December's MN Travel Guide

Morrison County’s first brewery in 60 years, black-light yoga, the opening of Great Wolf Lodge and more highlight what’s new around the state

An illustration of Minnesota showing it divided into different sections by color.

illustration by darren booth



Little Falls

The co-owner of Starry Eyed Brewing Company was first given a home brewing kit by his wife 11 years ago. When she passed away from cancer in 2014, he decided to carry on her legacy by turning his hobby into a business. Morrison County’s first brewery in 60 years features a taproom with a well-rounded selection appealing to craft-beer newbies and longtime enthusiasts, from IPAs and ambers to a seasonal caramel-apple ale.





A former school gymnasium has been reborn as the home of local theater troupe Theatre B. After 15 years in Fargo, ND, the troupe has revamped Moorhead’s old Lincoln School gym to improve acoustics, provide seating for about 100 people, and add changing rooms for performers. Their winter season features one-woman show I Will Not Go Gently and sci-fi drama Marjorie Prime.




People with neon paint doing black-light yoga.
Black-light yoga

photo by joe ahlquist / Rochester Post Bulletin


A new yoga studio, Urban Yoga MN, opened recently with standard yoga classes plus black-light yoga, where participants decorate themselves in neon paint to light up the dark room—matching a colorful atmosphere to upbeat music. (A bonus for newcomers: No one will see your inexperienced poses with the lights off.) Other classes include a headstand workshop, kids’ yoga, and “curvy yoga” for plus-size body positivity.




Grand Rapids

The century-old Joyce Estate, once the vacation home of one of Minnesota’s wealthiest logging families, recently underwent the first of a series of restorations, which involved stabilizing buildings, removing lead paint, and replacing some of the cabin-style logs that had fallen into disrepair. Visitors can stroll through the grounds on the shore of Trout Lake in the Chippewa National Forest, taking in the estate’s 40 buildings, which housed everything from maids and butlers to airplanes. The grounds also include a nine-hole golf course, a tennis court, and a trap shooting range (all now unusable).




A mom and her son riding down a yellow waterslide at Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Great Wolf Lodge

photo of 

Courtesy Great Wolf Resorts


Earlier this year, the Water Park of America was purchased by Great Wolf Lodge. Now, the resort, located less than a mile from the Mall of America, is reopening after a $30 million renovation project. Updates to the water park include a multi-level water treehouse with a giant dumping bucket. Additions to the resort include a rock wall, a bowling alley, a ropes course, an arcade, a scavenger hunt where people use interactive magic wands to follow clues around the resort, and a spa offering manicures and pedicures to kids and parents.