Theaters in Minneapolis
Arts lovers, take note. In the past few years, Minneapolis has experienced unprecedented growth in our already rich cultural landscape.
Children’s Theatre Company (CTC)
Is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theatre for young people and serves a multigenerational audience. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire for nearly 275,000 people annually. CTC is the only theatre focused on young audiences to win the coveted Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theatre and is the only theatre in Minnesota to receive three Tony® nominations (for its production of A Year with Frog and Toad). CTC is committed to creating world class productions at the highest level and to developing new works, more than 200 to date, dramatically changing the canon of work for young audiences.
The Brave New Workshop
Has been crafting audacious, hilarious, and thought-provoking original comedy, improv and satire in Minneapolis since 1958 – longer than any other theatre in the U.S. Founded by the legendary Dudley Riggs, the Brave New Workshop is a truly unique place to laugh, learn, think, and play. Alongside our own theatrical productions, the BNW hosts a variety of performances in our ETC theatre, and also provides video production, live event entertainment, emcee services and venue rentals. Our Creative Outreach division offers speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Hilton, General Mills, and Target. The BNW’s school, the Student Union, boasts the most comprehensive improv training curriculum in the country. With a commitment to sustainability and a unique business model, the BNW operates as a self-funding arts organization. 824 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show
America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The criminal is lurking somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!
The Guthrie creates transformative theater experiences that ignite the imagination, stir the heart, open the mind, and build community through the illumination of our common humanity. The Guthrie Theater engages exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays connecting the community we serve to one another and to the world. Through its extraordinary artists, staff and facility, the Guthrie is committed to the people of Minnesota, and from its place, rooted deeply in the Twin Cities, influences the field as a leading 21st century arts organization.
Where we present everything from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters to niche art films, all in a classic auditorium featuring new high-backed rocker seats and digital sound.
Even though we feature state-of-the-art projection and sound systems, our customers enjoy the opportunity to “step back in time” and experience movie-going as it was in the 50s, when neighborhood theaters were in abundance. Some of our customers walk to the theater and enjoy arriving early in order to relax in the spacious lobby on the mod couches and chairs located 3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406-3504
In 1984, the Mann Theatre closed and remained shuttered until 1996, when current Hennepin Theatre Trust President/CEO Tom Hoch and former Historic Theatre Group President Fred Krohn initiated a five-year effort to save and restore the Pantages Theatre. During the renovation, architectural drawings were found and used to restore much of the theatre’s decorative plasterwork and character. The stained-glass “monitor,” a false skylight in the center of the auditorium’s ceiling, was revealed after layers of paint were removed. In cooperation with the City of Minneapolis, on November 7, 2002 the completely renovated Pantages re-opened at a cost of $9.5 million. Since then, the intimate Pantages has presented music, theatre and dance artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vince Gill, Feist, Todd Rundgren, The Blenders and collaborative productions with Twin Cities’ organizations including the Jungle Theater, the History Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Cantus and Theater Latté Da. Hennepin Theatre Trust is now the owner and operator of this magnificent structure.
Conveniently located in the Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis, Illusion Theater presents original drama, comedy, dance and music throughout the year. In 43 years, Illusion has generated over 500 plays, developed thousands of artists and created ground-breaking educational works. Plays developed at Illusion have been produced in theaters throughout the world. Illusion’s work has catalyzed conversations in living rooms, kitchens, coffee houses, schools and board rooms, and has led to transformations in policy, in organizations and in individuals. Illusion Theater is located on the Light Rail route just one block from the stop at 5th St. & Hennepin Ave. inside the Cowles Center for the Arts. Our beautiful lobby is also available for pre-show and post-show receptions, as well as meetings and special event
Hennepin Theatre Trust was established as a nonprofit organization in 2002. Since then, we quickly evolved into a recognized leader of arts and culture development in downtown Minneapolis.
Today, we bring value to the community through our three theatres – the Orpheum, State and Pantages – and our growing portfolio of collaborative partnerships. Annually, our organization alone brings more than 500,000 people to the West Downtown MPLS Cultural District (WeDo™) to enjoy a range of activities and attractions.
We are committed to transforming the community in which we do business – the WeDo MPLS Cultural District – and that includes transforming YOUR experience every time you visit. We accomplish this by:
- Bringing the best of Broadway, international, national and local entertainment to our stages
- Connecting more people to unexpected art experiences, like the iconic Bob Dylan mural and our art-in-underused spaces project, Made Here
- Enhancing our community offerings through education and access programs that bring arts and culture to more people
- Strengthening our partnerships with businesses, organizations, local leaders and others to bring more “wow” to your downtown experience
We are thankful for everyone who visits our theatres and supports our programs. We also invite you to explore more of what WeDo has to offer each time you visit.
