Where the Midwest meets Broadway, Fifth Avenue, The Mall and more with great museums, outdoor concerts, theatre and historical sights.
You may think brrr when you think of Minnesota, but in the summertime, the city of Minneapolis really heats up with great new music. Downtown, the business pace slows and the Nicollet Mall becomes a 10-block-long Farmers’ Market. Frequent free street festivals offer an eclectic mix of live performance and family activities. All the festivals and visiting buskers, in combination with the city’s surprising variety of fine museums and theatres, makes Minneapolis a rich cultural melting pot for families, rain or shine. And trust us, you can even have a blast here in winter.
Fine Arts Venues
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Recently expanded, this world-class collection (rated among the top 10 art museums in the country) presents art and artifacts from all over the world, spanning the ages from the ancient world to the present. This museum is free to the public at all times. Check their site for special family programs on Sundays, and for the Family Center.
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Exploring contemporary art in its new home, The Walker presents artistic expression in all media from painting and sculpture to video, cinema, dance and theatre. Check out their calendar of family events on Free First Saturdays, every month.
Weisman Art Museum
333 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Housed in an unforgettable building designed by Frank Gehry, this museum is located on the East Bank of the campus of the University of Minnesota and presents an eclectic collection of American modernism, ceramics, Mimbres pottery, and Korean furniture, as well as special traveling exhibitions.
For Theatre Enthusiasts
818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Ensconced in its exciting new home with an opening on June 25, 2006, the Guthrie continues its tradition as the foremost regional theater in the country. The architecturally and visually stunning new three-theater complex is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and will allow the Guthrie to continue to present a huge range of performances from the classics to contemporary works by the next generation of writers, directors, actors and designers.
Theatre de la Jeune Lune
105 North First Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Meaning “Theatre of the New Moon,” this company was founded in France in 1978 and settled in Minneapolis in 1985. The innovative performances seek to “embrace the ‘old moon’ of theatrical tradition and to create an entirely new kind of theatre that is immediate, high spirited, passionately physical and visually spectacular.” The theatre itself is inventive in that the seating structure is movable and re-configured for each show.
Minneapolis for History Buffs
Mill City Museum
704 South Second Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401
This museum tells the important story of Minneapolis as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World,” the industry that put this city on the map. Adjacent to St. Anthony’s Falls, which powered over 20 mills along the Mississippi River, the museum is housed in the restored building of Washburn A Mill, where more than 12 million loaves of bread were once made daily from the wheat milled here. Exhibits include authentic milling machinery, the Water Lab where visitors explore waterpower, and a Baking Lab (yum). The Flour Tower offers a multimedia experience from a restored grain elevator, and from the rooftop Observation Deck you can enjoy a view of the river and the falls.
Fort Snelling History Center
200 Tower Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55111
A living history museum where costumed guides give a lively presentations at what served as an outpost in the wilderness. See demonstrations of crafts, military drills and historical skits and learn all about frontier life circa 1827.
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