Is It Over?
It’s mid-September, and I find myself emersed in end of summer reflections and at the same time, feeling the excitement of a new season soon unfolding. But first, to be clear; I am in no hurry to kick summer out the door like a discarded lover because I prefer fall's embrace.
Autumn is a spectacular season, and I adore crackling fires, the nip of crisp air, steaming bowls of soup, and pumpkin everything. However, each season deserves its full measure and summer is short enough. We’ll know when it’s time to pull out the favorite turtleneck and crockpot, but with temps still in the 70’s and low 80’s, fall needs to wait its turn.
Lucky us in The Twin Cities we celebrate all four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. However, the lines between when one ends and the next begins are often blurry. I decided to take a casual survey of friends and neighbors on when it’s time let go of summer and move on.
- Labor Day weekend is the end of summer
- Summer ends when the kids go back to school
- End of the Minnesota State Fair means the end of summer...
Summer Glorious Summer
Summer has returned to the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Minneapolis, also known as the frozen tundra, we feel our exquisite summer is the reward we deserve for getting past a long, frosty, biting, snowy, punishing winter. Ok, you get it – it’s cold here for a substantial portion of the year.
I’ll make the concession that all seasons of the year have its particular charms and recommendations. But, making the most of summer, filling every day with pleasures of the season, comes with the territory here in Minnesota. My summer list consists mainly of simple pleasures, with a touch of the exotic to shake it up a bit.
Go jump in a lake.
Now coming from a resident of the land of 10,000 lakes (actually it’s more like 11,842) it’s no surprise that water plays a dominant role in summer. Swimming, boating, fishing, sailing are all popular activities enjoyed on Minnesota lakes in the summer months.
Go on a picnic. Attend a concert...
Twin Cities Activities
It seemed like just a couple of weeks ago that the whole splendor of summer lay spread out before us. Now, here we are past the half way mark of August. Hot days and balmy nights seem to be already behind us for this year. The cooler temps probably make it easier for the kids to return to the halls of learning but still, that bittersweet feeling that we have lost something is all too familiar for many of us. In my opinion, the worse characteristic of our summer is that it’s simply not long enough.
Given the fact that the glorious days of my favorite season are so limited, I try to squeeze every drop of joy and pleasure from every blessed day right to the end. At this time, every year, I remind myself that summer is not over, it is just, like me, in its golden days and has much to offer and should be appreciated.
So then, what do you plan to do with your last few precious weeks before the leaves begin to turn? There are so many activities, events, and destinations in the Twin Cities Metro that are tailor made for days in the seventies with low humidity. Need some inspiration?
Art + Mini-Golf = Sculpture Garden at the Walker
If you haven't checked out the mini golf...
What's Happening Twin Cities?
June has arrived in the Twin Cities and the doorway to summer is wide open. We step through that portal and the whole glorious season awaits us, spread out like a canvas waiting for the artist’s brush to bring it to life! If I sound a bit dramatic I’m not apologizing because summer has that effect on me and I am just going with it.
In the Twin Cities Metro, we celebrate summer in a grand scale with art, music, song, food, and drink. Festivals, fairs, and concerts abound from one end of the metro to the other and beyond. To inspire you as you plan your seasonal calendar, we have curated those once a year most popular events that highlight the summer season in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Northern Spark, Climate Chaos/People Rising
June 10 8:59 PM until 5:26 AM – Along the Green Line
This is a relatively new metro event began in 2011 but growing in popularity each year. It takes place with events in neighborhoods and public spaces along the Metro Green line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul. The grandest Northern Spark yet with 70 art projects planned in the neighborhood nodes: Cedar Riverside/West Bank,...
Catching the Last Waves of a Twin Cities Summer
In the Twin Cities in August, the weather can be hot and the nights balmy, but not always. Weather is unpredictable here but that’s all right because we Minnesotans have been trained to be complacent about the weather. Cone flowers and all varieties of daisies are headlining in the flower beds and sunflowers are standing tall in the fields.
There is a collective and audible sigh of relief from parents with the beginning of the school year in sight. Their kids are contemplating their return to the class rooms as well. Some are reluctant to see the end of summer vacation, while others are excited with anticipation of what is ahead for them in the new school year.
We are in the final weeks of the season, somewhere just beyond midsummer glory and before its swan song. These days are lush and bountiful. We savor them with the knowledge that all too quickly they will come to an end. Let’s make the most of these final weeks as we countdown to fall. Whether you chose to spend the time feeling idle and blessed soaking up the warmth of the sun, or want to turn these last weeks into a full-scale celebration here are some ideas that will help you squeeze every drop of joy out of these last days of summer.
15 Ways to Celebrate the Month of August in the Twin Cities
If you think Labor Day marked the end of summer, I am going to have to disagree. Officially the last day of summer is not until the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd. The weather should remain warm and pleasant at least through the end of the month. So let's take summer for all she is worth, shall we? Let's enjoy each day as it comes and plan to enjoy the sights, sounds, and foods of summer until they and she (I always think of summer as female) are gone.
In case you need some inspiration, here are a few suggestions for ways to celebrate and savor the last weeks of summer.
Taste of Summer Bounty
Enjoy the fruits and fresh veggies of the season for as long as they last. Grill some corn, throw together a fresh, crispy and healthy salad with native vegetables or cut open a ripe, juicy, refreshing watermelon. Here are some great ways to grill fresh corn on the cob I found on Real Simple.
Summer is in full swing in the Twin Cities Metro, and I couldn’t be happier! Admittedly I struggle with the long Minnesota winters, but I can only describe the summers as exquisite and all the sweeter for the anticipation! Although I admit, every season has its charms; summer wins hands down in its ability to motivate and inspire me. So with no further ado, here is my list of 15 favorite summer pleasures that prove you can have beautiful things.
1. Long Days, Blue Skies and Sunshine
Daylight is a mood enhancer. In summer we enjoy longer hours of sunshine to catch up on our Vitamin D! The cold Minnesota winters keep the less hardy among us indoors and so when we feel the warmth of the summer sun we want to get outside and enjoy our beautiful parks, trails, and lakes. In addition to sports and other traditional outside summer activities, here in the Twin Cities we listen to great music, watch movies, eat, drink, and shop outdoors as well. We put those extra daylight hours to good use!
Minnesota Kids Just Wanna Have Fun
Can you believe it’s the third weekend in July? Yes, summer passes quickly in the Twin Cities and so we want to make the most of it. We want to squeeze every day of warmth, the sunshine, and blue skies out of it. We want to get outside and have fun with our kids! We want to live some of those moments that create memories we hope will last a lifetime and they will talk about when they have children of their own. Okay, perhaps I am going a bit over the top here but summer has that effect on me!
With one-third of summer behind us, we have many more weeks ahead to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for things to do and places to go in the Twin Cities that have been kid approved!
1. Centennial Lake Park
Tucked in between Xerxes and France Avenues, this 24-acre urban escape in Edina is considered by many the crown jewel of the Hennepin County Parks. There is something here to please all age groups and activities...