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Cruise on Down to the Twin Cities Auto Show, March 10-18, 2012


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I’m not a car person. How much am I not a car person? For 13 years I drove a ‘96 Dodge Neon without air conditioning or automatic anything. And I loved her. I cried when we had to put her down. So, yes, the brilliance of a new car is kind of lost on me. However, I’m married to a Car Guy. My husband loves everything about cars and holds so much knowledge in his brain, I think I’m actually a disappointment when he asks for my opinion and I just shrug my shoulders. (However, through osmosis, I can now tell the difference between a Mustang with a V6 and a V8, thank you very much.)

Twin Cities Auto Show

Photo courtesy of Twin Cities Auto Show

Being married to a Car Guy means I’ve been to the annual Twin Cities Auto Show (March 10-18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center) a fair amount of times. And while I originally just went along to be supportive of my husband’s obsession, it turns out the Auto Show is a ton of fun, and actually a very family friendly event (kids 10 and under are free!). This is the time when car companies can roll out their impressive, futuristic concept cars, as well as show off their upcoming models. Nearly 400 cars sit in the showroom and all the big timers are here, including Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lexus. You’ll also find household brands like KIA, Subaru and Nissan.

Over its nine-day run, the Auto Show offers up a lot of fun events. In fact, this year, the event is putting on its own rock show, with Blood Sweat & Tears burning up the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium on March 17. You can buy tickets for a private tour of the show before it opens to the public each day. Learn about green automotive technology in the Biodiesel Green Room and peek at the finest luxury cars on Luxury Lane. Get a blast from the past, too; the Antique Auto Club of America will also have several models on display.

While it’s an already affordable activity (adult tickets are just $10), you can save $2 if you bring in a non-perishable food item, buy online or print off an online coupon. You can also get a free ticket if you swing your car around to get your kid’s booster seat checked for safety (Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Plus, the first 500 kids in the door each weekend day get a free toy car!

The show’s open until 10 p.m. every night but the last, and convention center parking is conveniently attached by skyway (great for those with strollers). So, head on down and peruse the cars. Personally, while seeing the expensive and concept cars is cool, I just like sitting in the SUVs I wish we could afford and pretend they’re mine. Apparently, air conditioning and automatic windows and locks are pretty cool features to have. Who knew?

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