Nightlife in Mankato

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Located roughly 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Canterbury Park is a popular destination for horseracing, poker, and casino games. The venue will transform into a stadium to host the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship, a flat-track motorcycle race as fierce as an unloved naked mole rat in stiletto-heel boots. The all-day event begins with a vendor trade show and exhibition. Practice runs and an autograph session fill the afternoon, but the true action comes at 6 p.m., when the races begin. Riders will mount their custom-built bikes to race in mile, half-mile, and short-track heats on the sandy one-mile oval track. In all there are five heats, four qualifiers, and two championship races, which total 99 laps of racing. The victors will claim the ultimate title in flat-track racing but will not be granted pardon from outstanding library fees. Check out the day's full schedule here.

1100 Canterbury Rd S
Shakopee,
MN
US

Inside the family-owned Jumps & Downs, youngsters aged 1?8 tumble into a capacious ball pit, 5,000 balls strong?one of the many attractions that pepper the 3,600-square-foot facility. The indoor play center?s inflatables encourage airborne activities, building kids' motor skills every time they leap in one of the bounce houses, dive down the giant plush slide, or climb up the obstacle course. Groups of kids unleash cake-fueled manias on the playscape during birthday parties that come complete with all manner of festive accoutrements, including a private room, paper goods, invitations, and a copyright lawyer to make sure no scofflaw children sing "Happy Birthday" for free.

1155 Shakopee Town Sq.
Shakopee,
MN
US

Mario and Nina Pelagalli use recipes passed down from family members from Rome and Naples as the blueprints for Casa Nostra Pizzeria & Ristorante's Italian cuisine. As the owners revealed to Sun Thisweek, Nina's mother creates the restaurant's sauces from scratch to ensure they carry on the family tradition of culinary excellence. Her concoctions blanket the 25 pastas on Casa Nostra's dinner menu, which also includes pizzas, paninis, and veal and chicken entrees. Having recently taken over a neighboring bar, the Pelagallis' restaurant now accommodates even more guests with roomier dining quarters and an expanded liquor stock. Evening entertainment includes Frank Sinatra tributes that pay homage to the crooner's singing ability and talent for intermittently firing blue lasers from his eyes.

20198 Heritage Drive
Lakeville,
MN
US

From its humble origins as a soda fountain in 1930s Saint Paul, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar has grown into a franchise with more than 28 locations all over Minnesota and the Midwest. As TV screens blast sports news in the background, patrons at each eatery dine on a menu of classic American and pizzeria fare. Thick, hand-pressed burgers form bunned towers with hefty toppings such as smoked bacon, haystack onions, and chipotle mayo. Families looking to bond can practice fractions on regular, deep-dish, or thin and crispy pizzas or group juggling acts with samplers of juicy wings. In addition to pastas and salads, each location's bar carries a varied drink menu that includes draft beers such as Blue Moon and Samuel Adams alongside wine, martinis, and margaritas.

17733 Kenwood Trl
Lakeville,
MN
US

The wine gurus at The Wine Cafe instill their deep love of the grape-fermented drink in others with a long-winded wine list and a tastefully matching menu. While slurping down a glass of Woop Woop's Australian chardonnay ($6), diners can snack on deluxe sandwiches such as the salami-stuffed and tapenade-topped Italian ($6.50–$8.50), or accompany a build-your-own pizza ($11) with 16 available garnishes and Gnarly Head's California zinfandel ($6/glass). Chunks of grilled bread and kalamata olives swim in a tasty pool of mediterranean spinach and artichoke dip ($8.95), but only because all the other pools are closed for the summer. For dessert, save wear and tear on your teeth by ordering a banana cream cheesecake ($3.50) and imagining how good it must taste while sipping Casillero del Diablo's merlot ($7) or a beer.

301 N Riverfront Dr
Mankato,
MN
US