If you are thinking about arriving early or staying after the International Convention, the Twin Cities and surrounding areas have so much to offer.
Whether you prefer strolling around town, exploring new restaurants and cuisine or taking a trip into the pages of history, there is no shortage of things to do. The selections below are just the tip of the iceberg of the wide variety of activities the Twin Cities has to offer for delegates and guests.
The American Swedish Institute is an arts and cultural organization located in Minneapolis. Tour the historic Turnblad Mansion, which was built in the early 1900s by Swan Turnblad, owner and publisher of the largest Swedish language newspaper in the United States. The modern Nelson Culture Center opened in 2012 and features a variety of Nordic Exhibits. If you’re hungry, grab a bite at FIKA, the institute’s Scandinavian café. 612-871-4907, www.asimn.org
Historic Fort Snelling is Minnesota’s first historic landmark. Learn about the area’s inhabitants throughout history including Native Americans, immigrants, fur traders and soldiers. Fort Snelling is located in St. Paul and features a variety of exhibits, a visitor’s center, museum store and more. 612-726-1171, www.historicfortsnelling.org
St. Paul’s Landmark Center hosts a variety of events including music, dance and theater. It’s also the sire of the president’s reception during the Sons of Norway International Convention. The historic building opened in 1902 and is located across the street from Rice Park. 651-292-4375, www.landmarkcenter.org
Minneapolis State Capitol opened in 1905 in St. Paul, and it just underwent a major restoration to return the building to its original glory. Tour the capitol a view the rotunda, governor’s reception room and the Quadriga statue featuring gleaming gold horses. 651-296-2881, www.mnhs.org/capitol
Norway House is a destination for contemporary art, design and music in Minneapolis. It offers Nordic-themed art exhibitions, music performances and networking events. It also features a coffee bar and gift boutique. 612-871-2211, www.norwayhouse.org
U.S Bank Stadium is home of the Minnesota Vikings NFL team—and Super Bowl LII held in February of 2018. The 66,200-seat stadium opened in 2016 and features a translucent ceiling and doors that let natural light stream in. Visit the stadium during the tailgate party, offered during the Sons of Norway International Convention. 612-777-8700, www.usbankstadium.com
Mindekirken, The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church
Velkommen til Mindekirken! Whether you are returning to Mindekirken or visiting for the first time, you are heartily welcome! The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, or Mindekirken, is an ELCA church with services in both Norwegian and English. Services are held every Sunday at 9:00am (English) and 11:00 am (Norwegian, translations provided).
Mindekirken is located in Minneapolis, 1 block south of E. Franklin and 10th Ave. S. In addition to weekly church services, Mindekirken serves its members and the Norwegian-American community with a variety of faith-based and cultural programs. We invite you to explore our website for all that is happening at Mindekirken!
Art Lovers Will Find Plenty of Options in Minneapolis
The Minneapolis Institute of Art features painting, textiles and sculptures from around the world—free of charge (612-870-3000, www.artsmia.org). The Walker Art Center is home to contemporary art and an outdoor sculpture garden (612-375-7600, www.walkerart.org). And the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry (612-625-9494. www.wam.umn.edu).
The Bachelor Farmer features award-winning Nordic cuisine. The restaurant opened in 2011 and is located in Minneapolis’ trendy North Loop neighborhood. The dinner menu changes weekly but often features toasts, fish, meatballs, and popovers. Enjoy a pre- or post-dinner cocktail downstairs at Marvel Bar. For a casual breakfast or lunch, stop in the café for pastries, coffee and open-faced sandwiches. 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com
Bar La Grassa is known for its Italian cuisine. In 2011, Chef Isaac Baker received the honor of Best Chef: Midwest from the James Beard Foundation. The menu features fresh pasta, bruschetta and a robust wine list. Bar La Grassa is located in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. 612-333-3837, www.barlagrassa.com
St. Genevieve serves up high-quality French cuisine. The Minneapolis restaurant looks like a classic Parisian café with its beautiful bar and tile work. The menu features tartines, a variety of small plates and a great champagne list. 612-353-4843, www.stgmpls.com
Young Joni is one of the most popular new restaurants in town. In fact, it made the list of GQ magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2017. The menu features wood fired pizza and sharable small plates. While you’re there, you can also grab a cocktail at the back bar, which is decorated like a trendy retro cabin. 612-345-5719, www.youngjoni.com
Ingebretsen’s has been a destination for Scandinavian foods and products in Minneapolis since 1921. The family run institution features a butcher shop, gift shop and a special section devoted to needlework and knitting. 612-729-9333, www.ingebretsens.com
Mall of America has been a destination for both visitors and locals for 25 years. Enjoy shopping, dining and a variety of entertainment options including an amusement park and aquarium. It’s conveniently connected to the airport via the Light Rail, making it an easy stop before or after a flight. 952-883-8800, mallofamerica.com
Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood brims with local shops. Martin Patrick 3 features high-quality men’s clothing, accessories and home décor in an impressive 17,000-square-foot space (612-746-5329, martinpatrick3.com). The Foundry Home Goods offers beautiful linens, tableware, glassware and more (612-333-8484, thefoundryhomegoods.com). russell+hazel is a destination for stylish stationery and gifts (612-353-4149, russellandhazel.com). Pacifier is an adorable place to buy children’s clothing and gifts (612-623-8123, pacifier.me).
Stephanie’s boutique in St. Paul features a stylish selection of women’s clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find a mix of established and upcoming brands, including Alice + Olivia, Diane von Furstenberg and Rebecca Minkoff. 651-690-3802, stephaniesshop.com