Happy New Year! 2015 was an amazing year for us, and we are looking forward to many more adventures in 2016. Here is our list of 16 adventures we’d like to take in 2016. Most are in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or a few hours north of the cities. An added bonus- many of the adventures on our list are free!
1. Minnehaha Falls in Winter
Easily one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities, I’ve been to Minnehaha Falls more times than I can count. However, most of our excursions have been in the summer or fall (read more about visiting the falls in the summer here). We’ve visited briefly in the winter, but I’m looking forward to exploring an old favorite in a different, colder season.
2. Bike the Greenway
The Greenway is 5.5 miles of biking and walking trail through south Minneapolis. The Greenway is built in an old railroad corridor, passing under or over street traffic. This makes for a more pleasant and efficient trip for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Luke has been itching to bike the entire Greenway for a while. Best of all, we learned that the Greenway links up to a path near our apartment, which will make for many lovely summer bike rides.
3. Walk Grand Rounds
Minneapolis may be the city of lakes, but with more parkland acreage per capita than any other US city, it could also be the city of parks. The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway capitalizes on this park land, winding through neighborhoods, past rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The entire route is 50 miles, too much to walk for one day, but reasonable over the course of a year. I’m looking forward to exploring each mile of Grand Rounds this coming year!
4. See a movie in the park
Luke finished up his bachelor’s degree last summer while working full time, which meant night classes, study dates, and no time for movies in the park. We are looking forward catching lots of free movies and concerts in the park this summer! The calendar has not published yet, but they always have great movies, including some new films. If you live in the Edina area, Centennial Lakes also shows movies during the summer.
5. Check out a trendy coffee shop
I’m not a coffee drinker, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a fun coffee shop with a great ambiance. On our list is Spyhouse, Bull Run and Sisters’ Sludge (Luke grew up a few blocks away from Sisters’ Sludge, and will always have a special place for their hot chocolate). Are we missing your favorite place? Tell us about your favorite Minneapolis coffee shop below.
Ice skating is one of my favorite winter activities, and if you’d like to skate and escape the cold weather, the indoor rink at the Depot is perfect. Set in an 1899 train depot, you can’t ask for a more romantic setting. If you don’t want to pay the $9 admission fee, head to Centennial Lakes, where you can skate for free (skate rental available).
Confession- I haven’t been to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in YEARS. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Johnston, was a former Queen of the Snows and I remember representatives from the Winter Carnival coming to my elementary school. I’m looking forward to checking out the ice sculptures in Rice Park and attending other events throughout January and February.
8. Go to a Saints Game at CHS Field
If you’ve never been to a Saint Paul Saints game, do yourself a favor and go! It’s tons of fun for all ages, whether you like baseball or not. I haven’t been to the new stadium yet, but it supposed to be beautiful!
9. Como Zoo
Easily one of my favorite places of all time, no list of adventures is complete without the Como Zoo! The zoo is free, with a suggested donation of $3. We plan to make plenty of visits to the zoo in 2016, both with and without Luke’s niece and nephew. If you’ve never been to the Como Zoo in the winter, you’re missing out. The polar bears, Buzz and Neil (named after the famous astronauts) love the chilly weather and are much more active and playful during the colder months.
10. Buy a state parks pass
We’ve been meaning to do this for a year now. Minnesota state parks, here we come!
11. Taylors Falls
Only a short drive from the cities, Taylors Falls is home to Interstate State Park along the St Croix River. The last time we visited was when my best friend got engaged. She and her husband just celebrated their second anniversary, so it is time for another trip! It’s a beautiful park with some spectacular views.
Duluth is about 150 miles from Minneapolis- perfect for a day trip or long weekend. We love skipping rocks in Lake Superior, visiting Canal Park, watching the lift bridge and boats, and eating breakfast at the Duluth Grill.
13. Gooseberry Falls
Gooseberry Falls State Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls and beautiful hiking trails. You can also cross county ski at the park during the winter.
My brother “discovered” Tettegouche last summer while he was working in Duluth. With amazing vistas and hiking trails, Tettegouche is a must see. We visited briefly in August, but the black flies were so bad, we couldn’t stay long. I’m hoping to visit Tettegouche for our anniversary in October!
My best friend from high school moved to Chicago six years ago and I still haven’t made it out to visit her. I hope this year I can make a nice, long visit to the windy city and finally get to meet all her Chicago friends.
16. Road Trip
I love a good road trip, and in 2015, this was one adventure we were able to take! We drove from Minneapolis to Wichita for Easter, and it was a blast. We are looking forward to taking the same trip this fall for a family wedding!
We can’t wait to find out what adventures 2016 will hold! Follow our journey here on the blog- we’re excited to share it to you.