There is so much to love about this season in MN. Barbecues are fired up, birds are chirping and green grass is peeking through. We are on the up & up! So, in the spirit of Spring, I have compiled some of the best ways to brighten up your days.
1. Walk the Stone Arch Bridge
Arguably one of the most iconic spots in the Cities, the Stone Arch bridge, offers both some great views and exercise. An added bonus that it is essentially free (other than parking) so you can spend time wandering with ease.
2. Hike somewhere
There are several great spots only a few moments away from the Twin Cities for a good hike. One of the best places to explore bluffs and ravines is Afton State Park, where there are 20 miles of trails to explore. On the other end of the Cities is Lebanon Regional Park in Eagan. These wooded trails go on forever, with markers guiding you along. Bonus: it is also very picturesque.
3. Happy hour on a patio
Finally!! It’s warm enough to enjoy the sun with a cocktail in hand. My favorite patios around the cities include:
Photo via Sandcastle Facebook
Freight House in Stillwater, while it may not technically be in the Cities, this place does have incredible views of the river.
SandCastle, located on Lake Nokomis is a great stop after a walk around the 2.5 mile loop.
Boca Chica Mexican Restaurant has colorful decor, bright walls and a great patio for relaxing outdoors with a margarita.
Burger Moe’s in St. Paul is the best spot for cheap yet flavorful food, best enjoyed underneath an umbrella on the patio.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I suggest stopping in on your next visit to MOA. Fourpost is the new retail store with local vendors selling their crafts, from coffee mugs to clothes and wall decor. Picture a mini-market place inside a store. It is so awesome.
5. Read a book at Lake Harriet
Lake Harriet is one of the best places to exercise in the Cities. Of course you can walk all three lakes (Isles, Nokomis, Harriet, Bde Maka Ska), but if you only have time for one I suggest going for Lake Harriet. I always seem to have an easier time parking there than the other lakes, and it offers some of the best views of the houses nearby.
6. Buy Flowers at Ma Jolie
Two words: Photo Shoot. Ma Jolie Marché Mobile is a french marketi traveling around the streets of the Cities selling fresh flowers. Although they are always on the move, they do participate in Food Truck Friday’s all summer long in North Loop from 11:30-1:30 pm. More details here.
7. Ride Bikes
I know we are the Land of 10,000 lakes, but it seems like we are also the Land of 10,000 bike trails. On a warmer day, Paul Bunyan State Trail or Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail are some of the best paved trails to try.
8. Explore Minnehaha Falls
One of the most beautiful wonders of the cities is Minnehaha Falls. I’m sure all you locals have been before to get your perfect Instagram shot, but there are actually lots of trails near the falls for you to walk. Plus, after working up an appetite you can stop by Sea Salt Eatery near the entrance of the falls where you can indulge in some killer seafood.
9. Sculpture Garden
Walker Art Center is home to the infamous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture and beautiful views of the city. The grounds are well-kept and fun to walk. Be sure to bring your camera!
Photo via Minnesota United FC Facebook
10. Cheer on the Loons
I can’t tell you how excited I am that Minnesota now has a soccer team! The Minnesota United FC team is now well underway in their season. Check out their schedule here to make your way to Allianz Field!
Whatever you do, I hope these 10 adventures brighten your day!
SeaQuest is coming to Rosedale Center and their 50% off pre-open Sale ends soon! Feed sharks and stingrays, a giant tortoise, a capybara, and so much more! A family of 5 can enjoy year round access for $69.95, celebrate a birthday for 10 at $99.95, and snorkel with stingrays for $19.95 per person. Clink the link at the bottom of this list for details.
Add this to your list of things to do with kids in Minneapolis! I was so excited to hear a new, fun interactive animal experience was coming to the Twin Cities. What makes this different? The interactions you get with the animals. You get to touch, interact and feed stingrays, sharks, iguanas, birds. How cool is that?!?! Here are my top 5 things to love about SeaQuest :
1.) Snorkel With Stingrays
Grab your bathing suit & jump right in!
2.) Birthday Parties
Invite a mermaid, invite a pirate! What a great way to celebrate with your friends.
3.) Activity Tokens
To elevate your interactive experience, SeaQuest offers feeding opportunities in many of our exhibits. We believe that interaction is one of the best ways for both children and adults to learn about amazing animals from all over the planet. You can elevate your interactive experience by feeding the animals. All it takes is a few Activity Tokens, which are exchanged for food.
