Amy Rea

(credit: waterparkofamerica.com)

Wander, Minnesota: Spring Break Staycations

Schools around the metro are taking that week-long (more or less) holiday known as spring break, now through mid April. Whether going out of town isn’t in your financial picture right now, or you’d just rather stay home, here are some ideas to keep your family from going stir-crazy—especially if it snows again next week. The classic kid-venture spots never fail to entertain: the Science Museum of Minnesota (especially with the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit having just opened, and it’s fantastic), which might be paired with a trip to the Minnesota Children’s Museum, which just opened its Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice exhibit;

03/14/2014

(credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Wander Minnesota: Friday Night Fish Fries For Lent

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.

03/05/2014

(credit: CBS)

Wander Minnesota: A Festive March

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.

02/28/2014

(credit: The Jeffrey Goldstein Collection and Vivian Maier Prints)

Wander Minnesota: Vivian Maier – There’s Still Time

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.

02/21/2014

(credit: Chase on the Lake)

Wander Minnesota: The Eelpout Festival

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.

02/14/2014

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: The Return Of The Art Shanties

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.

02/04/2014

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Winter Carnival Ice Sculptures

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.

01/29/2014

(credit: Coco Mault)

Wander MN: Out-Of-The-Ordinary Valentine’s

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.

01/22/2014

(credit: Science Museum of Minnesota)

Wander Minnesota: The World In Front Of You

Warm, cold. Polar Vortex, January thaw. The weather is not trustworthy right now, but getting away isn’t doable for everyone.

01/16/2014

(credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Wander Minnesota: Post-New Year’s Celebrating

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.

12/31/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Making Spirits Bright

An annual holiday tradition that’s a favorite of mine is a visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for the Making Spirits Bright exhibit and related events.

12/17/2013

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Wander Minnesota: The Gift Of Books

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.

12/11/2013

(credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Wander Minnesota: Help For Those In Need At The Holidays

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.”

12/04/2013

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Wander Minnesota: Thanksgiving Weekend Alternatives

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.

11/25/2013

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

Wander Minnesota: Thanksgiving Feasts, Traditional & Not

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.

11/19/2013

(credit: CBS)

Wander Minnesota: From Layoff To Super Bowl Commercial Finalist

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.

11/13/2013

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Wander Minnesota: Holiday Shopping

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 […]

11/08/2013

(credit: CBS)

Wander Minnesota: Halloween Around Minnesota

Halloween is almost here. Last week I took a look at not-so-scary Hallween events around the Twin Cities. This week, let’s take a look at a sampling of Halloween events around the state.

10/23/2013

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Wander Minnesota: Not-So-Scary Halloween Events

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?

10/18/2013

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Wander Minnesota: Fall Getaways

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.

09/30/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Oktoberfest

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.

09/24/2013

(credit: Joan Marcus)

Wander Minnesota: Staging ‘Wicked’

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.

09/17/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Heritage Square

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.

08/27/2013

Hopkins Center for the Arts

Wander MN: State Fair Overflow Art Show

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.

08/20/2013

(credit: www.wafrost.com)

Wander Minnesota: Dining Al Fresco in St. Paul

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.

08/15/2013

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