Summer ’06 Activities Guide

by Keri Carlson

If we don’t absorb every drop of sunshine now, all of us in Minnesota will have serious vitamin D deficiencies in the winter. Before the snowflakes begin to fall again (all too soon, always all too soon) we must take full advantage of outdoor time. While the Twin Cities can be a harsh environment to live in for most of the year, summer offers so many things to do and so many people to look at.

To best use your outdoor time, A&E has put together a list of our favorite summertime activities.

Lake Calhoun
Sure, there are 10,000 lakes to choose from, but Lake Calhoun cannot be topped when it comes to people-watching. See Uptown’s best runners, bikers and boaters pass by while lounging on the beach. There is even a fantastically flamboyant roller skater.

3000 E. Calhoun Parkway,

Grand Ole Creamery
The Grand Ole Creamery is a basic old-fashioned ice cream shop. But there’s no need for fancy, exotic flavor gimmicks when the Creamery offers the most heavenly golden waffle cones. And ice cream just isn’t complete without a crunchy, sugary waffle cone.

750 Grand Ave., St. Paul
(651) 293-1655

Brit’s Pub
The downtown bar features such across-the-pond delights as soccer games on the telly and fish and chips for snacks. But Brit’s grassy lawn in summertime is the bar’s real attraction where you and your drunk cronies can give a go at lawn bowling – which is like bocce ball except, um, British.

1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
(612) 332-3908

Pracna on Main
Minneapolis’ oldest restaurant is close to campus in the scenic but underhyped St. Anthony Main area. Pracna has a good assortment of

food and great assortment of 20 beers, import and domestic, to enjoy on its deck. And after you’ve filled up and gotten your buzz on, you can walk the river or head next door to the St. Anthony Main Movie Theater to catch a flick in the A/C.

117 Main St. S.E., Minneapolis
(612) 379-3200

Movies at Solera
Solera continues the tradition of offering movies on its rooftop deck this summer.

Movies are shown mostly Sundays and Mondays and Solera offers thematic drink specials to match the evening’s flick. This Monday, for example, patrons can enjoy a chocolate martini while watching “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Now that’s synergy.

Now through September
900 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
(612) 338-0062

Music at the Minnesota Zoo
Lions and tigers and bands, oh my! The Minnesota Zoo offers more than just animals. The Zoo amphitheater is one of the most spectacular places to take in a concert. Not only does the theater have great sound, but also it’s right off the water and during sunset, the view is breathtaking. Performers include the Psychedelic Furs, Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Andrew Bird, Los Lobos and many more.

Now through August
13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley
(952) 431-9200

Cities 97 Basilica Block Party
The two-day festival features two stages, each featuring three shows per day. Standouts this year include Guster, Train and Aqualung. If the music’s not quite your thing, it’s still fun to eat and drink in the streets with 20,000 other people. Proceeds go to repairing the Basilica of Saint Mary, a local landmark.

5:30 to 10 p.m. July 7 and 8
Hennepin Avenue and 17th Street, Minneapolis
$30 for one night,
$50 for both
(612) 317-3511

Macy’s Day of Music
Thankfully, Macy’s will continue Marshall Fields’ annual 24-hour music event in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

Music will include a folk quartet, a surf band, and an Indonesian ensemble. A highlight is sure to be a returning performance from slowcore Duluth band Low.

July 14 and 15
Peavey Plaza and Minnesota Orchestra, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
(612) 371-5656

Bastille Day Celebration
Celebrate this French national holiday with a flea market, fire-eaters, a burlesque show and break-dancers. Local hip-hop group Doomtree will perform along with headliners Les Sans Culottes, who appropriately perform indie pop nuggets in French.

3 to 10 p.m. July 16
1600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
(612) 827-5710

Music and movies in Loring Park
The music and movie combo combined with the scenic Loring Park makes for the perfect summer outing.

This year’s film theme is screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, featuring films by directors Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, and George Cukor, including a pair of Carey Grant and Katharine Hepburn classics. Music highlights include Senegal hip hop from Daara J, and local rockers STNNNG.

Every Monday July 17 to Aug 21, Loring Park
1382 Willow St., Minneapolis

Art Car Parade
Beep beep! The Cities’ fanciest and freakiest rides come together for the Art Car Parade – now in its 12th year.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. in the LynLake area of south Minneapolis. Cars will then cruise down Lake Street at 1 p.m.

1 p.m. July 22
Corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street, Minneapolis
The event begins the night before the parade, when car artists’ nonmotorized works will be on display at the Outsiders and Others.
1010 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis

The park features more than 75 rides, an Imax theater and a water park. Highlights include the Power Tower – a 250-foot-tall straight vertical drop – and five coasters of varying heights. There’s also everybody’s favorite, the log ride.

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days, now through August
1 Valleyfair Drive, Shakopee
Adults taller than 4 feet: $33.95, kids less than 4 feet tall and seniors: $9.95, kids younger than 2: free
(952) 445-6500

The Minnesota State Fair
If there’s one thing Minnesotans are good at, it’s putting on a state fair. Those from the area know this, but all you out-of-towners have no excuse for not checking out the reason school doesn’t start here until after Labor Day. Go for the rides, go for the concerts and exhibits, go for the fanny pack sightings, but most of all go to see the biggest selection of food on a stick.

Aug. 24 to Sept. 24
1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul
13 and older: $9
Kids and seniors: $8
Kids younger than 5: free
(651) 288-4400

Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Ever wish you could go back and see what it was like to live in olden times but without having to deal with the poor dental care, raging sexism and rickets? Then the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is right up your alley.

Watch jousts, eat cartoonishly large turkey legs and see how a coat of arms is made, all at one convenient locale. Also, there’s beer.

Highway 169, 15 miles west of Interstate 35W, Shakopee
Aug. 19 to Sept. 30 (Saturdays and Sundays only), Labor Day, and Friday, Sept. 29
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Adults 13 and older: $17.95 Seniors 60 and older: $15.95 Children 6 to 12: $8.95 Children 5 and younger: free
(800) 966-8215