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World-Class Art Scene Adds Color to 2014
Year-round
Minnesota's art scene adds to the state's natural beauty, and several major exhibits are in store for 2014. At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, paintings, sculptures and prints by Henri Matisse will be on display Feb. 23 – May 18. Also in Minneapolis, the Walker Art Center will present the first major museum exhibition of Edward Hopper's drawings (March 15 – June 22). In nearby Chanhassen, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is now home to a sculpture garden with more than 20 contemporary works. And in southern Minnesota, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona debuted a 2,500-square-foot gallery – among those on display are recent acquisitions from some of the world's most prominent artists, including, Paul Gaugin and J.M.W. Turner, as well as works from the existing European collection by Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Renoir.
Arts & Culture Travel Ideas

Passport to Minnesota Wines
Year-round
With more than 40 wineries scattered throughout the state, it can be hard to pick which ones to visit. The Passport to Minnesota Wines, a new program from the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, makes vineyard hopping a little easier – and easier on the wallet. For $25, the passport grants the holder tastings at 10 wineries of their choice, many of which also offer tours and live entertainment. The passport can be used during a one trip, or spaced out over multiple visits; the passport doesn't expire until you've used all 10.
www.mngrapegrowers.com

State Parks & Trails Welcome Beginners
Year-round
Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Trails Division recently launched a unique learning program for those who've never camped, canoed, and gone fishing. The "I Can!" program offers first-timers hands-on instruction in up to five outdoor activities: camping, archery, fishing, canoeing or rock climbing. Equipment and any required permits are included in the nominal fee, and advance registration is required for most programs. All activities take place at designated state parks and offer fun for the whole family.
www.mndnr.gov/ican

Geocaching on the Paul Bunyan Trail
Geocaching – the high-tech scavenger hunt game played around the world – is the newest way to explore the 112-mile Paul Bunyan Trail. More than 1,000 caches are hidden along this popular paved trail, which extends from central Brainerd to northern Bemidji. Experienced and novice geocachers can hike, bike, jog or rollerblade between caches, or travel by snowmobile in winter.
www.paulbunyantrail.com

Barbie Brings Dreamhouse to Mall of America
Opening Spring 2014
"Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience" is an immersive and interactive installation bringing the iconic Barbie toy to life for fans of all ages. Guests will have the opportunity to discover different rooms, living areas and to explore the 30,000 square feet of this larger-than-life version of Barbie doll's Dreamhouse for a one-of-a-kind experience. Guests will be "transported" to each floor of the house via a virtual elevator inspired by the real Barbie Dreamhouse elevator. The Dreamhouse also includes more than 350 Barbie dolls.
www.barbiedreamhouse.com/experience

Motorcycling Minnesota's Scenic Byways
May – Oct. 2014
Motorcyclists can discover the state's 21 scenic byways (more than 2,500 miles and 4,000 kilometers) from a new perspective. A new website – Highways, Byways and Back Roads – features trip videos, maps and travel info for planning your own motorcycle ride and sharing your stories from the road. Featured routes include the Great River Road, Minnesota River Valley and North Shore scenic byways, with links to lodging, dining and attractions along the way, as well as current road conditions and weather reports. Go for a ride, and then add your reviews and photos when you get back to inspire fellow bikers.
www.exploreminnesota.com/mototourism

BIG Bugs Invade Minnesota Zoo
May 24 – Sept. 1, 2014
The Minnesota Zoo will host a BIG, first-of-its-kind exhibit in summer 2014, called "Big Bugs!" The exhibit highlights the invasion of thirteen oversized, animatronic bugs along the zoo's Northern Trail, and includes a live bug display, plus other unique and interactive elements. The supersized bugs move through the use of pneumatics (systems operated by compressed air) and a few bugs are interactive, including a bombardier beetle that sprays water. The exhibit is free with paid zoo admission and will reveal a bug's life and why they're important.
http://www.mnzoo.org/bigbugs/

Discover a New Breed of Dino
March 1 – Aug. 24, 2014
"Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana," will feature 20 fully articulated dinosaur specimens from unusual locations in the Southern Hemisphere, and will be the third North American stop, and only the second in the United States. Based on new, groundbreaking research from scientists around the world, "Ultimate Dinosaurs" reveals a new breed of dinosaurs that evolved in isolation in South America, Africa and Madagascar – dinosaurs that are unfamiliar to most in the North Hemisphere. "Dinosaurs Alive!," a giant screen film that follows preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk and fly among us, will run in the museum's Omnitheater.
www.smm.org/dinos

Shipwrecks Come Alive at Duluth Aquarium
Opening July, 2014
The ambitious new exhibit, "Shipwrecks Alive!" will launch next July at Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. It will give visitors a new appreciation for shipwrecks; featuring items and depictions from shipwrecks including the S.S. America, which sank in the Isle Royale's Washington Harbor of Lake Superior in 1927, and the San Francisco Maru, a World War II Japanese transport ship.
www.glaquarium.org/shipwrecks-alive

Minneapolis to Host Major League Baseball All-Star Game
July 15, 2014
The 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the 85th edition bringing together the best players, as selected by the fans, from the competing National and America Leagues. In addition, a three-day extravaganza built around America's favorite pastime includes the All-Star Futures Game, consisting of two teams of talented prospects – one of young players from the United States and the other of young players from all other nations; the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game; and a Home Run Derby Contest. All events will be held at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins. This marks the third time that Minnesota has hosted the All-Star Game.
www.mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/index.jsp

Twin Cities Premium Outlets to Open in Eagan
Opening Aug. 2014
Twin Cities Premium Outlets, a new upscale outlet mall will be located just minutes from Mall of America, in Eagan, MN. The outlet mall will feature 100 stores, including brands such as Asics, Calphalon, Cole Haan, Crabtree & Evelyn, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Saks Off Fifth, Swarovski, Tommy Hilfiger and more. In addition, there will be a food court and common areas, as well as adjacent restaurants, a park, hotel and public transportation access. This will be the second Premium Outlet location in Minnesota's metropolitan area, joining a sister facility, Albertville Premium Outlets.
www.eaganmn.com/shopping/eaganOutlet.htm

New Light Rail Line Connects Minneapolis to St. Paul
Opening Summer 2014
Minnesota's "twin" towns will soon join forces via light rail transit. The Central Corridor Line (also coined the Green Line) will link downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis, and connect to the existing Hiawatha Line (Blue Line). The 11 mile route will begin at downtown St. Paul's Union Depot Station, serve the Minnesota State Capitol, and run along University Avenue and the Midway area of St. Paul before entering Minneapolis via the University of Minnesota campus and TCF Bank Stadium. The Central Corridor Line will join the Hiawatha Line in downtown Minneapolis, which ends at Target Field. Trains will begin running late summer 2014.