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Best of the Twin Cities 2011

Variety is the spice of life, right? Sure, but we think the wondrous mix of things to do, eat, drink, buy, and enjoy in the Twin Cities is better described as, well, pretty sweet. It’s a veritable Candyland out there, and on the following pages we highlight the things that make us feel good as gumdrops. The tastiest focaccia (the best Dara’s ever eaten). The hippest cover band (they know Weezer’s The Blue Album front to back). The most honest auto-body shop (they do exist). And, yes, the best candy store. Admit it, we’re spoiled rotten here. And that’s a good thing.



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BEST OF FOOD >
BEST OF DRINK >
BEST OF FUN >
BEST OF THE CLASSICS >
BEST OF SHOPPING >
BEST OF HELP >
BEST OF HEALTH & SELF >

FUN

Ticket Deals

Goldstar.com

Start seeing your friends now. Because once they realize that Goldstar.com, the country’s largest discount-ticket seller, recently moved into the Twin Cities market, the only time you’ll see them is after a show. The service doesn’t cover the hottest, most expensive tickets in town (sorry, you’ll still be parting with a limb or two to see Broadway shows). But with half-price tickets on everything from plays at the Children’s Theatre Company to concerts at the Loring Theater to cruises on the Mississippi, the site still offers plenty of reasons for people to hit the town, with or without you.
goldstar.com
 

New Zoo Exhibit

Penguins of the African Coast

They can’t fly, can scarcely walk, look like they’re about to hand you a gin and tonic, and seem to have some co-dependency issues (ever seen a lone penguin?). That said, while the Minnesota Zoo has been quietly piling new animals into its Apple Valley ark over the past few years, it’s hard to beat the latest arrivals—18 African penguins—for sheer pleasure. Try watching these creatures for 10 minutes: if you aren’t continuously grinning, you may as well throw yourself in the grizzly pit—you’re obviously dead.
13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, 952-431-9200, mnzoo.org
 

Jazz Venue

Capri Theater

Prince played here—the first shows he ever did. Which should be reason enough to check out this renovated Art Deco theater. But here’s another: it’s a regular home to the best vocal-jazz performers in the Twin Cities—Regina Marie Williams, Greta Oglesby, Dennis Spears, Sanford Moore—all of whom you can hear in this intimate, clubby setting for a fraction of what you’d pay to see them in musicals at the Guthrie or Ordway. No staging. No plots. Just great music.
2027 W. Broadway Ave., Mpls., 612-643-2050, thecapritheater.org
 

CLUB TO HEAR SINGER-SONGWRITERS

Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

Surely we’re confused. Singer-songwriters at a jazz club? What have we been smoking? The better question: where have you been? The Dakota, recognizing a nice crossover between fans of jazz and fans of old-school singer-songwriters, recently began booking legends like Judy Collins, Maria Muldaur, and Bettye LaVette. In fact, about a quarter of its lineup is now comprised of folk, pop, blues, and R&B acts. And we can’t think of a better place—so relaxed, so cozy, so full of good food—to hear them.
1010 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-332-1010, dakotacooks.com
 

Museum Without a Museum

Minnesota Museum of American Art

A museum is a place to see art, right? Not in the case of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, which lost its home in St. Paul a few years back. It still has thousands of the loveliest publicly owned artworks in the Twin Cities—sculptures by Paul Manship, landscapes by Grant Wood, regionalist paintings by Thomas Hart Benton—they’re just not on permanent display. But this year, its small staff has been trundling a portion of the collection to other museums and galleries around the state (in August, it appeared at the Minnesota State Fair; this month, it’s on view at Gustavus Adolphus College). Someday, the MMAA may once again be a place to see art. Until then, it’s nowhere—and everywhere.
651-797-4057, mmaa.org
 

Book Club

Talk of the Stacks

You’d have to fly to New York, slap on your most sardonic smile, and hit an Upper East Side soirée to get as much literary edification as you can just sitting in a folding chair at the Hennepin County Library’s signature reading series. This fall alone, at the Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, you can see Leslie Marmon Silko, Will Hermes, and Nuruddin Farah, among other high-profile authors. You’ll feel smarter just walking in the door.
supporthclib.org/events-talk.html
 

