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.
For years, Bill Ahmann mastered the complex inner workings of piston and turbine aircraft as an aviation mechanic. In 1997, he finally achieved his dream by founding his own aviation company out of Anoka County-Blaine Airport. Initially a small venture with a staff that totaled three, Bill's penchant for providing aviation-related services with a personal touch led to rapid growth and a second Twin Cities Aviation location in Saint Paul. In 2008, Bill's veteran squad of flight instructors helped the company achieve Part 141 certification, distinguishing it as a reputable flight school. Today, TCA's staff numbers more than 20 industry professionals drawn from military, commercial-airline, and other aviation backgrounds. Flying a tiptop fleet, the team boasts varied expertise in charter flights, FAA-certified flight instruction, and aircraft sales. The staff's experienced mechanics also service pilots and plane owners with repairs that range from routine safety inspections to refueling propeller hats.
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.
Before the team joined the independent American Association in 2005, the St. Paul Saints dominated play, amassing four championships over 12 seasons. As the cr?che of players faces off against its Midwestern rivals, it hopes to one day send envoys to play in the major leagues?a feat already achieved by 15 Saints alumni. As one of the same three owners who've overseen the team since its 1993 founding, actor Bill Murray lends the team a touch of Hollywood glamour, trumping other teams' attempts to replace their bases with Walk of Fame stars.
Home games unfold under the towering lights of Midway Stadium, an outdoor ballpark stocked with several concession stands, a bar, and family-friendly caf?s and ice cream shacks. Along with plush porcine mascot Mudonna, a regular cast of entertainers delights crowds as the organist controls the weather with popular songs.
At its full-service, well-maintained facility, Midway Pro Bowl caters to bowlers of all dedication levels. Its optional bumpers bolster beginners, whereas onsite bowling lessons employ instructors certified by the United States Bowling Congress to elevate skills. The pin-falling activity on Midway Pro Bowl's 32 lanes is monitored by automatic scoring systems, and fashionable bowlers can turn lanes into runways with sparkling new balls and accessories from its well-stocked pro shop. After the game, a full-service lounge conjures postgame relaxation with alcoholic beverages. Alternatively, the most dedicated competitors can refuel with burgers, hot dogs, or pizza from the snack bar before taking to the arcade to spar with virtual foes rather than playing bowling-ball dodge ball with real-life foes.
Epic Vow Wedding Photography owner Nicole Daniels carefully pairs members of her shutter squad with engaged couples for wedding shoots befitting each client’s personal style. Photographers snap an average of 100 high-quality digital images during four-hour nuptials and anywhere from 200 to 400 pictures at ceremonies exceeding five hours. Nicole digitally edits the strongest shots herself, ensuring that any facial blemishes, lipstick smudges, or ghostly apparitions are eradicated from final prints. Along with a trio of packages, Nicole preserves colorized and black and white photographs by mounting images on hardboard masonite or canvas, assembling shots in a softbound or wave-accordion album, or creating metallic prints.