Wood Lake housed the antics of swimmers and boaters until the 1950s, when most of its water drained away. In the years since, it has transformed into the 150-acre year-round Wood Lake Nature Center, where 3 miles of trails and wooden boardwalks meander through three defined natural habitats. Visitors can immerse themselves in wildlife at a cattail freshwater marsh, mixed lowland forest, and restored prairie; view creatures from a wildlife observation shelter and docks; and witness performances and lectures in a 100-seat outdoor amphitheater. In a more than 4,000-square-foot interpretive center, on-staff naturalists guide guests through educational programs focused on plants, animals, and ecosystems while fielding questions such as why bears hibernate and how to beat an owl in a staring contest. Staff members showcase natural splendor through a range of indoor and outdoor seasonal events, such as Earth Day craft projects, family-friendly Halloween festivities, and winter festivities around New Year's. In the summer, counselors lead day camps during which children can explore the marsh with bug nets, learn how to use binoculars, and build forts in the forest. While Wood Lake Nature Center welcomes exploration, pets, bikes, rollerblades, and giant hamster balls are prohibited to ensure the preservation of local habitats.
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.
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 museum 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. The museum's interactive learning stations supplement understanding of topics such as modernism or 17th-century European painting with animation, video, and audio recordings.
Running on a treadmill and blasting through the same reps over and over again can become monotonous. But at Knockout Bodies, the enthusiastic instructors focus on making working out fun. They help gals of all fitness levels chisel rock-solid bodies in alternative fitness classes, which range from pole dancing to kickboxing to Zumba. In pole-fitness classes, they help ladies develop core and upper-body strength as they sensually twist and turn around poles. They also lead high-energy kickboxing classes that motivate students to tone muscles as they learn basic self-defense moves to take down assailants or large stuffed animals that look like assailants without the lights on. Students burn copious calories in Zumba classes, which set easy-to-follow aerobic dance moves to infectious Latin-inspired tunes. When not leading empowering classes, the instructors open the studio for parties to celebrate birthdays or bachelorette festivities.
Housed inside a Spanish Colonial–style former church, The Museum of Russian Art exudes an aura of hushed reverence—sunlight streams through Romanesque windows, and arches frame the museum’s collection of paintings and sculptures. The lofty setting is ideal for an art collection that spans eons, from unearthed Byzantine-era golden urns to paintings depicting a turbulent post-Stalin Soviet Union.
The Museum of Russian Art bills itself as the only museum on the continent dedicated to preserving Russian art. It continues to do so by collaborating with museums in Russia and the United States, recruiting artifacts, accumulating artwork, and reassembling hopelessly jumbled Matryoshka dolls for its ever-rotating collection. In tandem with the museum’s collection, curators strive to illuminate Russian culture by hosting lectures from scholars of Russian culture and leading free one-hour tours each weekend.
Modo Yoga Minneapolis is one of more than 75 independent locations maintained by Moksha Yoga. Modo unites hot yoga with an unwavering fidelity to sustainable environmental and social practices. The company's eponymous classes combine therapeutic yoga with traditional yoga through 40 postures that can be modified to stretch and challenge students of all fitness and flexibility levels. Ryann and Phil Doucette co-own the Minneapolis studio, where Ryann manages, directs, and happily teaches in the footsteps of Moksha founders Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson. Ryann and Phil outfitted the studio with cork flooring for joint support and radiant heating for encouraging the release of toxins through perspiration. The 103-degree heat helps ligaments get as loose as a pirate's morals doing the worm, allowing deeper stretches. All her hard work has paid off with Modo Yoga Minneapolis being awarded Best New Studio in 2011 and Best Hot Yoga in 2012 by Minnesota Monthly.