Minnesota State Parks and Trails will keep you current with Minnesota’s fall colors!

fall leaf (Small)Minnesota’s wet early summer should produce a colorful fall leaf display, but experts warn that it could come and go faster than usual. Patricia Arndt of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Park and Trails Division, says the fall color display will move across the state quickly. If you enjoy viewing the color or walking the trails at any of our state parks – don’t miss the wonderful fall scenery.

Colors typically peak mid-September to early October in the northern third of Minnesota, late September to early October in the central third and late September to mid-October in the southern third. Peak fall color typically lasts about two weeks, but that can vary widely, depending on location, elevation and weather.

The DNR has an online fall color finder map (http://www.mndnr.gov/fallcolor) that can help you find the best shows. The site is updated each Thursday with the latest fall color information.

To get into state parks and recreation areas, a $5 day permit is needed, or an annual $25 permit is accepted.

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Twin Cities Life is Healthy!

vegetable standTime and time again the Twin Cities are nominated as a top place to live and to be healthy. The Travel Channel has chosen the Twin Cities as the healthiest place to live in or travel to in the US.

Why were we chosen?

  • We are in the Midwest where farming is big but unless you actually get the fresh produce, what good does it do you? The Twin Cities has farmer’s markets all over the place, from the big Minneapolis Farmer’s Market to the Mill City Farmer’s Market to local markets in the suburbs, to markets in store parking lots. Click here to find a Farmer’s Market near you!
  • We have biking and walking trails that are used year round! We are the top biking city in the US according to Bicycling magazine and more people are biking to work during all seasons.
  • Minnesota has golf courses galore. People are out on the links at all ages and as often as they can.
  • We have playgrounds and parks in just about every neighborhood and the kids are actually out there using them.
  • Activities are planned indoors and outdoors all year to keep us residents out and about in any weather.

We like to eat healthy and we play a lot. We get out and enjoy nature all year long and all that contributes to us staying healthy!

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Facts about Minnesota

I found this fun infographic with facts about Minnesota at Maps of the World. Even for those of us that live here, you might find out something new.

MN Infographic

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End of Summer Fun

fairSummer is winding down, and with Labor Day being early this year, it seems to be coming to an end sooner than usual.

The biggest sign that summer is almost over is the Minnesota State Fair which starts tomorrow and runs through Labor Day.  It is always the twelve days before Labor Day.  Every year they add some new foods, as well as new attractions. The normal adult admission is $12, but they do have numerous promotional days that may fit your needs. For all the information on the state fair, click here for their website.

The other end of the summer event is the Renaissance Festival which started last weekend and runs weekends and Labor Day through September 29th. If you have never been it is an experience. Each weekend also has a theme, so choose the weekend you think would be most fun!  For all the information on this festival, click here.

Have fun!

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Fun Facts About Minnesota

question markThere are lots of great facts and statistics about Minnesota out there, but I decided these twenty were quite interesting:

  1. Northwest Airlines, now Delta, was the first major airline to ban smoking on international flights
  2. Snowmobiles were invented in Roseau by Polaris
  3. The first BBB (Better Business Bureau) in the nation was founded in Minneapolis in 1912
  4. Minnesota has some 90,000 miles of shoreline which is more than Florida, California and Hawaii combined
  5. The MOA (Mall of America) is the size of 78 football fields (9.5 million sq ft)
  6. The Old Log Theater is the oldest continuously running theater in the USA
  7. The Lutefisk capital of the USA is Madison, MN
  8. Southdale in Edina was the first indoor shopping mall in the USA, opening in 1956
  9. Water skis were invented in Lake City in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson
  10. The Minneapolis Public Library was the first library in the country to have a children’s section which opened in 1889
  11. Rollerblades were invented in 1980 by Scott and Brennan Olson, two students trying to practice skating for hockey in the summer
  12. There is a boat for every one in six people in Minnesota, more than in any other state
  13. The first bus service in America started in Hibbing in 1914 with service to Alice, later becoming Greyhound Lines
  14. The Chanhassen Dinner Theater in Chanhassen is the largest dinner theater in the country
  15. The Minneapolis skyway system spans about five miles total
  16. The baking basic “bundt pan” was invented in Minnesota
  17. The twelve foot diameter, 17,400 pound ball of twine in Darwin is the world’s largest ball of twine
  18. The first pop up toaster was marketed in Minneapolis in 1926 and was called Toastmaster
  19. Tonka Trucks were created and are still manufactured in Minnetonka
  20. The famed Spam from Hormel comes out of Austin and was first sold in 1937
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Twin Cities Arty Weekend

art fair boardIf you like art fairs, then this is your weekend. The weather will be wonderful and there are three great art fairs to hit right here in the Twin Cities – the Uptown Art Fair, the Loring Park Art Festival, and the Powderhorn Art Fair!

The 50th annual Uptown Art Fair starts today, August 2nd and runs through August 4th. This art fair is the second largest statewide event with around 375,000 people attending. Highlights of the Uptown Art Fair are the 340 talented artists from around the world with creations ranging from sculptures to painting to jewelry and much more. The fair has twenty vendors offering food and drinks. There is nonstop entertainment including live music and magic shows. This art fair is not just for adults, there are all sorts of family friendly things to see and do.

You can also take in the Loring Park Art Festival August 3rd and 4th. This festival features 140 artists with creations in painting, glass, jewelry, photography, pottery and more. There are 15-20 different vendors offering food and beverages and there will be a variety of entertainment offered each day.

The 22nd Powderhorn Art Fair runs August 3rd and 4th. This art fair features work from 184 regional and national artists with various disciplines. Proceeds from the Art Fair help fund park programs such as theatre arts, a computer lab, teen center, music recording studio, pottery studio and team sports. You can print a free Metro bus pass on art fair website.


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Peanuts in Minnesota

Candyland - 435 Wabasha Ave

Candyland – 435 Wabasha Ave

Did you know the creator of the Peanuts cartoon, Charles Schulz, was actually born and raised in Saint Paul, and lived in Minneapolis before moving to northern California. This is one of the reasons why Snoopy and the Peanuts gang have been so popular here in the Twin Cities.

When the Mall of America opened in 1992, the indoor amusement park was called Knott’s Camp Snoopy. The entire park had a Peanuts them with Peanuts characters stationed all around the park. Sadly in 2006 they were unable to reach a deal to continue using the Peanuts, so they were removed and the park was renamed Nickelodeon Universe.

In 2011, Valleyfair Amusement park in Shakopee picked up the Snoopy theme and now has Planet Snoopy with the Peanuts characters all around. Planet Snoopy features the Peanuts gang, and is the part of the park for younger children.

Starting in 2000, in a tribute to Schulz’s characters, 101 five-foot-tall Snoopy statues were placed throughout St. Paul, they called it Peanuts on Parade. Shortly after, in 2001, more statues were displayed at the Mall of America for a summer exhibit called Charlie Brown Around Town. There were three more exhibits held at the Mall of America – in 2002: Looking for Lucy, in 2003: Linus Blankets St. Paul, in 2004: Dog House Days of Summer. At the end of each summer the statues were auctioned off, but about 20% of them can still be found throughout the Twin Cities. Many companies, businesses and private cities purchased the statues and have them on display. Many can be found outdoors and some are in buildings.

Originally, there were:

·         101 Snoopy statues
·         103 Charlie Brown statues
·         109 Lucy statues
·         91 Linus statues
·         104 Snoopy Dog House statues

Looking for a fun “scavenger hunt” for adults, kids, or all ages? See how many of these statues you can find around the Twin Cities!

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