Minneapolis Journals

Marvelous Minneapolis

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2002 trip to Minneapolis by wanderluster

Science Museum of Minnesota Photo, St. Paul, Minnesota More Photos
Quote: I grew up an hour south of here, frequently visiting both relatives and attractions. Recently, I returned to Minneapolis for my sister's wedding, taking time to explore new and familiar places with my husband and introducing our 18 month old to some of my childhood favorites.

Marvelous Minneapolis

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Jogging trail at Lake Harriet Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
Minneapolis is a large metropolitan city that merges with St. Paul so seamlessly that the area is more commonly known as the Twin Cities. The International Airport is centrally located south of both cities, about a 25 minute drive to either downtown. Over 30 lakes, excellent museums, great parks, zoos, amusement parks, innovative theater, international cuisine and top sporting events make this area a marvelous place to explore. There's so much to do that I leave here wanting to spend more time the next visit. In fact, I'd like to spend a week just trying different ethnic restaurants and watching foreign art films. For starters, I'd ask to sit in a bamboo goodoo hut inside the...Read More

Babani's Kurdish Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Babani's Kurdish Restaurant Photo, St. Paul, Minnesota
Quote:
Don't wrinkle your nose. It's quite delicious! We ate here after reading a description of it in a guidebook en route to Minneapolis. Luckily my husband was game. (Meanwhile, relatives ate meatloaf and burgers at a 50's diner, completely baffled by our choice.) The decor was colorful. A hand-painted map of the world, exposed brick, tapestries and arches decorated walls painted green, blue and gold. Newspaper clippings and pictures of Kurdish people were everywhere, even in the bathroom children peek out from frames. It's a casual atmosphere, perfect for romantic couples or small groups of friends. The menu describes how Jamal Karim from the Babanis tribe in Kurdistan cam...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Babani's Kurdish Restaurant
544 St. Peter Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
(651) 602-9964

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

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Attraction | "Como Park Zoo"

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Photo, St. Paul, Minnesota
Quote:
Not yet knowing to be afraid of large powerful animals, my 18 month old squealed with delight when a gorilla nonchalantly lumbered over and plopped down mere inches away, safely behind glass. She laughed at the "mon-key" while we stood mesmerized by his leathery features, hands, feet and behaviors that mirrored our own. When he stood, we marveled at his magnificent bulk and felt privileged to study him at such close range. Such is the sentiment at Como Park Zoo, where animals are wonderfully accessible to the visitors. No chain link fences to peer through or acreage-like pens where animals roam and disappear from view. Kids love it here! I know I did. Revisiting as an adult broug...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St Paul, Minnesota 55103
(651) 487-8201

Wild Rumpus Children's Bookstore

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Attraction

Wild Rumpus Children's Bookstore Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
First glance shows that this is no ordinary bookstore! Little people enter through a miniature door built into a larger purple door. When we approached, my 18 month old giggled in delight when she spotted a cat peering out the glass. Her excitement grew when she discovered more cats inside, and a chicken strutting across the floor. Forget the books, let me chase the animals! Wild Rumpus is a whimsical, fun place for kids of all ages. The roaming animals, doves, parakeets, lovebirds and caged rats, tarantula, salamander and fish give the store a lively interpretation of it's namesake book, "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. The space is colorful, interesting an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Wild Rumpus Children's Bookstore
2720 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410
(612) 920-5005

Science Museum of Minnesota

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Science Museum of Minnesota Photo, St. Paul, Minnesota
Quote:
Rather disappointing, compared to other science museums in the country. I breezed through the three floors in less than an hour and had plenty of time to see the exhibits. Not that I read the information at each display, mind you. Highlights for me were the dinosaur exhibits and the OmniTheatre. A wide variety of dinosaurs are well-posed and informative. I thought the coolest exhibit was walking through the "Lost World" showing how dinosaurs, birds and turtles lived among fossilized trees in a forest. But kids preferred cranking jaws of a T. Rex open and closed, and watching lab assistants piece together bones in the Paleontology Lab. Other exhibits included the Human Bod...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Science Museum of Minnesota
120 Kellogg Blvd W
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
(651) 221-9444