4.) Hands on Interactions
Designed as a ‘Quest of Edutainment,’ visitors to SeaQuest will journey through realistically themed exhibits where they will connect with the animals through various hands on encounters such as feeding sharks, stingrays, capybara, asian small clawed otters, giant sulcata tortoises, large exotic birds species, and thousands of other creatures along the way. Anyone in search of a more daring experience can enjoy walk-in aviaries, feeding caiman or snorkeling in the premier, swim tank filled with reef sharks, stingrays and hundreds of tropical fish. SeaQuest is also an ideal venue for school field trips, birthday parties, and private events.
5.) Animal Whisper Tours
While you participate in various activities and teaching moments, you’ll also meet the REAL SeaQuest Animal Whisperers and assist them as they feed the different animals behind the scenes and in off display exhibits not open to the general public.
Tours are available on site for only 2 tokens or $4.00
Tours start every hour
Tours last 20 minutes
Make sure to bring your camera or phone and we will be happy to snap photos of your behind the scenes adventure!
Minneapolis has the best restaurants! I have come up with 10 of my favorite places to eat & drink in Minneapolis. When I am planning a birthday celebration or date night, these 10 Minneapolis restaurants are always on the list! I linked every one of them to the restaurants website so you can make a reservation for your next Minneapolis night out.
Check out the map at the end of this post. Please comment with your favorite places to eat in the Twin Cities. Cheers!
Spring is here and Twins Baseball has started. I attended the 2019 Food & Beverage Preview at Target Field and am so excited to share the new items with you. Let’s get started:
Target Field has embraced Minnesota’s love for local small businesses. They created a “Gate 34 Experience”. Local vendors will rotate with every three-game series, with some repeats on the schedule. That totals 300 vendors throughout the season!
Grab a beverage, some food, shop and play yard games. This newly renovated area is open to all ticket holders.
Gate 34 Experience: 300 Local vendors will pop-up in Target Field, rotating every 3-game series .
Let’s Start with the new foods at Target Field. This is why you are here, right!?!
Some of the new concessions are:
Soul Bowl (section 120)
Broomstick (section 127)
Craft Sandwiches ( Section 114)
Hot Indian Foods Vegan Channa Rice Bowls (section 120)
Roots For The Home Team (section 101)
It’s All Greek To Me
Chicken & Waffle Cone
FAMILY FRIENDLY PRICING:
The Twins are making their ballpark experience more family-friendly this season. The team has announced new family-value concessions pricing at Target Field for 2019, including discounts on classic ballpark foods.
Families will be able to get Twins Dog hot dogs for $4 -- regular price is $5 -- and peanuts and popcorn for $3, half off the normal $6 price. The family-value concessions also include special pricing for soft pretzels, nachos, soda and Budweiser and Bud Light.
Family-value pricing will be available at Target Field’s State Fair concessions stands in sections 133 and 327. Those concession stands will also have touch-screen self-checkout kiosks.
Eating With A Purpose:
Please be sure to check out the Roots For The Home Team concessions. Not only do they have healthy options, they are a really great purpose.
I don’t know if it’s spring break or what, but there is something in me that is in desperate need of an adventure. Thankfully, there are amazing cities within day-trip range from the Twin Cities. So if you aren’t wanting to commit to an overnight trip, there are plenty of places to check out that are worth exploring. Red Wing
The city best known for their killer boots and beautiful Lake Pepin. Odds are you know at least one person who has a pair of Red Wing Boots. I venture to say they are the iconic staple shoe for most Minnesotans. So, if you are in the market for a pair or want to window-shop, I recommend going to their store downtown.
What ever happened to the lost art of picnics? I LOVE the idea of bringing your food somewhere new and lounging around in nature. If any of these resonates with you, I would head Sorin’s Bluff for a picnic and hike. It is undoubtedly the best view of the city.
Once you are ready to rest your feet, go to The Smokin Oak Rotisserie & Grill for some mouthwatering barbeque. Or, if you prefer to unwind with a cold beer, the Red Wing Brewery is a great place for you to try great beer and even better pizza.
