Everything You Must Do in the Twin Cities This Spring

Published On 05/17/2018 Published On 05/17/2018
Bloody Mary Festival
Bloody Mary Festival | Bloody Mary Festival
Demi Lovato Concert
Demi Lovato Concert | Sky Cinema/
Mar 3
Lake Calhoun
You’d have to be crazy to jump into a frigid Minnesota lake in March, right? Well, yes... but what if it were for a good cause? The annual Polar Plunge challenges participants to fundraise for the Special Olympics and then leap into Lake Calhoun with hundreds of onlookers watching. Past plungers have used words like “fun” and “rewarding” to describe the day, so consider braving the chill this year for charity.
Cost: Must fundraise $75 to participate
Mar 5
First Avenue
This young rapper has already proven himself as a member of Odd Future and on his own solo records, and his latest track is "Opps," a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar from Marvel's super-buzzy Black Panther soundtrack. Don't miss the chance to see Staples when he takes the stage at First Avenue this week, where you can expect performances of his hits like "Kingdom" and "Waiting for My Moment," (from the Creed soundtrack).
Cost: $30
Mar 10
Target Center
If being indoors in the winter is more your thing, see singer-songwriter Demi Lovato on her North American tour along with hip-hop icon DJ Khaled. Lovato will perform smash hits like “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Heart Attack,” and Khaled always kills it with “All I Do Is Win.”
Cost: Ticket prices start at $29.95
Mar 12
Xcel Energy Center
Triple Grammy award-winner P!nk returns to the Xcel on her Beautiful Trauma World Tour, following the album’s release back in October. Expect her to belt out new-ish hits like “What About Us” and “Beautiful Trauma” as well as old faves like “Raise Your Glass.”
Cost: $62.95 and up
Mar 17
Downtown St. Paul
There’s always a lot going on in the Cities for St. Patrick’s Day, but to experience a true Irish tradition, head to St. Paul for the parade. It’s been going on since the late '60s, and draws both loving families and green-beer-swilling young folks out in droves. Afterwards, hit nearby Irish bars like The Liffey and Shamrocks for some corned beef, cabbage, and Guinness.
Cost: Free (green beer not included)
Mar 23
Xcel Energy Center
Grammy Award–winning artist Lorde takes the stage in St. Paul as part of her North American tour. The New Zealand singer-songwriter will belt out four new hits off her sophomore album Melodrama and we sure hope “Royals” and “Team” too. Special guests Run the Jewels will be performing with her.
Cost: $39.50 and up
Mar 24
Minnesota History Center, Downtown St. Paul
If finding an unusual craft pour or in-demand seasonal specialty at your local watering hole makes you feel like a winner, finding a carefully curated list of one-off taps from around the country is like hitting the jackpot. Your ticket is the Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest, where more than 30 breweries (including 10 local breweries from Minnesota like Modist and Dangerous Man) have special suds to sip. It’s a bit pricey for beer, but “rare” usually equals “expensive,” and at least you get food from D’Amico, too.
Cost: General admission $100
Bloody Mary Festival
Bloody Mary Festival | Bloody Mary Festival
Apr 5
Target Field
Nothing signals the start of spring like the Twins home opener. After a surprising playoff berth last year, fans are already looking forward to the first pitch against the Mariners. The local food and drink options (from places like Kramarczuk's, Andrew Zimmern's Canteen, and Red Cow) are more than enough reason to take a half-day at work, too.
Cost: $19-$68
Apr 7
The Happy Gnome
If you’re a craft beer connoisseur (and in Minnesota, you should be), you won’t want to miss more than 60 breweries sampling their suds in one place. The 11th annual Firkin Fest will feature local giants like Surly, Summit, Fulton, and Indeed, with the “Golden Firkin” award given to the beer voted best.
Cost: $50
Thursday - Saturday
Apr 12-28
St. Anthony Main Theatre
The largest film event in the region and one of the longest-running in the country, the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival returns this Spring for its 37th year. From Sundance to Berlin, you’ll find unique films that wouldn’t otherwise be screened in this area. Last year, more than 250 films from 70 countries were shown and more than 50,000 people attended.
