Adventures Close to Home

With the aspects of freedom days away, relaxing under the sun and breathing some fresh air are all people can think about. Some might be exploring another city with family and friends, but most might be planning to stay close to home. Minnesota is a great state to spend the summer; from local festivals to the Mall of America, there are many places to explore. Instead of thinking this summer will be another unfulfilling time, visit some of these wonderful sites.


Listen To Some Catchy Tunes

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

The Seattle-based hip-hop duo made their first wave with their self promoted album “The Heist,” winning four Grammy Awards for best new artists, rap album, rap song and rap performance. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have made their splash in the music industry.

Known for their hit “Thrift Shop,” this concert would be a great way to kick off the summer on the right foot. On Wednesday, June 8, at 7:30pm at the Target Center. Tickets prices vary from $34.50 to $64.30–not too expensive for students. Even though it’s a couple days before summer officially starts here at AVHS, I would recommend it if you’re a fan.


Drake and Future

A must see! If you don’t know who Drake and Future are, you have been living under a rock. On his summer 2016 tour the Toronto rapper makes his second appearance in the Twin Cities. With his hits “One Dance” and “Pop Style” on the billboards, Drake has definitely made his impression this year. Future is also a rapper, with his second appearance in two months (with a performance on May 29 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds). On July 20 at 7:30 pm in the Xcel Energy Center, they will make a performance that is going to be an eventful night for everyone.



Adele performs at the O2 Arena.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Adele performs at the O2 Arena.

“Hello, it’s me”

The british singer, Adele, plans on kicking off her North American tour in the Twin Cities with two shows on July 5th and 6th at the Xcel Energy Center. With her new hit “Hello” which became number 1 hit in 28 state countries including the U.S. The British icon has sold millions of copies of her new album, and has beat Taylor Swift’s record for the most views on the first day with 27.7 million. Overall, Adele is a singer liked by everyone with her songs’ catchy lyrics to their deep meaning. Adele’s tickets have sold out, but for those who got one, congrats.


Take a Ride Through History

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Since most of us can’t travel the world in one summer, the MIA is a great place to see art from different cultures. Having approximately 89,000 artworks, you would never run out of art to explore. This museum has its work from six continents, ranging from ancient to modern. MIA is a great place to explore art during the summer with family and friends.


Science Museum of Minnesota

In order to have a great time while gaining some knowledge, one must visit the Science Museum of Minnesota. Accompanying their giant dinosaur fossils, the museum has many activities that are sure to excite STEM enthusiasts. Their collection of mummies is a must-see, with nearly 20 mummies from ancient Peru and Egypt. The museum is also featuring Jerusalem, showing an insight into the iconic sites as well as their scientific history. They also offer an array of activities that relate to different branches of science.


Nothing Beats The Great Outdoors

Taylor Falls

A place to challenge one’s physical abilities while relishing the great outdoors locations such as Taylor Falls, Cannon Falls, and Minnehaha Falls provide a beautiful scenic view and much more. Taylor Falls has many outdoor activities, including water parks, scenic boat tours, and a canoe and kayak rental.

The forested bluffs and high cliffs brought forth the first interstate state park in the United States, located right between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Also, the falls in Minnehaha parks and Cannon Falls are a great spot to either have a picnic or go hiking.


The Defeat of Jesse James Days Reenactment

People are able to witness a recreation of the events happening during that time, including authentic props and aspects of the story.
People are able to witness a recreation of the events happening during that time, including authentic props and aspects of the story.

This adventurous experience takes a person through the historical bank raid in 1876. Taking about 30 minutes, this reenactment shows the detailed event and capture of Jesse James, who was a bank and train robber in the American Old West. The descriptive story of his life prior to the Civil War and how it shaped him is an amazing one to see. Although attending the show is free, sitting at the bleachers requires a person to have a button which costs $5.



Get Your Adrenaline Pumping!

Valley Fair

Located in Shakopee, this amusement park is 125 acres full of adventure. It features blood curdling rides with equally terrifying names such as Steel Venom, Renegade, and Corkscrew. The mixture of excitement and sweet desserts is sure to draw people near.

Much like Apple Valley High School, Valley Fair is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The park will host a Throwback Thursday by reintroducing the Flying Eagles and many different entertainments. Other than re-living its heritage, Valley Fair will also introduce new rides and entertainments. The amusement park is currently open from May 21st until September 5th.


Minnesota Scottish Fair and Highland Games

Beginning on July 9th, the fair will take place in Eagan. Along with the games, highland dancing, pipe bands, and British car shows, people will enjoy traditional music and amazing food. Tickets cost $17 for adults and $5 for children 15 and under. People are also able to donate canned goods for the food shelf. After the musical activities at the Scottish Fair, there will be a day for Scottish fiddle workshops held in  The Celtic Junction in St. Paul.


Renaissance Festival

Enter the world of fairies and knights by exploring the Renaissance Festival. It opens on August 20th and is located in Shakopee. This festival has grown to become the largest Renaissance Festival in the United States with its annual attendance of 300,000 people.

While they celebrate their 46th anniversary, the festival will hold many competitions prior and during the event. Admission tickets cost $23.95 for adults and $14.95 for children between the age of 5 and 12. Their daily events and themed weekends include a pet fest, artisan booths, food fit for a king, live armored jousting, and a whole lot of mermaids.


Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival

Booths feature many authentic Japanese food and merchandise.
Booths feature many authentic Japanese food and merchandise.

Getting another dose of culture, the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival has an array of shows and activities that display the annual Japanese Obon holiday. Bonsai, martial arts, singing, dancing, delicious food and other aspects of Japanese culture will be featured at Como Park. Obon is a tradition where ancestral spirits are said to visit their families, thus, the lanterns help guide their way to and from their resting places. Using traditional music, dance, crafts, several taiko drumming groups, and, obviously, lanterns the event is sure to be a blast!