5 Fun Free Things to Do In Your City

How is it already mid-July? How have I not blogged for six months? I would apologize to you, but I’m not going to. I’ve had other priorities that have taken up my time! You didn’t miss me that much, did you?

In the summer it’s so important to get outside. Even if when it’s just a 10-minute walk over lunch, it matters so much! I love stepping away from my computer and I love getting a little vitamin D over my lunch break at work. Sometimes it can be tempting to be a “homebody” and stay in, work on a few things, etc. But taking an hour or two to explore your city will be well worth it! I’m not asking you to blow a whole Saturday. The dishes, laundry, windows and so on can wait. Don’t you think? I want to share a few tips for free (or almost free) things to do in your town!

  1. Explore local historical sites. I’m a nerd and like to learn about that kind of stuff. Hey, you might learn something!

Mill City Ruins, Minneapolis, MN

2. Explore a local city park. Go biking, walking, jogging, rollerblading and so on through a local park in your area. I prefer to walk since I’m dangerous on wheels. The leaves, trees and flowers are at their peak this time of year. Why not enjoy it all?

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

3. Visit an arboretum or flower garden. Take a morning or evening stroll through gorgeous flowers, shrubs and so on. The best part? No weeding or watering required! Leave that up to the pros. By the way, how gorgeous are these hot pink roses?

Lyndale Rose Garden, Minneapolis, MN

4. Hit up a local farmers market. So you don’t have to buy anything, but I would! Even bring $5-10 dollars. It’s way more fun than your usually grocery store route. I like to stock up on the weekends so it forces me to make dinners at-home during the week.

Minneapolis Farmers Market

5. Pack a picnic for the park. So this also isn’t necessarily free, but it’s cheaper than going out to eat! Am I right? If a whole meal overwhelms you, pack lemonade and snack instead. You’ll still enjoy the fresh air while munching on crackers, apple slices or whatever you prefer.

Have I convinced you yet? Are you going to step outside? I sure hope so.

PS – Can you tell that I’m a huge advocate of the Minneapolis Parks? 🙂

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Brunchy Brunch

If you know me at all, you know that breakfast is my favorite meal. I LOVE IT. This morning I met one of my friends for brunch at The Copper Hen in Minneapolis. All I can say is – YUM. I’d been there once before, but never for brunch. I decided to splurge on a fancy garnished Bloody Mary, which will probably be the highlight of my weekend.

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(Yes, that’s a blueberry cupcake on top!)

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I tackled my plate before taking a pretty picture for you guys. I know, how rude of me. I ordered the farmer’s brunch which consisted of eggs, potatoes, sausage and a french toast stick. It was delicious!!

I hope you’re all having a good weekend!

Fall in Minneapolis

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Quite honestly, fall in Minneapolis is looking mighty fine. A few Saturday mornings ago I walked around Minnehaha Park and Falls. (Can I just say I need someone to volunteer to vigorously bike with me in the cheesy two-person bikes? Thanks!!)

The photos I’m sharing with you don’t do justice to how rich and vibrant the leaves’ colors were in real life. You know how that goes though. Some things things look better to the eye then they do to a phone camera. Well, nonetheless, enjoy my fall photos! And please visit this park whenever you’re in Minneapolis. I actually enjoyed it far more now in October compared to when I visited this summer and there were 1,000 mosquitos chomping on my legs. (Maybe I was there a bad day??) Anyways, yay fall!

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5 Places in Minneapolis I Love

There are a few places I love here in Minneapolis. I wanted to share them with you! I’m not going to gush on and on. I’ll let you browse as you please on their websites. To kick off my list…

UrbanBean-Minneapolis

1. Urban Bean Coffee

Not only does their logo have a cute squirrel, their coffee drinks are strong and delicious. I like the atmosphere in there since everyone seems to be working hard on stuff (or acting like they’re working hard on stuff). They also have a sweet Instagram to check out if you enjoy drooling over coffee like me. 

2. Greater Goods  

This is the perfect place to pick up a special card or a little gift for someone. Some of the cards are plain hilarious. One day I came home with the best print of birch trees with blue, gold and silver in it. I’m pretty fond of it.  

Patina, Minneapolis

3. Patina

I can lose all track of time in this store. Before you know it … it’s starting to get dark out and I’m still paging through funny books and smelling as many candles as I can get my paws on. This is another great shop to pick up gifts for people. Seriously, there’s something for everyone. 

4. Proper & Prim 

Okay this new-to-Minneapolis boutique rocks. I bought a floral dress from there earlier this summer (floral – are you surprised??) and two pairs of end-of-summer sandals last week. I suggest following their Instagram to get the scoop on what’s in-store since their product switches out fairly frequently. 

I-Like-You-Mpls

5. i like you 

I’ve only stepped foot in this shop two times, but it was love at first sight. If you love home decor, all things Minnesotan, DIY-looking presents, prints and lots of other stuff I can’t remember…then this place is for you! It’s wonderful. The cards are riot too. 

Well, there you have it! Minneapolis in a tiny nutshell. 

Whoa, Someone Tell Summer to “Slow Down!”

Okay that’s the semi-weirdest headline I’ve ever written. Let’s just roll with it. Where is summer going? Does anyone agree with me that it’s slipping through our fingers? Instead of telling summer to “SLOW DOWN!!” I should be slowing down myself. Maybe I’m taking June wrapping up too seriously. It’s only June after all and not September.

These are the things I want to appreciate and make time for:

– Free movies in the park. Minneapolis has free movies in the park most days of the week – I’ve got to take advantage of this. I went to one movie last year. One. I can do better, right?

– Rooftop and patio bars/restaurants. 

– Walking/biking around the lakes. Let’s be honest, I’m not running. I’ll let the fancy-old-men-show-off bikers pass me. Sorry I have a day job and actually work. (Below is a picture I snapped of Lake of the Isles — my favorite lake in Minneapolis.)

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis
Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis

– Outdoor concerts! You know, the ones where you’re outside and the sun is beating on your face but you continue to love every minute of it.

– Pools. I don’t have a pool but I know two people who have pools. Maybe they’ll let me hang out.

– Reading outside/having coffee hour on a weekend morning. 

Well, that’s some of my bucket list! I’m sure if I sat here for an hour I could keep going and going. What do you want to do more of this summer?

The Best Part of the Weekend

Urban Bean // MinneapolisUrban Bean // Minneapolis

One of my favorite parts of the weekend has to be the afternoon. I usually devote my weekend afternoons to relaxing. Yesterday I spent an hour reading at Urban Bean, an excellent coffee shop in Minneapolis. I ordered an herbal tea — ruby lemon mint — and sipped it slowly as I read from my Kindle. I put my phone away, my laptop away and just read. I listened to people ordering their specialized coffee drinks, to people catching up with friends, to people walking in and out of the coffee shop as I read quietly.

Urban Bean // Minneapolis

Urban Bean // Minneapolis

By the way, I’m currently in the middle of “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and I highly recommend it. If you are a working woman…this is a must-read! Seriously. 

Urban Bean // Minneapolis

Urban Bean // Minneapolis

Not to sound anti-social, but it was great to be “unplugged” from friends, family, pretty much everyone and everything for a little while. I think we as humans, now so heavily dependent on the internet and smartphones, need to remember to take a few minutes to slow down and spend time relaxing (and relaxing  in front of the TV does not count).

So, how do you like to spend your weekend afternoons?