Category Archives: Best of the Twin Cities

St. Anthony Village

Known simply as “The Village” by locals, St. Anthony Village is a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. St. Anthony, a former-township-turned-city with about 8,500 residents, should not be confused with St. Anthony Park, a neighborhood in St. Paul, nor with St. Anthony East or St. Anthony West (both are neighborhoods in Minneapolis). Despite its seemingly common name, St. Anthony is truly a one-of-a-kind city, from its geography to its beloved annual events to its emphasis on promoting small business.

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The city’s geography is unique in that two-thirds of the city are located in Hennepin County, while one-third is located in Ramsey County (the dividing line is 37th Avenue). St. Anthony is also conveniently located just about five miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis and eight miles northwest of downtown St. Paul. Additionally, both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses of the University of Minnesota are only a 10 to 15 minute drive from St. Anthony. Despite its proximity to the big cities with their metropolitan amenities, St. Anthony has been able to maintain the advantages of small town living, which locals love. Village residents pretty much have the best of both worlds!

For covering less than 2.5 square miles, St. Anthony manages to pack in a whole lot of must-dos and must-sees. Each year, over the first weekend of August, the city hosts its summer celebration, Villagefest. Even though it’s downsizing a bit this year, attendees can still expect a lot of fun events, including a car show, street dancing, musical entertainment, a kickball tournament, a pancake breakfast, and a fireworks extravaganza. Enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, the festival has an ingenious method to draw in extra attendees this year:

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But whether or not you’re a Pokemon Go master, you will definitely enjoy spending some time walking around St. Anthony, which features the beautiful Silver Lake and several parks, including Salo Park. Named after St. Anthony’s sister city of Salo, Finland, Salo Park is located adjacent to the highly walkable Silver Lake Village shopping center on the city’s north end. The park hosts an annual summer concert series at its amphitheater, and musical acts range from the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra to jazz bands and swing ensembles. It’s a perfect way to spend a warm summer evening, and residents appreciate the fun, free, & local entertainment!

It’s really no wonder Villagers enjoys listening to music in the park, given that the city puts such a strong emphasis on arts and culture. The St. Anthony Community Theater, for instance, has grown from putting on a 12-person production in 2001 to being today’s theatrical destination in the area. Since it was established 15 years ago, the theater has put its own spin on popular plays such as Mary Poppins, Seussical the Musical, A Christmas Carol, and The Wizard of Oz. There are plenty of opportunities for performers and stagehands alike, and it’s a great way for creators of all ages to get involved with their community.  For artists who prefer slinging paint to singing show tunes, there’s Created to Growan arts center that provides creative education in the form of instructor lead art classes and guided open studio creativity. If that sounds a bit too tame for you, then try out Wine and Canvas, where you can combine your love of design with a drink of fine wine. And who knows? Perhaps one day you’ll see your creation on display at Corner Books, a bookshop that showcases the work of local artists. 

The median sales price for homes in St. Anthony as of July 2016 is just over $240,000 while the number for the metro area as a whole is hovering around $227,000.

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Most houses in the Village were built in the 1940s & ’50s, during the post-war housing boom, thus the abundance of suburban ramblers and bungalows that were favored at the time. However, more recently, the city has seen its share of development, which would explain the newer construction condos, townhouses, and apartments, especially around the Silver Lake area. Considering the housing stock, it comes as no surprise then that a large portion of the St. Anthony population are married couples without children, who like the area for its amenities, walkability, and proximity to both Twin Cities.

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If you’re a family looking to move to the area, though, don’t fret – there are plenty of housing options for you too. Over the last six months, single-family homes with 3+ bedrooms in the city have been going for around $250,000 and up. And if you’re searching for an exceptional school district for your children, then St. Anthony might definitely be your best bet. Last year, St. Anthony Village Senior High School was one of ten Minnesota high schools to rank on Newsweek’s Top 500, and in 2014 the school was given a gold medal by the US News and World Report.  

