By Linda Cameron 

Blending into the Minnesota social scene should be seamless, with so many things to see and do. However, even locals sometimes wonder where to begin. Minnesota has a variety of alternatives to bars and nightclubs, unless these are part of your social agenda. Although social media is a useful medium, time away might be the break you need. Here are some local venues where one can meet new people and discover new mutual interests.

Tapestry Folkdance Center 
3748 Minnehaha Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-2914

This vibrant folkdance center is several dance steps away from the scenic Minnehaha Falls Regional Park. Full of community spirit, the dance center welcomes everyone of all ages and levels of dance experience. People come to learn new dances, meet new people and enjoy date nights. Whether you come solo or with a group, you’re bound to meet other people while folk dancing to American roots music and international tunes.

(credit: CBS)

Minnehaha Falls Regional Park 
4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417
(612) 230-6400 

The natural glory of the cascading waterfalls is a tourist and local attraction. It’s a shame that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the renown poet from Maine, never saw the 53-foot Minnesota wonder he made famous through his epic poem. The falls are a respite for walkers and runners, some in the company of man’s best friend – a canine. The park’s other attractions are many, such as bike and hiking trails, the Longfellow House Hospitality Center, flower gardens and picnic areas. In such congenial surroundings, it’s hard to lose yourself in the crowd.

Fired Up Studios
1000 Boone Ave. N., Suite 380
Golden Valley, MN 55427
(612) 852-2787

At Fired Up Studios, mounds of clay have molded into friendships as pottery makers discover the ceramic artist from within. Formerly based in Minneapolis, the studios relocated to larger facilities in Golden Valley. If you want to fire up new friendships through a ceramics tryout, enroll for a Clay Date workshop. The studios also publish links to specialty pottery workshops, where new and dedicated ceramicists can learn from artists in a supportive and friendly environment.

Related:  Best Ceramics Classes For Adults In Minnesota

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 
12364 Chest Blvd.
Shakopee, MN 55379
(952) 445-7361

Theater group participation is one of the best ways to meet new people. Every year, producers of the festival invite volunteers, skilled crafters and would-be thespians to help put the shows together. Many performers began their careers through this Midwest festival. Anyone bitten with the acting bug can apply for an audition. Formal theatrical training is not a prerequisite. The theater group posts dates for auditioning and skilled craft contests. Another way to become involved is to apply for seasonal or full-time employment or host a fundraiser for your non-profit.

Crystal Beach 
1101 Crystal Lake Road E. 
Burnsville, MN 55337
(952) 895-4500

Burnsville has evolved into a thriving urban center for shopping, dining and local culture. One of the city’s central attractions is Crystal Beach. A 24-acre park, Crystal Beach is where people gather for picnics, recreational swimming, canoeing and paddle boarding. In addition to its beautiful beach, the park has picnic areas, a playground, volleyball courts and free Wi-Fi. Visitors can use park facilities after the beach is closed, but must first make arrangements with the park’s recreation department.

Related: Best Things To Do In Burnsville


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