While we all practice social distancing, Explore Minnesota wants residents and travelers to continue to daydream, feel optimistic and be connected. Here’s a fun list of activities to safely see and do across the state—and when the world is ready to travel again, we’re here to welcome you.
Piece Together These Minnesota-Themed Digital Jigsaw Puzzles
Satisfy your passion for puzzling with Minnesota-themed digital jigsaw puzzles made just for you. These puzzles let you virtually visit your favorite Minnesota destinations like the Mississippi River headwaters, Paisley Park, Pipestone National Monument and more, all from the comfort of your couch. Once you’re all puzzled out, use these #OnlyinMN destinations as inspiration for planning your next Minnesota vacation.
Attend Virtual Festivals & Events
For many of us, summer in Minnesota is all about festivals, events and spending time with your pals—AKA, all of the things we won't be doing this year until it's deemed safe by the experts. In the meantime, some Minnesota festivals and events have been postponed to help flatten the curve, while others have decided to make like Neo and go digital so we can stay connected while staying apart. Here are a few examples of the creative ways Minnesota events are moving online.
Virtually Visit an Iconic Minnesota Destination
You can explore many great things to see and do in Minnesota from the comfort of your home. Attractions across the state have created virtual tour experiences via 360º photography tours, live webcasts or special apps. These tours offer a unique, behind-the-scenes look at attractions.
Get Inspired by the Minnesota Tourism Industry's Response
As the Minnesota tourism industry goes digital to help suppress the coronavirus pandemic, tourism-related businesses across the state are pivoting their operations to help flatten the curve. From distilleries manufacturing hand sanitizer to hotels offering free or discounted lodging for healthcare workers, check out the ways Minnesota's tourism industry is stepping up and innovating to keep Minnesota healthy.
Hone Your Skills Without Leaving the Couch
With in-person classes shut down through May 4, a handful of Minnesota's finest cooks and crafters have moved their classrooms online. Better still, many of these newly virtual courses are completely free to attend. From webinars about wool mending to live-streamed cocktail classes, here are a few ways to expand your skill set from the comfort of home.
Some of America's most beloved authors have lived in Minnesota, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Marlon James, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wanda Gag, Sinclair Lewis and more. Cuddle up with a blanket, a book and dive into one of these famous stories. Some local bookshops are even offering delivery or curbside pickup.
Binge Watch Your Favorite Minnesota Movies and TV Shows
Movies made in Minnesota have become fan favorites like the Mighty Ducks trilogy, Grumpy Old Men, and of course, Purple Rain. Television shows like the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Coach, and Little House on the Prairie also call Minnesota home.
You still can sip on stately Minnesota-made cocktails from your couch made with spirits across the state, or enjoy a pint of beer from the many breweries that offer curbside pickup of crowlers, growlers or pick up a pack from your local store.
Take a Hike or Hop on a Bike
Minnesota’s endless trails are open for hikers, bikers, or walkers. While maintaining proper social distancing guidelines, you can get outside to enjoy fresh air and get some steps in. Walk around the lakes, get into nature and enjoy the beauty of Minnesota. While most parks, recreation areas and public lands remain open to the public, many are seeing an influx of visitors at the moment. To maintain safe social distancing between yourself and other visitors (at least 6 feet of space), consider visiting during off-peak hours or heading to one of your area’s lesser-known parks.
Many of your favorite local restaurants, retailers and businesses are back open for business and need your support. If you're not ready to head indoors, check into options for takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery, or find outdoor dining options. You can also indulge in special online shopping incentives.
Get to know Minnesota with These Trivia Facts and Figures
Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's social media strategist and resident Disney expert. She grew up spending summer weekends at her family's lake cabin in Detroit Lakes, and brings that "up north" attitude to everything she does. When traveling around the state, she likes trying new restaurants and taprooms, or watching Minnesota hockey.
Want to know the best spots in Minnesota? How about tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city? Our Minnesota experts can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you. For free.