High schoolers aren’t the only ones who thrive in St. Anthony; small businesses also experience the perks of being part of a tight-knit community. The St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce, for one, works hard to make sure all business owners who come to the city feel welcome and appreciated, by holding a ribbon cutting for all new businesses. The chamber also hosts a myriad of events to encourage entrepreneurship, including happy hours and workshops that teach local proprietors how to better their businesses. The chamber doesn’t stop there, though. Each year, they name an Outstanding Business of the Year, an award established in 1993 to recognize an outstanding business located in or serving the community of St. Anthony Village. For individuals, there’s the Villager of the Year Award, which honors and recognizes a resident of St. Anthony who has made outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in the community. Both award winners are honored with a celebratory dinner in April. 

Speaking of dinner…the Village has a sizable selection of dining options, ranging from some of the best Mexican cuisine in the Twin Cities at Catrina’s to all-you-can-eat Chinese food at Great Dragon. Maybe you’re in the mood for some basic-but-tasty bar food. To satisfy that craving, you’ll want to head to The Unofficial Dive Bar & Grill, which just celebrated its grand re-opening over the weekend. It’s officially the best place in town to grab a burger or beer or to play some Bingo. 

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If you’re looking for a city that feels like a Village, or a small town that has access to all the amenities of a big city, then St. Anthony is probably for you! Check it out today!


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

St. Anthony Middle School Abu-Huraira Islamic Center
St. Anthony Village Alternative School Church of St. Charles Borromeo
St. Anthony Village Senior High School Elmwood Evangelical Free Church
St. Charles Catholic School Faith United Methodist Church
Wilshire Park Elementary School Nativity Lutheran Church

Public Parks & Attractions

Local Restaurants

Central Park Annona Gourmet
Emerald Park Broadway Pizza
Gross National Golf Club Catrina’s Mexican Restaurant
Salo Park & Amphitheater Great Dragon
Silver Lake Village TeaSource
Silver Point Park The Unofficial Dive Bar & Grill
Silverwood Park Village Pub 
Trillium Park

Como, St. Paul

St. Paul’s Como Park (more commonly known as Como) is one of the Twin Cities’ most vibrant neighborhoods, both figuratively and literally. Known for its lush multicolored gardens, Como finds new ways to showcase its floral beauties throughout the year. Each year, the neighborhood hosts the Como Park Garden Tour, which features a dozen local gardens that are too pretty to be missed. And of course, there is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, a floral paradise perennially in bloom that just celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015. This year, its annual Summer Flower Show (open now through the beginning of October) will feature a lily named “Purple Prince” in honor of Minnesota’s beloved late musician.

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In conjunction with the conservatory, the neighborhood’s biggest attraction is, without a doubt, the Como Park Zoo. The zoo and conservatory grounds feature a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including everything from animal exhibits to a historic carousel to an amusement park. You’ll find that the zoo is a favorite destination for school field trips because admission for all is FREE 365 days per year (with a request for donations when possible). Throughout the year, there are many special events held at the zoo and conservatory, including Groovin’ in the Garden (a summer concert series – see 2016’s schedule here), the Travelers Sunset Affair in July, the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival in August, and ZooBoo for Halloween. The month of July is particularly special, thanks to Como Fest, a neighborhood-wide celebration that promises fun events every weekend of the month.

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Though they have a lot to offer on their own, the zoo and conservatory are just part of the larger Como Regional Park area. In less than a square mile space, the neighborhood manages to squeeze in a ski center, golf course, community pool/waterpark, plenty of green space, and oh yeah, a lake! Como Lake is especially popular during the summer, when it’s riddled with paddle boats and fishing poles.

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While Como is most well-known for its attractions, which draw visitors from near and far, it is also called home on a daily basis by nearly 12,000 people. Buyers, on average, pay around $224,500 to purchase a home here, while the median home estimated value is at $220,380 (as of May 2016), higher than the median for both Ramsey County and Minnesota as a whole. Como’s median home age is 75 years, and the neighborhood features a variety of housing styles. Driving around, you’ll see everything from large Victorian-era homes by the lake, to 1920’s one-and-a-half stories and 1950’s ranches elsewhere.

