What To Do For 36 Hours In Minneapolis, Minnesota

36 hours in minneapolis
Alex
Alex 
Updated

Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and although it might not be one of the more major American cities, Minneapolis has something special that you can only really experience once you visit. The city is a bustling and thriving metropolis of art and music as well as entertainment and fun. It’s home to award-winning theaters and clubs and served as the launchpad for major artists of the 20th century like Prince and Bob Dylan. It also has a burgeoning rap and hip-hop scene. Minneapolis is, not to mention, one of the most LGBT-friendly places in the country. Minneapolis is a place with a little something for everyone but if you’re short on time here are a few suggestions on what to do for 36 hours in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Day 1: Afternoon

Grab a slice at Pizza Luce


There’s pizza, and then there’s handmade gourmet pizza made fresh and served straight from the oven. That’s the kind of pizza you’ll get at Pizza Luce. With locations all around Minnesota, Pizza Luce is not your ordinary pizza place–it has that little something extra. It is a spot for people who like their pizzas with a little pizzaz. Offering seasonal delights like butternut squash in the fall as well as collaborations with local beer brewers, Pizza Luce offers something a little tasty and unique for your afternoon meal.

Pizza Luce

Address: 119 N 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

Website: Pizza Luce

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 2:30am; Fri: 11am - 3:30pm; Sat: 10am - 3:30pm; Sun: 10am - 2:30pm

Admire the views at Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park

Mississippi and Minneapolis
Source: Pixabay

Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park might be a mouthful but it is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. The park is located right on the Mississippi River offering some great views of the city and the water and also has some pretty neat amenities as well. Bike paths, gardens, play areas for kids, and picnic spots are all found here as well as bandstands and an amphitheater so you might be able to catch a free show!

Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park

Address: East and West banks of the Mississippi River between & 35W bridges, Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

Website: Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

Explore historic Mill Ruins Park

Minneapolis-Mill Ruins Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user steve lyon used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mill Ruins Park is another place in downtown Minneapolis but it is not quite a park in the typical sense. It can be found on the west side of the St. Anthony Falls and it is a historic study of Minneapolis’s milling business in an archaeological sense. Professionals have found various artifacts here throughout the digging process and now guests can come and visit and learn about the historical past of the city and the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.

Mill Ruins Park

Address: 102 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

Website: Mill Ruins Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

Day 1: Evening

Spend an evening admiring art at Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user McGhiever used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is an absolute must-see while you’re visiting Minneapolis. The museum is home to over 90,000 pieces of art spanning over 5,000 years of human history. There are a few permanent exhibits here as well as visiting exhibits so make sure to check what is currently there before you visit. The Minneapolis Institute of Art aims to show the diversity of art throughout the world and throughout much of humanity’s recent history. Rembrandt, Matisse, and Miro can all be found at this beautiful museum as well as new media shows and photography.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Address: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, United States

Website: Minneapolis Institute of Art

Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)

Price: Free

Delve into Minneapolis' past at Mill City Museum

Mill City Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Susan G. Lesch used under CC BY 2.0

Mill City Museum is another great option for spending an afternoon in the city. If you’re not into art but still want to see one of the city’s greatest museums, check out Mill City Museum. The institution focuses on the city’s history chronicling the founding and growth of the city through the importance of the lumber and mill industry as well as the importance of the St. Anthony Falls. The building is located in an establishment that was founded in 1879 and has some pretty interesting exhibits.

Mill City Museum

Address: 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

Website: Mill City Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 6 - 12 USD

Have a perfectly cooked steak at The Capital Grille


Minneapolis can get pretty cold sometimes so why not warm your soul and come inside The Capital Grille? The welcoming vibe of the restaurant with its dark mahogany paneling and art deco chandeliers will make you feel like you stepped back in time. But you’re here for the food–and The Capital Grille specializes in steak and wine. Enjoy a romantic evening out or bring some friends along for a night of fine dining.

The Capital Grille

Address: 801 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402, United States

Website: The Capital Grille

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri: 11am - 11pm; Sat: 5pm - 11pm; Sun: 5pm - 9pm

Day 1: Night

Play a few games at Up Down - Minneapolis


Up-Down is a franchise of arcade bars with locations all throughout the country. If you’re a gamer who would love a blast from the past, then Up-Down is the perfect place for you. Grab a few drinks and play a few classic 80’s and 90’s arcade games. With over 50 different arcade games and a bunch of classic consoles like Nintendo 64s, pinball machines, and skeeball you can spend the whole night gaming just like you did when you were a kid - now with the added bonus of alcohol. All their games cost 25 cents and they have a wide selection of beer and even homemade pizzas available, too.

