As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.
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.
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.
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.