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Como is a perfect choice for young professionals and mid-career businesspeople, as most residents are between ages 24 to 54. With a 15-minute drive to downtown St. Paul and only a few minutes longer ride to downtown Minneapolis, it’s easy to see why they would choose this neighborhood. In fact, since Como is so centrally located between the two downtowns, 50% of residents have only a 15-30 minute commute to work. Easy access to I-94, 35E and 35W – the gateways to essentially anywhere you need to go throughout the metro area – means convenience couldn’t be better. Como is even served by several bus routes: lines 3, 61, 65, and 83 (a couple of which directly serve the Como Regional Park area). Once you know that 81% of Como’s St. Paulites have a 2-year college degree or more, it’s easy to see why they’ve made the smart decision to live here. Moreover, 10% of the residents are employed in education (more than any other single sector in the neighborhood).

For having a relatively small geographic footprint, the Como neighborhood sure does have a generous selection of dining options per capita, ranging from Asian cuisine to pub eats to seaside delicacies. Nelson Cheese & Deli (pictured below) is a local eatery with cheese offerings from around the state. Meanwhile, Half Time Rec has been called the “Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners” by City Pages and was even featured in the 1990s comedy film Grumpy Old Men. But if you feel like eating outside and having a great view of the lake,  then Como Dockside will surely satisfy your tastebuds.

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Of course, come August and September, the Minnesota State Fair is in full swing, and it’s located right across Snelling Avenue. Living in Como, you could walk, bike, or bus to the fairgrounds and avoid the hassle of traffic and parking. Or if you prefer to head out of town when the fair comes to town, just think of the Airbnb potential (there’s nothing wrong with earning some extra income to help with your mortgage). Como is also just a short drive through Falcon Heights to Roseville and all of its shopping amenities. 

So if you’re looking for a centrally located neighborhood with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, search no further than Como!

Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

Como Park Elementary Bethel Lutheran Church
Como Park Senior High Celestial Church of Christ
Great River School Emmaus Lutheran Church
Hmong College Prep Academy Holy Childhood Church
Metro Deaf School Mission Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Twin Cities German Immersion School Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
St. Timothy Lutheran Church

Public Parks & Attractions

Local Restaurants

Cafesjian’s Carousel Café 99
Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden Como Dockside
Como Golf Course Cozy’s Pub
Como Park Ski Center Half Time Rec
Como Park Zoo Mac’s Fish & Chips
Como Regional Park Nelson Cheese & Deli
Como Town The Original Gabe’s by the Park
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory Shanghai Market
McMurray Fields Underground Music Café
North Dale Recreation Center Zobota Café
Northwest Como Recreation Center
Orchard Park & Recreation Center
Tilden Park

St. Louis Park, MN

Welcome to St. Louis Park, aka the hometown of RNR Realty! A first-ring suburb of Minneapolis, this popular city has also been called home by the likes of Senator Al Franken, the illustrious Coen Brothers (of Fargo fame), and Nordic Ware (inventor of the Bundt cake pan). There are many reasons these diverse residents have decided to settle in St. Louis Park, including its proximity to downtown Minneapolis.

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Besides small businesses and movie-making visionaries, 46.5k people currently call St. Louis Park home. It’s a great choice for married couples, especially those with children, as School District 283 is one of the best in the state. Indeed, it is the only district in the state to have all public schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools. SLP High School has been ranked among the top senior highs in the country. At the end of this school year, the distinguished district will celebrate its 125th anniversary.

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St. Louis Park has a wide variety of housing options, with a mixture of single-family homes, condos, and apartments. The median estimated home value is around $251k (up nearly 4% from the previous year), and about 57% of SLP residents own their home rather than rent. The median home listing price is about $350k, a good $50k more than Hennepin County as a whole.

