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.
Water cascades over the precipice of a towering rock face, forming an elevated waterfall that overlooks the 18-hole circuit at Malt-Tees Mini Golf (formerly known as Adventure Gardens Mini Golf). Featured in CBS Minnesota's Best Things to Do in Richfield, the course winds through a labyrinth of colorful gardens and flowing streams, which players navigate via a system of bridges and putter pole-vaulting challenges. After rounds, appetites piqued by celebratory putter-gnawing can find relief at the concession stand, which serves up frozen desserts, drinks, and light snacks.
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.
Current and former military and law enforcement officers comprise the staff of instructors at Blue Line Defense, who aim to increase firearm awareness and the training level of the general public with each class they teach. The course list runs the gamut from introductory defensive handgun lessons to women's self defense and advanced group training classes. The site also provides firearm-related resources for the community, such as familiarization with use-of-force laws, firearm-sales intricacies, and gun-naming dos and don’ts. Blue Line also regularly participates in fundraisers and charities to help give back to the community.
In the olden days, racetracks employed ladies on roller skates to deliver axle grease to steam-powered racecars so that they could maintain their blistering pace of 9 miles per hour. When a scuffle between two such ladies proved more entertaining than the race itself, roller derby was born. Today’s Groupon gets the Twin Cities its daily recommended dosage of kinetic estrogen. For $6, you get a general-admission ticket (a $12 value on the day of the game) to see the North Star Roller Girls battle it out in a flat-track roller-derby bout. During the Wild Wild Midwest double-header on Saturday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m., the Banger Sisters take on Delta Delta Di, while the Violent Femmes face off against the Kilmore Girls. This will be the final grudge match before the championship bout on April 10. Customers may purchase up to four Groupons. General admission tickets are good for chair and bleacher seating or standing, but not trackside seating.
A five-minute drive from downtown, Uptown’s public spaces entice visitors with bike paths, sculpture gardens, and locals blasting impressions of Björk's pet swan over a megaphone. Nearby, rented canoes crisscross Lake Calhoun’s calm waters, and restaurants serve eclectic cuisines from fresh seafood to Japanese cuisine on outdoor patios. Visitors to Uptown can feast on American fare at restaurants such as Primebar, which serves up sandwiches, steak, and seafood with largely local brews; The Herkimer Pub & Brewery in Lyn-Lake, known for its small batches of craft beer; and the Uptown Cafeteria, offering trendy contemporary meals. Evenings out at Bar Louie tempt guests with martinis, margaritas, and other cocktails accompanied by pub food, and Chino Latino delights palettes with dishes small and large, spicy and explosive. Wayward mermaids dining at Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar can enjoy a feast fit for the sea with raw, grilled, and baked items, or step on shore and visit moto-i in Lyn-Lake to sample the food you’d find on Japanese streets.
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