New Museum Space

Weisman Art Museum

Frank Gehry never met a line he didn’t want to bend, a façade he didn’t want to fracture, Picasso-like. So why, standing outside the Weisman Art Museum, is it so hard to spot the recent renovation designed by this most flamboyant of architects? Because all the action is on the inside, where Gehry doubled the gallery space by bumping out the back end. It’s now filled with a half-dozen new exhibits and works rarely if ever shown before from the Weisman’s collection. It took 18 years, but Gehry’s first big museum commission may now be known as much for its interior as exterior.
333 E. River Pkwy., Mpls., 612-625-9494, weisman.umn.edu
 


 

Best Theater
 

For Comedy

HUGE Theater

3037 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-412-4843, hugetheater.com
 

For Movies

Parkway Theater

4814 Chicago Ave., Mpls., 612-822-3030, theparkwaytheater.com
 

For Music

Pantages Theater

710 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-7007, hennepintheatretrust.org
 

For a Big Night

Guthrie Theater  

818 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-377-2224, guthrietheater.org
 

For a Night with Friends

Loring Theater

1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-353-6781, loringtheater.com
 

For a Group

New Century Theatre

615 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-455-9501, hennepintheatretrust.org
 


 

[ Readers’ Pick ]

Voted on by Minnesota Monthly readers at MNMO.com
 

Best Festival
 

WIN

St. Paul Winter Carnival
 

PLACE

Uptown Art Fair
 

SHOW

Irish Fair
 

HONORABLE MENTION

Minnesota Fringe Festival

 

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MN Events Calendar Sponsored by:

June 2015

Come to Big Sandy Lodge and Resort to get all the delicious pancakes you can eat for only $5.

Cost: $5

Where:
Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
20534 487th Street
McGregor, MN  55760
View map »


Sponsor: Big Sandy Lodge and Resort
Telephone: 218-426-5040
Website »

More information

Come join us at the Skyway Theatre as we take over the block for the Pride Parade!  Drinks and brunch starting at 9am and DJs at 12pm! Get the best seat for the best parade of the...

Cost: No Cover

Where:
Bar Fly & Maruso
715 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-333-6100
Website »

More information

Pride Parade Viewing Party UNION Rooftop – Downtown Minneapolis Start time: 9am (presale tickets) / 10am (day-of tickets) Live DJs: DJ Lindsay ‘Shiek’ Earney and DJ Lenka...

Cost: $10 (includes a free mimosas, glass of champagne or Absolute cocktail)

Where:
UNION Rooftop
731 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis , MN  55403
View map »

More information

Pride Parade Rooftop Viewing Party CRAVE Rooftop – Downtown Minneapolis Live DJ: DJ FANCY RESTAURANT Start time: 9am $5 from each ticket donated to OutFront Minnesota ...

Cost: $10 (includes free Absolute or Jameson cocktail)

Where:
CRAVE Rooftop
825 Hennepin Ave MN
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »

More information

YogaFit's Mind Body Fitness Conference is where students work towards a Yoga Alliance registry, earn continuing education credits, or simply deepen one's yoga practice and transform...

Cost: $329- $975

Where:
Hilton Minneapolis
1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis , MN   55403
View map »


Website »

More information

Show your Pride by taking part in the Twin Cities Pride Rainbow Run on Sunday, June 28th! Starting at Boom Island and ending near Loring Park, the route takes runners along Hennepin Avenue as...

Cost: $30

Where:
Boom Island Park
800 Sibley Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN  55413
View map »


Sponsor: Twin Cities Pride
Telephone: (612) 255-3260
Website »

More information

Join YogaLean's author Beth Shaw in this new 1 day YogaLean Transformational Workshop during the Minneapolis Mind Body Fitness Conference.  Explore holistic modalities of weight loss,...

Cost: $129.00

Where:
Hilton Minneapolis
1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Website »

More information

Join YogaLean's author Beth Shaw in this new 1 day YogaLean Transformational Workshop during the Minneapolis Mind Body Fitness Conference.  Explore holistic modalities of weight loss,...

Cost: $129.00

Where:
Hilton Minneapolis
1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Website »

More information

The 2015 Twin Cities Pride Festival features over 400 exhibitors, 40 food and beverage booths, 20 sponsors, and 300,000+ visitors who participate in this free celebration of the GLBT...