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Each June, over Father’s Day weekend, St. Louis Park puts on its “splash into summer” festival, Parktacular. This community celebration has been around since the early 1900s (undergoing a few name changes along the way), and currently draws annual crowds in the thousands. It includes events such as the Grand Day Parade (a local favorite), food truck faire, business expo, and Kidtacular. A majority of the events will take place at Wolfe Park, located near the Rec Center.

Long after the Parktacular festivities are over, you’ll find plenty to do in St. Louis Park. There is certainly no shortage of shopping opportunities – large retail centers include West End and Shoppes at Knollwood. Excelsior & Grand and Miracle Mile also have a broad selection of shops and dining options. From small boutiques like Mama’s Happy to the ever-popular Opitz and Annex outlet stores, everyone in the family will find something to fit their needs.

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If you’re feeling hungry, the city has plenty of unique restaurants to whet your appetite. Park Tavern is a good choice if you want a casual setting that offers delicious food and bowling. Want something a little sleeker? Look no further than The Loop at West End or McCoy’s Public House. Craving something sweet? Then be sure to try out Honey & Rye Bakehouse, Muddy Paws Cheesecake, or Yum! Kitchen & Bakery.

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For those interested in taking a step into the past, there’s the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, which holds one of the largest collections of vintage radio and television equipment. Looking for some fun that involves a bit more action? For that, there’s the hotspot Roller Garden, at the junction of W Lake St and Minnetonka Blvd or the Rec Center, featuring a skate shop, aquatic park and two ice arenas (photos above).

The city’s main thoroughfares are Highways 100, 169, 394, and MN-7. Also served by multiple bus routes, many of which travel through the Louisiana Avenue Transit Center, St. Louis Park is easily accessible from downtown Minneapolis and several surrounding suburbs via public transportation. There are even plans to extend the light rail’s Green Line through the city on its way to Eden Prairie, which would connect the cities even better. The extension is projected to be completed by 2020.

If you’re looking for a city with the comforts of suburban living and the convenience and amenities of being near Downtown Minneapolis, then St. Louis Park might be the right choice for you!

Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 St. Louis Park School District   Aldersgate United Methodist
 Bais Yaakov High School Anchor  Bible Church
 Benilde-St. Margaret’s The Gate Church
 The French Academy of Minnesota Giving in Grace at Soul’s Harbor
 Groves Academy Holy Family Catholic Church
 Holy Family Academy Knollwood Church of Christ
 Metropolitan Open School Lutheran Church – Reformation
 Minneapolis Jewish Day School Park Assembly of God
 Talmud Torah of Minneapolis Park Community Church
 Timothy Lutheran School Peace Presbyterian Church
 Torah Academy Prince-Peace Lutheran Church
 Academy of Whole Learning Slavic Church Light of the World
Spirit of Christ Community Lutheran Church
 St. George’s Episcopal Church
Timothy Lutheran Church
Westwood Lutheran Church

Public Parks & Attractions

Local Restaurants

 Aquila Park Bluefox Indian Bar & Grill
Oak Hill Park Bonefish Grill
Rotary Northside Park Bunny’s Bar & Grill
Wolfe Park Cooper Pub
More Neighborhood Parks Gael’s Gourmet
Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Honey and Rye Bakehouse
The Shops at West End Kip’s Irish Pub
Showplace Icon Theatre The Loop West End
Steel Toe Brewing McCoy’s Public House
Westwood Hills Nature Reserve Mill Valley Kitchen
Muddy Paws Cheesecake
Muffin Man Cafe & Bakery
Nelson’s Meat Catering Deli
Park Tavern
Thanh Do
Vescio’s Cucina
Vitali’s Bistro
Wok in the Park
Yard House
Yum! Kitchen & Bakery

Lake Harriet Band Shell

Celebrate Memorial Day 2016 in the Twin Cities

Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means summer can’t be far behind. If you need some last minute ideas on how to celebrate summer’s unofficial kickoff, then you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of the best places in the Twin Cities to spend some time this long holiday weekend. Whether you’re a history buff, sports fan, or just want to relax with some good music, we’ve got an idea for you.