This is a personal favorite. Of course Taylor’s Falls is the ideal spot for camping in the summer, but it is an equally awesome outdoor adventure spot during any season.
My favorite part of downtown is The Drive In, home of the best root beer ever. I have no joke driven to Taylor’s Falls just to get a pint of root beer & some onion rings...so good. They also have a mini-put course behind it that is perfect for those of you with kiddos or those who are kids at heart.
One of Taylor’s Falls’ main attractions, besides the bluffs, is Interstate State Park. It’s so easy to hike around, climb rocks and enjoy the outdoors. If you are looking to kick back after spending the day hiking, hop on the Taylor’s Falls Scenic Boat Tours for a relaxing ride down the river. I did it years ago and really liked getting to see the bluffs from below.
I am pretty sure everyone knows about the magic of Stillwater. No matter how many times I go, I am always impressed by the character of this little town. The best part of Stillwater is it’s walkability.You can stroll along the main street with ease, passing shops and restaurants along the way. I should also mention that if you happen to visit in the summer, the city puts on ‘Movies in the park’ for the community to gather and enjoy together along the river.
If you are an art-lover, be sure to check out the Stillwater Art Guild Gallery where they showcase art crafted by local artists. If you are a foodie, Lola American Kitchen for you, a crowd favorite, with delicious rosemary fries. Yum. Oasis Cafe is more of a casual ambiance, but don’t let that fool you...their chicken sandwich is divine! To top it off, the Lift Bridge Brewing Company hits the mark, with a cozy atmosphere and great beer.
Let me know your favorite MN Cities below! I am always looking for places to adventure for the day.
The Pop-up Tanks were my sons favorite thing! It is a 360 degree tank that makes you feel like you are inside of the aquarium.
The Stamp Stations! The kids love earning a stamp and it is a fun learning station.
The Shark Cave, this is where we spent the most time. It is quite mesmerizing.
The hands on exhibits. You can feed the sting rays, snorkel with fish, touch the coral. You can even sleep undersea if you want!!!
Image from visitsealife.com
The Mall of America is full of fun things to do with the entire family. We live in Minneapolis and frequent this mall. We have done the Crayola experience, Nickelodeon Universe, Candytopia and so much more! But we have spent the most time at Sea Life.
Make sure the kids use the restroom before hand.
Find a locker to drop your stuff. You will want free hands to touch the exhibits.
Take your time. The attraction is not very big and if you run through you will be disappointed.
Get Your Hands On Creepy Crawlies at SEA LIFE at Mall of America! Come face to fear with creepy cockroaches, hungry piranha, curious crocs and more at the new “Brave the Rainforest” adventure opening March 15th! Are you brave enough to explore interactive exhibits and NEW animal encounters never-before-seen at the Aquarium? Face your fears with new pop-up tanks, a creature meet & greet area, special weather effects, and more!
I know you’re thinking the same thing as me: you would do pretty much anything to be somewhere on a beach with your toes in the water and bum in the sand - yes, I am most definitely quoting Zac Brown Band. Anyways, since that isn’t attainable to everybody, there surely has to be another way to relax without the island breeze in your hair, right? Okay so let’s break this down. There are 3 major things that I look forward to with any vacation: 1. Relaxing 2. Eating 3. Shopping. So, let’s take these things and put an MN spin on it!
One of my favorite ways to unwind is at the nail salon with my feet in a tub of warm water and my mind focused on the trashy tabloid in my hands. There is something so nice about having an hour to think about nothing while getting my feet pretty at the same time. Some of the best places to check out in the city are Spalon Montage, Lena Nails and Nk Spa Nails.
If you feel like going all out, you can stop by a salon for a little extra pampering. Infinity Bodyworks and Massage is a well-known spot for massages, as well as Bryce Jermain Salon for their killer beauty services.
If sweating it out is your thing, theLittle Sauna Box as mentioned in a previous blog, is a great option for you. Plus, you can also do this with friends!
I would consider myself a pro at eating. No joke, I am actually salivating thinking about the cookies I am about to inhale after this. Yum. Anyways, we all know vacations are the best time to eat whatever you want without any repercussions, after all that’s what flowy shirts are for, right?
