Stay and Play
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Things to Do
Mark your calendars for the 2010 Midwest Home Luxury Home Tour June 11-13, 18-20, and 25-27. During three weekends, tour attendees can enter a world teeming with awe-inspiring ideas for interior design, architectural treatments, landscape design, home technology, ‘green’ living, and exquisite finishes—all of which can make a home truly shine. Fully furnished, the homes encapsulate the stunning design and construction skills of some of the Twin Cities’ most sought-after builders. Save $5 by purchasing discount Passport tickets at more than 180 Twin Cities Caribou Coffee locations.
There are few things more “summer” in Minnesota than an outdoor baseball game. Tailgate outside at Midway Stadium before a St. Paul Saints game (you can almost hear the sizzle of the grill) before watching the awesome minor league ball team. Half the fun is watching the lively between-inning competitions such as Sumo wrestling, human bowling, and wheelbarrow races. With a noisy, boisterous crowd, it’s nearly impossible not to have fun at a Saints game.
It’s also nearly impossible not to have fun at the Minnesota Zoo, no matter your age. May 29 marks the opening date of the zoo’s newest exhibit, “Faces of the African Forest.” Elegant Colobus monkeys will join DeBrazza’s monkeys, fruit bats, dwarf crocodiles, red river hogs, and rock hyrax in the Zoo’s Tropics Trail. The zoo isn’t just home to over 2,000 animals; it’s also a phenomenal outdoor concert venue. Adults looking for a fun date night should check out the Music in the Zoo Concert Series this summer.
Opera is all about emotions and history. The story can be suspenseful, humorous, fun, sensual, or foreboding. A good opera will leave you riveted on the edge of your seat, and seat-riveting productions is exactly what you’ll get from talented local, professional artists at the Skylark Opera. The summer festival kicks off June 12 and will run until June 20. Skylark will present Franz Lehar’s masterpiece The Merry Widow (sung in English) and Noël Coward’s operetta tribute to Viennese operetta, Bitter Sweet, with performances at E. M. Pearson Theatre on the Concordia University campus in St. Paul.
Looking for something different to do in May or June? Head east to the Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater for some wine tasting in their rustic tasting room (a restored century-old barn). The vineyard sells over 15 varieties of white, red, and dessert wines. If you’re interested in learning more about how grapes are grown in Minnesota and the winemaking process, Saint Croix Vineyards offers tours in May and June. Or feel free to pack an old-fashioned picnic lunch and enjoy it at a picnic table overlooking their quiet pond before taking a stroll through the picturesque vineyards.
If you’re craving fast-paced action, head to Shooting Star Casino. Exciting promotions (win a car May 9) make Shooting Star, located in Mahnomen, the spot to be for gamers, partiers, or those wanting relaxation.
Not a gamer? Shooting Star’s still got you covered. “With the delicious gourmet restaurant, 2 ONE 8, and specials at Sereniitee Spa, even non-gamblers can enjoy our luxurious retreat or a dip in the indoor pool,” says Mallory Ellis, media supervisor.
If your idea of adventure is more backpacking, climbing, canoeing, and kayaking than playing indoors, let the experts at Midwest Mountaineering, located in the Cedar-Riverside area, help you find the gear you need.
If your summer adventure includes kayaking, drive over to Schulze Lake Beach in Lebanon Hills Regional Park for a free Midwest Mountaineering kayak demo on Saturday, May 15 at 1 p.m. Midwest Mountaineering will bring the boats, paddles, and personal flotation devices; you just need to come “dressed to play.” The 40th Anniversary Sale starts May 27.
August might seem like a long ways off, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the annual Uptown Art Fair, set this year from Aug. 6-8. Make sure you’re in town that weekend to choose from a variety of creative and original works of art including sculptures, paintings, photography, woodcarvings, glasswork, jewelry, multimedia compositions, and more. Hundreds of juried artists will line Hennepin Avenue from 28th Street to 31st Street, and along The Mall from Hennepin Avenue to Lake Calhoun. Vendors will sell tasty food and cold beverages, and live on-stage bands (and other performers) will keep the crowd entertained. The Art Fair attracts 375,000 people annually, making it the No. 2 statewide event as far as attendance, second only to another highly-anticipated summer get-together—the Minnesota State Fair, set this year for Aug. 26-Sept. 6.