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Something Different - April 26-30th

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Smyrna, DE
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Something Different - April 26-30th

I am brining my 80 year-old dad out to visit my sister's family April 26-30th. I have been to Minneapolis several times and we always do the SAME thing. I've been to the Mall of America, seen the Lock & Dam, visited Minnehaha Falls, seen the Rose Gardens, Lake Como Zoo, etc... I want to do something different & FUN as long as it doesn't cost a ton of money. My dad will be happy to stay home and visit with family as long as we have family dinners together. I will have a rental car at my disposal and free time during the day. We will celebrate my brother-in-laws birthday while there. I've noticed that there are a lot of restaurants featured on Diners, Drive In's & Dives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Are any really worth visiting and are they in a "safe" neighborhood. My sister lives in Burnsville.

Saint Paul
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1. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

This may, or may not be of interest to you.

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g43323-Activitie…

http://www.citypages.com/bestof/

…about.com/od/…freethingstodo.htm

thingstodo.com/states/….US4Zqo51OrI

touchstonemh.org/client-resources/health-wel…

minneapolis
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2. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

The weather is still iffy then, although it's starting to warm up finally! The zoo is open year round, and the Grizzly Coast is quite specatular.

Spring is always a great time to visit the museums. My favorites include the Art Institute and Mill City Museum. I'd also recommend the Swedish Institute, as they just finished a MAJOR renovation. You could also catch a theater show - we are known as the MinneApple for good reason. I actually prefer seeing Broadway shows here, the prices are fair and the audiences are much more respectful, appreciative.

We're also known for our outdoor beauty. Do explore the paths/lakes in the city parks, or make an afternoon of it and go hike at one of the nearby state parks. Some of them are simply great daytrips - like Taylors Falls with it's amazing glacier potholes and views over the St Croix, then check out Stillwater downtown on a quiet weekday.

From what I saw, the DDD list looked pretty good. Some of the neighborhoods would be considered bordeline to the suburbanites, but I'd be comfortable going to any of them. Town Talk Diner is closed now.

A couple great pedestrian areas include Grand Avenue in St Paul, Linden Hills in South Minneapolis and 50th & France in Edina. Great meandering, shopping, noshing, etc.

If you see something you like, let us know and we can further elaborate.

Edited: 10:25 am, February 27, 2013
Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

I am thinking maybe a little generalized, but older folks usually love things of historical importance. Or sights that show how things used to be done.

If that is true of your father, then I'd take him to see the Minneapolis riverfront, which has vast historical importance. For more than a generation, Minneapolis was the flour milling capital of the world because of its unique location the Mississippi River with the river's only naturally occurring waterfall (tho it no longer LOOKS natural). bonnie mentioned the Mill City Museum, which would provide a very broad overview. Some of the detail can be found on a walk across the famous Stone Arch Bridge (historical placards every so often) and along Main Street to see the famous Pillsbury A Mill (no longer operational).

Pillsbury and General Mills (now merged but once huge rivals) got their birth there and made Minneapolis the food producer of the world -- or some such boast made back in the '30s.

Then combine with a meal downtown, where IMO the best restaurants are. And perhaps a boat tour of the falls and lock and dam system. Unfortunately (at least none I know of) the old paddleboats aren't still running in Minneapolis. But they have riverboat tours nonetheless.

St. Paul has the Jonathan Padelford, powered by paddle but not technically by steam. It's hydraulic, but the closest thing you can get (by my knowledge) of a paddleboat ride on the Mississippi in Mpls or St. Paul.

I believe you can take a true steam-powered paddleboat out of Lake City, MN, to tour Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River,. But that's a pretty good drive away from Burnsville.

If I were you I would look at the list of DDD restaurants and pick some that sound good to you, and we can give you our opinions. Minneapolis and St. Paul have some great restaurants with pretty reasonable price tags. We get a lot of national press for it, and the Food Network reflects it. In fact, the DDD producers are from the Twin Cities.

One last thing, if you are in Burnsville, consider a dinner at a Minnesota supper club -- jensen's (in Eagan, very close). Old fashionedy

Apple Valley...
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4. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

I do not know the seasonality of this but when I was at the Stone Arch Bridge in late Sept, a segway tour went by! That would be something different to do and sounds like a fun way to see the city.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

The Magical History Segway Tour runs all year. Focuses on touring key riverfront spots. Only Saturdays in the winter and then 7 days/week (i think) from March on.

Burnsville, MN
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6. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

Two other good restaurants in Burnsville; Jensen's Cafe (separate from the dinner club) is great for breakfast, and Guiseppe's Italian restaurant is a good family-run, non-chain restaurant in a strip mall area off Hwy 42.

The drive to Lake City is great on a nice day, only about 75 miles from Burnsville and one could also see the charming towns of Hastings, Red Wing, and Wabasha. There's also a nice drive on the Wisconsin side as well with the town of Stockholm, etc.

Saint Paul
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7. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

To add to Mnto. Not technically a paddle wheel steamboat, but nonetheless a real steam powered boat, the Mn Transportation Museum's steamboat Minnehaha operates on Lake Minnetonka.

That said, even if the ice is out the boat prob ably won't be operating that early in the season.

http://www.steamboatminnehaha.org/

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

If your dad likes baseball you could take him to Target Field to watch the Twins play the Rangers. They also give tours of the stadium when the Twins are not playing. See tour info on the attached link.

…mlb.com/min/ballpark/tours/index.jsp…

South Dakota
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9. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

Try the Bakken museum. It's housed in a gorgeous home in a gorgeous area. The history and science museums are wonderful. Go for a drive past the Victorian homes on Summit Ave. Free! I have not yet tried the Wabasha St. Caves or the James J. Hill House due to them not being appropriate for my age kids, but plan to do so someday. If the weather is warm enough, try the free Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Does your dad like model trains? The model RR museum in Bandana Square is cute.

rpaulson7
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10. Re: Something Different - April 26-30th

How about the Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen/Victoria. Things may be starting to green up for the spring, depending on how the weather has been. Not sure of the cost, but won't break the bank.

Another option could be touring the Summit Brewery. Free on several days of the week, and not too much walking for an older man. Three free beers at the end of the tour also.

http://www.summitbrewing.com/culture/tours

If he's an ourdoorsman, maybe drive south from Burnsville about 30 minutes to Cabela's. Lots of shopping, but also a huge aquarium and mounted animals from rabbits to elephants.

For a train buff:

http://www.tcmrm.org/