Compared to the summer, there are quite a few less outdoor activities that Minnesotans of all ages can participate in; however, one thing kids love to do in the winter is build snow and ice forts. It's almost a right of passage in childhood. One of the 'coolest' features of the Minnesota winter is when adults play with ice, especially when they stack the ice blocks to form castles.
Miller Park in Eden Prairie will see the return of ice castles this winter. A Utah based company, Ice Castles LLC, will be charged with erecting the great ice structures this winter. Last year, the comapny also built an ice castle in Eden Prairie which attracted more than 80,000 visitors; the year before, at the Mall of America played host and also drew big crowds.
On September 15, the Eden Prairie City Council approved the company to create more of their ice masterpieces at Miller Park. The company will pay the city for all the water they use; so Eden Prairie residents don't need to worry about rationing their water.
This is a great family event that features the ice castles, plenty of cool lights illuminating them, other fun events and attractions, as well as snacks to warm up in the frigid weather. In order to really appreciate these castles and their craftsmanship, they need to be checked out up close.
Seriously, plan to bring the whole family. This is a great opportunity to show kids that even when they grow old, you can still make cool forts out of snow and ice.
Photo courtesy of: Kendrick Erickson
The city of Nagasaki, Japan, is a world away from St. Paul, Minnesota. But many here know the name as it was one of the two cities devastated by the United States atomic bomb attacks in World War II. Many Minnesotans might not know Nagasaki and St. Paul are sister cities, a tie that was established in 1955.
Ten years after World War II ended, the City of St. Paul hosted a special ceremony to celebrate their newly founded connection to the Japanese city. The ceremony was held on the ten year anniversary of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1955. This relationship was established by James J. Hill's son, which later became a Sister City affiliation. This affiliation is one of the oldest in the United States and was one of the first between an Asian and American city.
A delegation from Nagasaki will visit St. Paul at the end of August to celebrate this 60 year connection. There will be plenty of events while the delegation is in town, from throwing out the first pitch at CHS Field to a Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival at Como Park.
While war has long since passed between these two great nations, it's important that neither nation forget the cost war had on their country. Both Nagasaki and St. Paul are striving to celebrate a bond, mourn the past and facilitate a peaceful future.
22 local schools have been recognized as "Celebration Schools," an honor bestowed upon schools serving poor students who demonstrate good achievement.
The "Celebration" portion of the award is in part to Minnesota's new school accountability system. This monitors schools that receive federal poverty aid and gives them designations that correlate with how they fare academically. The "Celebration" designation is one of the highest commendations meant for the top 25% of schools receiving Title I money.
“I want to congratulate these schools for this incredible accomplishment,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “Minnesotans should be proud of the work going on in our schools."
The full spread of schools is listed below -- congrats to all the "Celebration Schools" for their hard work to give more students opportunities to succeed in academics.
Blooming Prairie Elementary / Blooming Prairie Public School District
Cedar Park Elementary / Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan
Dover-Eyota Elementary / Dover-Eyota Public School District
Fair School Downtown / West Metro Education Program
Hmong College Prep Academy High School / Hmong College Prep Academy
Huddleston Elementary / Lakeville Public School District
Kelliher Secondary School / Kelliher Public School District
Kennedy Elementary / Willmar Public School District
Kenny Elementary / Minneapolis...
According to Forbes magazine's 2014 top ten list for 'Best and Worst States for Business', Minnesota ranks in the top ten coming in at #9. Last year, the state also cracked the top ten clocking in at #8.
The magazine ranked the states based on a total of 36 factors, like quality of life, labor supply and economic climate (not the actual climate, which is harsh at the moment). The state also has the fourth highest percentage of adults with a high school diploma at 92.4%. Another huge factor in the ranking was the $312 billion gross revenue for the state in 2013.
The metro has a healthy arena for business as many major corporations have called the state of Minnesota home. Those corportations include: Best Buy, General Mills, 3M, Target, US Bancorp, and Medtronic. With these hugh employers helping to flood the job market with not only jobs, but careers, it's no wonder why Minnesota has such a high ranking.
Minnesota has long been regarded as a great place for business (hence all the big corporations calling the state home), and this latest ranking proves just that.
Photo by: Matthew Deery
With the 2018 Super Bowl calling the Twin Cities home, it comes as little surprise that the state is looking to make itself as attractive as possible to a world audience. With the Vikings getting a new stadium and the addition of more light rail, the state is quickly looking to ready itself for the worldwide event.
Though unrelated to the Super Bowl taking place in Minneapolis, the Mall of America is also expanding, by a whole lot. If you thought the MOA was huge before, can you imagine it being twice as big? The next ten years will make that a reality. Yes, that’s right, the MOA will be double its current size in just over ten years.
The MOA is planning on expanding the mall in phases, with the first phase adding another hotel, another sizable atrium, more dining options and retail space, an office building and underground parking.
This already unbelievable mall will now be even more attractive to visitors of all varieties. Sure, MOA is adding more shopping and dining, but imagine having your office on site? Business meetings could take place at all sorts of different locations on site – plus, factor in the proximity to the airport and this new office complex is sure to be attractive to all types of businesses.
With the Super Bowl on its way, many visitors will be able to enjoy the Mall of America getting a super sized face-lift.
