Photo Courtesy Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
There’s a meme circulating around social media right now. Maybe you’ve seen it—it goes like this:
It’s true, right? Now, I know we have a few more weeks of “third winter” before we reach “mud season” and “actual spring.” But that’s okay, because I’ve pinpointed five places to go in Minnesota that either feel like spring or will get you excited for spring thanks to plants, beer, a swim-up bar, and more.
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory
A Twin Cities favorite, this indoor botanical garden system is warm, colorful, and expansive. Between the Sunken Garden, the Tropical Encounters exhibit, the Palm Dome, the Fern Room, and more, it’s like being transported into a sunny, warm oasis. Right now, the Sunken Garden is featuring their winter flower show with floral scents of veltheimia, azaleas, amaryllis, the dark red cyclamen, and more. But, starting on Saturday, Mar. 16, you can see the spring flower show, with red and yellow tulips, yellow daffodils, and a variety of lilies. Regardless of when you go, you’ll leave feeling warm, refreshed, and super ready for Minnesota’s beautiful greenery (after the mud season, of course).
Blackstack Brewing Co.
I know what you’re thinking—how does a brewery feel like spring? It will become clear upon arrival. Blackstack Brewing Co. is defined not only by its beautifully large windows and impressive seating space, but its amount of greenery. Find a seat near a plant, enjoy a beer or two, and even play a board or card game with some of your favorite people.
The Lagoon at Treasure Island Resort & Casino
This is the ultimate day or weekend trip idea, especially in these last cold winter months where spring is so close yet so freaking far. Interspersed with palm trees, The Lagoon water park has two water slides, a zero-depth entry pool with a mini slide for your little ones, and a lazy river that loops around the park with rapids and a waterfall. If you’re thinking of more of a girls’ day or weekend, the adults-only section of the Lagoon has a swim-up bar plus indoor hot tubs. The best part is that you don’t have to be staying at the resort to enjoy the water and warmth—you can simply pay an admission fee for the day.
Bachman’s Spring Ideas House
Whether you have a green thumb or fail at keeping the most basic plant alive (I’m looking at you peace lily), Bachman’s Spring Ideas House at Bachman’s on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis will inspire you with its bright hues, inviting florals, and collections of green and blooming plants. You can schedule a self-guided tour from Mar. 7 to April with 20 percent of admission proceeds benefiting MIA Friends of the Institute. (Tickets are also only $5 which is a good price for a quick reprieve from the snowy landscape we’re so used to.)
Andersen Horticultural Library
Located in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Andersen Horticultural Library is a reading and reference library that specializes in horticulture, plant sciences, and natural history. With high ceilings, large bay windows, and wood paneled walls, the library is considered an oasis for gardeners and readers alike. Try visiting for story time with your young ones every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for picture book readings about seasons, nature, animals, and other related topics.