There’s no better place than the Minnesota State Fair to get a feel for what Minnesota is all about! The “Great Minnesota Get-Together” draws over 1.5 million attendees every year and is the largest 12-day fair in North America. The annual celebration features endless games and rides, animal exhibits, and over 400 free concerts. The fair celebrates everything that is special about Minnesota. If you’re looking for an experience you won’t find anywhere else, visit the North Woods area to see lumberjack and stunt dogs performances, and make sure to catch the State Fair Parade at 2 P.M. every day. Popular musical artists visit the Grandstand each year to play to sold-out crowds. Food is also a highlight of the State Fair; new food items last year included SPAM sushi, deep fried grilled cheese bites, and a Reuben pickle dog!
Visit the Uptown Art Fair to see creativity on display. Admire and purchase the handiwork of talented artists, enjoy food and drinks from one of the many food trucks and beer gardens, and listen to music at the performance stage. This family-friendly event has special kids zones and an area for youth artists.
The week-long Winter Fete welcomes winter to Bloomington with a fat tire bike race, ski jumping, and the Pond-Dakota Winter History Festival. All activities are free, and almost all take place outside, so don't forget to bundle up with a coat and get ready to experience January in Minnesota!
Transport yourself back to the 16th century with a trip to the annual Renaissance Festival in nearby Shakopee, Minnesota. Laugh at court jesters, shop for handicrafts, watch a joust and enjoy some delicious, authentic fare. The festival opens in late August and finishes up in early October.
The Zombie Pub Crawl is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Largest Gathering of Zombies”. Thousands of people will dress up in their best zombie attire and roam through downtown Minneapolis, listening to live musical acts and participating in events like a "brain" eating contest.
Twin Cities Pride, one of the largest Pride events in the country, includes a parade, several concerts, a 5k race, and a host of other activities. Special guest appearances in the past few years have included Kathy Griffin, The Pointer Sisters, and more. Pride is held annually during the last weekend of June.
Join in the fun at the Minneapolis Aquatennial, a summer festival celebrating the city of Minneapolis. Founded in 1939, the Minneapolis Aquatennial is one of the largest festivals in the state, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Enjoy a variety of events, including Target Fireworks show, CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade, Twin Cities Orthopedics Torchlight 5K, Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show and more. The festival occurs annually in mid-July.
This annual outdoor music festival has featured alternative acts such as The Flaming Lips, Wilco, and Sonic Youth. Held on the grounds of the Walker Art Center, the festival is sponsored by local favorite 89.3 The Current. Families are welcome at Rock The Garden, and food trucks, beer tent, and view of the city skyline make this a unique festival to remember.
Saint Paul's beautiful Rice Park is the "center stage" for the Winter Carnival, which is an annual celebration of winter held entirely outside. Three parades, a beer festival, a 5k, the Snow Park at the Fair, and ice palaces demonstrate Minnesota's embrace of its cold season. The Winter Carnival is held from late January through early February.
Mall of America® is more than a shopping mall near the Twin Cities. It’s over 520 shops full of tax-free shopping and 50 restaurants full of delicious food. It’s Nickelodeon Universe®, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, American Girl®, LEGO® and more – all under one roof. Most of all, it’s an unforgettable experience. And it’s all right here in Bloomington, MN. Come see what’s in store.
An “Escape Game” or “Escape Room” is an interactive adventure where you and your team will have one hour to complete a mission and escape the room. Escaping will require teamwork, quick thinking, determination and a sense of urgency! From the moment you step into your game, you’ll be totally immersed in our world.
Nickelodeon, the #1 entertainment brand for kids, and Mall of America®, the nation’s premier shopping destination, have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind theme park. Located in the center of Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe® features seven acres of unique attractions and entertainment. Meet the Nick characters, experience spine-tingling rides, visit unique retail shops and much more!
