Come back each Monday in January to learn how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions when traveling in Minnesota.
Besides “exercise more” (which we’ll tackle later this month), I think “save more money” or “spend less money” is one of the top New Year’s resolutions made each year. I know it’s one of mine. We have a trip to Disney World we want to take (eventually), a college education to contribute to (in 16 years) and bills to pay (immediately).
Well, if you’re visiting Minnesota in 2012, saving money is actually pretty darn easy. Win!
Weisman Art Museum
Photo by Todd Buchanan
Museums: So many of our museums offer free admission at some time or another, so take advantage: Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Weisman Art Museum, free daily admission; Walker Art Center, free Thursdays 5-9 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month and for all kids 18 and under; Minnesota History Center, free Tuesdays 5-8 p.m.; Rochester Art Center, free for children; Owatonna Arts Center, free admission; and Bell Museum of Natural History, free Sundays.
Theater: Starting with the 2011-2012 season, the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis is offering free admission to all of its mainstage shows. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater offers rush (discounted) tickets 15-30 minutes before every show. The Children’s Theatre (also Tony Award-winning) offers rush tickets one hour prior to public performances—first come, first served.
Attractions: Visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (great for cross-country skiing) for free on Thursdays through April. The Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (a perfect winter warm-up spot) are always free, with a suggested donation of $1-$2. Free tours (with a suggested donation) of the State Capitol building are offered on the hour. You can also tour the Basilica of St. Mary and the Cathedral of Saint Paul for free during certain hours (donations encouraged).
Shopping: With no sales tax on clothes and shoes in Minnesota, every buy you make is a deal! But, you can also visit places like homegrown Target, Albertville Premium Outlets, North Branch Outlets and Saks Off Fifth in Gaviidae Common to save even more.
This is in no way an exhaustive list. If you learn of other free and affordable options around the state, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.