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Located just 15 minutes outside of Minneapolis, Robbinsdale has a small town feel with the convenience of a big city. Nestled in the northwest corner of Hennepin County, this city offers a variety of single-family homes, plenty of green space and two area lakes. While the city may be small, the spirit of this community is evident to anyone who passes through.

As you stroll along the downtown sidewalks, the height of the buildings allows you to peer inside shop windows while the street is just narrow enough for you to say hello to the person passing by on the other side. Overall, the close layout reinforces the tight-knit vibe of this community.


Speaking of a small town vibe, the city is able to maintain its charm by being selective about which businesses they allow downtown. For instance, Hackenmueller Meats is an old-time meat market that has served the residents of Robbinsdale with choice cut meats for more than 120 years. Known for their specialty sausages, this hometown business has built a reputation as one of the premier butcher shops in the metro area.


Likewise, the mural found in Robbinsdale Plaza adds a splash of color to this historic downtown. However, the city has plans to update this mural with a design by local artist, Shawn McCann, at the beginning of September.

Robbinsdale012  Robbinsdale013

Hungry? Well, you won’t find any chain restaurants in this historic district. Luckily, Robbinsdale offers a variety of unique restaurants including Pig Ate My Pizza, a pig-themed pizza pie shop and Nonna Rosa’s, a classic Italian restaurant with some famous fans (we ran into the mayor of Robbinsdale, Regan Murphy, enjoying a late lunch). However, if you are seeking a more upscale experience you may want to give Travail a whirl. While the menu is written on a simple chalkboard, the culinary experience to be had is quite the opposite. At the restaurant, which was recently named one of Bon Appetit’s nominees for America’s Best New Restaurant, you can embark on a culinary adventure while sampling a ten-course tasting menu. Though Travail may be on the pricier side, they do offer date nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays with the tasting menu at a reduced price.

The citizens here are so passionate about their local fare that they even started “The Birdtown Club.” On the first Friday of each month, residents meet at one of Robbinsdale’s bars or restaurants as a way to connect and reinforce their love for the city.  


If you are in search of something more leisurely, you should check out one of the 14 parks in the city, including Lakeview Terrace Park. This sunny park adjacent to Crystal Lake lends itself to a variety of recreational activities with its baseball diamond, tennis courts, playground, numerous walking paths and opportunities for boating and swimming.

Additionally, the schools in Robbinsdale are known to be both dynamic and diverse. Both Robbinsdale Armstrong and Robbinsdale Cooper high schools repeatedly earn national acclaim for academic excellence. They offer one of the largest AP programs in the state, in addition to boasting a state and nationally recognized orchestra program.


If an unexpected accident happens, look no further than North Memorial Medical Center. Featuring a Level I Trauma Center as well as cancer treatment, heart and stroke care, orthopedics, and women and children’s services, you are sure to be in good hands. Accordinglythey have won numerous awards including the Patient Safety Excellence Award for five consecutive years. Moreover, North Memorial Medical Center was the only hospital in Minnesota to receive Healthgrades’ recognition as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2014.  

For those looking to become a part of the community, the housing market in Robbinsdale offers a variety of options. From charming historic homes, town homes and newer two-story homes, this town suits a wide variety of styles and budgets. Even more, it is evident that Robbinsdale is a place were many choose to plant their roots as 72% of the 14,000 who live there are homeowners. Overall, Robbinsdale is a city that prides itself on their high quality of life and works hard to promote relationships among its residents that last a lifetime. If you are looking for small town charm with big city convenience, Robbinsdale is the place for you.

