Two Cities, Fifty Things

The Wake’s ultimate Twin Cities to-do list, Pt. 2

umn.arch 3

Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

Back in the fall of 2012, The Wake published a list of “100 Things To Do Before You Graduate,” and we figured since a lot has changed in those four years, it’s time for a revamp.

It’s no surprise that we, as students, have a lot on our to-do lists. Start with everything you want to do on campus and it might be manageable. But when you tack on all there is to do in the city of Minneapolis and then add all that St. Paul has to offer, you realize that list would never end. So here’s the culmination of our favorite activities throughout the Twin Cities. From searching for murals to attending a summer festival, here’s The Wake’s top 50 things to do before you graduate.

Between Classes and Campuses

  1. Play capture the flag on the mall on a Friday night.
  2. Visit every library on campus. There are over 30. Pick a favorite.
  3. Go to P.A.W.S. to pet away worries and stress with therapy animals.

    NE.mpls 21

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

  4. Take a class outside of your major just because it sounds interesting.
  5. Go a gopher women’s sporting event and support our women athletes—they’re FREE!
  6. Watch a free movie at Coffman, but sit in the back with smuggled snacks and quietly dub over the film with your own commentary.
  7. Go to a University band, choir, orchestra, dance, or theater performance.
  8. Take advantage of the sauna at the rec center.
  9. Visit the greenhouse on the St. Paul Campus.
  10. Try every kind of Mesa Pizza.

Look and Listen

  1. At the Guthrie, sit at the bar and order drinks, pretending you have the money to eat there.
  2. Go on a Twin Cities mural tour—Bob Dylan downtown, Prince in uptown, Jesus on LovePower Church.
  3. Check out the artistically crafted snow sleds at the Art Sled Rally in Powderhorn Park.
  4. Buy a gift for someone at Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts.
  5. Check out an art fair that you’ve never been to before, like Art-A-Whirl, the St. Paul Art Crawl, or the Uptown Art Fair.
  6. Listen to people tell stories at The Moth event at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. Maybe tell your own.
  7. Go to a museum by yourself and stay in each exhibit for as long (or as little) as you like.
  8. Get student rush tickets to a concert at Orchestra Hall.
  9. Religious or not, visit St. Mary’s Basilica and the Cathedral of St. Paul. Compare. Contrast.
  10. Listen to Button Poetry live at CAMP bar in St. Paul.

    dogwood.EDD 4

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall


Eat Out and Drink Up

  1. Get some vegan meat at the Herbivorous Butcher.
  2. “Reminisce” about prohibition at Volstead’s Speakeasy.
  3. Order drinks and ride the ferris wheel at Betty Danger’s Country Club.
  4. Go on a donut crawl to all the donut shops you can think of.

    NE.mpls 3

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

  5. Devour a taco at Tacocat in the Midtown Global Market.
  6. Have a beer at one of the local breweries and ask the bartender a thoughtful question about what you order.
  7. Hunt for the best cheese curds in the Twin Cities and brag about it to your Wisconsin friends.
  8. Head to the rooftop of St. Paul Irish pub, The Liffey, to literally and figuratively lift your spirits.
  9. Visit The Finnish Bistro for all kinds of tasty Scandinavian food.
  10. Observe a latte art throwdown at a local coffee shop (and try to drink leftover lattes for free).

One With Nature

  1. Spend an afternoon walking up and down Summit Ave. in St. Paul and see some of the most beautiful historic houses around.
  2. Visit the Foshay Tower Observation Deck and wonder how on Earth it used to be the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis.
  3. Cheer on skiers at the cross country skiing Loppet at Theodore Wirth Park.
  4. Play sand volleyball at Memory Lanes. Alternatively, go bowling at Memory Lanes.

    isles.hennepin.(lumen8) 4

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

  5. Walk around the chain of lakes (Harriet, Calhoun, Isles, Nokomis), people watching as you go.
  6. Go paddleboarding on Lake Calhoun, realize it’s too windy, paddle over to Lake of the Isles and enjoy.
  7. Pack some snacks and head to Boom Island Park for a picnic.
  8. Visit the Prospect Park Tower the one day a year that it’s open.
  9. Walk across the Lowry Avenue Bridge once in the daytime and once a night when it’s lit up.
  10. In the dead of winter, visit the Como Conservatory and remember what it’s like to see green, living things.

    NE.mpls 1

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall

City Summers

  1. Order from food truck after food truck at the Uptown Food Truck Fair.
  2. “Ooh” and “ahh” at puppies in The Dog Parade.
  3. Get Izzy’s ice cream and eat it at the top of the hill in Gold Medal Park.
  4. Go to the Pizza Luce Block Party.
  5. See a St. Paul Saints game at the new CHS Field in downtown St. Paul.
  6. Play bocce ball on the roof of Brit’s Pub.
  7. Wander around Harriet Island for beautiful views of downtown St. Paul.
  8. Go to Minnehaha Falls, following the creek until you reach the Mississippi River.
  9. Stock up on popcorn and bug spray and watch a movie in a park.
  10. Stay out all night during the Northern Spark Festival.

    uptown.calhoun 11

    Photographer: Lauren Cutshall