Can two adults who don’t want to ride rides occupy themselves for a whole afternoon at Valley Fair?
If you’re into the waterpark or floating around the lazy river, then yes! But otherwise, no.
Fifteen years have passed since I’ve been to ValleyFair. It’s been about the same for Jake. We curiously returned as part of my work’s employee appreciation event. It was a laid back type of event where you could simply stop by.
I hate shopping, but I love malls.
I enjoy lacing up my tennis shoes and mall-walking with the seniors. The combination of people-watching, bobbing in and out of stores and smelling new clothes mixed with popcorn, Chinese food and Cinnabons thrills me.
One of the malls we actually don’t mind visiting is Twin Cities Premium Outlets, or what we casually refer to as the Eagan Outlet Mall.
There’s a good variety of clothing stores like Banana Republic, Old Navy, Saks Fifth Avenue, Eddie Bauer, etc. Outlet mall pricing is wacky; you’re probably not actually going to save money here, we all know that. But, you’ll find a convenient mix of stores all in one place. I can rarely find clothes that fit but know I’ll at least walk out with something.
I haven’t visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market for years.
The reason why I didn’t visit often is because of the produce resellers (I just want to know I’m buying from local farmers), the flea market feel, and lack of hot food vendors.
Now it’s one of my favorite markets to shop – I’ve visited two weekends in a row.
There’s plenty of parking beneath the overpass on Lyndale. I arrive before 8:30 a.m. to avoid crowds.
You’ll still find some vendors that sell grocery store produce (just look for the tropical fruits!) but it’s pretty clear which vendors are local farmers. Compared to the smaller neighborhood farmers markets I usually shop at, the variety of produce and herbs is stunning. The prices are also incredibly affordable. Take advantage of buying a bag of bell peppers for about $6 at the farmers markets instead of paying $7 for a pepper at Whole Foods or a co-op.
Wandering around the stalls curiously gazing at all of the vegetables with an iced coffee in hand makes me feel closest to heaven.
We tried to go on the Sam Adams brewery tour but failed.
Somehow we got lost walking to the brewery even with our phones. And then when circled back to the brewery, we learned tours aren’t offered on Sundays.
The taproom, however, just opened so we had a drink.
It turns out that mostly tourists arrive at 10 a.m. to drink at the taproom on Sundays. Jake tried a flight of the more unusual beer flavors. I tried to order the lightest, fruitiest beer. They’re always too strong.
Still, I had fun sipping a beer and flipping through books about Boston. The taproom offers many books about Boston’s history and Samuel Adams + board games.
Our day was full of eight hours of walking between visiting the brewery and Museum of Fine Arts. We welcomed an early dinner by the time we got back to our Airbnb.
Your childhood mall will always hold a special place in your heart. The Burnsville Center is mine. The Maplewood Mall is Jake’s.
Our childhood malls feel kind of dead now. Not in the modern “haha I’m dead,” way, but in the empty storefronts except for a Victoria’s secret and GNC sort of way.
When I read about Victoria’s Secret closing stores, I’m just like “MAYBE DON’T PUT TWO IN EACH MALL?”
The thing about the Maplewood Mall is that it has a really interesting food court. Sure, there’s a Charlie’s Grilled Subs and Subway, but there are also shops offering cabeza tacos (at least Maya Cuisine was on this day), boba teas, tricolor dessert and papaya salad, pho, Gyros, Mexican-Korean fusion dishes, and burgers with Hmong peppers.
On this visit, we ordered the latter two.