Cost: $14 GA individual tickets, packages and festival passes available
Apr 14
Union Rooftop
Someone told the Hennepin drag brunch hotspot Union Rooftop what they want -- what they really, really want. They’re hosting a Spice Girls–themed show to perform the group’s biggest hits, so bring your besties to see Sporty, Ginger, Scary, Baby, and Posh over mimosas. (If that's not your speed, try these other amazing local brunch options.)
Cost: $11
Friday - Sunday
Apr 20-Jan 21
Science Museum of Minnesota
Geek out at the museum’s adult camp-in, an overnight party for adults who still like to act like kids -- with the benefit of adult beverages, of course. Roam the exhibits after-hours, make science projects, snack on appetizers, and now that you’re over 21, enjoy craft cocktails too. Should all this activity wipe you out, grab a blanket and go crash under some dino-bones.
Cost: Members $90, non-members $105
Apr 21
Target Center
If you’re a true fan of Prince, you don’t want to miss this concert featuring never-before-seen audio and video of Prince accompanied by the live musicians who performed with him onstage. It’s part of Paisley Park’s four-day celebration honoring Prince’s life surrounding the two-year anniversary of his passing.
Cost: $39-$199
Apr 22
Union Depot
The Bloody Mary is many things -- brunch beverage, hangover helper, a meal in a glass if you skewer enough garnishes -- and finally, it now has an event dedicated to its greatness. The Bloody Mary Festival features unique iterations of your favorite drink as well as snacks, live music, and the chance to cast your ballot for the best bloody in town.
Cost: $45
Thursday - Sunday
Apr 26-29
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Beautiful blooms become forms of art during the MIA’s annual exhibit that will most definitely inspire you to get gardening this spring. Best of all, the floral interpretations are scattered amongst the museum’s permanent collection, so you get a double dose of art. Don’t leave without casting your ballot for the best arrangement in the “People’s Choice Awards,” either.
Cost: Free, with some ticketed events.
Twin Cities in Motion
Women Run the Cities | Twin Cities in Motion
May 5
Betty Danger’s Country Club
Sport your bowler and bowtie or most stylish sundress and oversized hat at Danger’s annual “Kentucky Derbatante” party. It's a safe space for sipping mint juleps, entering a costume contest, and pretending you’re partying at Churchill Downs.
Cost: TBD, previous years have run $15-$20
May 12
Fulton Brewery
What, you may ask, is a “fondo”? Well, after a few brews at Fulton, you may not care, but it's a long-distance road race of either 50 or 100 miles, and the Fulton Gran Fondo brings together bikers from all around the state to pedal for the ultimate reward: beer. Not up for riding 100 miles? The block party will have bands, food, and the release of a new summer brew.
Cost: Free for block party, $40 to fondo
May 12
Two Pony Gardens, Long Lake
For Mother’s Day this year, give Mom what she really wants: peace, quiet, and pizza. For ultimate scenery, drive just a half-hour northwest of Minneapolis to Two Pony Gardens, an organic farm that bakes brick oven pizzas outdoors from May to October. It's BYO everything except for the main course, so Mom can relax in the country however she wants to. (And if a ride to the farm isn't doable, try any of the best pizza in the Twin Cities.)
Cost: $11 kids, $42 adults
Friday - Sunday
May 18-20
Northeast Minneapolis
Go behind the scenes of more than 50 private artists’ studios and galleries at the 23rd annual Art-A-Whirl, the largest open-studio tour in the country. You can partake in mini workshops, talks with artists, and purchase one-of-a-kind, original pieces. You’ll also probably need to stop by neighboring breweries like Able, Bauhaus, and 612 for beer breaks.
Cost: Free
May 20
Minnehaha Regional Park
If you want to feel some serious girlpower, lace up your shoes and join thousands of other ladies for the annual Women Run the Cities. The course along the Mississippi River is super-scenic and after crossing the finish line, runners enjoy a mini brunch bar. Even better, proceeds from entry fees will go to two local nonprofits.
Cost: $40-$60