Mendota Heights has always had a hunger for golf. In 1961, just five years after the city's founding, the community draped nine short holes over the rolling terrain of a farm and dubbed it the Mendota Heights Par 3. It hasn't changed much over the years, still offering a forgiving layout for beginners to learn the game and more experienced golfers to practice using a mannequin leg instead of a putter. The scaled-down layout also serves as a training ground for lessons, camps, and leagues for golfers of all ages.
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.
Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the state?s storied past, the Minnesota Historical Society dutifully curates 26 historic sites and museums that help visitors delve into days of yore?from the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids to the Jeffers Petroglyphs in Comfrey and Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore.
Explore the Minnesota History Center?s collection of artifacts, local artworks, and hands-on exhibits at the History Center in St. Paul, from Civil War battle flags to Prince's suit from Purple Rain. Temporary exhibits include American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, on display through March 16, and Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s, opening May 24. Mill City Museum in Minneapolis chronicles the linked histories of the flour industry, Minneapolis, and the Mississippi River, sending visitors through history as they traverse each floor on an eight-story elevator ride that depicts a working day at the mill. As a bonus, baking-lab demonstrations produce balmy bread samples and historically accurate stomach rumbles.
In 1969, the founder of Padelford Packet Boat Co. Inc., Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., launched the Jonathan Padelford steamwheeler into the Mississippi River, hoping to bring visitors to the riverfront for leisurely jaunts that harkened back to simpler times. After more than 30 years of growing his fleet and ferrying passengers down the historic waterways, he handed the reigns over to his daughters and nephew. Today, the family operates five boats with amenities such as dance areas, bars, sun decks, and the nostalgia that William hoped to keep alive. With the Twin Cities' skyline and the rugged, green banks of the river as the backdrop, US Coast Guard–licensed vessels float passengers past sights such as Pig's Eye Cave, Fort Snelling, and Pike Island. Some cruises also include dinner or fireworks, and special holiday cruises are also available. The company also offers private charters for unique party opportunities, including weddings set before the city's waterfront sites.
For 24 years, The American Craft Council Show has invited reputable artists in different trades to gather and showcase their craftily crafted bounty of aesthetically pleasing goods. In the RiverCentre convention facility, over 240 jury-selected artists will present their handcrafts and footcrafts to the public. The show will include exhibits such as Green Craft (art from found, recycled, or eco-friendly materials), Handmade Under $100 (unique crafts at affordable prices), a lawn-and-garden showcase, and a showcase of crafts for kids. Awestrike yourself with a plethora of eye-catchers such as handmade jewelry, clothing, furniture, toys, home accessories, sculptural and functional works of glass, ceramics, and decorative fibers.