This one-of-a-kind attraction features 25 exhibits that encourage creativity and fun. Make your own hand-drawn puzzle, see your coloring page come to life in an augmented reality experience, and create an art project using Crayola Model Magic. If you need to recharge, stop by Cafe Crayola for a kid-friendly meal.
FlyOver America is the hottest new attraction in Minnesota! The flight simulation ride soars you across some of America's most spectacular sights with the latest in flight ride technology. Experience wind, scents and other amazing effects that will make you feel like you are truly flying!
The all-new SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America® brings you closer than ever before to thousands of sea creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, rays, jellyfish, seahorses and more! Plus, fun interactive activities throughout the aquarium including touch pools, stamp stations with dive books and WOW! facts make SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium the perfect family fun destination. Swim with the sharks in what was named "the best shark exhibit on the planet" by Animal Planet or view the scary creatures from a 300-foot glass underground tunnel.
SMAAASH is open at Mall of America! America's Adrenaline Arena has the latest in virtual reality games, laser tag, and a 2-level go-kart track. The official hangout of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx, and Wild also offers a locally sourced food menu and over 40 craft beer offerings.
The Minnesota Zoo, located in nearby suburb Apple Valley, houses hundreds of species of wild animals. Daily animal shows include cow milking demos, penguin feedings, and the World of Birds show. The IMAX Theater plays the latest hit movies as well as nature documentaries and other animal flicks. Each summer, the annual Music in the Zoo concert series brings popular musicians to town.
Artistry is an independent 501©3 nonprofit that serves a regional audience of more than 80,000 people annually. Housed in the Bloomington Center for the Arts, Artistry produces seven theater productions per season, curates 14 visual arts exhibitions each year, offers year-round classes and workshops both on-site and throughout the community, and works with the City of Bloomington and other partners on creative placemaking and public art projects.
The wildlife refuge runs along the east and south borders of Bloomington, and is an urban oasis that provides a habitat for migratory waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife species. This park is popular with locals interested in hiking, biking, fishing, and canoeing, and is easily accessible from many of the Bloomington hotels.
It’s a scenic retreat in the heart of Bloomington. Hyland Lake Park offers breathtaking prairie landscapes and a major body of water as well as a large play area, the Richardson Nature Center, and the Hyland Hills Ski Area. With so much to do, this park has endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Hyland Lake Park Reserve is part of a larger system recognized as the Hyland-Bush-Anderson Lakes Park Reserve. The entire 2,565-acre complex is managed by the City of Bloomington and Three Rivers Park District.
Open 365 days a year, zoo exhibits include gorillas, giraffes, polar bears, penguins, and more. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory presents seasonal floral shows in the Sunken Garden. If you're visiting in August, don't miss the annual Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, a family-friendly celebration of Japanese culture.
The Guthrie's bright blue building sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, offering one of the city's best views and standout theater productions across its three stages. Architecture, backstage, and self-guided audio tours are available for an additional fee, and visitors are welcome to enter the lobby and "Endless Bridge" balcony to see unique views of the river.
The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres is one of the most accomplished and well-known dinner theatres in the nation. Each season includes high-energy takes on Broadway musicals such as "Hello, Dolly" and "Mary Poppins". Musical acts and comedians occasionally perform in the smaller theatres.
Once the farthest outpost of the U.S. in the homeland of the Dakota Indians, visitors can take a tour around the 1820’s-era restored fort, including the barracks, store and hospital. Fort Snelling was Dred Scott's living quarters from 1836-1838, and you will learn more about him as part of a daily program on the Civil War, WWII and Dakota history. Be sure to check out the frontier skills demonstrations from soldiers, blacksmiths and cooks. There are also daily cannon firings, military drills and period crafts and games.
At Cedar + Stone, Urban Table, discover a suburban dining experience with a decidedly urban feel – a restaurant that connects to the natural surroundings, the local community and the favorite foods that feed your soul. Taste the heart of the city at one of the premier restaurants near Minneapolis. Cedar + Stone's chefs source the region’s nearby farms for cage-free poultry, produce, and unique cuts of meat and cheese, obtain fresh seafood from Minnesota's lakes, and craft artisan breads right in their kitchen.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar features modern yet comfortable décor, a chic bar area, a craft cocktail list, and deluxe desserts. FireLake has reinvented local dining by capturing the essence of the best that Minnesota has to offer with a farm-to-table concept that incorporates fresh and local produce wherever possible—all with a creative flair and an irresistible presentation.
Urbana Craeft Kitchen & Market is located within the Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis and proudly serves locally sourced ingredients that are seasonally grown at on-site gardens. The seasonal menus feature Minnesota-inspired entrees like steak, walleye, and game, as well as vegetarian options. Bringing bit of urban vibe to the rural lifestyle, they offer a stylish setting and social vibe with patio seating.
Enjoy an urban-style dining experience at Lela, where the intriguing space is both inviting and approachable. Alluring tastes are created via a food-forward concept anchored by a wide selection of house-made pastas, prime steaks, and seafood crudos. Complete the night with creative cocktail twists and iconic flavors at Lela's bar and lounge. Chart your own course through a careful selection of global wines and craft beverages.
A tropical escape in Minnesota, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville offers a fun, family-friendly dining experience. The Margaritaville menu invites guests to unwind with house-made margaritas, frozen boat drinks and cold LandShark Lager. Enjoy signature food items like the Cheeseburger in Paradise, Hand-Battered Chicken Tenders and Volcano Nachos. Other notable menu items include Buttermilk Fried Chicken and LandShark Lager Fish & Chips – hand-dipped in LandShark batter, fried golden brown and served with jalapeno tartar sauce.
Complete your day of shopping or family fun with a meal and drink at Hard Rock Cafe Mall of America. Their Bloomington, Minnesota cafe is located on the first level of the mall, inside Nickelodeon Universe and right next to the giant LEGO store. With 15,000 square feet of space on two floors, they offer seating for 408 guests, a live event stage, The Rock Shop®, innovative technology and design features, and music memorabilia from Hard Rock's iconic collection. The aesthetic of the cafe follows a design vision that is a tantalizing fusion of the excitement of the Mall of America with the energy and vibe of the Hard Rock brand.
Located on the first floor of the Mall of America, Twin City Grill is an American grill offering a comfortable environment with homemade comfort foods, ideal for your shopping break. Take a seat at the bar during happy hour and sip on a local craft beer, or choose from one of 20 wines by the glass or a hand-shaken classic cocktail. Enjoy local favorites such as walleye, wild rice, meatloaf, and roast turkey in the relaxing dining room, a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the mall.
Woolley's Steakhouse is known for mouth watering steaks, fresh fish, and seafood. Woolley's also has an outstanding wine list that features the best wines from the U.S. and around the world. The open-air gazebo and cozy booths complement all types of occasions; business, romantic, celebrations, or just going out for a satisfying dinner.
AiRE Craft Grill is the perfect place to gather with friends after work for a drink, for a bite to eat from our full menu, for an evening of fun, or just a nightcap. Located in Crowne Plaza Aire, the AiRE Craft Grill serves breakfast/breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner, as well as room service to hotel guests.
Crescent Kitchen, located inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington - Minneapolis South, features regional American fare comprised of familiar comfort foods and focused on shareable small plates, which encourages groups to socialize in a convivial atmosphere. The Crescent Kitchen Bar features 16 craft beers selections on tap, small batch bourbons and scotches, signature cocktails, and wine from vineyards around the world.
Located inside Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America, Blue Water Grill features American Cuisine specialties in a casual dining atmosphere. Dinner in Blue Water Grill is truly an experience with Executive Chef Eric Baker's culinary team and restaurant staff. Specializing in fresh seafood & steaks, Blue Water Grill has been noted as one of the Twin Cities' best seafood restaurants.
Boasting a contemporary décor and an inviting atmosphere, the Crowne Plaza Bloomington hotel restaurant features a classic scratch-made American menu with a variety of salads, sandwiches and entrees. Chef Gwen Fischbach is excited to offer a fresh, yet satisfying, dining experience.
The American Girl Bistro is located inside of the American Girl Store in Mall of America. The menu is filled with delicious foods girls love, and they have special seats for doll friends, too. Stop by for lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner once you're done shopping for your American Girl doll!
Bloomington ChopHouse specializes in tender steaks, fresh seafood, and attentive service. Featuring an extensive, yet affordable, wine list, Bloomington ChopHouse stands out as one of the premier Bloomington restaurants. Located within the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington.
The first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market opened in 1996 on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Since then, the restaurant has grown to include many notable locations throughout the United States and internationally. Food is the hero at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The menu features shrimp, of course, as well as margaritas that are hand-shaken at your table.
Cadillac Ranch is an eclectic mix of great food, great service, and a fun and entertaining experience. They feature a made from scratch menu with a wide variety of steaks, burgers, seafood, pasta, salads and outstanding flatbreads. Couple that with multiple bars, a mechanical bull, and a rock ’n roll inspired décor that will keep you coming back for more. Cadillac Ranch creates a fun, comfortably social atmosphere, delivers great service and well mixed drinks along with a large selection of beers, including some from Granite City Food & Brewery.
Cantina Laredo serves authentic Mexican food in its Mall of America restaurant. Lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch are available, as well as specialty drinks such as margaritas, mojitos, and sangrias. Their Fajita Dinner special includes a beer, glass of wine, or nonalcoholic beverage with guacamole or queso and a sizzling fajita platter.
Think California inspired Mesquite-fired flavor. Chevy’s creates your favorite traditional Mexican dishes from scratch, every day. They use only fresh, top-quality ingredients in our beloved recipes to create a one-of-a-kind fiesta of the senses that inspires celebration amongst food lovers, spice lovers and fun lovers. Come as you are—the fiesta awaits you!
CRAVE Restaurant was built out of a passion to create a dining experience unlike any other. A dining experience where quality, local and regionally sourced food, chic atmosphere, and diverse choices offer guests the opportunity to create their own unforgettable dining experience. Dining options include sushi made from seafood that is flown in fresh daily from around the world and an award winning wine list.
In the summer of 1958, David Sr. and Helen Fong drove down from Minneapolis in search of a place to open up a small Chinese carry-out. As the story goes, they were looking for a location in Richfield, got lost in the rain, and came upon a small strip mall in a small township called Bloomington. This original location was named Fong's Chow Mein. It wasn't long before Fong's outgrew this location and in 1966 David Sr. and Helen opened up the full service David Fong's Restaurant at its present location just four blocks away from the original spot. David Fong's Restaurant has become a landmark in Bloomington and is one of the longest running, family owned restaurants in the entire Twin Cities. A full service restaurant, David Fong's houses a spacious dining room, a comfortable bar lounge, and also a sports bar.
To create Masu, the owner of one of the country’s largest purveyors of fresh fish, Sushi Avenue, consulted with world renowned designers and artists, as well as award-winning chefs and mixologists to bring a new, fresh, modern and fun restaurant concept to the Twin Cities. Bring your family and friends and grab a booth under the Geisha's gaze to savor some sushi, sake, and noodle bowls.
Timber Lodge Steakhouse offers 21 day-aged steaks, fresh seafood, flatbreads, and an assortment of creative salads for your dining experience. Featured menu items include the 11 oz sirloin with your choice of topping, filet medallions, Parmesan-crusted walleye and jumbo shrimp. The steakhouse places an emphasis on supporting the local community with discounts and fundraisers.
Joe Senser’s is consistently rated by Sports Illustrated and ESPN as one of the premier sports bars in the country. Owner Joe Senser, a former Minnesota Viking, his staff, and regular patrons make this a fun spot on game day or any day! The restaurant offers a wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and fantastic burgers.