Neighborhood Resources


Faith Communities

Lakeview Elementary School Elim Lutheran Church
Robbinsdale Middle School Faith Evangelical Free Church
Sacred Heart Elementary School (Private) Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church
Spanish Immersion School (K-5) Olivet United Methodist Church
Peace Lutheran Church
Pentecost Church
Redeemer Luthern Church
Robbinsdale United Church of Christ
Sacred Heart Catholic Church


Public Parks

Local Restaurants

Grazier Park Athen’s Cafe
Hollingsworth Park Birdtown Cafe
Humphrey Park Canton Garden Restaurant
Kelly Park Eagles Nest
Lakeland Office Park First Crack Cafe
Lakeview Terrace Park Lodge of Robbinsdale
Lee Park Mai Thai Restaurant
Lions Park Nonna Rosa’s
Manor Park Pig Ate My Pizza
Mielke Park St. Petersburg Restaurant
Parkview Park Travail Kitchen and Amusements
Robbinsdale Park Wuollet Bakery
Sanborn Park
Sochacki Park
Sunset Park
Triangle Park

Landscaping Tips for Homeowners

Having a landscaped garden is a great way of improving the overall value of your home, as well as its reputation around town. The costs you will need to pay to get things done will be there, but you can rest assured this will be money well-spent, making your home a much more welcoming place for all involved, guests and potential buyers as well. If you need the help, you can hire gardening and landscaping professionals to get things done for you, assisting you with the jobs you’re not sure you can do yourself. The time you spend on this will be up to you, but the main thing you need to remember is that landscaping gardeners will have the skills you need, but they may also know the type of garden that would work best for your chosen area. You can do some research on the web by yourself or through books if you need more information on the subject.

A gardening expert who works on designing such places will have a significant amount of information you can make use of, as well as ideas and the experience you need to get things organized. Nowadays people either don’t have the time to deal with such tasks or they simply don’t possess the skills in many cases. Having the area under the care of a professional will make sure you have less to worry about in the long run. You can have a great, low-maintenance approach to your new landscaping solution, which will make it much easier to take care of. A good example of that would be paving it with flagstone slabs that are easier to clean. Wood decking is also a good way of approaching things, though it will need some occasional cleanup and staining to make it look good. Although the initial costs of string trimmers, lawnmowers and other gardening tools will set you back, you will have great need of them as time goes by so you can keep your garden clean, weed-free and looking good.

You can also have a much more interesting and complex design for your landscaping needs, though this means you will need to deal with more maintenance too. Landscaped gardens can really stun with their amazing looks, especially if you have a strategically placed gazebo or something along those lines.

You will also have to deal with the right amounts of light levels for the plants in your landscaped area. This is especially important if you have trees or the home you live in or plan on selling creates a shade over some areas of the landscape. Certain flowers and other plants love the shade above all, so before you make your move you should ensure you understand what goes where as well as their specific needs. Another great addition to a landscaped area, ponds can be absolutely wonderful to have around, especially when combined with some ornamental statues, seating space and more. Whatever your choice may be, your vision is what defines the looks of your new landscape.

There are a great many flowers that may be grown in the Minnesota area, such as the following:

  • Cornflowers (Echinacea purpurea)

Lovely pink to purple and white colors, but also available in other colors such as yellow, red and more. Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to echinacea though, so you may want to make sure you’re not one of them.

  • Lenten Roses (Helleboros orientalis)

Often found blooming in the shade, they are red, purple or almost black, whith pink, greens and white petals. You can place them near your walkways to enjoy their lovely colors.

  • Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

A wonderful spring flower, which has purple to pink blooms, equally capable of surviving in the sun or in the shade. They can reseed themselves, so you don’t really need to worry about them too much.

  • Black-Eyed Susans (Redbeckia fulgida)

Gorgeous golden flowers wht a dark center, blooming for more than a month and even during August. You can grow them in the sun with no maintenance and no worries at all.

  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

These lovely flowers, also called milkweed that are very easy to grown, also being a real magnet for monarch butterflies. They have gorgeous clusters of yellow, pink or orange flowers with thin and delicate seedpods.

Landscape Design And Garden Services Kensington can help you with more ideas.

About the Author: Cora Carter is a professional writer. She lives in England with her husband and children. She wants to share her experience with her audience. She has many published articles on various topics such as home and garden, real estate, cleaning etc.

Best Ice Cream in the Twin Cities


I Scream. You Scream. We all Scream for Ice Cream. Luckily, we don’t have to actually scream to be able to enjoy ice cream because the Twin Cities offers a plethora of options when it come to finding the perfect frozen treat.