Well, since I am the master at the art of eating, I do have some suggestions on where to go this weekend to take your tastebuds into a tropical state…
Island Vibes - Yes, I know that everybody knows about this place, but just in case you haven’t heard, Psycho Suzi’s is a great spot to get your fix of tiki huts and tropical drinks. I also have to throw in Betty Danger’s as a suggestion for their unique atmosphere and fun drink list including the Coachella Cooler - I see what they did there, ha!
Mexican cuisine - Let me tell you, the cities are in no shortage of Mexican restaurants to get your grease on. I won’t bore you with reasons to check them out, but here are some of the honorable mentions in the Cities for Mexican cuisine: Salsa a la Salsa, Bar Luchador, and Maya.
Acai bowls - These are ALL the rage nowadays. I swear I see a photo of an influencer eating an acai bowl at least once a day. So, if eating one of these gets you closer to your Hawaiian dreams, Whole Sum Kitchen and Truce are great places to give them a try!
Irish food - The Local is a cozy place to grab a drink and be transported into a bar straight out of Dublin. They serve great drinks and a warm ambiance that is equally laidback and romantic.
I can’t be the only one who intentionally leaves extra room in their carry-on for all the souvenirs that I buy on vacay… at least I hope I’m not! Since I won’t be indulging in foreign shopping, I will certainly be making up for it around the Twin Cities. This weekend is actually the Vintage Market, which means it’s time to head over to the Machine Shop on Saturday between 11 am - 5 pm to find some quality vintage pieces. There are so many great boutiques to check out in the Cities including: Prim & Proper, Parc, Cliché, and Urban Violet.
Let’s get to spring break-ing!
So, although you might not be hopping on a flight somewhere warmer for spring break, there is no reason you can’t get the same perks of relaxation with a staycation in the Twin Cities!
Well people, it seems like we are being hit with the Polar Vortex round 2. How crazy has this winter been?! Oh well, let’s not let that stop us from getting out this weekend! To help motivate you, I have compiled the 5 best ways to warm up this weekend:
1. Brunch it up
Luckily food is something that the Cities seem to have an abundance of. Honestly, the hardest part is deciding where to go. If you have never been, Salty Tart is one of the trendiest yet most delicious little cafes with locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. I highly recommend their coconut macaroon latte. I also recommend Parallel Cafe for their exceptional food and high-grade coffee. It’s a hidden gem over by Target Field with an airy and bright vibe that you need to check out.
2. Grab some hot cocoa
Duh. There is no better way to warm your insides than through some chocolatey goodness. Of course this is somewhat similar to brunch, but if you are just looking to sip on delicious cocoa, places to consider visiting are Cafe Latte, Sun Street Breads and Corner Coffee.
3. Get Moving
Whether you are a fan of high-intensity fitness or calming exercises, there are plenty of places to get your sweat on this weekend. Cyclebar located in Woodbury is one of the most popular spots for spinning. Their classes are $20 for one ride, which include poppin’ music and uplifting instructors. Pro tip: they offer your first class free, which is great for any of you who want to test it out!
If you prefer more of a slow-paced burn, Yoga Sol is another place to try. It is a donation-based studio, which is perfect if you are just wanting to try it out without any monthly-commitment. Check out there class schedule here.
4. Relax at Little Sauna Box
Talk about warming up! Little Sauna Box is a mobile sauna parked outside of Parallel Cafe (as mentioned in #1). Basically guests can rent the space for 90-minute sessions at $25 total, not to mention it can fit up to 9 people. So, if you don’t have access to a sauna elsewhere or want a more private experience than your local gym, this is a great way to cozy up with some friends!
5. Warm up with some competition
I won’t lie, there comes a point when it’s so cold that I forget there’s even activities to do outside my own house - ha! But, bowling is always a fun way to escape for the night. Some of the best places are Pinstripes, Bryant Lake Park, Brunswick Zone. Similar to bowling, both Whirlyball and Big Thrill Factory offer laser tag and loads of games that are fun for your whole family.
I hope this inspires you to get out this weekend, or at the very least gave you some new places to add to your food bucket list!
What’s that sound? Oh, it’s just holiday music that started playing on radio stations and in stores before the Halloween candy was discounted. For that musically inclined person, we’ve got the exclusive Corey Sweeter designed t-shirt or +1 and First Avenue pint glasses, because all beverages taste better loud.
