Open Streets Minneapolis street fair
Last weekend I volunteered at the University of Minnesota’s Open Streets Minneapolis. Sponsored by the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, the free festival has a route that’s closed to all motorized traffic. Only bicycle, skateboard and pedestrian traffic is allowed, giving visitors a chance to leisurely stroll the streets and explore. This was one of many Open Streets festivals that happen around the city.
Local businesses and outside vendors offer food, entertainment and information. Some, but not all, is bicycle-related. One nice perk for cyclists is a booth offering free bike repairs!
Perry and I found some mini street signs. Luckily he wasn’t interested in the fire hydrant.
He also made friends with a Jimmy John’s delivery guy, who sadly did not have any doggy sandwiches in his backpack.
A juggler entertained crowds both with his ability to juggle four balls and his floral shirt style sense.
Cheerful volunteers were ready to point people in the right directions, whether on bicycle or foot.
If you want to play tourist in your own city or are coming from out of town to explore new neighborhoods, Open Streets Minneapolis offers a fresh way to see the city.
The very last Open Streets Minneapolis of the season is taking place September 26th, 2015. Find out more information at http://www.openstreetsmpls.org.
Updated February 2017
Twin Cities Valentine’s Day date ideas
Need some ideas and inspiration for Valentines Day in the Twin Cities? Here is the Valentine’s Day round up of the gifts to give and places to go for Twin Cities Valentine’s Day date ideas in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding area. Whether you’re a local or visiting MN for a special trip, here is some of the best of what it has to offer.
What to Give
I’m a gifts person, so obviously I’m gonna start with this one. One of the fun things about the Twin Cities is the abundance of makers and small businesses. These are some made in Minnesota gifts they will love:
What to Send
Write your love notes on handcrafted cards from Raindrop Paperie. Made in the Twin Cities, the modern take on handmade paper craft is something unique and heartfelt.
Where to Eat
For a more casual celebration that needs no reservation, drop in to your local cupcake shop. My Twin Cities favorites are Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe (I’ve been a fan since I attended the grand opening) and Nadia Cakes. Both offer gluten free options and aesthetically pleasing (ahem, instagrammable) spaces to sit and chat.
What to do
In the city: Enjoy one of the many theatre shows in the Twin Cities. The Guthrie Theatre has weekday matinees, and a local arts blogger recommended The Royal Family which is playing there this week.
Outside the city: I’m going to let you in on the most amazing secret: Swan Park, an area on a lake in Monticello, attracts thousands of swans in the wintertime. Visitors ready for a romance overload can view and photograph the swans.
If you’re not local, you can still get the swan experience with your sweetie–grab a blanket and hunker down in front of the Swan Cam. To access the Swan Cam and information on Swan Park, head to Monticello Chamber of Commerce’s website.
For more ideas on how to personalize your Valentine’s Day, make a cake banner, personalize your own artsy envelopes and get inspired by vintage Valentine card messages from the past.