Sebastian Joe’s is a family owned ice cream shop that began in 1984. They pride themselves in the fact that they use all natural ingredients to produce the highest quality ice cream available. Because their ice cream is made in small batches, the flavors rotate daily. However, the top sellers- raspberry chocolate chip, Oreo and Pavarotti -remain a constant. Additionally, Sebastian Joe’s has increased their seating for customers by remodeling their interior and expanding their patio to provide a space for humans (and their pets) to sit while enjoying their cones.

With locations in both St. Paul and Minneapolis  Grand Old Creamery’s reputation precedes them as the line often goes out the door. Yet, with flavors like “Black Hills Gold” and “Chocolate Malt Banana” many say the wait is well worth it. Critics agree, because Grand Old Creamery was voted as one of the top ice cream stores in the country in 2014. Feeling lazy and want delivery? No problem. Grand Old Creamery delivers both ice cream AND pizza to your door for a small fee. How sweet is that?

This husband and wife duo with a passion for ice cream opened Izzy’s doors to the Merriam Park neighborhood in 1984. While they offer a host of flavors that use local ingredients such as Summit Oatmeal stout and Wild Country maple syrup what makes Izzy’s special is the “Izzy” on top of each cone. Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is an “Izzy”? Well an “Izzy” is a micro scoop of any flavor of your choice. This way the unsure can “venture out” and taste a flavor they have been secretly eyeing but too afraid to try. In addition, Izzy’s has continued to push themselves and have been open to embracing technology. They now offer their unique “Flavor Up! system” that allows them to send messages to customers when their favorite flavors are available. The mere thought of this new technology is fit to put any Izzy’s lover into a tizzy.

Yogurt Lab technically isn’t ice cream but this chain allows you to serve yourself and scoop up your own toppings. This mad scientist approach to froyo allows you to mix and match from a periodic table of flavors and toppings from the lab stations your hearts content. As an added bonus visitors can sample up to 12 flavors before making their final decision. But froyo lovers beware- you pay by the ounce here. So your gut busting brownie sundae creation may end up breaking the bank. One worker reported that the most expensive creation she ever rang up was a whopping $23.98! Now that is a true froyo fan!

Those with a more refined pallet or are looking for sorbet should check out Crema Cafe on Lyndale and 34th in Uptown. Exotic flavors such as jalapeno mango, blood orange or multi melon sorbet tempt taste buds while the more adventurous can try black pepper & cardamom. One reviewer on Yelp said “The best ice cream place I’ve eaten at, period”.  But don’t trust this reader- you better try it yourself.

Well there you have it readers. The scoop on some of the Twin Cities finest ice cream shops have been dished out for you, ready to enjoy. But you better check out these shops while its still hot outside, as many of them close their doors during the colder months. So what are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy a taste of summer!

Best Birthday Deals In and Around Minneapolis

Birthdays are a great excuse to go out and have some fun with friends. However, they can be pretty expensive if your friends aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to foot the bill. To take the pressure off everyone, we’ve found a few ways to celebrate on a budget. Here are some of the best birthday deals to take advantage of in and around Minneapolis. Click the headings for links.


Free Improv Comedy Show at Comedy Sportz

Uptown Minneapolis

If you’re a fan of improv comedy, you’ve probably already been to this Uptown spot or it’s on your shortlist of things to do. Either way, they offer free admission for those who have signed up for their birthday club.


See a concert for free at First Ave

Downtown Minneapolis

Show up to this iconic music venue on your birthday and get free admission for you and a friend, even for sold-out shows. You also get a drink ticket that’s good for a free bottle of champagne.


Free Full Service Car Wash

Downtowner Car Wash, St. Paul

Okay, so maybe this deal isn’t as exciting as a night at First Ave and free champagne, but there’s nothing stopping you from swinging over to St. Paul to redeem this $22 value car wash before heading out for the night.


Free Tickets to See Comedy At Acme Comedy Co.