Theaters in Minneapolis – Orchestras
Mission, Minnesota Opera changes lives by bringing together artists, audiences, and community, advancing the art of opera for today and for future generations.
Vision, Minnesota Opera will sing every story.
Values Innovation, Inclusivity, Collaboration, Purpose
Best Coffee Shops in Minneapolis
Coffee addicts and alcoholics have one thing in common: “too late in the day” isn’t really a thing. Sure, normal coffee drinkers may be cool with picking up a medium roast from the local McDonald’s or Starbucks in the morning. But if you’re deep in the java game, it’s imperative you know where the very best spot in your ‘hood is AND that it’s willing to feed your craving any time of the day. So, to help you out, here’s a cheat sheet of some of the best hidden gems throughout the Twin Cities. They may not be the most famous, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be overlooked.
Best Coffee Shops in Minneapolis – Top Pics
Set back on Johnson St in a tiny Northeast strip mall, The Coffee Shop is an unassuming delight. Walk inside and you’ll see it’s deceptively big (in both size and offerings), with a chalkboard menu that has everything from your basic cold presses and espressos, to more unique selections like a dirty chai with a flavor shot, or some seriously fabulous scones. If you’re looking to save a buck, this place allows you to purchase the beans as well. Bottom line: there are so many eye-catching flavor combos, coffees, and food that it’s hard to narrow down the best. Now, having said that, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend the coconut blend.
The first noticeable thing about this place is the exterior: it’s in a renovated Victorian home from the late 1800s. The shop is classy, but casual, with some intimate low lighting and comfortable bench seats inside. But the only thing better than the ambiance is the coffee. From the one-of-a-kind brass espresso machine, to the bottles of exotic and exciting flavors lining the back wall, there’s as much character in the cups as there is in the four walls. So whether you’re the dark and strong type, or you’re in the mood for something light and flavorful, there’s no wrong choice here. And if coffee isn’t your thing, this place has the best chai in Minneapolis (and loads of awards on the wall to prove it).
At first pass, Fresh Grounds is a solid coffee shop with a deluxe food selection, $2 lattes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and even free fortune cookies on Fridays. But the real magic isn’t just in the coffee pots (though it is there, too); it’s also in the people pouring them. As a nonprofit social venture, the shop prides itself on employing individuals leaving temporary transitional housing situations — halfway houses, sober houses, foster homes, etc. — and giving them the training and structure needed to transition into the next phase of their lives. All of the profits go directly back into funding the training program, which means you’ll feel an even better buzz buying from here based on the help you’re providing to the community.
Ripped right from a sketch out of Portlandia, Sparrow Cafe is the only coffee shop in the Twin Cities that is certified bird-friendly. Weird, right? Well, don’t worry, you won’t find any birds randomly flying around the shop; there’s just some beautiful murals of birds, some kitschy decor, and an array of excellent coffee and pastries. It’s a quiet corner spot tucked away from the more populated nearby areas, making it a great one for that early-morning caffeine fix.
Located in the heart of the University of Minnesota, Bordertown is way more than your standard college java shop. Yes, it does have coffee and espresso to help keep you revved up for a night of studying (or just watching Netflix), but the real reason to visit is the baked goods. Each is seemingly better than the next, though that carrot cake with cream cheese glaze is probably towards the top of the list. When you’re here, don’t skip the sausage & cheddar scones, or those dark chocolate truffles. And since the menu changes frequently, you’ve got plenty of reasons to stop in at least once a week… or once a day… or once an hour.
Since opening their first shop in 2000 in the Whittier neighborhood, all four Spyhouse shops have become Minneapolis coffee meccas, known for their meticulously sourced beans and superbly poured brews. And we’re not the only ones singing their praises. Spyhouse was honored recently at the Good Food Awards, which recognizes excellence in coffee roasters, as well as other craft producers such as beer, cheese and spirits.
The Bachelor Farmer Cafe
New kid on the North Loop block Bachelor Farmer Cafe has garnered a lot of media attention, which is bound to happen when your big brother is the popular Bachelor Farmer restaurant next door. But the cafe stands on its own with gorgeous treats from pastry chef Emily Marks and carefully curated blends, like their custom North Loop blend from Dogwood Coffee. Their signature savory cheese muffin is not to be missed, but if you are there after 11:00, the menu morphs to include pressed sandwiches and open faced toasts, all on house made bread.