SURLY UPCOMING EVENTS & SALES:
BLACK FRIDAY – NOV. 23 – THE VAULT SALE
On Black Friday, and Black Friday only, we’ll be releasing t-shirts in limited run designs from Surly’s past. Every hour on the hour, a new design will be available for purchase at The Company Store. While we don’t want to give it all away, you can expect to find t-shirts with Darkness bottle art (like this and this), Anniversary artwork, and some classic beer and graphic designs.
SLIGHTLY SELFISH, SURLY GIFT CARD GIVING.
Starting Black Friday, Nov. 23, for every $100 Surly gift card you purchase for a family member, friend, co-worker or really lucky acquaintance, get a $25 Surly gift card all for yourself. Then come back in January to visit us, try new menu items and spend that $25.
Now through Dec. 31, Pastry Chef Joanna and her team will be baking up some of the best damn pies you’ll ever eat. If you want to win the accolades for bringing the best thing to Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and/or holiday party, you’ll want to grab these: Cynic Caramel Apple Pie ($24), Witch’s Tower Pumpkin ($25), Darkness Pecan Pie ($24). To order, call Taylor at 763-535-3330 ext. 0. Or, check out our website next week.
BREWERS & DOERS
On Dec. 2, 2018, join us for the inaugural Brewers & Doers Holiday Bazaar. This Surly-wide event brings a ridiculous variety of local artisans, curators, makers, and activities together at the Destination Brewery. Spread from the Beer Garden to Scheid Hall, guests will be able to have their tarot cards read, smoke hand-rolled cigars made just for them, shop for anything from jewelry to home décor to locally-sourced vintage ware, and experience the Minnesota Krampus Society Krampus Parade, all while listening to some of the Twin Cities’ favorite vinyl DJs both inside and out.
In the true spirit of giving, Surly Gives A Damn will be onsite running a sock drive to benefit Hennepin County Health and Human Services. If you bring in some new socks, SGAD will buy you a beer.
We’ll be celebrating our second annual Ugly Sweater Cellar Raid on Thursday, Dec. 20. There will be anti-holiday-inspired DJs from 6 pm to 9 pm (nice). At 9 pm, the Beer Hall managers will judge our customer Ugly Sweater contest and hand out gift cards and bottles from the cellar. Last year’s winner wore an authentic McDonald’s McRib ugly sweater, so the stakes are high.
Friday, Nov. 23 - Sunday, Dec. 16 – Surly is an official Toys for Tots drop site. So, come on out for dinner and a pint and drop off your donated toys.
Tuesday, Dec. 11 – Come flex your inner bad-ass elf skills and help sort toys at the Toys for Tots warehouse. Last year alone Toys for Tots sifted through 238,141 toys and made 183,751 kids really happy. Help spread the joy in 2018. Sign up for this event will go live on our website Nov. 20.
Tuesday, Nov. 27 – #GivingTuesday Gift Wrapping
When you make a purchase at the company store and give a donation (toy or monetary) to Toys for Tots, we’ll wrap your gifts for you.
Sunday, Dec. 2 – SGAD Sock Drive
In the true spirit of giving, SGAD will be onsite during the Brewers & Doers Holiday Bazaar running a sock drive to benefit Hennepin County Health and Human Services. If you bring in some new socks, SGAD will buy you a beer.
Wednesday, Dec. 26 – Holiday Bloodletting
Come save lives this Holiday Season with SGAD & Memorial Blood Centers. Blood is always in need during this time of year, so we are going big, and striving to get 99 units donated! Anyone who comes on out to donate will receive a Surly pint glass and a free beer coupon (to be drank at another time).
Thursday, Dec. 27 – Open Arms Holiday Meal Delivery
We’re looking for 30 volunteers to deliver meals for the holidays with Open Arms of Minnesota! You will be delivering food to clients living with serious illnesses so they can reduce holiday stress and food needs. Open Arms of Minnesota is a nonprofit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. Sign up for this event will go live, right here, on December 4.
If you’ve made it to the end this full rundown of all the gifting, giving, eating and doing, you’re ready for a beer. We suggest whatever is cold. Cheers!
Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. The crisp air, the sound of crunching leaves at my feet, football & apple orchards. Apple orchards bring back such great childhood memories. The donuts, hay rides, picking apples. Here are 14 Minnesota Apple Orchards for you to check out: