Are you planning a trip to Minneapolis? Here is a list of the top 12 Things to Do in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, is a big city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is the 16th largest metropolitan city in the United States and a significant economic hub after Chicago and Seattle.
If you ever want to visit the United States, Minneapolis is one of the best cities that you must visit in the United States, and this list we have curated the things to do in Minneapolis, for you.
The city of Minneapolis, due to the abundance of water in the city that is enriched by the presence of 13 lakes, is home to a vibrant life of biodiversity.
The city itself is influenced by the very flow of the Mississippi River and has been built holistically in such a way that the natural flow of the river is not disturbed by urbanization.
This is one of the very few cities in the world where modernization is done along with the flow of nature.
The city has a perfect balance of habited settlements and uninhabited settlements and there is a large part of the city that is still in the hands of Mother Nature.
From silent, adventurous camping grounds to stylish, modern, and luxurious shopping malls, there is everything you want to explore in the city itself.
The Mississippi River that runs right through the city forms creeks and tributaries that give you the best experience for kayaking or canoeing in the city.
The largest retail shopping mall in America is in Minneapolis. If you are a cycling lover, good news for you, Minneapolis is one of the best cycling-friendly cities in the world.
The Minneapolis state government offers bikes at subsidized rents for users; it is called Nice Ride Minneapolis. The city has over 120 miles(193 km) of on-street trails and 90 miles(144 km) of off-road trails.
Cycling is one of the best things to do in Minneapolis, without fail. Do it!
If you love beer, Minneapolis has some of the best breweries in the city to taste a variety of beers from. Want to sample foods from all over the world, then you have the Midtown Global Market. Grab some good food to eat and sit down comfortably somewhere; you will see a mini fashion walk as this city is a thriving place for fashionable hipsters.
Watching the variety of people walking past you while you are relaxed is also one of the best things to do in Minneapolis.
Things To Do In Minneapolis
There are a lot of things to say about Minneapolis and many more things to do in the city that are awesome and exciting.
So, in this article, we have put together a list of things that you should not forget to do when you make your visit to Minneapolis in the future.
a) Visiting Minnehaha Waterfalls at Minnehaha Park
Running for 22 miles or 35 km along with downtown Minneapolis through several lakes in the city, the Minnehaha creek then finally falls into the Mississippi River from a height of 54 feet, forming the Minnehaha Falls.
Situated right in the middle of Minneapolis City, Minnehaha Regional Park is a deep, untamed and adventurous wildlife area.
The 193-acre park, located near the confluence of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, has a 53-foot waterfall, limestone cliffs, and river viewpoints.
From the urban environment of Minneapolis, the environment begins to take a dramatic shift when you enter the Minnehaha Regional Park.
The falls completely freeze during the winter season, allowing you to walk behind the frozen water curtain. The park offers various exciting activities for its visitors, including picnics, playing golf and a pool to take bathe in summer.
Oak, elm, silver maple, basswood, hackberry, and cottonwood trees may be found in the park, as well as native and prairie woodland wildflowers.
This must be first on your list of things to do in Minneapolis.
In an urban context, a stunning forest waterfall. Minnehaha Park, which overlooks the Mississippi River, is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks, receiving approximately 850,000 people each year.
b) Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is an Art gallery in the city that has a wide variety of art collections from all over the world, from various famous artists, and from different times of history.
The artistic collection of MIA makes anyone fall in love with the arts. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has over 90,000 collections of artworks from 5,000 years of world history.
The Institute has seven different sections: Arts of Africa and America, Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture, Asian Art, Paints, Photography, New Media and Prints, and Drawings.
The Institute plays a vital role in promoting interest in the subject of Arts to the public.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will give you an incredible insight into the history of each culture and important civilization through its extensive collection of artistic specimens of famous artists around the world.
The American Swedish Institute is a thriving arts and culture organization that interacts locally and connects globally, just like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. American Swedish Institute uses its resources to be a significant community asset and essential partner. Its campus includes the historic Turnblad Mansion and the Nelson Cultural Center.
c) Cheer loudly for your team at Target Stadium!
The Target Stadium is a baseball stadium in Minneapolis, that is situated in Northern downtown Minneapolis. It is the home stadium of the city’s franchise baseball team, the Minneapolis Twins.
The Target Stadium offers cheap entry tickets during matches as cheap as $5 without a seat. The stadium has a capacity for at least 40,000 people as audiences. So, watching a baseball match is one of the best things to do in Minneapolis.
Target Field was created without a canopy because the usual high temperature in April is 58°F and the typical high temperature in September is 72°F, thereby making it self-evident that it is warmer here in the summer.
