By Nicole Crosbie
People watching can provide hours of entertainment and best of all, it’s free. Find a comfy spot to sit and spend some time taking in the sites and people around you.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Vineland Place, across from the Walker Art Center
Hours: Daily 6am-midnight
Admission is free
Over 7.2 million people visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden each year, with both locals and tourists spending time at the garden. In addition to being home to the Spoonbridge and Cherry, one of Minnesota’s most well-known landmarks, visitors can see a wide variety of art, flowers and plants at this free, outdoor museum and park. The wide variety of people makes this the perfect spot to people watch. Sit on one of the benches and take in the art and the people walking through the garden. From students, to artists, to families, to tourists, to wedding parties, people watching won’t be boring at the Sculpture Garden.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
The Arts Condominium, Lower Level
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Hours: Summer: April to September, daily 10am-6pm; Winter: October to March 10am-4pm
The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is open every day year-round and admission is free (a $1 donation is suggested), making it one of the most popular zoos to visit. On a daily basis you will see families, students on school field trips and couples on dates. If you want to see the funny interactions of kids and their parents, hang out near Como Town where kids can enjoy play time on rides and roller coasters. If you’re looking for a more relaxed environment to people watch, head over to the Japanese Memorial Garden. With a beautiful landscape, a pond with fish, a waterfall and sculptures, you can sit back and watch people meditate, splash in the water and take in their surroundings. If you’re looking for people of all ages, the Cafesjian’s Carousel, built in 1914, is popular for both kids and couples.
1382 Willow St
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Loring Park, located right across a foot bridge from the Sculpture Garden, attracts a diverse crowd. Pick a spot on the grass and watch kids play yard games, youth play basketball, senior citizens playing chess and college kids biking. This park is always full of action, so you won’t have to worry about finding someone interesting to observe.
Mall of America
8100 24th Ave S
Mall of America, Bloomington, MN 55425
Hours: Mon to Fri 10am-9:30pm; Sat 9:30am-9:30pm; Sun 11am-7pm
With 4.3 miles of storefronts, Nickelodeon Universe (a theme park with rides) and Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, the Mall attracts large crowds daily. Four out of ten visitors are tourists, so pick a bench or a coffee shop and try to pick out the visitors from out of state and even out of the country. Weekends are the best time to people watch at the Mall as you can see the fashion-inspired Minnesotans shopping, tourists snapping photos and junior high kids wandering the four levels of the Mall.
Stone Arch Bridge
Sixth Ave SE and Main St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Website & Reviews
With a beautiful view of the Minneapolis skyline, photographers can usually be found near the Stone Arch Bridge snapping photos. During the day you can find tourists taking segway tours, people of all ages going for a run and families going for walks. The Bridge is a popular location for engagement and wedding photos, so keep an eye out for couples and bridal parties. With the Guthrie nearby, you might find couples dressed up and out for a stroll before a show. Afternoons and early evenings are the best times to people watch at the Stone Arch Bridge.
Nicole Crosbie loves fashion and shopping, she has lived in Minnesota her whole life and loves finding new places to shop, eat and explore in the Twin Cities. She has degrees in public relations and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.