Historic Fort Snelling: Travel through the past to discover what life was like for early Minnesotans and learn about our country’s military history. Afterwards, enjoy games, historical reenactments, and a scavenger hunt.

Lakewood Cemetery: Pay your respects to American soldiers, while enjoying some family-friendly fun. Activities include a Memorial Day ceremony, live music, tours of the cemetery, drawing, poetry and photography classes, art and history exhibits, refreshments and more.

Lake Harriet Band Shell: Memorial Day marks the annual re-opening of the Band Shell for the summer Music & Movies in the Parks series, which runs through Labor Day. Up first is All the Islands, a Minneapolis based folk-pop band. While you’re there, you can enjoy a picnic in the picturesque Lake Harriet Park or rent a paddle board to take out on the water.

The Landing: It’s Wild West Weekend at this Shakopee venue. You’ll be able to experience reenactments of popular western legends, learn how to cook over an open campfire, and finish the memorable weekend with an 1880s Memorial Day ceremony on Monday afternoon.

CHS Field: The Twins are away for the weekend, so why not head on over to St. Paul to catch the Saints play the Kansas City T-Bones on Sunday? Make sure to stick around afterward for the Memorial Day Celebration Fireworks Super Show, which is sure to delight baseball fans of any age.

Crayola Experience at Mall of America: Just in case the weekend weather isn’t ideal for spending time outside, consider heading to the largest mall in the U.S. for this brand new, hands-on attraction which just opened May 25th. The Crayola Experience features 25 one-of-a-kind attractions (including a crayon factory, glow-in-the-dark coloring stations, and create-your-own puzzle area), Café Crayola, and the Crayola Store.

How will you be celebrating Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments!

Top 5 Best Neighborhoods in the Twin Cities

Cathedral Hill is considered the oldest neighborhood. Full of Victorian Houses and many great places to eat and shop, it is a blend of past and preset, historic and modern architecture. It is a mature neighborhood and comes with a higher price tag, thus the residents are primarily over 42 years of age.

Northeast is a neighborhood that is rich in history and culture. It is surrounded bu the warehouses and buildings from the past which were transformed into varieties of galleries and working spaces. This area is a home to some of the best bars and dining in the Twin Cities. There are many art events and open gallerie tour in the Minneapolis Art District. This are draws a lot of artists and young families.

North Loop also known as the Warehouse District, used to be an industrial area and a home to many factories and warehouses. Now it is the fastest growing neighborhood and becoming more and more popular for younger families. It has a variety of restaurants and boutiques to choose from. More housing units are being added to the neighborhood, so the area is still developing with many projects in the works.

Uptown is a very vibrant and eclectic area filled with restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops and stores. It is considered an area for young people. There are many apartments in the area as well as Lakefront houses since the neighborhood borders with Lake Calhoun, which is a popular place for runners and cyclists. The commercial district can be a bit loud at night thus it’s a popular place for younger people, though a couple of street away, the streets get more quiet and that’s were younger professional families prefer to live.

Lowertown is another St. Paul’s booming area. It is a very hip neighborhood popular among younger and  artsy people.  Many new residences and restaurants were built after the redevelopment of the area. Lowertown is a home to St.Paul’s Farmers Market, several art studios and an annual St.Paul Art Crawl.


Flickr Creative Commons: Cliff (CC BY 2.0)
All photos used under this license.

Linden Hills, MN

Linden Hills is a Southwest neighborhood of Minneapolis, bordered by both Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. The neighborhood has a small town feel with beautiful views and an abundance of linden trees, hence the name of the neighborhood. Linden Hills was first developed in the 1800’s, when lake cottages were built for people to enjoy nature and escape the busy city life.  It is a charming neighborhood with many craftsman style houses and eclectic shops. These days, many of the cottages and 50’s ranch style ramblers are being replaced by new construction.

Most homes in Linden Hills are single-family homes, lake front houses, townhouses, and condominiums. With a median estimated home value just north of $500k, the area is a bit pricey compared to other neighborhoods in Minneapolis, but you get what you pay for when it comes to desirable location and square footage. According to City-Data, the population of the Linden Hills neighborhood is 8,345. The median age is 38.5. There are 46.9% males, and 53.1% females. An impressive 92% of the residents here have a 2-year degree or higher, and median household income is nearly 2x the Minneapolis average!

