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.
I was on my high school’s mock trial team (as if being in art school wasn’t nerdy enough), and I wasn’t very good at it. In fact, the only positive thing to come out of that extracurricular was the realization that nothing can elicit the feeling of power and professionalism like a polished outfit finished off with a blazer. But sadly, I’m not a fan of wearing suits. They’re not very comfortable and they’re pretty boring! So I’ve developed techniques to put together outfits that are professional yet still have both personality and comfort. If you work in a creative industry or an office with a business casual dress code, it’s absolutely okay to play with the balance of personal and professional style. My favorite techniques for putting together a comfortable, pretty and office-approved outfit are pictured here: low-heeled boots, a skirt with fun flair, a blazer in a stretch fabric, and eye-catching jewelry.
Feminine details like gold jewelry and a layered lace pencil skirt balance out the semi-tailored jacket. This is my current favorite marriage of office-appropriate tailoring and artsy, feminine touches. You can forget the matchy-matchy suit sets as long as common colors and harmonious patterns/textures bind the pieces of your outfit together.
Necklace: Modcloth; Blazer: Carlson (bought at Nordstrom Rack); Skirt: Modcloth; Boots: Franco Sarto
Location: Hopkins Center for the Arts
I made this as a housewarming note for a friend of mine who lives in another city. I took a large format postcard that was actually an advertisement for a catering company, pasted it on cardstock, trimmed the cardstock to match the size of the postcard, and then covered the address with a blank label. I printed my own caption, then cut and individually pasted the words. On the back (which was solid cardstock), I had plenty of room to write a long message. My friend loved it (duh), even though she didn’t get it for a few weeks because she didn’t know where the mail slot was in her new building.
To make your own postcard, you will need the obvious tools such as scissors, glue and card stock. The hardest thing to find is source material–I was lucky to find such a cute and quirky advertisement. If nothing suitable arrives in your mailbox, you can always print something that you find yourself online. As for the caption, try to channel the ever-witty Anne Taintor, who popularized this retro, self-mocking style of humor with her popular line of gift items. Put aside your inner perfectionist–this is essentially a collage project, so layered paper and uneven edges are part of the charm! Before I mailed my homemade postcard I covered it with a laminating sheet to protect all the layers. One last word of caution–make sure to use enough postage and make sure your creation abides by USPS’s postcard guidelines. Make something cute? Share your creation on The Pink Paperdoll’s Facebook page.
Last weekend marked a milestone for a great company I’ve had the pleasure of working with, Tiny Diva Princess Party. Tiny Divas has been bringing royalty to life since 2008. Now, the princesses have a new event space to call home in Eagan, MN. To celebrate the grand opening of the Events! location, they hosted an enchanted party of fairytale proportions.
Some of the royalty in attendance, captured in the photo booth provided by Travis Johansen.
The party included chocolate tiara(!) demonstrations by chocolatier Kevin Lindee–he’s the one who did these fabulous, much-beloved truffles. But by far, his most adored creation of the day was a chocolate rose, fit for a princess.
The Grand Opening weekend delighted princes and princesses of all ages, but especially the under 10 crowd. Little princesses got one-on-one time and autographs from their favorite royalty and partook in giveaways, treats and shopping. The Eagan party location will be available for booking parties and events through Tiny Diva Princess Party.
We were a good part of the way through January when I realized I didn’t have a calendar to my name for 2014. As someone who relishes planning maybe a little too much, this was quite disturbing. Despite relying heavily on Outlook at work and my smart phone for up-to-the-minute reminders and the answer to “what day is it, anyway?” I still need that grid of printed paper to scribble appointments, deadlines and birthdays on with a favorite pen.
So thus I set out to find the perfect planner and calendar for the new year. I settled on a 5″ x 8″ Blue Sky brand agenda because it was lightweight, wire bound, small enough to slip into a purse and had both monthly and weekly calendar views. For a wall calendar, I found an illustrated Barbie calendar at Paper Source that, despite not being much of a Barbie girl, I couldn’t say no to. The illustrations are just so pretty.
In my quest for the necessary planning devices, I stumbled across a genius idea from Midwest design blogger Jensie. Crafters rejoice: it involves washi tape. For multi-day engagements, use the tape of your choice to mark across calendar grids. For the ultra-organized, you can even color code by using different tapes. You could do this just as well with a highlighter, but what’s the fun/craftiness in that? At least this way you have an excuse to go out and buy some new rolls of the adorable, multipurpose tape that’s sweeping the craft world right now. An added bonus I found is that if an appointment changes, you can carefully peel up the washi tape and reapply it to the new date. This technique is a fun and easy way to take the monotony out of scheduling. Even dull events appear like something to look forward to when they’re dressed up like this. If you have a suggestion for how to organize your calendars, I’d love to hear about it!