The United States Coast Guard–certified captain of Magnolia Blossom, an old-fashioned black-and-white-painted steamship, pilots his vessel alongside city skylines and wild parks with up to 125 passengers on board. On its three cruise routes, the boat drifts by Pike Island and the skyline of St. Paul, passes through a lock and dam under the Minneapolis skyline, and floats past wildlife preserves and state parks on lengths of the Minnesota River, all without running any red lights. Inside the vessel, a climate-controlled lower deck lined with tall windows houses rows of banquet tables, each surrounded by chairs draped in white and tied with large red bows. On the top deck, café tables offer panoramic views from beneath a three-quarters canopy cover.
In Life Time Fitness's LifePower Yoga programs, yogis certified in an array of yoga styles impart students of all levels with strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. Prospective posers can drop in on any class on the schedule, where a varied menu of methods helps students balance the yoga's strengthening and slimming physical benefits along with its meditative, relaxing, and mat-appreciation qualities. An introductory class acquaints incoming limbs with basic poses and the proper way to align them with a suite of breathing techniques. Instructors will help you find pose modifications to accommodate injuries, muscle stiffness or other special needs.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival brings more than 170 films from 50-plus countries to St. Anthony Main Theatre's five screens. Viewers' eyeballs can end visual droughts with a satisfying slurp of desert scenery from the cup of El Infierno, a Coen brothers-esque black comedy that follows a recently deported man's descent into the criminal underworld of a small town in Mexico. In the French biopic Dumas, Gerard Depardieu enthralls fans of swashbuckling prose and nasal vowels as novelist Alexander Dumas, the beloved adventure author and hated inventor of the preposition. Meanwhile, the Chinese blockbuster drama Aftershock, winner of Best Film and Best Actor at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, follows the struggles of two earthquake survivors and tumult of the ensuing decades of their lives with eye-popping special effects.
In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Taste of Stillwater's annual festival, established in 2011, directs the spotlight toward the palate-popular offerings of local wineries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks. Throughout the daylong celebration, empty tummies shuffle from station to station filling up on samples of refreshing beverages and foods, fueling bodies to explore the festival grounds' shopping opportunities and to tour Saint Croix Vineyards. Families stake their claim on the lawn area with blankets, foldable chairs, and giant bronze statues of their great-grandfathers before they feast their ears on live music. Taste of Stillwater dedicates a portion of its proceeds to charities including Valley Outreach, a community-based nonprofit organization that supports low-income people with donations of food, clothing, and other necessities.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory houses a plethora of attractions, including members of the animal kingdom from court jesters to monarchs, as well as flora-fostering gardens. General zoo admission is free, but today’s Groupon gets families an assemblage of perks, starting with free or reduced admission to more than 400 zoos and botanical gardens nationwide, and early notification of upcoming special events and animal arrivals. Families weary of their usual leisurely pursuits, such as lobbying local governments for crosswalks made of trampolines, can bask in the entertainment provided by 64 points to spend on gravity-defying rides at Como Town, a nearby amusement park. Members also receive invitations to exclusive events and exhibits, and membership fees flow toward new exhibits and zoo improvements, such as taking playing cards away from monkeys.