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.
Taste of Stillwater's annual festival, established in 2011, directs the spotlight toward the palate-popular offerings of local wineries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks. Throughout the daylong celebration, empty tummies shuffle from station to station filling up on samples of refreshing beverages and foods, fueling bodies to explore the festival grounds' shopping opportunities and to tour Saint Croix Vineyards. Families stake their claim on the lawn area with blankets, foldable chairs, and giant bronze statues of their great-grandfathers before they feast their ears on live music. Taste of Stillwater dedicates a portion of its proceeds to charities including Valley Outreach, a community-based nonprofit organization that supports low-income people with donations of food, clothing, and other necessities.
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