Up-Down

Address: 3012 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408, United States

Website: Up-Down

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 3pm - 2am; Sat - Sun: 11am - 2am

Price: 0.25 - 50 USD

Catch a show at HUGE Improv Theater


Dedicated to improv and making the people of Minneapolis laugh, HUGE Improv Theater was founded in 2005 and has since become a staple in the comedy community of the city. The theater is completely non-profit and instead aims to just provide some laughs and shows for the people of Minneapolis as well as running a few improv festivals that take place throughout different times of the year. The HUGE Improv Theater has shows six nights a week no matter what time you’re visiting the city, you can most likely be able to catch one of their shows. They also host classes for beginners so if that’s more of your thing then come by and learn improv!

HUGE Improv Theater

Address: 3037 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408, United States

Website: HUGE Improv Theater

Opening hours: 8pm - 12am (daily)

Price: 10 - 30 USD

Day 2: Morning

Enjoy some authentic Ukrainian food at Kramarczuk Sausage Company

Posted by Kramarczuk's on Friday, 20 September 2019

Kramarczuk Sausage Company has been a part of the Minneapolis landscape for over 70 years. It was started by two Ukrainian immigrants in the late 1940s. Wasyl and his wife Anna came to the United States to try their hand at the American dream. They worked hard and soon afterward, Kramarczuk Sausage Company was not only a spot for delicious Eastern European food but a cultural landmark for the city. The store offers everything from freshly prepared meals like sausage and pierogies to freshly baked bread and sweets. Pick something up to go or dine inside and feel the history within their four walls.

Kramarczuk Sausage Company

Address: 215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414, United States

Website: Kramarczuk Sausage Company

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 8am - 8pm; Thu - Sat: 8am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm

Discover local history at Ard Godfrey House

Ard Godfrey house - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jon Platek used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mr. Ard Godfrey came to Minnesota in the 1800s as a supervisor for one of the first lumbermills in the US. He built this home in 1848 and it’s still standing today. He and his family lived here until 1853 and after they moved out, a series of other families moved in until 1905 when the land was sold the city of Minneapolis. The building has been a museum dedicated to the history of Ard Godfrey and the lumber industry of the city since 1943. The building remains as the oldest wood-frame house in the city and is open to visitors interested in some local history.

Ard Godfrey House

Address: 28 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, United States

Website: Ard Godfrey House

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed from Mon - Fri)

Price: Free

Day 2: Afternoon

Enjoy a fresh meal at Highland Grill

Pumpkin Pancakes!! Come enjoy this fall specialty at Highland Grill today ! #nummy #pumpkinloversunite #welovefall #blueplaterestaurants

Posted by Highland Grill on Saturday, 19 October 2019

The story of Highland Grill started in the 90s when two servers working at another location in Minneapolis left their jobs to create something new. That something new was the Highland Grill. Operating on the idea of serving fresh, quality ingredients sourced from local producers, the Highland Grill has everything from amazing fresh French toast to award-winning turkey burgers. Come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and indulge in some tasty home-style cooking.

Highland Grill

Address: 771 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116, United States

Website: Highland Grill

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 7am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 7am - 10pm

Explore one of Minneapolis's oldest outdoor spaces at Minnehaha Regional Park

Minnehaha Falls at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park, Minneapolis Minnesota
Source: Photo by user Lorie Shaull used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Minneapolis has some beautiful natural landscapes and parks and Minnehaha Regional Park is another one of the great green spaces found around the city. Minnehaha Regional Park was purchased by the state in 1889, with its unique name coming from the Dakota language that loosely translates to “laughing waters”, hence the “ha ha” part of the name. The space is pretty vast and has a number of amenities available for people coming by like picnic tables, fountains, bike paths, and even a disc golf course. For those looking to exercise a little, there is a volleyball court available. They also host public art installations and a wading pool.

