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.
The long winter slowed the arrival of spring and all things spring-like, including the much-needed beauty of perennial flowers and bulbs. But at last they’re making an appearance. Over the weekend, I visited the Munsinger Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud, where the bulbs were bursting out, and signs of future floral glories to come.
It’s only a couple of weeks until Mother’s Day. Have you made plans for the special mom in your life? If you’d like some ideas of things to do besides go out to eat, consider one of these options.
Spring has been taking its own sweet time arriving in Minnesota this year, much to the consternation of just about everyone. But there is a place you can visit to get a taste of what spring might eventually be like: the Spring Flower Show at the Como Park Conservatory.
Next week is Valentine’s Day. Being that it falls on a Thursday, it will likely trickle over into the weekend, and restaurants and florists will be busy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with flowers and a lovely dinner out, but there are other options. Note: reservations are recommended for most of these, so call ahead.
Cabin fever setting in? The impending return of the frigid temps got you down? Can’t shake the winter doldrums? You just need to take a little trip to Ax-Man Surplus.
This weekend marks the opening of the St. Paul Winter Carnival. But that’s not the only thing opening in St. Paul.
Though far from the famed battlegrounds of the American Civil War, and overlapping with the Dakota Conflict of 1862, the Civil War did have an impact on Minnesota, during and after.
You may not realize that the Fairgrounds are open year-round, and visiting in winter gives an entirely different perspective.
One of my favorite places to visit this time of year is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, because it’s the time of year when the Arboretum’s staff and volunteers put on the annual holiday extravaganza known as Making Spirits Bright.
Every year, the National Park Service puts up and lights the National Tree in Washington, D.C. As befitting a national tree, the ornaments represent each of the fifty states. How is Minnesota represented?
Minnesota is pretty festival-friendly all year long, but December is more jam-packed than any other month. Here are just a few of the events taking place around the state (outside of the metro area) by the end of 2012.
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.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of what is perhaps Minnesota’s darkest hour: the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. There have been a number of events surrounding this anniversary, both in the Twin Cities and in the areas across the state that were directly affected.
Fall is arriving with great speed—like the photo above, you can see green leaves in some places, with others already blazing yellow and red. And if it’s fall, it must be time for Oktoberfest at the Black Forest Inn.
The peak of Minnesota’s tornado season may have passed for 2012, but opening this weekend at the Science Museum of Minnesota is Tornado Alley.
The state’s biggest festival season may be behind us for 2012, but there are still plenty of ways to explore and celebrate the upcoming seasons. One of my favorite organizations, the Minnesota Historical Society, has a full slate of fun events coming up. One of the things I love about the MNHS is that they do an excellent job of blending education with fun.
Obviously there’s plenty to do at the Fair (eating being one of the best choices). But besides things like rides and exhibits and parades and concerts, you might spy a group of people like this:
This past weekend I thought it would be fun to take in a play. But rather than go to one (of the many) great theaters in the Cities, I found myself in a historic home in Taylors Falls.
Every year in July, there’s an event out at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie: the Minnesota Air Expo.
Over several posts, I’ve highlighted some of the fun things to do and beautiful things to see on the Iron Range. You can visit the Minnesota Discovery Center, take a tour at Hill Annex Mine View State Park, check out the Greyhound Bus Museum, learn about Finnish homesteaders, and stay at the beautiful Giant’s Ridge Resort near Biwabik.
There’s a lot of history to be found on the Iron Range, and one central place to get a detailed picture of it is at the Minnesota Discovery Center.
Last year, the Iron Range Tourist Board contacted me about making a visit and really exploring the Range area. I certainly couldn’t say no to that, and recently made a (too short) visit north. This is the first of several blog pieces about what I discovered on my travels, and I’ll also be blogging over at A Closer Look at Flyover Land about it too.
Ah, yes, it’s spring, and that means the seasonal farmers markets are opening and local, sun-ripened produce is returning to Minnesota. And what better example could we find than at—a German restaurant?