Linden Hills has a downtown called “The Village,” a historic area where many unique restaurants and shops are located. One place you should be sure to check out is the Wild Rumpus bookstore – it’s a great place to bring your kids since it has a great selection of children’s books, and they actually have animals (anything from cats to chickens) roaming around the store! The store definitely lives up to its “wild” moniker.

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Another great place to visit for breakfast and brunch is The Zumbro Cafe. It’s a cozy place known for its delicious buttery pancakes and fresh sandwiches. This eatery has been around for twenty years – that’s how you know it’s good!

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Another place worth visiting is Tilia restaurant. It’s a great neighborhood joint that has a cozy feel and great food; they even have vegan options and options for those who are lactose intolerant.

If you’re looking for a fun indoor way to entertain your kids during the winter, you won’t want to miss Creative Kidstuff, a three-level store filled with books and educational materials, that also hosts fun events for your young ones.

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Another local hotspot: Linden Hills Co-op. It isn’t too big or too small, but it has everything you need; if you prefer to shop local, organic, and fresh, this is the place to go!

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Linden Hills is a great neighborhood for outdoor activities year-round. There are many walking and biking trails, and Linden Hills Parks has playgrounds and tennis courts.  Around Lake Harriet you can find the Rose Gardens and Peace Gardens. Every winter, Lake Harriet also plays host to the annual kite festival. During the spring and summer, there are many events held at the Lake Harriet bandshell.

Linden Hills Festival is another entertaining event that people of all ages will enjoy. Held annually at Linden Hills park, festivities include live music, games, pony rides, a silent auction and art fair! It takes a lot of volunteers to organize such a big event, so check it out if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities.

The Heritage Streetcar museum was built to preserve the rail heritage and street-running rail vehicles. It currently operates two heritage streetcar lines, and the streetcars themselves are 100 years old that have been restored to function. Here you can find more information and tickets (just keep in mind that they don’t operate on rainy days).

This neighborhood offers so much to love – from great schools, friendly people and eclectic restaurants to many outdoor activities for the whole family. If you enjoy all that, Linden Hills is the neighborhood for you!


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Carondelet Catholic School  Linden Hills Congregational United Church
 Lake Harriet Lower Elementary School  St. Thomas the Apostle Church
 Southwest High School  Christian Science Church
 St. John’s Episcopal Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

 William Berry Park  The Harriet Brasserie
 Linden Hills Park   Tilia
 Waveland Park  The Zumbro Cafe
 Naviya’s Thai Brasserie
 Trattoria Tosca
 Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
 Hello Pizza
 Lake Harriet Pizza
 Bread & Pickle
 Milio’s Sandwiches

Free Twin Cities Events This Month

St. Paul Winter Carnival features ice sculptures, palaces, as well as live entertainment and many activities such as horse racing. There will also be the annual treasure medallion hunt. The finders are awarded with prizes.
When: Thursday, Jan 28 – Sunday, Feb 7
Tickets/Price: Free and open to the public.

Family Concert: Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm, Oh My! It’s a 50 minute event for kids age 6-12, where they will learn all about harmony and rhythms.
When: Saturday, February 6, 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM
Tickets/Price: Free tickets, register here.

Art Shanty Project is an annual event, where you can see  interactive ice houses and enjoy a variety of events such as dance parties, theater and live music.
When: Saturday, February 6 through February 28
Tickets/Price: Free

Fire and Ice Winter Festival is a fun event including ice fishing contests, sled-dog rides, skating, skiing and snowshoeing. You will also enjoy other entertainment, a bonfire, and fireworks.
When: Saturday, February 6, 3-7PM
Tickets/Price: Free

Valentine’s Day Skating Party. Since V-day is around the corner, you might want to register for this event. There will be DJ’s playing music; also, hot beverages and supplies for skaters will be provided!
When: Sunday, February 14, 1-3PM
Tickets/Price: Free, register here.


