit inside is one that’s actually rooted in the outdoors: Gregg Rochester’s Le Tour d’Art, which is touring various galleries and is on exhibit in White Bear Lake through Oct. 29.
It seems like school just began, but it’s already almost time for MEA. The MEA break will be Oct. 15 and 16. Here are a few ideas for keeping your kids entertained during the long weekend.
The DNR is reporting that fall colors have begun to pop, mostly up north as of this writing. The gorgeous fall foliage season is all too short. Now is the time to plan a little getaway to enjoy them before winter sets in. Here are a few suggestions for lodgings that are open past the summer tourist season.
Last week, I talked about the wild rice demonstrations at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Not far from the museum is Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. The park’s two-fold name has two roots. “Mille Lacs” is the term French explorers used to describe the area, and it is an apt term, meaning “1,000 lakes” in English.
Last weekend (and the next two Saturdays, weather permitting), the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post offered demonstrations on traditional Native American techniques of processing wild rice. With the fall foliage just starting to break out around Lake Mille Lacs, this would be a fun day trip both for leaf-peeping and for visiting this well-curated museum and see the demonstration.
Many times I’ve written about the strong museum presence we have in Minnesota. But it’s always interesting and fun to find a newcomer trying to make its way.
If you’ve never seen it, crop art (found in the Ag Building) is the art form that involves the use of seeds in a mosaic style. Specifically, seeds used in crops grown in Minnesota — no weeds allowed, and think wild rice, not white rice.
We’re definitely in a weird patch at the moment, with chilly, rainy weather at this writing, and more rain and low temperatures possible for the coming weekend. Of course, we can expect the heat to return next week, as it often does when the Minnesota State Fair opens. But until then, if you’re looking for some indoor entertainment, take a look at what’s happening in the museum world.
If you take a little drive out beyond Edina and into Bloomington, you could find yourself at Normandale Community College. You might note that the buildings look attractively modern and the grounds well-kept, and you might think that’s all there is to see, if you’re not a student there.
On the edge of New Ulm is Flandrau State Park. It’s named after Charles Flandrau, a frontiersman who spent years exploring the Minnesota River Valley before settling near Traverse des Sioux and became a prominent citizen, eventually serving in both the territorial and state supreme courts.
Like waterfalls? Like Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, but sometimes would like to avoid the crowds? There’s a good choice just an hour or so out of the metro: Minneopa State Park, just outside of Mankato. […]
South of the Twin Cities, along the Minnesota River, is the town of St. Peter. St. Peter’s earliest claim to fame is that it came close to being the capital of Minnesota, but thanks to the machinations of Joe Rolette, who stole the bill that would have designated St. Peter as the capital and hid with it until legislators had voted in St. Paul instead.
If you’ve been in Minnesota for any length of time, surely you’ve heard of the giant ball of twine in Darwin. While there are various contenders for the title of “largest twine ball” in the U.S., the one in Darwin is generally considered to be the largest ever wound by one person.
At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts , of course there’s always so much going on around visual arts. But the museum also offers frequent tours of a literary bent: Inspired by Books, tours that combine the museum’s extensive visual arts collection with themed explorations of books.