Amy Rea

(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

Minnesota State Fair

Wander Minnesota: Dining Al Fresco In Minneapolis

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.

08/10/2013

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Wander Minnesota: Time For Ice Cream

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…).

07/31/2013

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Wander Minnesota: Summer’s Bucket List

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.

07/23/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: A Stroll Down Walker’s Main Street

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).

07/16/2013

historic, fort snelling

Wander Minnesota: Sightseeing with Veterans

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.

07/09/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander MN: Treasures In the Stacks

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.

06/12/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Art On The Lake

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.

06/04/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Crawfish Boil

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.

05/28/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: The Beginning of Blooms

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.

05/22/2013

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Wander Minnesota: Mother’s Day Ideas

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.

04/23/2013

CC1 Wander MN

Wander Minnesota: A Glimpse Of Spring

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.

04/19/2013

(credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Wander Minnesota: Time for Friday Fish Fries

It’s that time of year again: Lent. Looking for fish on Fridays? Check out one of the perks of the season: the Friday Night Fish Fry.

02/28/2013

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Wander Minnesota: Valentine’s Day Out Of The Box

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.

02/05/2013

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Ax-Man Surplus

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.

01/29/2013

(credit: MN Historical Society)

Wander Minnesota: Minnesota And The Civil War

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.

01/15/2013

SF3

Wander Minnesota: The Fairgrounds In Winter

You may not realize that the Fairgrounds are open year-round, and visiting in winter gives an entirely different perspective.

01/02/2013

arb 4

Wander Minnesota: Making Spirits Bright

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.

12/21/2012

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: Animals On Parade

As usual this time of year, there are all kinds of event and exhibits to take in. But at Sixth and Hennepin, on the second floor of the Plymouth Building, there’s an exhibit that’s different than most, combining the holidays, family fun and historic interest.

12/16/2012

(credit: KNOCK)

Wander Minnesota: MN On The National Christmas Tree

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?

12/11/2012

(credit: Amy Rea)

Wander Minnesota: A Guide to December

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.

11/30/2012

Off the Reservation (Or Minnesota Nice) by Jim Denomie (credit: MNHS)

Wander MN: Ded Uŋk’uŋpi — We Are Here

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.

10/18/2012

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