Summer Activities Guide

Becky Lang

>Take a trip to Po-Dunk

You probably grew up so close to a Starbucks that your mom could have rocked you to sleep with a bottle of their steamed milk. Get out of the metro area and head to a town that has a Wal-Mart as the center of gossip for its 1,000-person population. What’s summer better for than a bit of perspective?

Ok, lots of things, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of things to do in Po-Dunk.

1. Swim in Clean Water

Sure we have lots of lakes in Minneapolis. Sure there are lots of shirtless couples of every shape, gender, and size getting fitter and tanner on their perimeters. But in Po-Dunk, the lakes are bluer, cleaner and, occasionally, deserted. Find your own private lagoon, bring some kind of weird animal horn, and play a song for nature.

2. Hit up the mini-town

What more does a town need than a gas station, a bar and an ice cream shop? Head to that main street every Po-Dunk has and see what you find. If you like Christian book stores, bring your wallet. Po-Dunk also happens to be the best place to get those classy shirts with aurora borealis and moonlit wolves on them. You can even buy your mom some taffy.

3. Have a bonfire

Dig a pit; line it with rocks, and you’re good to go. The rest of the night is all about putting back beers and making sure those bored Po-Dunk cops don’t catch wind of the party.

Thrill Seek

All right you character you; we know that you know how to have fun. For a change, try working your adrenaline instead of that fortress of a liver you’ve got. (Or you could try both, but you know what they say: “Don’t swim right after you eat.” That also means don’t go on a roller coaster right after you leave the pub.)

Location: Shakopee
Price: $36.95
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Weekdays, 10 a.m. – midnight Saturdays

1. Valleyfair

Valleyfair is a theme park that keeps up with the times. Once the generation that grew up on video games hit the 5-foot mark, they invented The Wild Thing, a roller coaster big enough to scare even some individuals who are not little girls. The price of Dip’N’Dots has also kept up with inflation, so pack a lunch.

Skydive Minneapolis

Tandem Skydive, $165 each (Includes gear)
www.skydiveminneapolis.com

2. Go Skydiving

Before you go skydiving, make a list of 10 things to do before you die and put it at the top. It’s gonna feel so good putting a big line through that puppy. It is recommended that your first time you go tandem, so bring a friend with good bladder control and enjoy the approximately 70-second freefall and nine minutes of parachute-aided floating.

Splatball

2414 University Ave. S.E.
Prices Vary
www.splatball.com

3. Play Paintball

Paintball is the harmonious vertex where art and sports – finally – collide, often with odd injuries to boot. Put on some old clothes and become a bruised work of art.

Shine Your Scene Shoes

You are a person who likes nice things. You like your music interesting, your food bourgeois, and your venue a la mode . Spend summer doing what Minneapolis is pining for you to do: Check out its culture.

1. Cool off in an art museum

The Walker

1750 Hennepin Ave.
$6 for students

The Soap Factory

518 2nd St. S.E.
FREE

Discuss theme and contrast with a like-minded friend, scratch your chin and breathe in the freshly conditioned air. The Walker Art Museum is known for having some of the most avant-garde traveling exhibitions, as well as film festivals full of foreign films you might never discover otherwise.

If you like your art a bit more homegrown, check out the Soap Factory, a haven for artists and volunteers who shack up in what was literally an old (occasionally haunted) factory and haven’t stopped the creative shenanigans since.

2. Eat Sushi

Those Macalester kids probably know what Grand Avenue is all about, seeing that they live there and all, but if you’ve never been to that St. Paul street full of eats and boutiques, start at Saji Ya. A classy Japanese restaurant with dark-wood tables and crispy tempura, Saji Ya’s food uses unlikely flavor combinations, like sweet potato and sesame. Vegetarians can even enjoy an onion popsicle. Saji Ya is within walking distance of the Grand Ole Creamery , should you leave with any space in your stomach.

3. Socialize

The Triple Rock Social Club is a bar, a concert venue, and apparently, a social club, although membership only implies that you like out-of-town celebrities and on-tap beer. They also serve free bacon on Wednesdays.

629 Cedar Avenue

Find Yourself

Despite liking “7th Heaven,” you are an honorable person. Have a summer that you will look back on in 20 years and be proud of.

Neighborhood House

2390 7th St. W St. Paul
www.neighb.org

1. Teach English

English is hard. Sit, sat, eat, ate Ö these words can be seriously frustrating to the thousands of immigrants who live in the Twin Cities. Head to the Wellstone Community Center and become an ELL teacher. Chuckle when kids occasionally think that the word for “balloon” is “baboon.”

Location: 3343 East Calhoun Parkway
Prices Vary

2. Meditate

Got an existential crisis? Take a breath. In fact, learn to sit and breathe in the best way possible at the Minnesota Zen Center. Head to Lake Calhoun to find this peaceful white house and other zen-minded individuals.

3. Plant a garden

McDonald’s has finally found its opposite: slow food. Slow food is a branch off the general organic/green frenzy, hopping on the salt-of-the-earth, live like your grandpop’s grandpop trend. Plant some tomatoes and other staples in your diet and tell that cashier at Lund’s you won’t be seeing him three times a week anymore. For bonus points, churn your own butter.