Best Coffee Shops in Minneapolis – Voted the best
You probably already have a favorite coffee shop, the spot where you stumble in bleary eyed and the barista starts fixing your usual before you have time to order it. But once in a while, it’s nice to break out of the daily grind. Need inspiration? Venture to one of these Minneapolis hidden gems the next time you’re in need of solace and caffeine:
Canteen 3255 – Minneapolis
Canteen is a Zen garden of a coffee shop, soothing and minimalist. The atmosphere is hushed, the rustle of newspaper pages and the restrained clacking of a dozen laptop keyboards punctuated by an occasional whir from the espresso machine. This is a spot to meditatively admire the foam art on your latte; a rowdy recap of last night’s festivities will earn you passive-aggressive glares.
Fittingly, drinks are a study in elegant simplicity, relying on Dogwood espresso and craftsmanship instead of dozens of garishly flavored syrups and gobs of whipped cream. The curated menu focuses on the details: the vanilla syrup and caramel that grace the lattes are house-made, and the miel — an espresso drink flavored with honey and cinnamon — is served with a diminutive chocolate cookie.
Whatever your stance on artisanal toast, you have to admit that Canteen has nailed it: hefty slices of toasted Rustica bread are spread with toppings like local butter or house-made vanilla cashew butter. The best deal is the weekend self-serve toast happy hour, when you can layer on the nut butters, jams, honey, and Feta to your heart’s content.
Fireroast Café – Minneapolis
Situated on a quiet corner in Longfellow, Fireroast Café is a warm, sunny space with comfortable booths and fabulous scones. Granted, many coffee shops have scones, but they dream of becoming the ones at Fireroast Café when they grow up. Crumbly and studded with oats, they’re baked daily in wholesome-tasting flavors like maple pecan and rosemary apricot. A rotating selection of house-made muffins, cookies, and coconut macaroons rounds out the bakery case. The lunch menu has a south-of-the-border twist, with burritos and quesadillas — try the mushroom manchego quesadilla, served with a delicious house-made heirloom tomato salsa.
Of course, there’s also coffee: fair-trade, organic, and sourced from local UP Roasters. Options include standard drip, pourover, and expertly crafted espresso drinks. Although not the café’s primary focus, there’s a nice selection of loose-leaf teas, and the barista will loan you a little hourglass timer so that you can steep the perfect cup. The hot chocolate shows the same thoughtful touch, made with Ghirardelli chocolate and garnished with enough marshmallows and sprinkles to delight your inner child.
Precision Grind – Minneapolis
Precision Grind is the place for days when you don’t want to change out of your yoga pants to meet your friends for coffee. It’s a chill space in Seward with Chipotle-style industrial decor, Christmas lights and Chinese lanterns strung across the front window, and a diverse clientele ranging from creatives toting sketchbooks to business types with laptops. Seating is ample, with plenty of room to find a quiet table if you need to get some work done.
There are three daily coffees — dark, light, and decaf — and the standard lineup of espresso drinks. The Mexican mocha, flavored with allspice and cayenne, is a spicy pick-me-up. The cold press packs a smooth caffeine punch, and in the summer, there’s a refreshing vanilla version. In addition to scones and muffins, the bakery case features something that all too many coffee shops neglect: fresh doughnuts. Sourced from St. Paul’s SugaRush, the assortment includes classic apple fritters, bismarks, glazed old-fashioneds, and cake doughnuts with plenty of sprinkles. The doughnuts aren’t fancy, but they’re straight-up satisfying — exactly like the surroundings.
Best Beer Halls in Minneapolis
These days, any bar can line up 12 different taps on the wall and label itself a beer bar. But what they don’t tell you is that 10 of those taps are bright yellow and full of fizz, with maybe one or two reserved for something local or off-the-beaten-path. Because of that, finding a bar willing to embrace beers of all kinds can be challenging. After all, a good beer bar should not be afraid of taking calculated risks for the sake of the beer lovers, and should bring in new guest beers and unique concoctions. So, to make sure you don’t hit up some pseudo-beer bar — and instead, support quality drinking — we went out and found 10 of the Best Beer Halls in Minneapolis/Twin Cities area.
Things to do in Minneapolis
Mill City Museum
Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, formerly known as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, is a fine art museum located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a campus that covers nearly 8 acres, formerly Morrison Park. Travel through 4,000 years of world history as you view more than 80,000 works of sculpture, photography, paintings, drawings and prints.