First of all, and importantly, any youngster under the height of 30 inches, or a baby, is free to attend regular-season games. Diaper bags measuring 16″ by 16″ by 8″ or less are permitted in Target Field. Tupperware, hard-sided containers and Thermos bottles are not permitted in Target Field. Outside food is not permitted in any Target Field bar, restaurant, or suite area.
The Champions Club seats behind home plate have the greatest views at Target Field. Being a baseball fan, however, if one does not want to spend that kind of money, then the 100-level sections surrounding the infield are also a terrific choice.
d) Go Shopping at Mall of America
This is not just your regular shopping plaza, the Mall of America is the U.S’s Largest shopping mall with more than 520 stores located in three and four flours of the mega shopping complex.
The Mall of America is just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis by taking the light train.
Mall of America(R) is one of the top tourist destinations in the country! The Mall welcomes more than 40 million visitors a year from across the country and worldwide to enjoy over 520 retail and specialty stores including Nordstrom and Macy’s.
It opened in 1992 and is the biggest mall in the United States, the greatest in the Western Hemisphere, and the world’s ninth-largest retail mall. The Triple Five Group is in charge of the mall (which in turn is owned by the Ghermezian family, along with the West Edmonton Mall and the American Dream).
When you come here, just do your shopping later and take all the time you want to let your kids have fun at the Nickelodeon Universe, a huge theme park inside the shopping complex; then at the Crayola Experience, a crayon-themed park and at the SEA Life Aquarium, an indoor aquarium.
e) Go Chilling Along the Shores Chain of Lakes
The lake shores that were left uninhabited around Lake Brownie, Cedar Lake, Lake of Isles, Calhoun, and Lake Harriet since the 19th century were declared as public property.
So, these shores formed the Chain of Lakes Regional Park.
Lake Harriet is good for bird watching, Lake Calhoun has the best shores, Lake Isles and Cedar is the best for canoeing, and if you want to go for a nice bike ride, there is an approximately 16 km long cycling trail that connects the shores of all those lakes.
In summer, the lake shores are perfect for lunch picnics, and in the winter, when the lake freezes, it becomes an ideal ground for skiing and ice skating.
The Chain of Lakes is probably the most versatile place during all the seasons of the year, in this list, and it never disappoints.
The Chain of Lakes is one of seven byway districts along the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board hits the road every summer with a free movie and concert series that travels to parks across the city with Music and Movies in the Parks.
Chain of Lakes offers unique experiences to its visitors each time during the year.
f) Witness the Industrial History of Minneapolis at the Mill City Museum
Built upon the ruins of the Washburn A Mill Complex dating back to 1880, this was considered be one of the largest flour mills in the world.
The flour mill complex was credited with supplying wheat flour to the whole state. The museum is now filled with photos illustrating how the milling process took place.
There are these Water and Baking labs, filled with engaging activities to help children understand how their daily bread is made, step by step, from milling to baking. The Flour tower takes visitors through the eight floors of the milling complex to look through the lives of mill workers of those days.
In the 1870s, washers at the Washburn mills established a new method of milling; this revolution made excellent wheat flour accessible to the general public for the first time. Minneapolis quickly rose to prominence as the world’s leading flour milling hub, a position it held from 1880 until 1930. A National Historic Landmark is the Washburn A. Mill Complex. The Mill City Museum was inaugurated in 2003 by the Minnesota Historical Society. The west bank of the Mississippi is where Minneapolis was founded, and the city’s flour milling sector grew rapidly after that. The industry gave Minneapolis the title of “Flour Milling Capital of the World,” propelled by the great river and fueled by grain boxcars arriving from the plains.
At the observation deck of the mill, visitors get to admire the old Minneapolis Industrial riverfront from the Stone Bridge to St.Anthony Falls that powered the milling industries with its hydroelectric power.
You know what, The Pillsbury Company was founded in Minneapolis in the year 1869.
The Pillsbury Company operated one of the biggest mills on the banks of the Mississippi River with hydroelectric power from St. Anthony Falls. Even today, the remains of their old milling complex lie at Mill City.
g) Get Yourself Immersed at the Plays of Guthrie Theatre
Named after and founded by the famous English theatre director Sir Tyrone Guthrie, The Guthrie Theatre is situated along with the Mississippi River.
The theatre was first built in 1963 and was demolished, redesigned, and rebuilt in 2006. The Guthrie Theatre was opened up on May 7, 1963, by three acclaimed theatre directors Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Oliver Rea, and Peter Zeisler.
