If you’re planning on attending IMPACT or the Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE), St. Paul and Minneapolis offer a wide array of places to explore and fun things to do with your free time. From touring the 2018 home of the Super Bowl to discovering the unique ecosystems Minnesota has to offer, here are five great ways to spend your time in the Twin Cities:
1. Explore the great outdoors at the Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.
Located a few minutes south of downtown Minneapolis, this park features a breathtaking 53-foot waterfall in the Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River. You can view the waterfall from above or go down a stairway to get a spectacular view from below. After descending the stairway, you can continue on trails along the creek, past picturesque stone bridges and pools. The Minneahaha Falls Regional Park is a great place to take a stroll, have a picnic, go biking or grab a bite at the iconic Sea Salt restaurant.
Another interesting place to explore is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, home of the famous "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture.
2. Visit the U.S. Bank Stadium.
Home to the Minnesota Vikings and to the Super Bowl LII in 2018, this stadium is a state-of-the-art, LEED Gold wonder. The U.S. Bank Stadium has the largest ethylene tetra flouro ethylene (ETFE) roof in the U.S. It lies in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, where you can take a 90-minute tour and learn about the history of the Vikings, the intriguing building architecture and its sustainability features. The stadium will be hosting the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in April 2019.
It’s also worth exploring the fascinating architecture of the Bell Museum, which has a planetarium, and visiting the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
3. Satisfy your cravings at a sustainable local cafe.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the French Meadow Cafe has you covered. The first certified organic bakery in the U.S., this cafe uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients. They offer not just coffee, but local beer on tap, cocktails and sustainable wines. There are also vegan and gluten-free options, so there’s something for everyone. The French Meadow Cafe has one location in St. Paul and one in Minneapolis. Other eateries with locally sourced ingredients include Groundswell Cafe and Good Earth.
4. Tour Augsburg University at IMPACT.
The Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion at Augsburg University officially opened its doors in 2018 and houses several academic departments. This LEED Gold building was designed to maximize use of green space and natural light. In fact, the green spaces were also designed to provide opportunities for learning outdoors. You can learn about the various strategies in the construction and design of this building by taking a preconference green tour on April 8.
You may also be interested in taking a tour of the A-Mill Artist Lofts and the Cunningham Group Architecture Innovation at IMPACT. Register for IMPACT and a tour.
5. Join happy hour in the Expo Hall.
Catch up with colleagues and wind down from your day at IMPACT and GSCE. This is a great way end your day with some no-pressure networking and delicious drinks. Happy hour in the hall takes place in the Expo Hall at the St. Paul River Center from 5:30–7 p.m. on April 9, right after the last breakout sessions.