Weisman Art Museum
Major milestones in the museum’s history include significant contributions from Frederick R. Weisman and Frank O. Gehry. Frederick R. Weisman, a Minneapolis native, entrepreneur, and noted philanthropist, provided generous financial gifts and other support to the museum. Internationally acclaimed architect Frank O. Gehry designed the museum’s glimmering residence along the Mississippi River. Home to the museum since 1993, this important architectural achievement has become a landmark for the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. Focusing on the visual, performing, and media arts of our time, the Walker takes a global, multidisciplinary, and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art. Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities located in downtown Minneapolis
Things to do in Minneapolis – Outdoor Activities
Grand Rounds Scenic Byway
The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway is part of the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program, which recognizes and supports outstanding roads. The Grand Rounds is one of the country’s longest continuous systems of public urban parkways and has been the preeminent urban parkway system for more than a century.
The Grand Rounds encompasses natural features, including lakes, creeks, woodlands, riverbanks, and wetlands, as well as constructed features, like canals, lagoons, greenways and parks, playgrounds, parkways, trails, golf courses, athletic fields, picnic grounds, gardens, and bridges.
Mill Ruins Park
Mill Ruins Park is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis and is adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. It is the centerpiece of the revitalization of Minneapolis’ historic West Side Milling District.
In its 19th-century heyday, this area of mills, canals, tailraces and other historic resources comprised the largest direct-drive water-powered facility in the world and was the leading international producer of flour, a commodity which was shipped both nationwide and worldwide.
This industrial powerhouse was the catalyst for the development of Minneapolis and the birthplace of a number of companies which remain significant to this day, including General Mills, Pillsbury,
Theodore Wirth Regional Park
Theodore Wirth Park is the largest regional park in the Minneapolis park system and offers runners some of the best running trails in the Twin Cities areaThe park is located West of Downtown Minneapolis, technically in Golden Valley. South of Wirth Lake is the Quaking Bog and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Though you cannot run within those areas, around the protected areas is an interconnected system of running trails that transcend hills and take you through hardwood forest. This is the most scenic part of the park as well as the most likely area to cross paths with wildlife. Keep an eye out for deer, foxes, or badgers. Also, since the area is a designated bird sanctuary, the birding opportunities are fantastic. When you’ve reached the top of one of the many hills in the local vicinity, take a breather and look up to the tree canopy. Downey woodpeckers, warblers, and other native birds seek refuge in Eloise Butler’s Sanctuary.
Things to do in Minneapolis – Breweries
Inbound BrewCo is a craft brewery and taproom in the North Loop of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The taproom is spacious and filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. Kids are welcome, and we have two craft sodas on tap for them (and for your gluten-free friend). Dogs are also allowed in the taproom, both inside and on the patio. You are welcome to order in food or purchase from the food trucks that park outside.
Fulton Brewing Company
Minneapolis’ first taproom brewery just across the street from Target Field. Easily accessible by LRT and bus. Now you can pair your favorite Fulton beers with food from our Taproom Kitchen-headed up by Executive Chef Scott Pampuch.
Indeed Brewing Company
Its diverse offerings are anchored by its flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale, and rounded out by seasonal and experimental brews, as well as the Wooden Soul series of wild, sour, and barrel-aged beer.
Well-known locally as an engaged and community-oriented brewery, Indeed has two lively taprooms, open five days a week and home to Indeed We Can, the company’s employee-driven charitable giving program, which donates 100% of taproom profits to an employee-sponsored local nonprofit every Wednesday of the year, Minneapolis #1 Brewery.
Going in Style Minneapolis Night Life
Check out these happy hour hot spots, delicious dining locales and nightlife venues in Downtown.
Downtown is the heart of Minneapolis—the center of the Minnesota. And with a wealth of options for bar-hopping, dining out and dancing the night away, we’re sure you’ll experience an exciting night out in the big city.
The neighborhood’s metropolitan vibe is palpable and the Downtown skyscrapers stretch stories upon stories into the horizon, providing a scenic backdrop next to Mississippi River.
Bars, lounges, clubs and restaurants are a blend of tourists and locals. Many opt to walk from place to place, or hop aboard for a quick loop around Downtown.
Going in Style Minneapolis Night Life
Happy Hour Hotspots
In Minneapolis, many happy hours last from 4 or 5 in the afternoon until 8 p.m., offering a great window of opportunity to score drinks and light bites on the cheap.
Get a seafood fix on the cheap with $2 oysters, $5 fried shrimp and lobster poutine for just $9. The solid lineup of food and drink specials sweeten the deal for a happy hour.