Image courtesy of: DLR Group
The Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods are two of the best locations to live in all the Twin Cities. Aside from only being minutes away from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the area sits in close proximity to the international airport and the Mall of America – and because the neighborhood is on the west side of the metro, it’s only a short drive to the scenic Lake Minnetonka. And on that note, the area itself has plenty of outdoor space that feels anything but urban.
Near the Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods sit plenty of bodies of water worth spending time around – Minnehaha Creek, Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet are all in close proximity. These options are a godsend for anyone who appreciates the outdoors, loves a good beach or water activities.
Minnehaha Creek is one can’t miss spot in the area, flowing 22 miles east through many Minneapolis suburbs. The creek flows into the gorgeous Minnehaha Falls, a huge attraction in the Minneapolis area. The 53-foot high waterfall is a beautiful escape for the urban life that surrounds the area.
There are also many fantastic parks in the area. Residents can chose from Utley Park, York Park, Arden Park, Wooddale Park, Pamela Park, and more. Minneapolis is an ever-growing city, but...
The Trust for Public Land declared Minneapolis and the Twin Cities the nation’s best big city for public parks, followed by New York, Boston and Sacramento, Calif.
Jayne Miller, superintendent for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, said the work the board has done over the years earned the award.
“The city was built around the park system, not the other way around,” she said. “We are unique from the standpoint that the park system was built as an economic driver for the city.”
Recent Minneapolis parks projects include the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center and new synthetic turf fields; a new beach, boardwalk playground and picnic area at Theodore Wirth Park; and the Phillips Community Center renovation.
“This is an honor not for the Park Board but for the citizens of Minneapolis because they’re the ones 130 years ago who established an independent park board,” said John Erwin, president of the Park and Recreation Board. “Because they valued parks and understood they greatly enhance lives.”
Minneapolis, the 48th largest city, wasn’t ranked when the last list was created in 2012, but it was included this year when the index was expanded to the 50 most populous cities in America. Although St. Paul, the 66th largest city, was not rated by ParkScore, the Trust for Public Land analysts determined that if the two cities had been evaluated as a single municipality, it still would have ranked at the top of the list. Minneapolis parks and St. Paul parks also made appearances in a similar 2008 ranking of parks.
Minneapolis parks ranked high in several categories, including...
15th Annual Gobbler Games
event is for parents and children (ages 4-14) set in pairs to
participate in fun, low-key competitive athletic events. Events include,
a floor hockey shoot, frisbee toss, basketball free throw, and more.
Participants should arrive between 10:00 - 11:30 am. The event is free
in Lino Lakes on November 3rd.
34th Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar
The Minnesota community of Circle Pines has been named the third-most "Perfect Suburb" in the country by CNBC.
Analysts at Location Inc. based their rankings on affordable housing, good schools and employment, low crime, and reasonable commutes. They chose the 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rates and then factored in the other variables. At the top was Edmond, Okla., followed by Kensington, Md., in second. No other Minnesota cities made the list.
With 5,407 residents, Circle Pines is one of the smallest cities on the list, but it boasted some high marks:
Suburb of: Minneapolis – St. Paul
Metro area unemployment rate: 6.5%
Median house value: $203,954
Safer from crime than this percent of all U.S. communities: 55%
Circle Pines is a small city with a population of 5,407 — and more people working in computers and math than 95% of the U.S. It has better public schools than 90% of all U.S. communities, and its public schools are better than 95% of schools in the rest of the state. A minority of Circle Pines’ populace holds a four-year degree (31.5%), but the vast majority are homeowners (92.6%).
More analysis of the suburb is found on the Circle Pines Neighborhood Scout profile.
"You always think your community is a special place. It's nice to have that verified by someone," Mayor Dave Bartholomay said.
To see the entire list, visit the 10 Perfect Suburbs slideshow.
Want to live in the perfect Minnesota suburb? Check out Circle Pines MN Real Estate.
People who live in St. Louis Park are really happy with their city
compared to the ratings people in other Minnesota locations give their
A citywide survey conducted this spring "took the
temperature" of St. Louis Park residents. The poll was part of a city
effort to track trends and check priorities. Mayor Jeff Jacobs and City
Manager Tom Harmening were pleased with the results.
And they had plenty of reason to be. Survey firm Decision Resources
told St. Louis Park officials that the ratings they found are among the
highest they have seen in the many Twin Cities communities they have
surveyed. A resounding 97% of residents rated the quality of life in St.
Louis Park MN as excellent or good. About 95% of polled residents said
they feel safe. About 89% rated city services as excellent or good. Only 4% of residents said they anticipated moving in the
next five years.
When asked what serious issues face Saint Louis Park, 18% of
residents cited Hennepin County's proposal to move a freight train line
from Minneapolis to this city to make room for light rail. Just 8% cited
high taxes and rising crime. And 12% said they did not see any serious
issues facing the city. That "no issue" response is twice what is
considered normal for a place like St. Louis Park, according to the
The city has lots of multifamily housing, and 28 percent of
residents thought there were too many apartments and 21 percent said
there were too many condos and townhouses. Harmening said proposals for
more condo developments have withered as the economy has suffered.
Jacobs agreed that the city needs to be careful not to overbuild
multifamily housing, although he said the three light-rail stations that
are proposed for his city may result in a push for higher-density
housing in those locations.
"I think if you build...