With more than 10,000 creatures, 30 display tanks, and a 300-foot ocean tunnel, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium gives visitors an up-close look at the sea's intriguing inhabitants. Sand tiger sharks feed on crustaceans and squid, one of the world's largest collection of jellyfish floats under multicolored disco lights, and the popular day octopus emits clouds of black ink to prevent visitors from glimpsing its unfinished autobiography. An interactive quiz trail helps deepen visitors' knowledge of the sea creatures, many of which are on the endangered list and have been rescued or were born and bred as part of Sea Life's conservation projects.
Laura Monahan comes from an artistic family, and spent her youth practicing sculpture, oil painting, pottery, and what turned out to be her ultimate passion: photography. Her ability to preserve candid moments has left an indelible impression?she has a published portfolio on three continents and product lines appearing at national retailers such as Hallmark and JCPenney. Laura?s photo shoots always take place outdoors, capturing newborns, older kids, and families in soft, natural lighting and poses that never appear unnatural. Her settings span the country from San Diego?s foamy beaches to Denver?s red-rock sunsets and into the Midwest?s autumn leaves, and she holds mom's night out events all over the country, including in Honolulu, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.
At Sam’s Grill, formerly known as Oak City, the menu's bounty of sizzling and hearty dishes reflects the best of American cuisine by incorporating a variety of our country's ever-present international influences. Though stir-fries and pastas abound, the Mediterranean is clearly the restaurant's greatest inspiration—dishes such as filet mignon kebobs and pizzas topped with gyro meat create a fusion of local and overseas flavors, and more traditional American dishes, such as the Cajun burger or baby back ribs keep palates firmly at home. Meanwhile, wine-savvy waiters educate clients on the wines available by the glass. Sam's Grill also adds a splash of nightlife to the mix by bringing in DJs with Thursday nights dedicated to Latin music and Friday and Saturday nights focusing on Top 40.
Visitors to the annual Twin Cities Beer Fest step through the gate, tasting glass in hand, and face an army of beer vendors, each ready to supply what could be a new favorite IPA, lager, or cider. The event brings together more than 100 craft beers, domestics, and imports from throughout the Midwest and the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, South American, Europe, and Asia. Chefs sling an array of multicultural snacks in local food trucks such as Chef Shack, Smack Shack, Natedogs, Turkey To Go, and Barrio. As live music plays and the stomachs of competitive eaters let out their most intimidating growls, guests can sip and sample with a sense of pride, since a portion of the event's proceeds support the Emergency Food Shelf Network.
For the race organizers at CampTITAN, a run just isn't a run without a few well-placed obstacles. During their annual 5K, they litter the course with roadblocks such as wooden walls, giant tractor tires, and slides. Runners aren't just confronted with climbable challenges; a rigorous smatterings of ponds and mud pits test agility and endurance over the course of the approximately 3-mile run. Although defeating such an action-filled course is reward enough on its own, organizers don't skimp on the celebration, either. Participant each receive a commemorative medal for tackling the course, a tangible reminder of the day that they looked mud in the face and whispered "not this time, you don't."
Reptiles aren't hard to love once you get to know them, and Cold Blooded Expos' events are an ideal way to do just that. At shows throughout the year and around the country, you'll find snakes, turtles, lizards, and maybe even some furry exotic friends such as hedgehogs and sugar gliders. (You'll also find food for them?live, frozen, or manufactured.) Vendors sell a variety of fun, creative toys, tanks, and bedding to keep them cozy.