Non-Astro Activities

There are many options for non-astronomy activities during ALCON 2018.  The ALCON Registration team will be happy to assist in arranging these activities by giving directions, recommending transportation, and finding other options.

UBER and Lyft are great transportation options in the Twin Cities!

Here is a list of potential options for the entire family – each is linked to the appropriate web site:

Como Zoo and Nature Conservatory  Como Zoo and Conservatory provides a balanced combination of fun and education. Its mission is to inspire our public to value the presence of living things in our lives. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is open 365 days a year and admission is free. Guests are invited to make a voluntary donation to help care for the plants and animals.
Walker Art Institute  The Walker Art Center is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center in the Lowry Hill neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is one of the most-visited modern and contemporary art museums in the United States and, together with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Cowles Conservatory, it has an annual attendance of around 700,000 visitors. The museum’s permanent collection includes over 13,000 modern and contemporary art pieces including books, costumes, drawings, media works, paintings, photography, prints, and sculpture.
Tour of Minneapolis Lakes and scenic homes  Whether strolling through downtown or off the beaten path, you’ll find that our history resonates through every inch of our city. It is the mortar that built Minneapolis into what it is today, and it comes to life when you visit our historical landmarks.
Mall of America Mall of America (commonly, locally known as “MOA” or “the mall”) is a shopping mall located in Bloomington, Minnesota – walking distance from the Hilton.  Opened in 1992, it is the second largest mall in terms of leaseable space, the largest mall in the United States in terms of total floor area (including Nickelodeon Universe), and the twelfth largest in the world.
Miniature Golf The Links at Dred Scott Miniature Golf Course was opened in June of 1994. It is a public-private partnership to provide additional recreational activities at Dred Scott Playfields in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Grand Avenue shopping and dining
(Saint Paul)
Visit Grand Avenue for shops, restaurants, bars, services, and events. Experience a small town feel in the big city, where charming traditions mingle with our modern lifestyle, to bring people in from all walks of life.
Minnehaha Falls Park One of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river overlooks, attracting more than 850,000 visitors annually.
Surly Minnesota Brewhouse The Surly Brewing Company is a Minnesota-based craft brewery with brewing facilities in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, noted for well-reviewed beers and primarily canning, rather than bottling. Initially available only in and around the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, it has since begun to expand distribution to include all of Minnesota and several nearby states.
Day-trip to Stillwater Discover Stillwater… the 1848 Birthplace of Minnesota located on the scenic St. Croix River! A place where paddle wheel riverboats and gondolas glide the waters. Historic Main Street shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment are yours inside this charming river town where time stands still in the valley. There are so many things to do in Stillwater, Minnesota!
Lawn Bowling at Brits Pub One of the reasons Lawn Bowling is so popular at Brits is that it is so easy to play. Whatever age, gender, physical or academic prowess – it doesn’t matter! Anybody can learn the rules and play to a good standard very quickly. It’s very similar to Bocce Ball – just make sure you ROLL YOUR BOWLS!
Lake Harriet Band Shell and Music in the Park Series Free concerts and many other family-friendly activities across all of the famous Minneapolis parks!
Indoor rock climbing at REI Climb the Pinnacle Rock Climbing Wall at REI Bloomington! Schedule a private session or find an open climb. Hone your rock climbing skills with REI.
Wilderness Inquiry’s trip on the Mississippi River in Voyager Canoes Looking for adventure in the heart of the Twin Cities? Explore the Mighty Mississippi River up close and personal on a half-day guided canoe trip. Paddling the Mississippi in one of our beautiful 24-foot cedar strip canoes is easy, fun, and affordable–everyone enjoys it.
Paddle boat ride from Stillwater Enjoy daily cruises on the scenic Saint Croix River, departing from historic Stillwater.
Trolley boat ride on Lake Minnetonka Debuting in 1906 as an extension of the Twin Cities’ streetcar system, the Minnehaha provided fast and reliable transportation for the tourists and residents of Lake Minnetonka for nearly twenty years. After a complete restoration, the Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and has operated on Lake Minnetonka every season since.
Historic Fort Snelling With a human history more than 10,000 years in the making, the area today known as Fort Snelling means different things to different people. Explore the past through tours, demonstrations, and conversations that expand the diverse stories of the women, men, and children who crossed paths here—from the Dakota, who call the land Bdote, to other Native American groups who lived and worked here, to enslaved people, immigrants, fur traders, and soldiers.
Minnesota Twins Baseball at Target Field Catch the Minnesota Twins at Target field in downtown Minneapolis.  Ride the Light Rail directly to Target Field.  The Twins play the Kansas City Royals July  9-11, and then the Tampa Bay Rays July 12-15.
US Bank Stadium tour Get a VIP tour around U.S. Bank Stadium by purchasing tickets to one of our 90-minute tours. U.S. Bank Stadium tour guides will give you an inside look with their knowledge of the stadium and behind-the-scene access.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is more than 1,200 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie and woods and miles of trails. As a premier northern garden, the Arboretum was borne out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and established in 1958.
Paisley Park Paisley Park is Prince’s extraordinary private estate and production complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Fans will have the unprecedented opportunity to experience first-hand what it was like for Prince to create, produce and perform inside this private sanctuary and remarkable production complex.
Under Water Adventure @ MOA You will be amazed by the wide variety of fish in this 1.3 million gallon aquarium! With thousands of sea creatures, you will see everything from freshwater Stingrays and four-foot Alligator Gar to 350-pound Sea Turtles and 9 foot sharks……plus Jellyfish and Seahorses as well! Get close to the creatures at our new Pacific Northwest Rockpool – you can touch them!
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park You and your family will howl with excitement with all that Minnesota’s best indoor water park has to offer.
Mill City Museum Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.
Eagan outlet mall Twin Cities Premium Outlets is home to over 100 Outlet Stores including; Nike, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour and Vera Bradley. We are located 10 minutes from the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport.
Minneapolis Institute of Art MIA inspires wonder with extraordinary exhibitions and one of the finest wide-ranging art collections in the country. From Monet to Matisse, Asian to African, 40,000-year-old artifacts to world-famous masterpieces, Mia links the past to the present and enables global conversations.
Minnesota Orchestra The Minnesota Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1903, the Minnesota Orchestra plays most of its concerts at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall.  Osmo Vänskä has been the orchestra’s music director since 2003. Sarah Hicks is the principal conductor of the Live at Orchestra Hall series, and Andrew Litton is the artistic director of the annual Sommerfest concert series.
Minnesota History Museum An interactive museum with permanent and changing exhibits, the Minnesota History Center hosts concerts, lectures, family days, and other special events throughout the year. The building is also home to the Minnesota Historical Society library and archives, a research destination for schoolchildren, family historians, and academics.
Normandale Amphitheater (music, movies, concerts) Arts in the Parks includes not only musical performances from classical to 80s, but also offers everything from moonlight movies to exploding fireworks. All of our programs are completely free of charge and open to the public.
Minnesota Zoo Created by the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Zoo opened in 1978 with a mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. Cutting-edge exhibits provide exciting experiences with animals and their habitats introducing guests to species from around the globe. Education programs engage audiences at the Zoo, throughout the region, and around world. Conservation programs protect endangered species and preserve critical ecosystems. Learn more about the Minnesota Zoo—our mission, leadership, and history.