Flickr Creative Commons: Mack Male (CC BY-SA 2.0)
All photos used under this license.

Mall of America Holiday Shopping


Flickr Creative Commons: Aine

Mall of America is the largest mall in America, hence the name. The mall is so big that 7 Yankee Stadiums could fit in it, or 32 Boeing 747’s. So if you are looking to shopping, for any reason, and you are in the area, MOA is where it is at.


Flickr Creative Commons: Random Retail

This holiday season, if you are looking to pick up any holiday gifts for the loved ones, then shop at MOA. It has 520+ stores, so you can find that little something for anyone, even if they are hard to shop for. If you have ever been to MOA, you may have noticed that the temperature never changes, it is always 70 degrees, no matter if it is winter or summer.

If you are searching for that empty parking spot and you can not find one, just remember, you are not alone, someone else is searching for one of 12,550 car filled spaces. Moreover, MOA will always looks clean, especially with a trash-less floor, thanks to the 11,000 year round employees and 2,000 bonus employees during the holidays.


Flickr Creative Commons: Ted

Have you ever thought, if you went holiday shopping, and you wanted to look in every store at MOA, how long would it take? According to MOA facts, assuming, you spent 10 minutes in each store, it would take you 86 hours! If you like to ride rides, you are in luck. While you are at MOA, check out Nickelodeon Universe, you will see lots of greenery; well, at least 30,000+ live plants and 400 live trees climbing as high as 35 feet. It took 65 semi-trucks to transport all those trees.

In the event you are holiday shopping at MOA, appreciate every detail the mall has to offer, like the 4.87 million square feet, which is enough to fit 258 statue of liberties. Just remember, next time you are in the state of 10,000+ lakes, whether you are local or not-so local. Be happy that you are in the largest mall that America has to offer with a wide vanity of shopping sections.

All photos are used under this license

Eden Prairie, MN

Where on Earth could you live that is 12 minutes southwest of Downtown Minneapolis, with 170 miles of trails and 2,250 acres of park land. It’s located on the North bank of Minnesota River and is the 12th largest city in Minnesota. Fox Sports North, KMSP, WFTC are based here. In 2014, Money Magazine has named this city one of the best places to live in America. If you have not guessed it yet, Eden Prairie is the city. You know the city, which is home to and has the training camp for the Minnesota Vikings! The football team with Adrian Peterson. Eden Prairie was not always a city but once a town, in 1853 Elizabeth F. Ellet named it Eden for its gorgeous prairies.

Paths and Trails

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If you are not a football fan that is ok, there is so much more to enjoy. The city has 13 miles of nature trails for walking and hiking. If you are more into being on two wheels, then Eden Prairie has 120 miles of bike trails while you are coasting through the picturesque scenery including 18 lakes like Mitchell Lake; furthermore, while along your journey, you will have the opportunity to view the beautiful paths: Birch Island Woods, Cardinal Creek Trail, Richard T. Anderson Trail, Edenbrock Trail, Purgatory Creek Park Pavilion, and Riley Creek Trail.

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Eden Prairie Center

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When you are in Eden Prairie, you have to stop at the Eden Prairie Center. The Eden Prairie Center has 125 great shops and restaurants, as well as an impressive food court. While you are enjoying your meal you can relax next to a three story fireplace to keep warm, especially during the Minnesota winters. If the kids are along and rowdy you can have them burn off the energy at the area’s largest indoor play area. After you are done eating, kickback and relax and enjoy a movie at an 18-screen AMC Theatre.

Eden Prairie Airmaxx

When the kids are restless, send them to Eden Prairie’s Airmaxx Trampoline Park, where kids and adults can jump endlessly on trampolines or zap friends, enemies, or random laser tagger in the laser tag area. If you are up for a little bit of pout pout, then come play escape the Pharaoh’s curse, in the cosmic mini golf course, or if your fingers have too much energy then blast away in the arcade. If the arms want to have a little play then come relieve them with the mini bowling.   