Downtown Minneapolis

Laugh for free with five of your friends. During the month of your birthday, you can get up to six free tickets that are good for any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night shows.


Free Round of Golf

Shamrock Golf Club, Corcoran

Sign up and enjoy a round of golf on the house at this golf course in Corcoran (just west of Maple Grove). For those who were born in the months that are less than ideal for golfing in Minnesota, the deal is redeemable for the month they open.


Other Birthday Freebies

Check out this link for a seemingly endless list of restaurants and other businesses waiting to give you something free for your birthday.


6 Overlooked New Year’s Resolutions


We’re all aware of the main resolutions many of us make at the beginning of every new year: eat healthier, quit smoking, unbury that treadmill that, you’re pretty sure, is still in the basement somewhere. While all of these important goals to set, there are also resolutions that are sometimes overlooked but can be just as necessary in leading a more productive and happy life. Here are six that you should keep in mind for 2014.


Read More

You know that half-read novel you’ve been neglecting the past few months? Make it a goal this year to reach for a book over the remote or the laptop or the tablet. Conquer it and then move onto the next one that’s been on your must-read list.


Discover a New Hobby

Take more time to discover new activities. Sign up for a cooking class, learn to play a new instrument or pick up a book on woodworking. Trying something new can help you discover hidden talents or give you something to do that’s more productive than flipping through whatever’s on TV or Netflix.


Save More Money

Go over your finances with a magnifying glass and try to put away some money from every paycheck. Set it up automatically so it can be done without having to remember to do it and try not to look at again for a given amount of time. Or, set up a certificate of deposit (CD) and plan on using it for that family vacation that keeps getting pushed back.



Set a time during the day where you can unplug from your phone, your computer, your tablet and your television. Research has found that media overload can contribute to an increased risk for depression, job burnout, social anxiety and even allergies. Your emails and texts will still be there when you plug back in.


Expand Your Vocabulary

When you do plug back in, use sites like Vocabulary.com to improve your vocabulary through games and trivia to ascertain newfangled librettos to flabbergast your confrères (learn new words to impress your friends).


Reconnect With Old Friends

New responsibilities in life often contribute to losing touch with people you used to be close with. Make it a point to call or meet up with an old friend. Don’t be afraid to try and reconnect, even if it’s just a quick catch-up conversation over your lunch break. Long-lasting friendships will always be worth the time and effort.


What are some ways that you’re trying to better yourself in 2014? Share your resolution(s) in the comments below.





How To Do Miami Up Big On A Small Budget

How To Do Miami Up Big On A Small Budget (via Wicked Good Travel Tips)

Miami has a reputation for being a sultry and expensive vacation destination, but it doesn’t have to drain your wallet to have a great time in this chic city. The key to a low cost vacation in Miami is embodying the lifestyle of the locals and embracing…

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Hopkins, Minnesota

Tucked into the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Hopkins has managed to capture a small town feel, despite being a short 15-minute commute to the metropolis of Minneapolis. This local charm combined with modern design and a youthful, upbeat energy has something to offer everyone. Whether it’s a diverse restaurant selection, activities for children, live music, a vibrant nightlife or boutique shopping, fun for all ages can be found on Main Street, which serves as the center for downtown Hopkins and provides a focal point for residents and visitors.


In the quaint downtown Hopkins, new condominium developments coexist with a vibrant antique culture and rich local art scene. A clutter of five antique shops (Hopkins Antique Mall, Ann & Jacks Vintage Jewelry, Blake Antiques, Antiques on Mainstreet & Auntie M’s Antiques), restaurants ranging from Curry N’ Noodles to Samba Taste of Brazil, as well as art and community centers provide a diverse and enriching place to shop, eat, drink and be entertained. Peppered with provocative pieces of art on wide sidewalks, stroll through downtown Hopkins and you might hear live music being played late into the weekend evenings at Mainstreet Bar & Grill or the Wild Boar. During the day, entertainment can be found at the Mann Hopkin’s Cinema 6, weekly farmer’s markets held on Saturdays on 9th Street, The Depot Coffeehouse that features local music talent and the Stages Theatre, which included two performance spaces, a dance studio, an art gallery, and an art classroom.


