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.
Last week, I took at look at a summer bucket list, because, like it or not, summer is racing to its end. The State Fair opens in three weeks, and school isn’t far behind. But there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the best rites of summer: visiting an ice cream shop (or two, or three…).
Summer was so late in arriving this year that it’s almost heresy to talk about it coming to an end. But as of this writing, the Minnesota State Fair is only a little over four weeks away. The clock is ticking—it’s time to make sure you get as much summer fun in as you can. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
If you think about Walker, your first thought might turn to fishing. The city is on the shores of Leech Lake, the third largest lake in Minnesota (that’s entirely within state borders).
After the Fourth of July, a reader asked me to come up with a list of places she could take her elderly father-in-law, a WWII veteran, over the summer that would give him the opportunity to pay respects to veterans of any war.
The Fourth of July is next week Thursday, and not surprisingly, it looks like many communities are going to have festivities spilling over into the weekend that follows. Besides the usual community fireworks and parades, there’s a lot to choose from around the state.
If you happen to think about University of Minnesota libraries, you might think that they’re filled with all matter of academic works, fit mainly for college students of all levels. Of course there are tons of academic materials, but that’s far from what’s available there, and you don’t have to be an enrolled student to enjoy some of the holdings.
If you hear the phrase, “Sculptures on Lake Bemidji,” you might first think of this classic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, Babe the Blue Ox, have graced the shores of Lake Bemidji since 1937.
Ideally, the weather would have been better last Saturday for the first of Cajun 2 Geaux’s outdoor crawfish boils. But even on a chilly, cloudy day, it’s hard not to feel festive when the Cajun-themed truck begins cooking.
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: