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.
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.
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.
Game Day Experiences whisks sports fans from their living rooms and into the stands of some of the most legendary football stadiums. They also arm fans with packages that include round-trip transportation, hotel rooms, and tickets to games, all led by a tour guide who is on hand to answer questions or draw up secret plays on an Etch A Sketch.
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.
Poor Richard's Commonhouse whips up hearty platters of classic American pub grub and intrepid tumblers of signature cocktails against a cozy backdrop of exposed brick walls and hardwood floors. Oil rusty jaw hinges with starters such as the Samuel Adams lager mussels ($9.99), which bathes Prince Edward Island mussels in Sam Adams dijon-cream sauce, or the bison chili ($5.25/bowl), which couples locally raised, slow-roasted bison with fresh chilies, tomatoes, and spices, blanketed with pepper jack cheese and sour cream. The Colonial meatloaf ($13.99), dressed in a suit of bacon and anointed with an East Coast red glaze, blends Hereford beef and Compart Family Farms Premium Duroc ground pork with fresh herbs in a meal hearty enough to survive New England winters and tender enough to journal about it.