Looking for a fun way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? Here are 10 activities the gang will love!
When the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and the winter blahs are setting in, why not escape from it all? No kids. No work. No obligations. Just the two of you – together in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot.
After you’ve settled into your hotel, kick off your weekend away with the ultimate in relaxation by getting a couple’s massage at SALT Salon Spa Café. Upon your arrival, you’ll start with a foot soak and exfoliation. From there, let your cares drift away as you experience a 60-minute full body massage and oil scalp massage treatment in their relaxing Himalayan Salt Room. Experts in halotherapy, the SALT spa experience will improve your mood and can help purify your respiratory system, boost your immunity and more.
Then it’s off to a relaxing dinner 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, then try the lobster mac & cheese made in a wood fired clay pot and oozing with five different cheeses and caramelized onions. Pair it with a glass of Milbrandt Riesling or William Hill Chardonnay. Be sure to save room for Grandma Betty’s chocolate cake made with Callebaut chocolate and cocoa cream frosting.
Begin your morning in the Historic Walker Lake District. Say cheers to togetherness with a strawberry sunrise mimosa from The Block Food + Drink. Their Biscuits Breakfast Bar features flaky buttermilk biscuits with fun option like the “I’m Eggs Sausaged Biscuit Sandwich.” Or try the pacos, three mini pancakes stuffed with cheesy scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and green onions topped with spicy pepper jam and maple syrup – yum! They also offer several vegan options and a dog-friendly “pawtio” complete with a dedicated dog menu. Snap a pic in front of their Minnesota-themed mural with the words “With love from SLP” and send it to your loved ones.
Located nearby, you’ll want to stop into sota clothing, a store with merchandise that screams Minnesota, in an elegant, understated way of course! Created by Minnesota native Spencer Johnson, sota offers everything from hoodies to hats to drinkware and artwork, many of which feature the brand’s signature design of two crossed oars accompanied by the state outline. (Bonus: There’s no sales tax on clothing and shoes in Minnesota!) You’ll find another great photo-op at sota’s Minnesota-themed selfie station. The side of the building is painted with an outline of the state emblazoned with the catchphrase “You betcha,” as well as Minnesota’s unofficial mascots, giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his friend Babe the Blue Ox.
Armed with some new winter gear, it’s time to play outside. Theodore Wirth Regional Park offers some of the best winter recreation in the area. Rent some skis at The Trailhead and take advantage of Theodore Wirth’s Word Cup class cross-country ski trails. Whether you prefer skate style or classical skiing, you’ll enjoy the variety of ski options, from open sections with spectacular views of downtown Minneapolis to wooded trails overlooking scenic lakes. You can also try fat tire biking, snowshoeing and snow tubing, or even take a snowboarding lesson!
Enjoy a late lunch at Yangtze Chinese. They’re known for their classic Hunan, Szechuan, Mandarin and Cantonese dishes. But on weekends, they especially shine with their expansive dim sum menu. In fact, they were named a 2021 Best of Minnesota Reader’s Choice award winner by the Star Tribune!
Did you love the pottery scene in the movie Ghost? If so, you have to try a “clay date” at Fired Up Studios. This two-hour class will give you the chance to try out a potter’s wheel and get your hands dirty (and possibly your clothes, too) as you make your own unique pot. Come prepared to have a good time and they’ll do the rest!
For dinner, we recommend D’Amico & Sons, an Italian café offering a mouthwatering list of pastas, wood-oven pizzas, entrées, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Try the Lasagna Bolognese or the grilled salmon with asparagus topped with house-made pesto. Pair them with a bottle of pinot noir by J or La Crema – both are on the menu.
Have a nightcap at our unofficial distillery district. Located across the parking lot from one another, you’ll find Copperwing Distillery, home to Vodskey and FRESAS, a strawberry gin, and Dampfwerk Distillery, a family-owned distillery serving up German-style brandies and herbal liqueurs. Both offer distinctive flavors and creative cocktails. Copperwing is open until 11 pm, while Dampfwerk is open until 12 am.
Sundays are for sleeping in! After a good night’s rest, CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar is the perfect spot for a late breakfast. Start with a brunch appetizer of beignets tossed in cinnamon sugar served with caramel macchiato anglaise. Then order the lobster avocado toast or the breakfast chimichanga (with jalapeño brie cheese sauce!). They also serve brioche French toast, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, breakfast bowls and benedicts, veggie/vegan entrées and, of course, sushi! Pair your meal with a blueberry or peach mimosa or other brunch cocktail.
Work off all those decadently delicious calories by lacing up a pair of skates at the ROC, St. Louis Park’s signature outdoor covered skating rink. Feeling wobbly on the ice? It’s the perfect excuse to hold hands! Rental skates are available.
Looking for still more fun before it’s time to head to the airport or pack up the car? Strap on a pair of snowshoes at Westwood Hills Nature Center and explore over three miles of trails. Go outdoor pub curling at Brookview – no broom sweeping required. Or check out the Pavek Museum’s collection of antique radios, televisions and broadcasting equipment.
Hopefully you’ll leave Minnesota’s Sweet Spot feeling rejuvenated and reconnected! Of course, this is just a sampling of what you might do in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot. View our list of Experiences to help plan your trip.