Driving past Rice Park on a winter evening is one of the most inviting sights you could ever see. The trees are festooned with magical twinkling lights that illuminate ice sculptures on the ground below. Laughter and music float through the air, and draws our eyes to the ice rink across the street. A spring afternoon is almost just as enchanting. The crab apple trees are in bloom, and people are bursting to get outside in order to eat at one of the portable restaurants. Children can be seen buying ice cream from a man on a bike, and the fountain is flowing with fresh water. Rice Park is only a square block in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, however, that small area is the center of the cities activity. Neighboring each side of that park is a historical building with the promise of entertainment.
On 5th Street we have The Landmark Center, a castle that towers over Rice Park. Passerby’s are welcome to walk the halls of this renovated palace to learn its eventful history. At one point The Landmark Center was a Federal Court Building, and the basement walls are decorated with information on the corrupt cops that used to rule there. On the second floor there are two free museums focused on wood art and instrumental music, organized by the Schubert Club. The Schubert Club hosts lots of concerts in the Landmark Center which you can find at their website http://www.schubert.org/index.php. However, the most amazing part of the Landmark is seen when you first walk into the building. This is the cortile, a huge, six floor, open, atrium with sky lights, and supported by marble pillars. The cortile is frequently used for weddings, dances, and events that require a large beautiful space.
On the South side of the park is the St. Paul Public Library. If you loved how intricately carved the Landmark was, you will appreciate the detail that went into this library. The library hosts lots of events focused on learning and achieving, which can all be found on their website http://www.sppl.org/, under Events. Even if you don't want to check out a book or use a computer, you should still visit the library just so you have the chance to appreciate the work that went into designing it.
Adjacent to the library is The Ordway Center, which is one of the main non-profit performance stages in Minnesota. You can visit their website http://www.ordway.org/ in order to see who will be performing on this brilliant stage. The Ordway hosts everything from dance to theatre, so it will spark the interest of anyone with a passion for the performing arts.
When your done with all of the hustle and bustle of exploring Rice Park you can settle down for a nights stay at the St. Paul Hotel, and have a bite to eat at their lavish restaurant. The hotel is known for its luxury and elegance. This is the place to be if your in the mood to be pampered. Reservations can be made at their website https://www.saintpaulhotel.com/.
There are so many things to do in such a small area, and if you have time venture out a little further than the prescribed area. By doing this you could find The Minnesota Science Museum or The Children’s Museum, which have fun and interactive exhibits. You might discover the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, nestled right next to The Ordway Center. In that same area people enjoy sports games at the Excel Center. Whatever your interests, there is always something to do or see in St. Paul.
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