Minnehaha Regional Park

Address: 4801 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55417, United States

Website: Minnehaha Regional Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

Come face-to-face with the creatures of Longfellow Gardens


A man named Robert “Fish” Jones bought the land here at the edge of downtown Minneapolis in 1886. He then converted the land into a zoo filling it with animals that he had in his personal collection since he arrived in the city about a decade earlier. Originally the zoo held a collection of lions, a jaguar, bears, cattle and even a camel. The zoo then expanded and Mr. Fish himself had to move, then opening the zoo to the public in 1906. Today there is a formal garden here, with some animals roaming the grounds as well as a pergola and some pretty nice views of the Minneapolis skyline.

Longfellow Gardens

Address: 3933 E Minnehaha Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55417, United States

Website: Longfellow Gardens

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

Day 2: Evening

Go for an evening stroll at Gold Medal Park

Gold Medal Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Appraiser used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Gold Medal Park is located in the downtown east part of the city. The park is relatively new, having been opened in 2007 but the people of Minneapolis are happy with more green space in their city, especially in a neighborhood that lacks a little bit of it. The area is 7.5 acres (3 hectares) and is designed by landscape architect Tom Oslund who took inspiration from the Native Americans in its design as there are several native mounds found throughout the space here.

Gold Medal Park

Address: Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States

Website: Gold Medal Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

Watch a show at Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeremy Noble used under CC BY 2.0

Guthrie Theater was founded in 1963 and is one of the most important performance venues in the city. Showing everything from big music shows and concerts, as well as comedy shows and plays, Guthrie Theater is the premier place to catch a live show in the city. The building has several different auditoriums as well as public spaces and even a few places to grab a coffee and a light snack. Many people who graced the stage here went on to become bigger Hollywood actors. Guthrie Theater even received a Tony Award for regional theater.

Guthrie Theater

Address: 818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States

Website: The Guthrie Theater

Eat some Japanese food at Zen Box Izakaya


Zen Box Izakaya is the story of following your dreams. Two people who were not in the restaurant business met online and soon got married to open Zen Box Izakaya. Now they are one of the best spots in town for some authentic Japanese pub-style food. With a strong focus on ramen, the founder of Zen Box Izakaya is host to festivals involving food both Japanese and of other cuisines, but of course, focusing on the deliciousness that is ramen. Have a couple of beers, some freshly prepared food and spend your evening in a fun and eclectic restaurant.

Zen Box Izakaya

Address: 602 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States

Website: Zen Box Izakaya

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 2pm, 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 11:30am - 2pm, 5pm - 12am; Sat: 5pm - 12am (closed on Sun)

Day 2: Night

Grab an evening pint at The Local - Minneapolis

The Local - West End is hiring! We're seeking a Bartender & Hosts to join our team. If you think you would be a good fit, apply here! http://bit.ly/2mQlBLv

Posted by The Local on Tuesday, 5 November 2019

The Local is a little bit of Ireland in the city of Minneapolis. The pub aims to contrast the modern hustle and bustle of the modern world with a laidback atmosphere of an old-style Irish pub. Hang out in the snug with a couple of friends and some pints or head to the bar and chat up the locals. Of course, some delicious pub food is available to go along with your Guinness and there are also local sports playing on the TV.

The Local - Minneapolis

Address: 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402, United States

Website: The Local - Minneapolis

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 2am; Sun: 9am - 2am

Catch local acts at Fine Line Music Cafe


Fine Line Music Cafe is located in a building built in 1907 and it is regarded as one of the best spots for live music in the city. The venue is low-key and a little small but that makes it more intimate and fun. The club took off as a place where musicians can come and play. Since then, big names have to play here including Cheryl Crow and the Indigo Girls. Come by, grab a drink, and maybe you’ll get to watch the next big artist.

Fine Line Music Cafe

Address: 318 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

Website: Fine Line Music Cafe

Minnesota beauty

Minneapolis is a great spot especially for people who love the outdoors. Tons of great parks and outdoor spaces can be found throughout the city, not to mention some really fun and unique things to do if you’re not into being outside like ax throwing, arcade bars, and some delicious international food. Keep our list in mind and enjoy your time in Minneapolis, however short.

Test your aim at Bad Axe Throwing (from USD 23.0)

36 hours in minneapolis | test your aim at bad axe throwing
Source: www.viator.com

If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do with a group of friends then why not try your hand at some axe throwing? The premise is pretty simple–think of darts but with an axe. No experience necessary to come and try it, just pick an axe and learn to throw, then you’re on your own. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon that’s pretty affordable and certainly a different kind of activity that’s a little more than just sight-seeing.

Bad Axe Throwing Minneapolis

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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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