The Guthrie, which was established in 1963, is committed to producing the greatest dramatic works, fostering the careers of modern writers, and training the next generation of theatre professionals. Under the artistic direction of Joseph Haj, the Guthrie offers a variety of classic and modern plays on three stages and keeps raising the bar for theatrical production and performance excellence nationally. The Guthrie Theater explores both classic and modern plays with outstanding theatre artists, fostering connections inside and outside of the community we serve. The Guthrie is dedicated to the people of Minnesota through its exceptional artists, staff, and facility, and, from its spot firmly anchored in the Twin Cities, affects the field as a premier 21st-century arts institution. The Guthrie produces transformative theatrical experiences that spark the imagination, move the heart, stimulate the mind, and foster a sense of community by illuminating our shared humanity.
The new Guthrie Theatre is situated on 285,000 square foot space, which houses three separate theatres –
1) 1100 seated Wurtele Thrust stage.
2) 700-seated McGuire Proscenium Stage and
3) 199 seated Dowling studio.
The Theatre till now has kept its standards of theatre art and has been keeping and has remained true to the Shakespeare drama productions.
The Theatre has three separate fine-dining restaurants and a retail store as well. Don’t forget to check out The Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theatre provides visitors with a scenic view of the Mississippi River and Minneapolis City in the evening.
Along with these, the theatre offers Summer drama camps for interested people of all ages.
h) Weismann Art Museum
The Weismann Arts Museum is located on the premises of the University of Minnesota. The odd-looking Weismann Art Museum has got two faces depending on the side you choose to look from. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Weismann Art Museum is an architectural masterpiece that I currently have no words in my dictionary to define its style.
The Weismann Museum belongs to the Weismann Arts Foundation based in Los Angeles, the founder of the foundation, Frederick R. Weismann was an art collector from Minneapolis who became famous in Los Angeles. The Weismann Arts Museum in Minneapolis houses mainly American modern art, Korean furniture, and Mimbres Pottery.
It intended to convey the experience of living with art rather than the usual, more formal procedure of seeing art at a gallery or museum when the art collection was presented to the public. To this day, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation is housed on the estate.
The Weisman Foundation mansion is a two-story Mediterranean Revival home created by Los Angeles architect Gordon B. Kaufmann in the late 1920s. The Weisman house exemplifies the period’s high craftsmanship, featuring unique ornamental treatments on the walls and ceilings. The foundation estate, annex, and adjacent gardens are now only accessible by appointment.
The Minnesota History Center, unlike Weisman Art Museum, uses Minnesotan stories to bring history to life. Visit to take in the fascinating exhibits, investigate your family history and the state archives at our research library, or get together with the neighbourhood for a fascinating historical programme or a free performance. The History Center, which houses the Minnesota Historical Society, is a location where all Minnesotans can learn about the significance of history today and engage in discussions about it. In this award-winning museum that is all about Minnesota, one can satiate their curiosity. St. Paul has it all, including exhibits, music, crafts, lectures, shopping, and delicious food.
i) Get the Best of Your Cameras at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is located near the premises of the Walker Art Centre.
Owned and managed by the Walker Art Centre, it hosts giant, artistic, outdoor, and artistic masterpieces that are unique enough that deserve a separate mention in this list.
So if you are keen on photography, shooting Sculpture Garden is one of the best things to do in Minneapolis.
The famous Spoonbridge and Cherry is one gigantic sculpture where a giant cherry rests on top of a giant spoon tip, which is something you should witness here without fail.
This magnificent sculpture was designed by a husband and wife Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.
The garden also has many other unique and intriguing sculptures that you should post those photos of on your Instagram.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), founded in 1883, maintains a famous metropolitan park system of 6,266 acres of parkland and water. There are 55 miles of parkways, 102 miles of Grand Rounds bike and walking trails, 22 lakes, 12 formal gardens, seven golf courses, and 49 recreation facilities among its 180 park sites. Annually, almost 30 million people visit MPRB sites.
The Trust for Public Land has named MPRB one of the top five urban park systems in the United States since 2013. It is recognized by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agency (CAPRA), making it one of only three park agencies in Minnesota and one of less than 200 in the United States.
j) Clubbing at First Avenue
The bustling and awesome nightclub was once an old bus depot in the year 1937 and was redesigned as a disco club first in the year 1970.
The First avenue nightclub has another attachment of the stage named the 7th Street Entry, which was also a part of the former bus depot, this was a restaurant.
The history and cultural value of the site have resulted in local and national attention. According to journalist David Carr of The New York Times, just a few clubs in the United States can equal First Avenue’s cultural weight and history: CBGB, Maxwell’s, Metro Chicago, and the 9:30 Club. It was also one of the first clubs in Minneapolis’s once-segregated music industry to book Black singers.
