From the category archives:

Things to Do

Dreaming of buying that waterfront property on Lake Minnetonka so you can sail around the lake? The neighbors belong to the local yacht club and you want to as well,but….Oh, that’s right, you don’t know how to actually captain a sailboat, let alone know the difference between the stern or bow. What is an adult to do?

This year you are in luck. No longer are classes available to just the youth, now adults can learn how to sail as well, thanks to the Upper Minnetonka Yacht Club. Beginning in June, they will be offering a sailing class for adults at the cost of $395. Sessions run four times, three hours each, and the sailing school says you will be able to sail without an instructor after the final class. I am seriously thinking about doing this myself!


I am a lover of bonsai and have four of my own trees I have been working on over the last five years. If you would like to get out of the cold, visit the The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, at Como Park, which houses the largest Bonsai collection in the upper Midwest. Some of these trees are 50+ years old, which puts my 30 so years to shame.


If you are looking for a great place to sit back on a sunny afternoon and enjoy a beautiful fall day, then look no further than Minneapolis’ own backyard. Stop by Lake Harriet where you can enjoy swimming, fishing, walking, music, and much more. The Lake has 344 acres of water and 67 acres of land. With almost three miles of trails available, the park could be crowded but you would never know it.

Check out the Streetcar that travels from Linden Hills to Lake Harriet. The restored line takes you back in history and is another fun adventure for your day trip. The rides are seasonal so be sure to check out their schedule before you go. The #1300 I photographed below is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

According to the Minneapolis Park and Rec website, “Music has been part of the scene at Lake Harriet for over 100 years. The current band shell is the fifth music facility since 1888 and its design echoes the history of the area. The first music pavilion, built in 1888, was destroyed by fire in 1891. A new one was built, but in 1903 it, too, was destroyed by fire. The next pavilion, built in 1904, featured a classical rooftop. It was destroyed by a windstorm in 1925. In 1927, a temporary bandstand was erected and remained until 1985 when the current band shell was constructed.” See photo in filmstrip for current bandstand Pavilion.

You might wonder why I took a photo of the restroom. Well, this women’s restroom, as well a separate male restroom building, are actually quite historic. In 2002 they were restored to their original appearance and are the oldest two building in the Minneapolis park system.

If you have time, walk around some of the neighborhood streets that surround the lake. There are some beautiful examples of French Provincial, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Prairie, and Craftsman home design.

View some turn of the century photos of life on the lake: Swimmers and Row Boats, the second pavilion in 1895 and the third in 1904, the path around the lake in 1910.


Maureen Francis, a fellow ActiveRain blogger, had a little get together of fellow bloggers and compiled an October Blog Tour for member blogs. The blogs come from all over the country, so if you would like to see what is going on in other states, feel free to check out some of them below: – Maureen Francis

BlogCalabasas – Tracey Calabasas

NewHampshireRealEstateBlog – Monika McGillicuddy

Lane Bailey – Lane Bailey

Mortgage Rates Report – Brian Brady

CharlotteRealEstateVoice – Leigh Brown

ReesesPiecesOfRealEstate – Elaine Reese

Denver I Q – Kristal Kraft – Bob Carney

RenoRealtyBlog – Diane Cohn

Sacramento Real Estate – Gene Riede

ArizonaRealEstateWorld – Nick Bastian

SandbarsToSunsets – Cyndee Haydon

ExpertRealEstateTalk – Ashley Gephart

OurSaintPaul – Jay Merton and Jack Boardman

GrandRapidsRealEstate – Steve Volkers

NYCBlogEstate – Mitchell Hall

BestRealEstateLakeNorman – Diane Aurit

TableTalkWithApella – Shane Leady

MountainLivingBlog – Joanne Hanson


BlogByTheBay – Ginger Wilcox

FocusOnCrofton – Margaret Woda

GrandRapidsRealEstate – Lola Audu
CentralOregonBuzz – Thesa Chambers


The Ramsey Hill Association will be hosting the 2007 tour of Historic Homes in St Paul on Sunday, September 16th. Tour hours are for one day only, from 11 am to 5 pm.

This year the Tour will be taking on a special theme:

“Decades of Design: 150 Years of Ramsey Hill Architecture” and will offer a decade by decade walking tour of homes in this historic neighborhood. Not just a historic tour of the oldest homes, this tour will give an excellent example of how architecture has changed during our lifetime.
Ticket prices are $20 per person and can be bought online at the Association’s website. Proceeds go to the restoration of Lookout Park, crime prevention, park beautification and neighborhood grants to community organizations including the Walker West Music Academy, Saint Paul Urban Tennis League and the YWCA’s We Care for Kids program.


We are spending Labor Day enjoying the River. The weather has been great and there is nothing like anchoring on a sandy beach and taking a swim at the end of summer. The Mississippi River, at least the northern portion consists of “Pools” between each lock and dam. We were in Pool 9 today, which is where the below video was shot, and about 3 hours from Minneapolis. Flanked on either side by towering bluffs of rock, you can enjoy cruising down the main channel or take time exploring the backwaters. The little town we cruised by was Lansing, Iowa.


If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids, then travel out to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum this summer to experience the Maze. The Maze has a run for adults and older kids, and for the little tikes, a smaller hedge maze that they can see over. My two year loved running around the corners to hide, pushing through doors, and getting lost. There is even a tower where you can take a break and watch others travel the maze.


This is the last weekend you can attend the Twin Cities Pond and Landscape Tour, so make sure not to miss it. Tickets are $20 per person and children under 12 are free. 100% of ticket sales benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Minnesota Water Garden Society.

Last weekend the tour viewed properties on the north side of the 394/94. This weekend, July 28-29, the tour will focus on properties south side of Minneapolis and St Paul. Tickets can be purchased online. Once you order online, you will be provided a list of homes on the tour.
The tour is self-guided so view at your leisure between 10-5 pm.


Being the largest lake around, it makes sense that Lake Minnetonka would be home to a couple of yacht clubs. During the summer months, especially on the weekends, you can enjoy some of the sailboat regattas on Wayzata Bay. I have always loved sailboats and I can remember my first ride on a very windy day. It seemed the captain of the boat was trying to get me in the water as a joke, but thankfully I did not fall overboard.

If you like to sail, Minntonka offers three options:


The Como Conservatory in St Paul is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. Not only can you enjoy the glass masterpiece outside, but also the botanical collections under its roof.

The Bonsai Exhibit is phenomenal. While you can’t touch the trees, you can stand directly in front of them an admire their beauty. Some are over 50 years old!

Another highlight of the conservatory is an Orchid House, Fern Room, Japanese Garden, and Tropical Garden.

The Como Park has many upcoming events planned for the summer. The Conservatory is free to all and open through September from 10am – 6pm.