Conservatives in the literary world may claim to prefer their plays unadulterated, but without the occasional update to a classic work we would be missing so much. One would shudder to imagine theater without West Side Story, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and we’d all be much poorer off without The Muppet Christmas Carol. Rent, an adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme by Jonathan Larson, is in that same boat, and it’s one of the glowingest examples of how setting a classic in the modern era can so greatly improve upon it. (Let’s keep Madama Butterfly intact forever, though.)

Escape House Fargo

Sometimes entertainment looks curiously like a situation you’d rather not be a part of. Take apple picking: Depending on the circumstances, it’s either a picturesque family outing or a back-breaking slog. Most of us would only jump out of a plane in the event that staying on it would be unhealthy, but a select few can’t wait to prematurely depart a perfectly functional aircraft. That, reader, is called skydiving. In that vein, being stuck in a room with nothing to do but try to find a way out may sound like a dreadful Count of Monte Cristo scenario, or at best a trip to the principal’s office, but it can be a regular hoot and a holler if you do it at Escape House Fargo.

46 & 2 Tattoo

“My mother did a lot of painting when I was a kid,” said Paul Johnson of 46 & 2 Tattoo. “I used paint alongside her, which is how I began learning the trick. When I got older, I started to wonder what I could do with art. I was naturally drawn to tattoos — I was fascinated by art that could be put on the skin, so I took an apprenticeship at a parlor in the Twin Cities and then moved back to Fargo to open my own.

Harmony, MN

The Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota!

It’s easy to let the Twin Cities envelope you wholly in their hustle and bustle. I would say we’re right on par with great cities like London, Paris, and Trenton, NJ in terms of just how much culture we’ve got to offer here. Still, once and a while it’s good to get away from this vast web of asphalt and mortar to go somewhere a little more down to earth, where you can enjoy the kind of small Minnesota town charm that Garrison Keillor used to remind us existed weekly. For that you’d best drive southeast to Harmony.

Blu Skye Acres

Carolyn Johnson had always wanted her own little hobby farm to retire on. It was during her bout with breast cancer that she decided such a dream would be better pursued sooner rather than later. After Carolyn had beaten her ordeal she found the perfect little place just 45 minutes outside of the Twin Cities — a farmhouse built in 1900 on the end of its own private drive, as entirely removed from civilization as could be, but still near enough to it.