Lucky's 13 Pub's rustic feel and welcoming atmosphere sets it apart from the rest. Lucky's has a dedication to exceptional service, with a scratch kitchen providing generously portioned and quality food. From live music on the weekends, to televisions at every angle, customers will find entertainment combined with daily specials and an extensive Americana menu, exceeding expectations!
Mall of America® is more than a shopping mall near the Twin Cities. It’s over 520 shops full of tax-free shopping and 50 restaurants full of delicious food. It’s Nickelodeon Universe®, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, American Girl®, LEGO® and more – all under one roof. Recently opened are FlyOver America, a flight simulation ride that takes guests on a virtual trip across the United States, and Crayola Experience, a one-of-a-kind family attraction full of colorful fun! The mall underwent a $325 million expansion in 2015, and added 50 new retail stores, additional parking, a healthy food market, and a 14-story JW Marriott hotel adjacent to the mall. New and opening soon stores and restaurants include TOMS, Shake Shack, Anthropologie, and Zara. For a full list of Mall of America attractions, stores, and restaurants, visit https://www.bloomingtonmn.org/things-to-do/mallofamerica.
Southdale Center was the nation's first indoor shopping mall when it opened in 1956. The mall is anchored by Macy's and Herberger's, and also has over 120 specialty stores, including Michael Kors, The Apple Store, and Sephora. Dining options at Southdale range from sit down restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and P.F Changs, to more casual choices such as Qdoba Mexican Grill and Smashburger. There is also a movie theater, AMC Megaplex, located at the mall.
Located in nearby Eden Prairie, this shopping mall features 120 shops and restaurants, including Minnesota's first and only Von Maur department store. Visitors to Eden Prairie Center can catch a movie at the 18-screen theater or enjoy a meal at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Wildfire Restaurant, Prairie Tap House, Great Mandarin or any number of quick-service eateries. Eden Prairie Center also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, making it a great destination for both retail therapy and family fun.
This upscale shopping center is located in the nearby suburb of Edina. Here you'll find unique stores you won't find anywhere else in the area, including Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn. There are also several restaurants inside the Galleria, including Big Bowl, CRAVE, and Pittsburgh Blue steakhouse.
IKEA is conveniently located across the street from Mall of America. Shop two floors of home furnishing products designed to combine function, quality, design and value. For a great family dining experience, dine at IKEA Restaurant & Café for a delicious taste of Sweden. Try a famous Swedish-style dish like the favorite meatballs with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find all they need for their next adventure at REI Bloomington. Find top-brand gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, paddling, hiking and more! Whether you're looking to learn a new activity or you're a seasoned veteran in need of a new challenge, sign up for a class from climbing to outdoor photography. You'll be surprised by all the outdoor learning opportunities.
The Southtown Shopping Center has been a local Bloomington favorite since 1960. It is conveniently located in the heart of Bloomington and provides quality retailers and great values. Southtown is home to such retailers as Herberger's, T.J. Maxx, Kohl's and more. AMF Southtown Lanes is a great bowling center to entertain family and friends.