Cost: Free

Where:
Loring Park
1382 Willow Street
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Sponsor: Twin Cities Pride
Telephone: (612) 255-3260
Website »

More information

The 2015 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, June 28, beginning at 11 a.m. along Hennepin Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis. The Parade route starts at 3rd and Hennepin and ends at...

Cost: Free or $40 Grandstand tickets

Where:
Hennepin Ave in Downtown Minneapolis
Hennepin & 3rd to Hennepin & Spruce
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Sponsor: Twin Cities Pride
Telephone: (612) 255-3260
Website »

More information

The Twin Cities Pride Entertainment Team is excited to bring you over 50 local acts during Pride Weekend. The schedule is below, but know that things are subject to change.  ...

Cost: Free. $10 General/$75 VIP for Pride in Concert 6/27 5pm at Loring Stage.

Where:
Loring Park
1382 Willow St
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-255-3260
Contact Name: Twin Cities Pride
Website »

More information

The celebration will be held in true Lurcat style, featuring music, dancing, festive food, cocktails and more! Café & Bar Lurcat is central to the Pride festival in Loring Park and found...

Cost: Free to enter

Where:
Cafe & Bar Lurcat
1624 Harmon Pl
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

What do you get when you explore the magical, yet tangled, intersection between the genius of art and the self-destruction of addiction; set it to catchy music against a backdrop of vivid visual...

Cost: $25.00

Where:
Minnetonka Theatre
18285 Highway 7
Minnetonka, MN  55345
View map »


Website »

More information

The Minnesota Boychoir, under the direction of Mark Johnson, will be concluding their 2015 East Coast Tour with a Welcome Home Concert this Sunday, June 28 at the Graebner Memorial Chapel on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Graebner Memorial Chapel
Saint Paul, MN

More information

Don’t miss one of Minnesota’s hippest and hoppiest events. This local craft beer tasting event includes live music and a ton of tasty appetizers paired with the best brews in the Twin...

Cost: $50

Where:
Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power St.
Minneapolis, MN  55401
View map »


Sponsor: Canvas Health
Website »

More information

Open Window Theatre is making a children's event of fantastical proportions with their summer youth theater production of James and the Giant Peach.  Roald Dahl's imaginative adventure...

Cost: ADVANCE: $6/child (lap child free), $8/student, $12/adult

Where:
Open Window Theatre
Metropolis Minneapolis Building
1313 Chestnut Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-615-1515
Contact Name: Jeremy Stanbary
Website »

More information

We know it's the height of summer, so we think it's the perfect time to get a SUP you'll love. Get your board now while there is still plenty of summer left. Some of our hottest selling...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
, MN


Sponsor: Silver Creek Paddle
Website »

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Join us for an afternoon of stories, music, and poetry that evoke and express a profound connection to place — places we’ve lived, struggled, thrived, seen changed or destroyed, or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Ox Coffee Co
3740 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55407
View map »


Sponsor: Kairos Earth
Telephone: 405-365-8796
Contact Name: Chelsea Scudder
Website »

More information

We know it's the height of summer, so we think it's the perfect time to get a SUP you'll love. Get your board now while there is still plenty of summer left. Some of our hottest selling...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
, MN


Sponsor: Silver Creek Paddle
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

RN’s and LPN’s for Evenings, Nights & Weekends - $2,000 hiring bonus Trillium Woods, a brand new continuing care retirement community, is opening on July 6th and we are having an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Trillium Woods
14633 Country Road 4
Plymouth, MN  55446
View map »

More information

Invest a few life-changing hours in our Power Trading Workshop, where you'll learn: How to identify points where supply and demand are out of balance and price is about to move. The two...

Cost: free

Where:
Online Trading Academy
7900 International Drive Suite 170
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »


Telephone: 952-814-4410
Website »

More information

Bring your lunch and learn more about the opportunities to live, learn, and work with a community overseas through Peace Corps service. Peace Corps is a federal agency which provides U.S....

