Next Up

Minneapolis Arts and Parks

Art and entertainment galore atop a wealth of natural amenities make Minneapolis a captivating place to play. Let's stroll through some of the galleries and green spaces of this charismatic city.

1 / 13
Photo: Bill Hickey / Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Minneapolis Murals and Public Art

Minneapolis absolutely abounds with creativity, with its theaters and venues, museums and art centers, regional and national fairs, craft shows and festivals. Find local talent reflected in craft and maker shops and the art and sculpture found on city streets and in public parks. There are dozens of murals around town (visit Meet Minneapolis for a highlight list), including two tributes to major local music legends: the five-story mural of Bob Dylan (5th Street and Hennepin Avenue) by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and the one-story mural of Prince (26th Street and Hennepin Avenue) by Bloomington artist Rock "Cyfi" Martinez. The city has a great self-guided public art tour page.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 13
Photo: Jayme Halbritter for Minneapolis Institute of Art / Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA)

The world-class Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) boasts more than 90,000 works of art from six continents and spanning thousands of years, along with topical exhibitions and installations. Don't feel overwhelmed: MIA offers tours (guided and self-guided) as well as a do-not-miss list. On it? Doryphoros (120-50 BCE), a marble copy of the original lost Greek bronze statue; The Studio of Gratifying Discourse and its attached rock gardens, part of the museum's exhibit of Historic Chinese Residences; the Yoruba Shrine Head, among a showing of Africa's masks and objects; and such celebrated paintings as Rembrandt's Lucretia and MIA's Impressionist collection, including works by Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin and Renoir. The museum offers regularly occurring art programs and classes for the public -- kids and adults. General admission is free. Donations encouraged.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 13
Photo: Gettyimages/Douglas Sacha

The Weisman Art Museum

The otherworldly steel-and-brick edifice across the Mississippi River from downtown is the Weisman Art Museum (WAM), designed by architect Frank Gehry of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao fame. This university-affiliated museum is located on the University of Minnesota campus but considers itself a teaching museum for everyone. Its permanent collection includes works of American modernism, ceramics, Mimbres pottery and Korean furniture, and WAM holds several special exhibitions, tours and events annually that the museum says places art "within relevant cultural, social and historical contexts." Fantastically free.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 13
Photo: Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

The Hennepin Theatre District

The Hennepin Theatre District is a downtown go-to for in-house entertainment: movies, concerts, comedy performances and (of course) theater, including traveling Broadway shows. Three century-old theaters lie along Hennepin Avenue. Head to the Orpheum Theatre -- once owned by Bob Dylan and his brother -- for your favorite musician or Broadway play. The Marx Brothers act was the first performance here in 1921. We visit the Pantages Theatre now for concerts, comedies and lectures, but it was originally a vaudeville house. Don't forget to look up: That beautiful stained-glass skylight is from a 1922 remodel. We'll enjoy some live comedy at the State Theatre; originally it was used as a cinema, boasting the largest movie screen west of the Mississippi. Its enormous neon marquee dates to the 1940s. Speaking of comedy, Brave New Workshop — the oldest comedy theater in the U.S. — also can be found on Hennepin Avenue.

More photos after this Ad