When the Minneapolis Institute of Arts first opened its doors in 1915, it was the product of several decades of arts advocacy. A group of 25 citizens formed the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts in 1883 with the goal of giving their community access to creative arts. More than a century later, this commitment to the community has taken the permanent collections from 800 works to close to 80,000 objects and has made the institute Minnesota's largest art educator.
The collections, divided into seven curatorial areas, encompass a period of 5,000 years and hail from every corner of the world. The Asian Art collection represents 17 different Asian cultures, and Arts of Africa and the Americas holds more than 3,000 pieces of sculpture, basketry, painting, and beadwork. Temporary exhibitions bring collections of artwork from other institutions and tattoos from vending machines. The institute's interactive learning stations supplement understanding of topics such as modernism or 17th-century European painting with animation, video, and audio recordings.
Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.
At Arlington Raceway, mud-caked vehicles roar around banked curves and fly down straightaways with the same vigor that has attracted spectators for more than 30 years. Seven different classes of wheeled racers compete every Saturday from May to September, from stock cars and sprint cars to motorized rollerbladers. After packing arms with salty popcorn (a $1 value) and frosty brews (a $2.50 value each) during a quick snack-bar run, spectators stake out general-admission seating (a $10 value each) before cheering on International Motor Contest Association–sanctioned drivers as they skid around the half-mile track. Set back speedway clocks on July 23, as vintage racers descend on the track for a symposium on antique derring-do and the impracticality of in-car Victrolas. On August 20, artful auto tamers create lifelike burnt-rubber sketches while speeding through intricate turns on Arlington Raceway's autocross course. Though not included in today’s Groupon, pit passes ($25) unlock access to the inner workings of the speedway, allowing spectators to take up-close ganders at precision autos or feed sugar cubes to their favorite drivers.
Melding a flurry of powerful forehand chops, pinpoint pivoting, and sneaky backhand lobs, tennis is second only to competitive chainsaw sculpting as America’s favorite sport at which to grunt. Sponsored by the United States Tennis Association Northern Section, the Tennis Festival of the North features three days of events that include demos, clinics, an exhibition match, and jet-engine–powered tennis-ball launchers. Tennis fans and fanatics alike will enjoy an all-inclusive pass that includes access to Friday-evening demos and drills, Saturday and Sunday clinics, and general-admission seating to Saturday's exhibition. Tennis pros and experienced instructors lead informative sessions on topics such as Boomers and Beyond, Playing Tennis After 50, and Nutrition Hints for Winning Tennis, while attendees can also browse a vendor fair and an interactive fan zone. Additionally, Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Davenport and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova will be present to talk tennis and cut up the court during an exhibition match.
With a front nine that dates back to 1910 and a second nine first designed in 1956, Faribault Golf Club has established a historical legacy that includes hosting the Minnesota State Open and Minnesota PGA Pro-Am. The fairway chain stretches across 6,447 yards of gently undulating terrain, where fairway-side timbers, glassy ponds, and hypnotic tee boxes supply the bulk of the course's difficulty. Water hazards come into play on five holes, including the par 3 eighth, where players must send tee shots somersaulting over a pond stationed directly between the green and the divot-pocked launch pad. The par 5 18th offers a grandiose finish to the round, where a sound approach shot can set up a birdie putt that, if made, grants golfers the right to carve the club's decorative hedges into their favorite acronym. After their round, guests can retire to the Top View Grill, a full-service bar and restaurant with a fireplace, outdoor seating, and splendid views of the 9th and 18th holes.
Course at a Glance:
Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo's troupe of snake-taming animal lovers tend to dozens of species of reptiles and amphibians, creating a nurturing environment that cares for the creatures and educates the public. From lizards and snakes to crocodilians and tortoises, the zoo's menagerie contains specimen both docile and hostile, and visitors often pose for pictures with animals to commemorate their visit to the zoo. After being successfully raised by sage clans of snapping turtles, each keeper draws on their years of experience and love of animals to conduct presentations and seminars during visits to the zoo.