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Phalen Picnic Pavilion
1600 Phalen Drive
St. Paul, MN  55106
View map »


Sponsor: Peace Corps
Telephone: 612.233.9605
Contact Name: Krista M. Mastel
Website »

More information

Bring your lunch and learn more about the opportunities to live, learn, and work with a community overseas through Peace Corps service.   Peace Corps is a federal agency which provides...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Phalen Picnic Pavilion
1600 Phalen Dr
St. Paul, MN  55106
View map »


Sponsor: Peace Corps
Telephone: 651.233.9605
Contact Name: Krista M. Mastel
Website »

More information

Enhanced and engaged learning, creating and sharing ideas, and forming partnerships are just a few benefits of collaborative classroom learning. Now, with tools like Office 365, OneNote for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft Store - Mall of America
162 South Ave
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

 Join us for a 4th of July barbecue, yard games, and outdoor movie hosted by Mary Mother's Young Adult Catholics Hanging Together group. All are welcome! Bring a dish to share. This...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mary Mother of the Church in Burnsville
3333 E. Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Sponsor: Young Adult Catholics Hanging Together
Telephone: 952-890-0045
Contact Name: Kosi Onyeneho
Website »

More information

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OneNote is a free cross-platform app that helps students and teachers save time, stay organized, and collaborate more effectively in and out of the classroom. Students can build portfolios of...

Cost: Free

Where:
, MN

More information

Summer is the sweetest time to savor the river, so sign up now for River City Revue! It's a delectable blend of live music, cool history, and hands-on art adventures, all happening at the Saint...

Cost: $10 - $15

Where:
St. Paul Yacht Club
375 W Water St
St. Paul, MN  55107
View map »


Sponsor: Mississippi River Fund, Works Progress & the National Park Service
Telephone: 651-291-8164
Contact Name: Katie Nyberg
Website »

More information

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Enter the halls of Casket Arts to encounter the work of 20+ artists working in paint, sculpture, light, fibers, and sound. A one night only event with several site specific...

Cost: Free

Where:
Casket Arts Carriage House
1707 Jefferson St Ne
Minneapolis, MN  55413
View map »

More information

The flipped classroom is an innovative method of teaching that allows for multimedia lessons and in-class exercises. Now you can “flip” your own classroom using familiar tools like...

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft Store - Mall of America
162 South Ave
Bloomington, MN
View map »

More information

The foundation of Jillian's country-esque, classically trained songwriter-style musicianship was built on northern Minnesta's Iron Range. Under the talented eye of Helina Pakola, who has...

Cost: 5

Where:
Mankato Brewery
1119 Center Street
, MN  56003
View map »


Sponsor: Mankato Brewery
Website »

More information

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One of the most highly sought-after skills in the workforce today is coding. In this workshop, we’ll show you how to create an app from a template, add content, and upload an app to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Microsoft Store - Mall of America
Bloomington, MN

More information

The 90’s alternative rock band – The Mallrats – will take the Amphitheater stage at Grand Casino Hinckley on Friday, July 3 at 8:30 p.m. Following the show will be a spectacular...

Cost: $10 general admission

Where:
Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater
777 Lady Luck Dr
Hinckley, MN  55037
View map »


Website »

More information

Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill Presents Award Winning Vocalist Patty Peterson & Friends with Special Guest Melanie Rosales Friday, July 3, 2015 - 9:30pm 761 Washington Avenue N,...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Bunker's Music Bar and Grill
761 Washington Ave N
#325
Minneapolis, MN  55401
View map »


Sponsor: Bunker's Music Bar and Grill
Telephone: 847-624-5087
Contact Name: Carrie Miller
Website »

More information

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It’s almost that special time of year again, where you pull out your flag, grab your lawn chair, and put on that sunscreen…the 68th annual Saint Anthony Park 4th of July Parade and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Anthony Park/Langford Park
Saint Paul, MN  55108


Sponsor: 4th In The Park Committee & The Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation
Telephone: 651-343-7365
Contact Name: Josh Becerra, Jeanne Hansen, & Emma Seeley
Website »

More information

Mystic Lake’s Rock and Rockets Fourth of July Celebration returns this year with another spectacular fireworks display. The free, all-ages event will take place outside Mystic Lake beginning...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
2400 Mystic Lake Blvd.
Prior Lake, MN  55372
View map »


Telephone: 952-496-7388
Website »

More information

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