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Fun In 2018-08-09T17:02:27+00:00

Fun In Minnesota

Things to do in Minnesota

  • Mall of America (MOA) mallofamerica.com – MOA is located less than a mile from our conference hotel. You can take the light rail, the hotel shuttle, or walk there.
    • The MOA features 520 stores, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Sea Life Aquarium, Crayola Experience, FlyOver America, SMAAASH Entertainment, Rock of Ages Blacklight Minigolf, The Escape Game, a movie theater, a wedding chapel, 50 restaurants, and more.
    • We have a voucher for attendees that you can redeem at the MOA for a (big) coupon book and a shopping bag.
  • FlyOver America flyover-america.com – FlyOver America, located in the MOA, is a flight simulation ride that brings guests on a breathtaking, aerial tour of some of the greatest landmarks and regions throughout the United States in virtual flight technology (for a limited time they are also offering FlyOver Canada). The attraction is a fully immersive experience including wind, mist, and even scents.
    • The audio of the ride is all instrumental (no voice over), so if you are deaf or hard of hearing, you will be able to enjoy the ride without the need for an interpreter.
    • FlyOver America offers a 20% discount on general admission tickets to conference attendees if you show your conference badge.
  • Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge fws.gov/refuge/minnesota_valley/ – The refuge’s visitor center is located one mile from our hotel (there is an entrance to the Long Meadow Lake Trail that is a couple blocks closer to the hotel). The refuge is part of a corridor of land and water stretching nearly 70 miles along the Minnesota River.
  • Fort Snelling mnhs.org/fortsnelling – Fort Snelling was a United States military fortification located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. This National Historic Landmark resides on Dakota homeland, known as Bdote, with a history spanning 10,000 years. Learn stories of the military fort and its surrounding area, home to a wide history that includes Native peoples, trade, soldiers and veterans, enslaved people, immigrants, and the changing landscape. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to visit Fort Snelling. It is four stops from our hotel and takes 10 minutes to get there.
  • Minnehaha Falls Park https://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/minnehah.htm – This park takes its name after the beautiful stream and its spectacular falls that plunges 53 feet into a gorge before running out to the Mississippi River. Trails lead in all directions, including down the gorge to favorite river shorelines. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to visit the park. It is six stops from our hotel and takes less than 15 minutes to get there.
  • Paisley Park https://officialpaisleypark.com/ – If you are a Prince fan, or just love music, you can check out Prince’s private estate and production complex, Paisley Park. You will have the opportunity to experience first-hand what it was like for Prince to create, produce, and perform inside this private sanctuary and remarkable production complex. Paisley Park is located 18 miles from the hotel 
  • Minneapolis minneapolis.org/ – What can I say. Minneapolis is a big city with lots to do and see. You can get to a number of places in Minneapolis on the METRO Blue Line light rail within 15 – 45 minutes.
    • Warehouse District/North Loop mplswarehouse.com/ – The Warehouse District has many great restaurants, clubs, and shops. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to the Warehouse District. It is 16 stops from our hotel and takes 35 minutes to get there.
    • Nicollet https://www.minneapolis.org/neighborhoods/downtown/nicollet/ – Nicolet is Minneapolis’ core shopping and entertainment artery. With motor vehicles restricted to buses and taxis, this mile-long, go-to pedestrian oasis is lined by bar and restaurant sidewalk seating, art, bountiful greenery and many shopping options.
      • Before marching down this strip of leisure and retail, your introduction to Nicollet can be found at Minneapolis Visitor Information, on the corner of 5th Street and Nicollet, directly in front of the Nicollet Metro Transit light rail station. There’s a Nice Ride bike share station immediately outside, if you feel the urge to get to the other end of Nicollet in a hurry. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to the Nicollet area. It is 14 stops from our hotel and takes 35 minutes to get there.
    • Uptown/Lakes Area (Lake Street & Hennepin Avenue) – Uptown is a great area with restaurants, shops, & nightlife. It is the hub for art and diversity in the Twin Cities. This relatively small neighborhood has a fashionable, contemporary edge. The area is a direct reflection of a city that is known for being extraordinarily accepting of different cultures and lifestyles.
      • Just a few blocks from Uptown, you can wander over to Lake Calhoun (now called Bde Maka Ska) and Lake of the Isles to check out the sights and take a walk around the lakes.
  • Saint Paul https://www.visitsaintpaul.com/ – Saint Paul is the smaller of the Twin Cities, but it has great museums, the State Capitol, Cathedral of Saint Paul, historic homes, breweries, and fabulous restaurants.
  • Stillwater discoverstillwater.com – Stillwater is one of my favorite areas near the Twin Cities. It is located about 30 miles from the hotel – about a 40 minute drive – and is a wonderful old town on the St. Croix River (along the border of Wisconsin). There are shops, bars, a brewery, a winery, gondola rides, paddle wheel riverboat rides, trolley tours, historic homes and buildings, and much more.  If you like huge ice cream cones, visit Nelson’s Ice Cream just outside of downtown Stillwater (http://nelsonsicecream.biz/index.html)The lines can be long depending on when you go but, seriously, the cones are huge!
  • Minnesota Twins Baseball mlb.com/twins – The Twins have a number of home games during the TEDPA and NASRA conferences. The Twins play the Kansas City Royals September 7-9, and the New York Yankees September 10-12. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to Target Field. It is 17 stops from our hotel and takes 40 minutes to get there.
  • Minnesota Vikings Football vikings.com/schedule/ – The Vikings have a home game on September 9, against the San Francisco 49ers. You can take the METRO Blue Line light rail to U.S. Bank Stadium. It is 12 stops from our hotel and takes 30 minutes to get there.

Minnesota Fun Facts

  • The state of Minnesota was named after the Dakota Indian name for the Minnesota River, “Minisota” which means “sky-tinted water”.
  • Minnesota is home to two neighboring metropolitan centers: Saint Paul and Minneapolis (referred to as “The Twin Cities”). Minneapolis is the larger city, but Saint Paul is the capital.
  • Though Minnesota is called “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”, it actually has 11,842 lakes that are at least 10 acres or more in area and 21,871 lakes that are at least 2.5 acres or more in area. It also has 6,564 natural rivers and streams that flow 69,200 miles in the state. Thanks to these numerous lakes, rivers, and streams, Minnesota has about 90,000 miles of shoreline, which is more than the shoreline of California, Florida, and Hawaii combined.
  • The Mall of America, a shopping mall in Bloomington, Minnesota (less than a mile from our conference hotel), is the largest shopping mall in the United States. It is also the most visited shopping mall in the world. Opened in 1992, the mall receives over 40 million visitors annually. Currently, it features 520 stores, a theme park, an aquarium, a movie theater, a wedding chapel, 50 restaurants and about 20,000 parking spaces. The mall is so big that it has its own zip code. And there is no sales tax on clothing or shoes! 
  • Downtown Minneapolis is home to the World’s largest continuous network of skyways. The Minneapolis Skyway System spans 8 miles and connects over 69 city blocks. It allows people to walk in a climate-controlled environment without the need to go outside to go from building to building. (Saint Paul has a Skyway system also – it is 5 miles long.)
  • Minnesota, barely three years old at the time of the Civil War, was the first State to respond to President Abraham Lincoln’s request for volunteer regiments.
  • The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the US were done at the University of Minnesota.
  • Former professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura served as Minnesota’s 38th governor from 1999 to 2003. (Hey, we all make mistakes – right?)
  • The longest stretch of Victorian mansions in the country is on Summit Ave in Saint Paul, running more than four miles.