Things to do in Minneapolis while you’re here for Best of the Midwest

If you’ve never been to Minneapolis, you’re in for an adventure. The Twin Cities area is beautiful, green and lively, and you’re sure to find something fun to do.

Most of your time will be spent learning and brainstorming how to apply your new knowledge to your real-life newsroom problems. But the evenings are free for you to explore the city, meet your fellow convention attendees and enjoy the Minneapolis sights.

Here are just a few ideas.

Explore vibrant downtown

Our convention hotel, Millennium Minneapolis, is next to downtown Minneapolis — packed with restaurants, music, entertainment and drinks. Be sure to explore this lively area, as well as Nicollet Mall, a shopping strip.

Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. | Wendy Berry/Flickr Creative Commons

Get lost at the Mall of America

If you’ve got time for a train ride, visit the largest mall in the United States. You could spend hours wandering its 3 million square feet of retail space — oh, and the amusement park … and the aquarium. The Mall of America is about an hour away using the light rail that runs through Minnesota. Just remember to grab a map of the mall or download the app.

The Mall of America theme park

The Mall of America features an amusement park in the middle. | Photo by Aina/Creative Commons

Walk the Stone Arch bridge

This historic bridge over the Mississippi River was built in 1883. You can go full tourist and take a Segway tour, or just walk or bike across and enjoy the view of St. Anthony’s Falls.

Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge runs over the Minnesota River. | Photo by Eric Kilby/Creative Commons

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Just a 15-minute walk from the hotel, this a whimsical garden full of giant statues, including a giant spoon. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is open every day from 6 a.m. to midnight.

The Minneapolis Scuplture Garden. | Photo by Amber Billings

Escape — as a team

Looking for a way to build communication skills and connections with your team? Try Escape the Room Minneapolis, located downtown. The hourlong trial will challenge your group’s critical thinking and encourage them to work together.

Still stumped for ideas? Feel free to ask your workshop leaders or the ACP staff for their favorite spots around the city. And have fun!