50 reasons we love spring in Minnesota

Categories: Lists
This year, winter left in a clumsy manner, dumping a foot of snow on us before promising to return next year. But now that the polar vortex and freezing rain storms seem to be over (for now), we're getting psyched to celebrate rebirth and rejuvenation. We've put together a list of our favorite things about spring in the Twin Cities. Are we missing something? Tell us your favorite thing about spring in Minnesota in the comments!

50. Baby animals at the Minnesota Zoo. What's more spring-like than a ton of little fuzzy baby animals? Get your hands on the cutest critters around at the Minnesota Zoo's Wells Fargo Family Farm. From big babies like calves and goat kids to wee ones like baby chicks and bunnies, there's enough "squee!" to make up for even the bleakest winter days. Never underestimate the power of cuteness as you watch newborn lambs test out their wobbly legs. You'll find yourself saying "Awww!" in no time.

Play bocce ball with the sharks
49. Bocce season at Nomad. Forget about baseball -- the most important opening day during spring is the start of bocce season at the Nomad. The pub's Cedar-Riverside location and outdoor fire pits make for fantastic people-watching, all set against a backdrop of the West Bank's distinctive architecture. And even if it's too late to get on a team, nightly bocce drink specials and the social gatherings around the pits mean you don't actually have to be tossing balls to have a great time.

48. Nice Ride returns. You know it's spring when you finally start seeing green (and we're not talking about the grass). As soon as the Nice Ride stations emerge around town, those lime-green bikes can be seen all over the Twin Cities. With so many places to hop on and start pedaling, it's easy to escape the office for a lunchtime adventure and be back in time for an afternoon meeting, or take a day trip and discover a part of town you've never seen.

47. Disc golf. With the help of VCR tape that helps discs stand out from the snow, some hearty folks play all winter long. For most, however, the thaw signals the start of disc golf season. And, arguably, spring is the best time to play, as it's easier to keep track of errant shots without summer's thick foliage complicating things. Also, with school still in session, you should be able to enjoy one of Minnesota's magnificent courses in relative peace and quiet. It is mostly a young person's game, after all.

Thumbnail image for SpringCon3crBFresh.jpg
B Fresh Photography
Revelers at last year's Con
46. SpringCon Each year, the Midwest Comic Book Association puts together one of the coolest cons in the Twin Cities. Dedicated to bringing amazing local talents together with avid fans, SpringCon boasts 100,000 feet of awesome comic book action at the State Fair Grandstand. This convention might be homegrown, but that's what makes it awesome and easy to support local comic artists while getting your cosplay kicks with new friends. This year's fest is May 17-18.

45. St. Paul Saints. Midway Stadium is no Target Field. It doesn't sell pork-and-cream cheese egg rolls. But if there's one thing these lovable losers of the minor leagues have to offer on a crisp Monday night, it's dollar beers. Hell, if you're going to watch athletes disgrace themselves in the Twin Cities, you might as well do it dirt cheap.

44. T-shirts. Call it the right to bare arms, or call it flannel backlash. Regardless, spring brings a shower of comfortable wardrobe choices that allow us to pledge allegiance to almost everything we care enough about to drop a few bucks. Most bands don't sell sweaters or galoshes, so our closets fill with these band shirts all winter long. No longer.

43. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Fest. Otherwise known as MSPIFF, this is the largest festival of its kind in the Upper Midwest, with more than 200 short and feature-length movies culled from across the globe. This year, be sure to check out Dear White People, a satirical survey of black identity in a "post-racial" society, most of which was shot in Minneapolis. It got much love at Sundance, earning a special jury award for breakthrough talent.

42. Fishing. As much as we love ice fishing -- that is, day-drinking -- spring presents the best opportunities for a big catch. Even amateurs shouldn't have much trouble slinging back a few large pikes, which tend to cluster during this time of the year, ready to feed. You'll find them in just about any lake in Minnesota. Just remember to bring rod, bait, and beer. It's hardly fishing without all three.

41. Bonfires. We celebrate this ritual in the fall, but what better way to spit on Old Man Winter than to ignite the recently frozen ground? For centuries, civilizations across the globe have used controlled fire for superstitious spectacle -- the thwarting of witchcraft, the resurrection of Jesus, whatever. We keep doing it because there's something invigorating and life-affirming in watching flames.

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