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Things To Do in Downtown Minneapolis

From a luxurious “base camp” at the Marquette Hotel, you’ve got a veritable feast of world-class attractions awaiting you in downtown Minneapolis, one of the most dynamic and visitor-friendly cities in the country. Here’s a mere highlight reel of your options!

Science Museum of Minnesota

Better than 100 years old, the Science Museum of Minnesota ranks among the most popular attractions in the entire Midwest. From interactive kid-friendly exhibits to some stunning dinosaur displays (including the biggest complete Triceratops mount in the world) and the dazzling 90-foot dome screen of the Omnitheater, this place has something for just about everybody.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Explore some 80,000 pieces of art spanning a dizzying swath of eras, places, movements, and media at Mia, one of the biggest art museums in the country. Current exhibitions include Power & Beauty in China’s Last DynastyMizusashi: Japanese Water Jars from the Carol & Jeffrey Horvitz Collection, and George Morrison: Drawings & Small Paintings.

Walker Art Center

Among the most highly regarded modern and contemporary art museums in the U.S., the Walker Art Center showcases thousands of paintings, photographs, prints, and more within its gorgeous space. It also maintains the nearby 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Alongside its temporary exhibitions, the Walker hosts regular film screenings and live performances, so take a gander at the calendar to find out what’s going on during your stay at the Marquette!

Hennepin Avenue Theaters

Of the many showhouses that once lined Hennepin Avenue, three original venues remain: the Pantages Theatre, opened in 1916, and the State and Orpheum theatres, both dating to 1921. These fabulous restored landmarks once again serve as nightlife hotspots in downtown Minneapolis. Upcoming shows include “Celebrating David Bowie,” a tribute concert to the pop icon featuring a number of his backing musicians (February 21st at the Pantages Theatre); Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (February 22nd at the Orpheum Theatre); and Steve Winwood (February 23rd at the State Theatre).

Minneapolis Zoo

Notable for being a state-run institution and for its groundbreaking habitat/biome-based organization, the Minnesota Zoo has been captivating visitors young and old since the late 1970s. Its animal tenants range from rainforest birds and monkeys to monk seals, swellsharks, and other marine denizens. Get to know Gopher State natives—gray wolves, black bears, bald eagles, wolverines, and others—along the Medtronic Minnesota Trail. Another highlight is Russia’s Grizzly Coast, an evocation of the Russian Far East wilderness starring huge brown bears and magnificently patterned Amur leopards.

Nicollet

Feel like a little bit of retail therapy, Twin Cities-style? Head for the skyway-threaded, pedestrian-only shopping and entertainment complex of Nicollet, packed with stores and restaurants of all kinds as well as the performance venues of Orchestra Hall and the Dakota Jazz Club.

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