Minnesota's Children's Museum

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Attraction

Minnesota's Children's Museum Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
Elmo sits on the roof of this colorful building welcoming children aged 6 months to ten years. It is a fun, creative place for even the little bitty ones. My 18 month old loved it here! She could touch, run, climb, slide, play in water, hide in caves, pretend to use the cash register, make bubbles, crawl through a log, dance, and push buttons to her heart's content. Surely the creator of these exhibits was a kid herself! Habitot is a special place for babies and toddlers where they can explore four Minnesota habitats: prairie, forest, limestone caves, and a pond. The whole room is safe. Everything is covered in fabric, so kids can explore without scraping their arms or bu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Minnesota's Children's Museum
10 West Seventh Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota
(651) 225-6001

Down in History Tours

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Attraction | "Gangster Tours"

Down in History Tours Photo, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Quote:
Oh, the stories they can tell! Costumed tour guides dressed as gangster Doc Barker, John Dillinger or Victorian bordello owners tell informative, entertaining tales of the gangsters that lived and prospered here in the 1920s and 30s. Back then, Police Chief John O'Conner allowed gangsters to safely live in St. Paul without being persecuted for their crimes as long as they continued to pay him off and didn't commit crimes in his city. Owners of gambling houses and brothels also freely established their businesses here adding bulk to the pockets of corrupt policemen and government officials. This agreement, known as the O'Conner Layover System, brought revenue to St. Paul and protected all resi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Down in History Tours
215 Wabasha Street South
Saint Paul 55107
(651) 292-1220

American Swedish Institute

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Attraction

American Swedish Institute Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
Even if you're not Swedish you'll enjoy exploring Minneapolis' only castle. This 33 room mansion was completed in 1908 for Swedish newspaper publisher, Swan Turnblad, a Swedish immigrant who lived here with his young wife and daughter. He spared no expense creating a beautiful home to help lure his wife away from their homeland. He hired 200 craftsmen to carve intricate designs into the oak, mahogany and walnut interiors, sculpt plaster ceilings, and create a magnificent two-story grand entrance hall. Mythical beasts, cherubs and barbarians are carved into the woodwork throughout the mansion. Turnblad's original furnishings, photographs and personal items decorate the rooms along ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407
(612) 871-4907

Mall of America

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Mall of America Photo, Bloomington, Minnesota
Quote:
Ever since this mega mall opened in 1992, unusual attractions have continued to sptring up inside this huge complex. Camp Snoopy and LEGO Land were two of the original kid attractions. A spiraling roller coaster, Ferris wheel and 28 additional rides entertain kids in the 7 acre amusement park. How often do you get to ride a roller coaster to break up aimless wandering through a mall? I just had to give it a whirl, and wasn''t the only adult laughing aloud as we whizzed through Camp Snoopy. Nearby LEGO Land was a fun place to walk through. Amazing to see what can be created out of legos! Huge animated dinosaurs, astronauts and a clock tower loom over the four-story s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Mall of America
60 East Broadway
Bloomington, Minnesota 55425
(952) 883-8800

Minnesota History Center

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
If you only have time for one museum, make it this one....it sounds stuffy, but it's not! The Minnesota History Center is an innovative, colorful, interactive, fascinating place that opened in 1992 with the intent to make history fun, alive and relevant! My favorite exhibits: Weather Permitting illustrates how Minnesotans adapt to their cold snowy environment, deal with tornados, and escape to their 10,000 lakes. Seeing a car stuck in a snowbank–an all too familiar scene for those of us who've lived here–was funny, as was the film playing in the car window showing the daily hassles of winter living. Mannequi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2002

Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Boulevard
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55102
(651) 296-6126

Go Kart Racing - ProKart Indoor

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Go Kart Racing"

Go Kart Racing - ProKart Indoor Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
As a kid, I never went go-carting. Yet here I was, along with my sister, two 40-year-old females agreeing to my brother-in-law's zany idea to not only get inside a go cart at ProKart Indoors for a maiden spin, but to race eight adrenaline-pumped guys-–most of them firemen, who thrived on reckless fast-paced action. We were last in the lineup at the start line by choice, fearful of being run over by those overzealous drivers before we could get the hang of operating the accelerator and brake pedals with separate feet. Climbing in, the seat felt securely snug, and the leather around the wheel good for gripping. I stretched my legs forward in the low-sitting car...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2004

Go Kart Racing - ProKart Indoor
12500 Chowen Ave South near Mall of America
Minneapolis, Minnesota
(952) 808-7223