Bloomington is located adjacent to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport is just minutes from the heart of Bloomington and 20 minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Most area hotels provide complimentary Bloomington airport and Mall of America transportation. TERMINAL 1 Air Canada (888) 247-2262 www.aircanada.ca Air France (800) 237-2747 www.airfrance.us Alaska Airlines (800) 426-0333 www.alaskaair.com American Airlines (800) 433-7300 www.aa.com Condor (866) 960-7915 www.condor.com Continental Airlines (800) 525-0280 www.continental.com Delta Air Lines (800) 221-1212 www.delta.com Frontier Airlines (800) 432-1359 www.frontierairlines.com United Airlines (800) 241-6522 www.ual.com US Airways (800) 428-4322 www.usair.com TERMINAL 2 Air Trans Airways (800) 247-8726 www.airtran.com Icelandair (800) 223-5500 www.icelandair.co.uk Southwest Airlines (800) 435-9792 www.southwest.com Sun Country Airlines (800) 359-6786 www.suncountry.com
With MSP Airport only minutes away, getting to Bloomington is easy no matter where you’re coming from. And if you’re driving, parking is free and directions are simple with Bloomington resting along major Minnesota interstates. Not driving? No problem. Hop on the light rail or bus to get you wherever you want to go between Bloomington and Minneapolis–St. Paul. It’s map-free kind of travel – the best kind. Biking Bloomington and the surrounding area is Minnesota’s prime location for bike enthusiasts. As Minneapolis continues to grow as the nation's most bike friendly city, so do the surrounding areas. If you are looking for picturesque scenery, Bloomington is the place to be. With an active community and nature at it’ backdoor, there are endless opportunities to explore Bloomington’s bike trails! By Bus Bloomington and Minneapolis public transportation is available through Metro Transit. For route and schedule information call (612) 373-3333 or visit www.metrotransit.org By Light Rail The METRO Blue Line offers fast, quiet light rail service to 19 stations between downtown Minneapolis and Mall of America®, including five stations at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, in Bloomington and at Mall of America. The new METRO Green Line connects Bloomington with St. Paul. Passengers will have to change trains at the Downtown East station from the Metro Transit Green Line to the Metro Transit Blue Line to get from St. Paul to Bloomington and Mall of America. For Bloomington and Minneapolis Blue Line and Green Line route and schedule information, call (612)373-3333 or online www.metrotransit.org Car Rental Companies Alamo Car Rental (800) 327-9633 Avis Car Rental (800) 831-2847 Budget Car Rental (800) 547-7000 Dollar Rent-A-Car (800) 800-4000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car (800) 736-8227 Hertz Car Rental (800) 654-3131 National Car Rental (800) 227-7368 Thrifty Car Rental (800) 367-2277 Taxi Service Bloomington, Minnesota taxi service is readily available at the airport, hotels and Mall of America®. Rates for Bloomington taxi services are approximately $1.75 first 1/6 mile, $1.30 each additional mile. $3 minimum in Minneapolis, $2.30 minimum in St. Paul. Bloomington taxi rates are subject to change without notice. Airport Taxi (612) 721-0000 Blue & White Taxi (612) 333-7089 Fareshark Green & White Taxi (612) 522-2222 Yellow Cab Suburban Company (612) 824-4000 Amtrak Train Service The Amtrak train service travels a major East-West line running from Chicago to Seattle and Portland. The Amtrak train depot is located at 240 Kellogg Boulevard East, Union Depot, St. Paul, MN 55101. It's about 20 minutes from Bloomington. (800) 872-7245 www.amtrak.com
Wal-Mart Pharmacy 700 American Blvd E. Bloomington, MN 55420 Cub Pharmacy 8421 Lyndale Ave. Bloomington, MN 55420 Cub Pharmacy 10520 France Ave. S. Bloomington, MN 55431 CVS Pharmacy Visit www.CVS.com for full list of locations Walgreens Pharmacy Visit www.walgreens.com for full list of locations
Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 volts and 60 cycles. 220 Volt power is used in homes only for large appliances like stoves, water heaters and clothes dryers. It is not normally available for personal appliances. Standard electric plugs have two flat blades. The plugs on some newer appliances have a third round grounding pin. Almost all homes and commercial buildings are equipped with electrical receptacles that can accommodate either type of plug. You may need an adapter and power converter If you bring any electrical appliance to the USA, you may need an adapter to fit the U.S. electrical receptacles. You may also need a converter to change the voltage from 110 volts to 220 volts. Most common appliances will function with either 50 or 60 cycle current. Electrical frequency can affect electric clocks, audio equipment and some other electronic gear. You should check your electrical equipment for compatibility with 60-cycle current before you bring it to the USA. In most discount stores, you can purchase curling irons or hair dryers for $10 or less. It may be more convenient and even more economical to buy an inexpensive appliance that is fully compatible with US electrical power.