There is a lot to enjoy about living in downtown Minneapolis. You no longer have to invent clever invective for the traffic around you during a long commute home. You won’t pale when you realize you forgot that crucial dinner ingredient at the store, because the store is just around the corner from wherever you are. You won’t have to labor over ways to have fun in the evening, either, because downtown Minneapolis is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to things to do around dusk. Here are some of the best.You can enjoy seeing what life is like living in downtown Minneapolis firsthand at Explore Downtown Living on Saturday, September 23rd. This free event offers the chance to tour up to 23 different residential communities in downtown’s five neighborhoods, all while enjoying promotions and deals from local restaurants and bars, shops, fitness centers, and salons. Sign up at exploredtliving.com and discover life in the heart of the city.
There is a lot to see.
Some debate what it means to be cultured. In Minneapolis, nearly every opportunity is within reach. Whether you are a Broadway fanatic or your last exposure to the stage was compulsory during elementary school, Hennepin Theatre Trust’s historic State, Orpheum and Pantages Theatres are sure to please you. Here you can see great modern performances like The Lion King, All Is Calm, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, or treasured classics like The King and I and The Nutcracker. East Town is home to that shiny blue box perched over the river, the Guthrie, Minnesota’s very best for live drama. It’s not true what Shakespeare said, that “all the world’s a stage” — only theaters have stages, so you ought to go downtown for the true experience.
Two of the Midwest’s biggest art museums are near downtown. The Walker Art Center neighbors Loring Park, and just south of downtown is the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The Mia, which is open until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays, is a trove of our highest achievements in art throughout time. It is here that you can see ancient Roman blown glass, stone Buddahs from the Song dynasty, the Dutch masters’ very best, and contemporaries like Dali, Brâncu?i, and even Charles Schulz under one roof. The Walker houses the more modern and experimental, and is free until 9pm on Thursdays. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden next door, which reopened in June after a $10 million renovation, makes for one of the most scenic and interesting walks in the city. Mind the enormous blue rooster.
And we have music. Go to Dakota Jazz Club on Nicollet to drink in the mellow tradition of Coltrane and Mingus, enjoy a local up-and-coming act at any of our many cafes and bars, or see a headliner blow doors down at First Avenue. If you have to dance, head over to The Living Room in the Foshay Tower or Bar Fly on Hennepin for live DJ music that will have your fillings rattling for days!
What better way to spend an evening out than rooting for the home team? When you live downtown, you can enjoy a night at a game practically all year long. Go to Target Center — which reopens in October after a $140 million renovation — to cheer for the Timberwolves and the Lynx, enjoy a brat while watching the Twins cracking bats at Target Field, or experience the Vikings’ massive new home at U.S. Bank Stadium. Even the WWE stops by downtown from time to time, affording us the chance to watch people throw one another off of ladders that is so seldom given in most major league sports.
All of that fun wouldn’t feel like much on an empty stomach, and downtown has every opportunity to dine out. We have a variety of cuisine including new American in Union Bar & Grill’s glass enclosed rooftop, classic steaks at institutions like Murray’s, Manny’s, and Seven, and a host of fine ethnic restaurants as well. Enjoy an after dinner drink at any of our nightclubs or pubs, and cap off another satisfying evening out in the jewel of the Midwest. Doesn’t all of that sound more exciting than spending another night in the suburbs? Move downtown and start experiencing the best the city has to offer right away!
By David Scheller