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.
Spring may not have made a commitment to Minnesota just yet, but regardless of the weather, this week marks the start of Lent. Looking for fish on Fridays? Check out one of the perks of the season: the Friday Night Fish Fry. Always a tradition during Lent, and available several places, some family friendly, some not so much. In many cases, it’s all you can eat, but even when it’s not, you’re assured a heaping plate of food that won’t leave you hungry. Call ahead for hours and types of fish served.
Granted, March is lighter in festival offerings than other months. It’s a tough time of year — it might be 60 degrees outside, and it might be -30. Nevertheless, the month of March has a much-beloved annual holiday celebrating a famous saint. Oh, and there’s St. Patrick’s Day, too.
If you haven’t yet taken in the Vivian Maier exhibit at the Minneapolis Photo Center, heads up—it’s still here for another week, through March 1, and it’s well worth a visit. Vivian Maier is a rather mysterious figure who worked as a nanny in the Chicago area for most of her adult life in order to earn money for her passion: photography. Outside of work hours, she shot tens of thousands of photos of life in Chicago (as well as the occasional journey outside of the Chicago area), capturing all manner of street life and sides of humanity.
Winter, schwinter. Fie upon thee, polar vortex. Think we can’t take it? We can, we do, and we still celebrate the outdoors. Or at least, that seems to be the prevailing attitude for the upcoming Eelpout Festival in Walker, Feb. 20-23.
They took a year off and changed venues, but the Art Shanty Projects opened for the season this past weekend, and it’s just as much fun as it’s ever been (which is to say, quite a lot). There’s a lot to see and do.
Polar vortex or no polar vortex, the St. Paul Winter Carnival is in full spring, and with it, one of my favorite winter spectacles: the ice sculpture contest in Rice Park. This year’s competitors had to deal with some wildly varying weather conditions, including last Sunday’s near-blizzard. But that didn’t stop them from delivering some beautiful pieces.
Valentine’s Day is only three weeks away, and it falls on a Friday this year, which means it will likely spill into the weekend. Restaurants are sure to be busy. But eating out isn’t the only way to celebrate romance. Here are some ideas for unique outings to enjoy with someone special.
Warm, cold. Polar Vortex, January thaw. The weather is not trustworthy right now, but getting away isn’t doable for everyone.
Once we get past ringing in the New Year, we have a few days’ grace period before 2014 really kicks in. Kids may still be home from school, people may still be taking vacation, but once the holiday decorations are put away and the Christmas thank-you notes are dispatched, what’s left to do? Plenty. Around the state, there are several opportunities to keep the festivities going.
One of my favorite gifts to give (and, well, to receive) is the gift of books. Especially with the weather we’ve been having — what’s better when the subzero temps hit but to curl up under a warm afghan with a good book? Fortunately, here in Minnesota we have lots of great options, both for buying and for reading.
It was one of those most pleasant emails, an invite to a holiday coffee party from a friend—always a welcome thing to pop up in my inbox. But after the details of the invitation was this message: “Please feel free to bring a friend, but not any hostess gifts. Instead, please consider bringing a manual can opener. Need an explanation? It’s hard to open the can of green beans you got at the food shelf if you don’t have a can opener, and equally hard to use your electric can opener if your power’s been turned off.”
You’ve slept off the turkey, you’re not interested in battling crowds on Black Friday, but you have free time and possibly family and friends to entertain. What is there to do this weekend? Plenty. Here is just a sampling of events taking place around the state in the days after Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is next week. Have you figured out where you’ll enjoy your turkey yet? No? There are still options if you don’t feel like cooking.
Sometimes, that old adage about making lemonade from lemons is more than a little true. Although in the case of Wrenshall’s Locally Laid, maybe it’s a case of making omelets from—well—eggs.
With Halloween behind us, the upcoming December holidays bring on a full slate of arts and crafts fairs around the metro. These events take place all year long, but the pre-holiday season finds them at […]
Halloween isn’t the only big holiday occurring this week. Right on its heels is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a popular Hispanic celebration that honors loved ones who are no longer with us. Unlike a somber funeral, Dia de los Muertos tends to focus more on the joy of remembering loved ones and celebrating the lives they lived. Brightly colored skeletons and skulls, lots of food, and often music all play a part in the festivities, which also involve altars set up to honor the departed.
Halloween is almost here. Have you checked out the metro’s haunted houses? There are tons of scary things to do for older Halloween fans. But where you can take the little, more easily scared ones?
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.
It’s late September—time for Oktoberfest. Minnesota might have a reputation for a Scandinavian heritage, but Germans had a hand in settling our state too. Things are already underway for Wabasha’s SeptOberfest, which began earlier this month and runs through Oct. 27.
The beloved Broadway musical Wicked returns this week to Minnesota, opening 9/18 and in town through 10/27 at Minneapolis’ gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. It’s a big show with lots of moving pieces and parts, and behind the scenes, it’s quite an event getting it all unloaded and put together.
One long-time attraction at the Minnesota State Fair is the area known as Heritage Square. It’s a more old-fashioned kind of entertainment, with historical exhibits, a newspaper museum, and various shops and food outlets. This may be the last year for Heritage Square as it is now; plans are being discussed to tear it down and create a transit hub instead.
The Minnesota State Fair kicks off on Thursday. One popular attraction there is the display at the Fine Arts building. The exhibit is the result of an annual competition for Minnesota artists. Thousands of people apply; a first round is chosen; then that group is winnowed down to the final exhibit. Generally between 300-400 pieces of art are chosen to exhibit.
Last week, we took a look at places to dine al fresco in Minneapolis. Now it’s St. Paul’s turn. Here are a few great spots to check out while the weather is still so obliging. Long-time favorite W.A. Frost has a gorgeous patio behind the venerable restaurant, shaded by beautiful trees and very much a respite from the world. When the weather is nice, get there early—it’s very popular.
In just two weeks, the Minnesota State Fair opens. In other words: while warm weather can go into the fall, the official end of summer isn’t far away. Time to enjoy some patio and/or rooftop dining! Here are a few suggestions on the Minneapolis side of the river to get you going. Don’t worry, St. Paul, your turn is coming next week.