A black wall on the 7th Street Entry has several white stars, where the names of the performers who till now performed on the club stage are written. First Avenue is a unique place and a symbol of American Music history.
Prince is the most famous musician of all to have performed at First Avenue. The nightclub has also been featured in his movie Purple Rain.
When you are in Minneapolis, be sure to check out this club as this club has recorded the inspiring performances of hundreds of artists. The First Avenue nightclub has been a place and is still a place for hundreds of artists to realize their dreams.
k) Visiting The Twin Cities
The city of Minneapolis and the state capital city of St.Paul are together called the Twin Cities. Minneapolis and St. Paul are two major cities in the state of Minnesota. W
hile Minneapolis is a cultural and economic hub St. Paul is the administrative hub and the second most populous city of the state. The two cities are partially divided by the Mississippi River running between them.
The Twin Cities refers to the two main cities in Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. These two cities developed around the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers, are the epicentres of urban and industrial activity. The Twin Cities are well known for their affordable and accessible public transportation system. The Metro Transit system provides regular service to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as the Mall of America, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and a variety of other tourist sites.
Visitors who intend to stay in the Twin Cities region can still have a lot of fun cross-country skiing excursions. Visit Theodore Wirth Park, which has 740 acres and more than 15 kilometres of cross-country paths. The Elm Creek Park Reserve in adjacent Maple Grove is another excellent option. Explore the three miles of illuminated cross-country ski trails at night for a truly memorable romantic encounter.
The proximity between these two most significant urban centers is the reason why it is called the Twin Cities.
There is also a high contrast in the culture of both cities, Minneapolis has a Scandinavian and Lutheran culture, and St.Paul has a strong French and Italian influence.
And, this contrast in cultures can be seen in the architecture of particular churches and old buildings in the downtown areas in the cities.
The impressive Minnesota State Capitol and its memorial-filled Mall are located in bustling Downtown Saint Paul, which also houses important performing arts centers and museums like the Minnesota History Center and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The Mississippi River has nearby walking and cycling pathways that follow it. There are many places to eat and drink, from classy bistros to a famous art deco diners to hip brewpubs with live music.
l) Time to End Your Trip with Stone Arch Bridge
Okay, now you have come to the end of this list. And, this is the most important of all the things to do in Minneapolis to finish the trip happily and entirely by visiting the Stone Arch Bridge.
In the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Saint Anthony Falls, the Mississippi River is crossed by the historic railway bridge known as the Stone Arch Bridge. On the whole Mississippi River, it is the sole stone-arched bridge. Next to Eads Bridge, it is the second-oldest highway over the river. Bridge deck is managed by the Park Board; it is owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
When the city was experiencing rapid economic growth in the 19th century, transporting the goods produced on the West side of the river to the market on the east side was a little challenging.
There was only one bridge that connected both sides, the Hennepin Suspension bridge, which was becoming obsolete slowly.
So, there was a need for another bridge that would connect both sides of the river; the Stone Bridge was then built in 1883, serving its purpose effectively as a railway bridge until 1978.
In the early 1990s, the bridge was renovated and is now used as a pedestrian and vehicle bridge. This was completely built on stones and was the second bridge to be built on the Mississippi River after Eads Bridge.
The Stone Arch Bridge offers people a clear and perfect view of Minneapolis and the Twin Cities.
Do make this place a priority because when you are about to leave Minneapolis, The Stone Arch Bridge is a perfect place to bring your trip to a happy ending and say bye to the city and its people until you see them next time.
Most Favorite FAQs
Q1. What are the most popular things to do in Minneapolis with children?
The most popular places to have fun with children in Minneapolis according to the majority of travellers are: the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Chain of Lakes, Minnesota children’s Museum, Lake of the Isles, Basilica of St. Mary, Minnesota zoo, Como park zoo, sea life Minnesota aquarium, and Lake Harriet.
Q2. Why is Minneapolis called mini apple?
This is consistent with the state slogan, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” The nickname Mini-Apple refers to the city’s resemblance to New York City, with its plethora of museums and art galleries, live theatre, restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment facilities.
Q3. What is Minneapolis MN best known for?
Minneapolis is well-known for its arts culture, with the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden being two of its most popular attractions. The Walker Art Center, founded in the late 1800s, houses a permanent collection of nearly 13,000 modern artworks ranging from paintings and photography to books and sculptures.
Q4. What food is famous in Minneapolis?
The Scandinavian heritage has left its stamp on the Minneapolis cuisine scene with lefse, pickled herring, gravlax, and Swedish meatballs. Ingebretsen’s is the place to go for real a pieces of bread, sausages, and cheeses, as well as Scandinavian souvenirs.