Big League, Big Heads

A local print shop is hard at work creating new big heads for the next Twins home game. The cutouts made their debut during the opener with the faces of 80 Twins’ legends. Now fans will get the chance to see their likeness in the lower-level seats. And in some cases, their pets are getting a front row seat. Resolution Graphics in Arden Hills has printed everything from babies heads to cats and dogs. For $80, $40 for season ticket holders, fans could purchase a two-and-a-half-foot high likeness of their face. Each “big head” will be returned to fans after the season as a keepsake.

Maplewood Mall zoo reopens with new name

The Cock-a-doodle Zoo in the Maplewood Mall has reopened with a new name and mission. Sustainable Safari will focus on animal education and what needs to happen to keep their habitats sustainable. The zoo has kangaroos, capybarra, African porcupine, ringtail lemurs and new additions like wallabies and badgers. The zoo is open the same hours as the mall.

Twin Cities Company Brings Glamping Experience To You

Pitched MPLS launched this new business venture this spring. The company brings an Instagram-worthy set up to customer’s backyards including large canvas tents, a bed and bedding, picnic tables, fire pits, and even a screen for watching movies. They do all the set up and clean up. Owners, Kenny and Autumn Young, weren’t sure what would happen with ‘Pitched’ given the pandemic, but with parties and vacations getting cancelled due to COVID 19, their business quickly took off and they’ve purchased more tents and opened up more glamping dates.

Prehistoric experience arrives at state fairgrounds

The Minnesota State Fairgrounds are taking you back in time for the next two weekends. ‘Dinosaur Adventure’ is a drive-thru experience that features 80 life-sized dinosaurs including a 40-foot robotic T-rex. They also offer a guided audio tour. You do have to purchase tickets in advance for a specific time-slot. For more information visit: www.dinosauradventure.com

Como Zoo & Como Town Amusement Park Reopen

The Como Zoo is now open daily from 10am to 4pm. Before you go, you’ll need a reservation and masks are required. Also included in the safety plan, a one-way walking path that begins at the new Cleveland Court. It’s located near the carousel and Como Town. Reservations are only available on Como’s website: https://comozooconservatory.org/ Como Town will reopen Wednesday - Sunday with limited-capacity time slot packages at 10:00, 11:30, 1:00 and 2:30. Tickets are $13.00. Reservations and information for Como Town can be found at www.comotown.com.

Brooklyn Park opens new pop-up plaza

What was once a grassy field on the corner of a busy intersection in Brooklyn Park is now a pop-up space dubbed Plaza Park. The gathering spot is next to the Brooklyn Park Library on the corner of 85th Avenue North and West Broadway Avenue. Plaza Park has a stage, a nature play area, murals by local artist Geno Okok, picnic tables and a space for food trucks to park. The city plans to transform this space into a permanent plaza as part of the Center for Innovation and the Arts project with North Hennepin Community College. Construction on the center will begin in 2022.

Sunflower fields in bloom in Northwest Metro

For the last five years, a Twin Cities realtor has been planting sunflower fields simply as a way to spread joy. This year there are 12 picture-perfect fields spread across Rogers, Monticello and Dayton. They are free for the public to enjoy and truly an Instagrammer’s delight. To find out which fields are in-bloom and where they are located; visit the ‘Fish Sunflowers’ Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/687823781575350/

Road Trip: New ice cream shop with a German twist opens in New Ulm

In lieu of vacations, many Minnesotans are planning road trips. One stop to put on your travel bucket list is New Ulm. This weekend they’re holding their ‘Crazy Days’ event that encourages people to support local businesses and restaurants that are facing hardships due to the pandemic. There will be special sidewalk sales and live music. Make sure to leave room for sweets. There’s a new shop called MN Eis. They have 24 flavors of ice cream, edible cookie dough, cupcakes and candy. Their specialty is the German treat called Spaghettieis. It’s an ice cream dessert that looks just like spaghetti and meatballs

Minnesota Zoo opens to the public Friday

The Minnesota Zoo reopened to members Sunday. The public can once again wander the trails starting Friday, July 24th. The experience has changed as the zoo works to keep their staff, guests and the animals healthy. Everyone has to purchase a ticket online in advance for a specific date and entry time. Once inside, there is a one-way flow of traffic. The splash pad and play areas will remain closed at this time, and masks are required of guests ages three and up. The zoo is hours are now 10am to 4pm.

Now open: The Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center reopens today and they’ve made some changes to how you visit the world-class galleries. There are new hours, and visitors must purchase timed-tickets in advance even for free admissions. We spoke with the Director, Mary Ceruti about what to expect.

Movement underway to save Twin Cities concert venues

It’s no secret the Twin Cities has a vibrant music scene with many celebrated venues. But with these venues shut down and an uncertain future, there’s an effort to help them stay afloat. The folks behind MusicInMinnesota.com have created the ‘Value our Venues’ fundraiser. They’ve selected eight important venues to highlight; First Ave., The Turf Club, Hook and Ladder Theater, Mortimer’s, Parkway Theater, The Warming House, Caydence Records and The Garage. They got the support of more than 50 musicians for a unique photo shoot showing these artists in front of the shut-down venues they used to play. Every day Music in Minnesota releases new artist portraits and recently created a Spotify playlist featuring Minnesota musicians. The goal is to raise $100,000 to split evenly between the venues. To find out more visit: https://www.musicinminnesota.com/value-our-venues/

Small Minnesota town where ‘Purple Rain’ was filmed unveils Prince statue

A new life-sized statue of Prince joins a growing tribute on Main Street in Henderson, Minnesota. There’s also a memorial bench and mural. The small Minnesota town about 45 minutes south of the metro is where the famous “that ain’t Lake Minnetonka” scene was filmed for the movie ‘Purple Rain.’ Cinematographer Joel King is the man who spearheaded this project. He worked with Prince on the movie ‘Graffiti Bridge.’ While he grew up in Minneapolis, he moved to Hollywood to work on films. He now lives in Henderson and can often be found sharing stories with tourists at the Prince tribute.

New ice cream shop opens in St. Paul to help you beat summer heat

Not much can beat a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day and we have just the place to do that, 2 Scoops Ice Cream Eatery. The new shop just opened on the corner of Selby and Milton in St. Paul. The family-owned business has been in the works for three years as they searched for the perfect spot. They offer 18 different flavors of ice cream and serve hot food as well including pizza and chili dogs.

Community embraces Black-owned businesses amid protests

As a show of support for the Black community, people are embracing Black-owned businesses. There are a lot of lists circulating to help people find and support businesses owned by people of color and one of those is Soul Bowl. Gerard Klass’ restaurant, which is located in the Graze Food Hall near Target Field, has been prominently featured on almost every list and he’s thankful for that visibility. It’s translated to more business and followers on social media. In fact, on Friday, Juneteenth, Soul Bowl had its highest sales day ever. Klass hopes this support for Black-owned businesses isn’t just a phase and that it continues into the future. Klass also wants to pay it forward. In March, he started a program called ‘Food for your Soul’ providing meals for families who are struggling. To date, they've donated 5,000 meals in the community.