If I Could Go…. St. Paul/Minneapolis
When I think about traveling, Minnesota was never high on my list of places to go. However, after spending a great week in the Twin Cities, that has changed. The area is rich in history and arts with many museums, and events for children.
Day 1: Science Center of Minnesota
This museum has many different exhibits from dinosaurs to the Mississippi River. You are sure to find something of interest to every member of the family. The sandbox topography was by far a favorite. As well as, the area where you pretend to be newscasters reporting live.
In the Mississippi River exhibit there is a wall of small bottles filled with sand from beaches. You can compare the color and texture from beaches all over the world. There is also an actual tug boat to explore, with great views of the Mississippi River.
Day 2: Mill City Museum & Minneapolis Queen
The Mill City Museum tells the history of the area and how the flour industry boomed from this small area in Minnesota. This museum is packed in what was at one time the largest flour mill in the world.
In the afternoon we took a ride down the Mississippi River, on the Minneapolis Queen. It was a relaxing ride with a bit of history and graffiti.
The Bakken Museum is filled with information on electricity.
Wild Rumpus Bookstore is appropriately named. At the entrance there is a small pink door just the right size for little ones. I’ve never seen a children’s book store with so many books. If you have a little reader they will love it. There are also a number of critters in the store, birds, chickens, cats, a spider and even a ferret.
Glam Donuts has friendly service and the best donuts I have ever tasted. In the back of the store they have an 80’s video game that my son enjoyed playing. It’s a great place to just hang out.
We visited the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Arts Center. There are a number of interesting sculptures there besides the Spoonbridge & Cherry (the icon of Minneapolis).
Day 4 Mall of America
A visit to the Twin Cities is not complete without a visit to The Mall of America, one of the largest malls in America. It has over 500 stores, over 60 restaurants, an amusement park, and aquarium. Plenty to see, to do and to buy.
The Festival of Nations was my favorite part of our trip. It’s a multi-cultural festival with over 100 different ethnic groups. The festival is held in the spring and has been going on annually since 1932.There is an area that has the cultural exhibits, where you can pick up a passport and get it stamped as you visit each booth and learn about the culture. The International Bazaar is where you can purchase items native to each culture. There is a food court, where you can get a taste of foods all over the world. We enjoyed the Turkish Delight featured in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. There were folk art demonstrations, dancing and lots of musical performances on three different stages.
For a Prince fan, Paisley Park was amazing. Just being in the areas where he wrote, recorded and performed was awesome. Unfortunately no photography allowed. But just down the street is a picture spot in front of a Prince mural.
The Twin Cities was a pleasant surprise we really enjoyed ourselves and hope to visit again.