Nolo’s Kitchen & Bar
Great happy hour prices and options, with multiple vibes to pick from: casual bar with TVs, intimate window-front couches with a view, informal high-top tables, plus a basement bar full of activities. NOLO’s happy hour is comfortable, chic, and boasts $3 Fulton Standards alongside a $6 happy hour burger — a steal in the high-end North Loop neighborhood
Beer geeks already love Republic, but that appreciation goes even deeper during happy hour with $2 off all beers and ciders. Fries are just $3 and a burger runs $6.
Come check out Prime 6’s daily Happy Hour from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM or bring us your favorite Happy Hour special and we will do our best to meet and exceed your favorite Happy Hour. At Prime 6, we want you to be at home! Prime 6 is now open in City Center directly across the hall from the famous Fogo de Chão. We created a globally inspired menu that includes specials from all of our previous restaurants, including South Beach, for those who remember!
Between the rustic romance of the place and whimsical French decor, Barbette’s happy hour offers a petite but delicious menu of amusements, $5 share plates paired with $4 drinks.
Going in Style Minneapolis Night Life
Twin Cities Night life
Large, two-story venue in the heart of downtown Minneapolis was added to the Twin Cities club scene last year.
Highlights: Thursday is 18-and-older night (10 p.m.-close; $5). Liquid Saturdays include $2 drink specials; DJs spin hip-hop, rock and house (21 and older; 10 p.m.-close; free before 10:30 p.m., $10 after).
Bario Tequila Bar
Start downtown on Nicollet Mall at Barrio Tequila Bar, where you’ll do your best to ignore Minneapolis most comprehensive selection of tequila as you order off the Cerveza Cocktail menu, which consists of a Pacifico/chipotle/lime/Maggi michelada and the muddled Fresno pepper/Dos Equis El Toro.
For decades, the club where “Purple Rain” was filmed has been — and continues to be — where the cool kids hang out.
Highlight: On Saturdays, the “Too Much Love” dance night has a playful crowd, the music is easy to dance to and it’s a chance to check out the latest fashions. (18 and older; 10 p.m.-close; $3)
Last Call downtown Minneapolis the new hot spot to hit the twin cities has a wide selection of whiskeys. Want to … From great appetizers to amazing burgers, Last Call has the best food to pair with your favorite cold beer.
A popular downtown Minneapolis bar and restaurant. The Pourhouse,l ..Sports bar & nightclub has happy hours & live music plus signature cocktails, craft beers & burgers.. Home of the best party downtown!. Downtown Minneapolis, MN.
Crave Roof top
Vibrant, American cuisine and fresh sushi, perfect for any occasion. CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar is a dining experience unlike any other. CRAVE located in the La Salle Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Experience a dining destination unique to downtown. Innovative food with flair. Steak House. Sushi. Downtown Minneapolis’ swank restaurant/nightclub Ultralounge and Skybar the hottest place in down town Minneapolis
Going in Style Minneapolis Night Life – live Venues
Our creative culture, incredible talent and truly amazing venues make Minneapolis a great place to play, hear and discover music of all types. With a variety of beloved local performers and world-wide stars to provide you with an outstanding show, we know it will be a night out you’ll never forget. Music in Minneapolis is one-of-a-kind so be prepared to experience the culture that makes us rock.
The music lover’s dream. There’s always live music happening at First Ave. With two separate performance spaces equaling an 1,800-person capacity and over 550 concerts a year, there’s always a chance to catch your favorite band or tune in to something new. It’s also the spot with the famous Star Wall, where you’ll find Prince’s star among many other celebrated musicians.
Dakota Jazz Club
Music seven nights a week plus a fantastic, chef-driven menu make Dakota Jazz Club the perfect spot for a night out. Enjoy an amazing meal before or during the show, or simply sit back with a cocktail and enjoy the performance
A place you just have to experience to believe. The historic Varsity Theater just underwent a one million-dollar interior renovation, and it’s phenomenal. The energy here cannot be beat. Check out the neighborhood just north of Minneapolis, Dinkytown, before or after the show.
With a wide variety of shows and a diverse line-up of artists, The Cabooze is sure to introduce you to something new. Check out their schedule to see who they have this week and get ready for an awesome night out.
Fine Line Music Café
The Fine Line Music Café, located in the trendy Warehouse District, is a swanky live music venue with thousands of nationally and regionally known acts. They’ve had big names and local artists ranging from Ben Harper, Alanis Morissette, John Mayer, Buddy Guy, The Neville Brothers, Amos Lee, The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, Raphael Saadiq, and Lady Gaga. Check out the schedule to see who’s playing.