The Hopkins community hosts a wide range of events and festivals throughout the year highlighting the importance of local art and produce. The weekly farmer’s market is held from June to October, where locals gather under the downtown clock tower to buy and sell local produce while promoting a healthy and sustainable community. The Raspberry Festival, an annual event founded during the Great Depression and held in July, has become one of the most highly anticipated gatherings each year in Hopkins. The festival hosts a stunning variety of events including sports tournaments in Central Park, art showcases, the Flat City Bike Race, activities for families, parades down Mainstreet, dances at the Hopkins Community Center, live music at Downtown Park, blood drives, open houses, the Hopkins Lions Club Beer Fest, fireworks at Central Park, and even a pig roast hosted by the Hopkins VFW.


Often serving as a centerpiece for local festivals and events, the solar panel topped Depot Coffeehouse acts as a venue for amateur musicians looking to perform in a safe and welcoming environment. The Depot Coffeehouse is also a central meeting place for cyclists throughout the Twin Cities due to residing where three major bike trails converge, making it the perfect place to regroup and refresh before heading downtown, to the lakes or deeper into the western suburbs.
Residents of Hopkins, in a study published in 2013, boasted about their city, noting that they enjoy living in Hopkins because of the small town feel (39% of residents) and its convenient location (21% of residents) with access to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The small town atmosphere in Hopkins can be attributed to its thriving youth programs, which range from art classes, to drama clubs, to language immersion programs, to math and science camps. Hopkins also has many prosperous little league programs, and the younger residents can be seen playing in football, volleyball, fencing, cross country, soccer, dance and kung-fu league programs in the many parks found in Hopkins, including Maetzold, Burnes, Harley Hopkins, Valley and Buffer Park.


First-rate schools and adult education is also a major source of pride for Hopkins. With access to eight public schools, two charter schools and six private schools, the city serves as an outstanding source of learning and growth. Hopkins also boasts a healthy religious community, with thirteen congregations spread throughout the city, supplying a spiritual outlet and religious teachings for faiths of all kinds.

Hopkins has a lot to be proud of – safe neighborhoods, good schools, a centrally located downtown area, extensive nature trails, parks, and a happening nightlife. It is the ideal place for a young family to raise children in or an elderly couple to retire to. Close enough to downtown for easy access and far enough away to maintain its small town integrity, Hopkins has truly found the sweet spot in the Twin Cities suburbs where residents are hopeful for the future and welcoming to new neighbors.

Neighborhood Resources

Hopkins Schools

Faith Communities

Alice Smith Elementary Church of St. Joseph
Eisenhower Elementary Church of the Cross
Gatewood Elementary Cross of Glory Church
Glen Lake Elementary Emmaus Road
Harley Hopkins Family Center Faith Presbyterian Church of Minnetonka
L. H. Tanglen Elementary Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Meadowbrook Elementary Grace Ministries Fellowship
XinXing Academy Korean Evangelical United Methodist Church
Hopkins North Junior High Lutheran Community of Grace
Hopkins West Junior High Mizpah United Church of Christ
Hopkins High School Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
International Spanish Language Academy (ISLA) St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
Main Street School for Performing Arts West Oaks Community Church
The Blake School Zion Lutheran Church
Hopkins Montessori School
KinderRead Montessori School
Sleepy Tigers Chinese Immersion Preschool
St. John’s Catholic School

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

Buffer Park Hopkins Tavern
Burnes Park Aji Japanese Restaurant
Central Park Star Wok
Cottageville Park Big 10 Restaurant
Downtown Park Curry N’ Noodles
Elmo Park Samba Taste of Brazil
Harley Hopkins Park Mainstreet Bar & Grill
Hilltop Park Wild Boar
Interlachen Park The Depot Coffeehouse
Maetzold Field
Oakes Park
Oasis Park
Overpass Skate Park
Park Valley Playground
Shady Oak Beach
Valley Park

Neighborhood Statistics

Hopkins Stats2223333