Wildfire: After all those adventures in Eden Prairie, come enjoy a bite of steak, chops & seafood. Think of it as a little taste of Chicago. Marvel and enjoy the 1940’s decor, and if you are not big into meats, then treat yourself to one of their many scrumptious salads, such as their signature dish Wildfire Chopped Salad. They even have many gluten free dishes and they do catering, not too mention if you are having a baby shower or a wedding, they even do that.

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Benefits of living in Eden Prairie are the parks and trails, a perfect way to get into or stay in shape, great restaurants, Vikings training camp, and great shopping experiences like the Eden Prairie Center. The city has quiet, safe neighborhoods and Eden Prairie  presents the best schools in Minnesota. Great Place to Raise a Family!

Attractions of Eden Prairie:

  • Staring Lake Park
  • Hershey Co.
  • Eden Prairie Ice Castle
  • Vikings’ Practice Site

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A snapshot of 2010 demographics for the City of Eden Prairie 

  • The population of Eden Prairie is 60,797
  • The median age of an Eden Prairie resident is 37.6 
  • 73 percent of the City’s residents are 18 years of age or older
  • 4.8 percent of the City’s residents are 65 years of age or older 
  • 61.3 percent of the City’s residents have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • There are 23,930 households in the City 
  • The average household income within Eden Prairie is $122,783 
  • The median value of a single-family home in Eden Prairie is $257,360


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Eden Lake Elementary School Eden Prairie Islamic Center
Eden Prairie High School Prairie Lutheran Church
Early Childhood Family Education Faithful & True Ministries
Central Middle School St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Prairie View Elementary School Prairie Community Church
Forest Hills Elementary School Grace Church
Cedar Ridge Elementary Resurrection Life Church
Oak Point Elementary School Pax Christi Catholic Community
Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion ICCC Altawaba
Eden Prairie Community Education Victory Lutheran Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

Eden Prairie Park & Rec. Redstone American Grill
Staring Lake Park Lions Tap
Purgatery Creek Park Pavilion The Prairie Tap House
Riley Lake Park Campiello
Homeward Hills Park Eden Vietnamese Restaurant
Miller Park Punch Pizza Eden Prairie
Edenvale Park Detello’s Pizza & Pasta
Staring Lake  Outdoor Center Aurelia’s
Round Lake Park Great Mandarin Restaurant
Crestwood Park IBiaggi’s Ristorante Italiano


Thanksgiving in Minneapolis

Thanksgiving is coming up and everyone is preparing to spend time with their families. There will be a lot of fun activities happening Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Holidazzle is a famous holiday event in the Twin Cities. Parade starts November 27th at 6.30 and runs until the week before Christmas in Minneapolis along Nicollet mall. It is a colorful and cheerful event; it is free and anyone can participate.

2. Wells Fargo Winter Skate is another fun event to go to. This is free and open to everyone to enjoy. The ice skating rink is located in downtown St.Paul. Click here for more information.

3. Taylor Falls Lighting Festival and Parade is an annual lighting festival with art and raft exhibitions, Santa parade, free horse and wagon rides. It starts November 27 through November 29.

4. Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt is a three-day Christmas Festival, where you can enjoy the Grand Parade, delicios German treats, gift shops and more. Don’t miss this fun family holiday celebration that starts November 26. Here you can find the daily event schedule and any additional information.

Here are some great restaurants to check out on Thanksgiving weekend.

1. Located in St.Paul, Faces Mears Park is a combination of French cuisine with Moroccan, Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Great thing about them is that they use local, organic ingredients. Check out their menu.

2. Jax Cafe is a great place for steak and seafood. It is located in an old building on University Avenue, Minneapolis. It is quaint and charming, with a great patio. Click here for the menu.

3. Basil’s Restaurant has a great selection of American cuisine entrees and desserts. They also have a full bar and an espresso bar.

4. St.Paul Grill located in downtown offers classic American food. It is an upscale place and can get a bit expensive. Also, their menu has options for those who are gluten intolerant.