10 Things to Do in Minneapolis Before the Super Bowl

Test your golf skills at Sota Pop in downtown Minneapolis
Test your golf skills at Sota Pop in downtown Minneapolis | Courtesy of Explore Minnesota
Kelsey Roseth

Those who have tickets to Super Bowl LII have an exciting weekend in the Twin Cities ahead of them! For those of you without tickets, you still have an awesome opportunity to enjoy the energy and momentum in Minneapolis. Numerous companies and local organizations banded together to develop unique events for NFL fans. Here are 10 things to do before the Super Bowl.

1. ‘Sota Pop Interactive Art Installation


Chuck Us Ode to Minnesota at Sota Pop Minneapolis
Courtesy of Explore Minnesota
Friday, January 26–Sunday, February 04, 2018

Curated by Explore Minnesota, this interactive pop-up experience showcases a gallery of shareable #OnlyinMN photo ops. Experience the full spectrum of what Minnesota has to offer through this installation that was created by local artists. Minnesota is far more than cold—it’s cool—and ‘Sota Pop shows it. Open from 12–10 pm on Saturday and 12–3 pm on Sunday, this exhibit is close to the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall, near other Super Bowl LIVE attractions.

2. Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride

Build Ford Tough Sleigh Ride | Courtesy of Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee
Courtesy of Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee

Friday, January 26–Sunday, February 04, 2018

Hop on a free sleigh ride through downtown Minneapolis, pulled by Ford trucks. Fans can register for the Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride at stops on 8th Street at Marquette, and 12th Street at 2nd Avenue. At the 8th Street location, there will be special appearances by NFL players and legends, along with a lineup of Ford trucks to check out. At both locations, you can sign up for the Toughest Ticket Sweepstakes for the chance to win 2018 season tickets to your favorite NFL team’s home games.

Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride, 8th Street (At Marquette) And 12th Street (At 2nd Avenue), Minneapolis, MN

Build Ford Tough Sleigh Ride | Courtesy of Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee

Bold North Arts & Entertainment Pass

Friday, January 26–Sunday, February 25, 2018

Experience world-class arts and entertainment with the Bold North Arts & Entertainment Pass. Minneapolis is known for having two of the 10 largest art museums in the country, and for having more theater seats per capita than anywhere outside of New York City, and this pass is designed for both locals and out-of-town guests to soak it all in. Offers associated with this pass include 50% off of backstage tour tickets at Guthrie Theater, 20% off of select performances and gallery admission at Walker Art Center, 15% off of Minnesota Orchestra concert performances and more. Use the pass found here.

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Spoonbridge and Cherry at Walker Art Center

The Fan Gallery at Radio Row

Monday, January 29–Friday, February 02, 2018

The Mall of America is the largest mall in the United States in terms of total floor area, so it’s a fitting location for another Super Bowl LII event. Park on the mall’s north side, then take the escalator up to the third floor to check out the Fan Gallery at Radio Row. The free gallery gives fans the opportunity to watch radio broadcasters, professional athletes, and guest celebrities talk it up during Super Bowl week.

Mall of America, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN, USA, +1 952 883 8800

MOA Interior

3. Smocks & Jocks

Smocks & Jocks 2017 | © Kevin Koski/Courtesy of NFLPA
© Kevin Koski/Courtesy of NFLPA

Saturday, February 03, 2018

On Saturday, the National Football League Players Association is hosting Smocks & Jocks, an event that showcases the art of active and former players. The jazz brunch and silent auction run from 10:30 am–1:30 pm, and at the event, guests can mingle with players, observe art, and enjoy food and drinks.

Loring Bar & Restaurant, 327 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 378 4849

Smocks & Jocks 2017 | © Kevin Koski / Courtesy of NFLPA

4. Taste of the NFL

Taste of the NFL | Courtesy of The Brooks Group
Courtesy of The Brooks Group

Saturday, February 03, 2018

This strolling wine and food event originated in Minnesota during Super Bowl XXVI. This year, it returns to its home city for the first time. The “27th Annual Party with a Purpose Brought to You By General Mills,” also known as Taste of the NFL, features celebrity ambassadors Jeff Bridges, Alyssa Milano, and Bobby Flay and a chef from each NFL city serving their signature dish. Current and former players also get involved, leading to more than 35 food stations to visit while guests listen to the band O.A.R. perform. There’s also a silent auction, and money raised helps fight hunger. Tickets run about $700, and the event begins at 7 pm.

Saint Paul RiverCentre, 175 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, MN, USA, +1 651 265 4800

Taste of the NFL | Courtesy of The Brooks Group

5. Polaris UpsideDowntown’s Freestyle Snowmobile Stunts

Saturday, February 03, 2018

From 10 am–10 pm, watch thrilling snowmobile stunts, meet snow athletes, and enjoy outdoor fun in the #BoldNorth. The Polaris UpsideDowntown’s snowmobile stunt show begins at 1:30 pm and features native Minnesotan Levi LaVallee’s signature snowmobile backflip, where he’ll be launching nearly 100 feet between two ramps. LaVallee, a seven-time gold medalist at the ESPN Winter X Games, holds the world record for snowmobile distance jump. Professional snowmobile athletes Justin Hoyer and Fred Rasmussen will perform stunts alongside LaVallee.

Polaris UpsideDowntown at Super Bowl LIVE on Nicollet Mall at 11th Street, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 207 7396

Northern Clay Center’s 100th Annual Chili Cook-Off

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Minnesota is cold in winter, and what’s a better way to warm up than enjoying a bowl of piping hot chili? Check out Northern Clay Center’s 100th Annual Chili Cook-Off from 1–5 pm on Saturday. Featuring special guest potter and former NFL player Chris Cooley, visitors will have the chance to make your own chili bowl, taste whiskey, and try out more than 20 different chilis. The $5 entrance fee comes with a $5 coupon to purchase a new chili bowl or whiskey cup from the sales gallery.

Northern Clay Center, 2424 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 339 8007

6. Frosty Fat Tire Festival

2017 FF IMG_0226

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Aimed at raising more than $40,000 for families in need, the Frosty Fat Tire Festival features 50 fat tire circuit bike riders. Participants round a one-half-mile circuit to raise money to fund a medical grant that will help children access health services. The event runs from 9 am–2 pm and features a brunch buffet, hot chocolate bar, s’mores, reindeer sleigh rides, and Hammer-Schlagen, a game where participants drive nails into wood.

The Lafayette Club, 2800 Northview Road, Minnetonka Beach, MN, USA, +1 952 979 5862

Fat Tire Bike Riding | Courtesy of United Healthcare

St. Paul Winter Carnival

Thursday, January 25–Saturday, February 10, 2018

St. Paul Winter Carnival has a long history in the Twin Cities, as it began providing family-friendly events in 1886. The 2018 Carnival offers four dozen events and new attractions that take place in downtown St. Paul and at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, most of which are free. Events include the EcoLab Ice Palace, a giant snow slide and more. During Super Bowl week, the hours are 10 am–10:30 pm except on Sunday, February 4th when the hours are 10 am–8 pm for the Rice Park activities and 10 am–4 pm for the Ice Palace.

Near Rice Park at Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th Street, Saint Paul, MN, USA, +1 651 223 4700

St. Paul Winter Carnival

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