Looking for a fun way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? Here are 10 activities the gang will love!
Shopping. Pampering. Delicious dining! Grab your gal pals and escape from your busy schedules for a weekend of rejuvenating and reconnecting. Try a new craft. Splurge on some feel-good fashion. Catch up and kick back in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot.
Begin your weekend away with lunch at Yum! Kitchen & Bakery. This woman-owned café and bakery features delectable made-from-scratch eats, seasonal favorites and signature cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. Try the chicken club sandwich with avocado and pommeray honey aioli or Hugo’s Baja mahi Tacos with spicy baja sauce and cotija cheese. For lighter fare, try the “Fancy Schmancy” tuna salad made with white albacore tuna, kalamata olives and red peppers or choose a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup. Be sure to save room for dessert – they’re all so decadently good!
To truly unwind, your next destination is SALT Salon Spa Café. SALT offers a wide range of spa and salon services for all your aesthetic needs. Splurge on the party package for you and your friends and enjoy a private experience in their Himalayan SALT Room, complete with a 60-minute massage or facial, manicure, pedicure and a wash and hair style. You’ll leave feeling completely relaxed and looking absolutely stunning.
Now that you’re feeling fabulous, why not pick up a few accessories? Drop by Excelsior & Grand and check out Max’s, a woman-owned contemporary boutique featuring an eclectic selection of artisan jewelry, hand-blown glass pieces, chocolates, and gift items. Across the street, you’ll find Judith McGrann & Friends, a boutique filled with unique finds, including clothes, jewelry, bags, scarves, socks, gifts, cards and trinkets. The collections change seasonally, with styles for varied body types in all price ranges.
Snag a table on the patio at Hazelwood Food + Drink, a fine dining restaurant serving comfort food with a twist. Hazelwood is known for their black angus 28-day-aged steaks, fresh seafood, wood fired pizza and rotisserie chicken. Start with the boursin artichoke dip or house made crunchy tater tots served with bacon ketchup. Try the lobster mac & cheese made in a wood fired clay pot and oozing with five different cheeses, caramelized onions and a potato chip crust. Don’t leave without trying Grandma Betty’s chocolate cake made with Callebaut chocolate and cocoa cream frosting. Ask for extra forks – there’s plenty to share!
For a little real-world “funning,” it’s off to the West End and Punch Bowl Social. Walk inside and experience 25,000 sq. ft. of “foodertainment.” Sip one of their signature punches, belt out a power ballad in their karaoke room, bowl a few rounds, try your hand at Giant Jenga or Scrabble, and go retro with their vintage arcade games – the perfect way to end your day.
Say cheers to the morning with one of The Block Food + Drink’s five different mimosas or three bloody marys. Try fun breakfast dishes such as a “This Chic is Hot” biscuit sandwich,” with crispy chicken smothered in hot chic sauce, or the pacos, mini pancakes stuffed with cheesy scrambled eggs and hash browns, topped with spicy pepper jam and maple syrup. Those with a sweet tooth will love the lemon ricotta pancakes with fresh strawberries and mini donuts served with chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce. They also have numerous vegan options.
Afterwards, go for a neighborhood stroll and check out some of the Insta-worthy murals in the area, including Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, located on the side of the sota clothing building. After snapping the perfect pic, drop in and pick up some cool sota swag. As you stroll, be sure to look down – the sidewalks are stamped with poetry written by local residents.
Next, it’s time to get crafty! Head to Golden Valley’s Skylab Glass Arts and try your hand at glassblowing. By the end of the session, you’ll walk away with a lovely pendant, wine stopper or glass drinking straws. Hankering for something a bit “dirtier?” Try a clay date at Fired Up Studios, a space for clay artists and potters of all levels to explore their creativity. Take a pottery wheel for a spin and get your hands dirty while Fired Up’s instructors help you make your own unique pot. They provide all the tools, buckets and towels you need for the class, and they’ll finish and fire your pot with the glaze of your choice.
Doolittles Woodfire Grill, with its emphasis on woodfired rotisserie cooking, delightful patio and extensive wine list, is the perfect spot for lunch. Signature dishes include spit roasted chicken and smokehouse ribs. For lighter fare, try the roasted pear and chicken salad with spiced walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette. They also serve a variety of burgers, steaks, fish and pasta. Be sure to save room for dessert – the “Molten Nirvana” is a delectable chocolate cake served with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce.
If shopping is your bag, you’ll love our unique boutiques. Start nearby at Patina, a Minnesota gift shop with a curated mix of gifts, home décor, paper goods, jewelry and more. Then check out the large selection of music on vinyl at Down in the Valley Records. At Mainstream Boutique, you’ll find the latest arrivals of the season, while Ragstock will outfit you in retro style.
Recharge with a pint at Under Pressure Brewing. They offer over 20 beers on tap and an equal number of blended beers, served in a rustic medieval setting with suits of armor and tapestries on the wall. Try the butter beer, their version of the Harry Potter classic!
Then it’s on to the Nordic Ware Factory Outlet Store, home of the bundt pan and a dazzling array of bakeware, cookware and BBQ products. Flower-shaped cake pan? Check!
After a day on the go, relax on the spacious patio of Rojo Mexican Grill. This West End eatery is known for their freshly made guacamole and killer margaritas. In fact, Rojo’s Tequila Bar features over 60 types of tequila and over 50 varieties of mezcal. The drinks have a kick, so be sure to pair them with Rojo’s delicious fish tacos, enchiladas or fajitas.
Treat yourselves at Honey & Rye Bakehouse, a rustic-chic neighborhood bakery and café serving artisan breads and baked treats, as well as all the caffeinated beverages you desire. You can’t go wrong with some coffee cake and a cappuccino or a scone and chai tea.
Time to hit the greens – the lawn bowling greens, that is. Brookview Golf and Lawn Bowling is home to the largest lawn bowling green in Minnesota. Lawn bowling is played similar to bocce ball. Simply roll your bowl (a ball with flattened sides) as close to the jack (a small white ball) as possible. The closest team gets the point. It’s a fun and relaxing way to spend the morning! Plus, you’ll have amazing views of the rolling hills and treelined fairways of the golf course.
Grab lunch at Brookview’s Three One Six Bar + Grill. They serve delicious wraps and sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Dine on the patio and enjoy the views.
Then it’s on to the Aquatic Park for an afternoon of relaxing by the pool. A hit with kids and grown-ups alike, the Park features ample sun decks with loungers. Cool off by swimming a few laps or channel your inner teen and take a spin down the tube slide! The concession stand will hook you up with mini-donuts and ice cream treats.
All too soon it will be time to pack up and head home. Hopefully, you’ll leave feeling recharged, refreshed and reconnected!
This is just a sampling of what you might do in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot. View our Experiences to help plan your trip!