Things to do in Minneapolis: 5 Thanksgiving Races 2015!

Lifetime Turkey Day 5K Minneapolis

One of many awesome things to do in Minneapolis this Thanksgiving is to go for a run in few of its cool Thanksgiving races here in the city. A great way to spend some quality time with your family, bonding & getting that little exercise before you jump at the feast and spend the day watching football.

If you’re looking for things to do in Minneapolis & St. Paul on Thanksgiving Day, here are 5 of my favorite Thanksgiving Runs in 2015.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Day Races (Minneapolis & St. Paul)

Before you gobble down that turkey, you’ve got to make room for it first!

 

1. Lifetime Turkey Day Run Minneapolis 5K

LIFETIME Turkey Day Minneapolis 5K
This one has turn into a tradition of its own since its humble beginning in 1989. Now in its 26th year, the race starts and ends near the Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis. This family friendly race allows even strollers, so it would be more like a wonderful walk with great view of the city. If you wish, you can be timed from this year at the race. Runners with different paces can now join different wave start times.

A brand new addition to the race is the Largest Colony Contest in which families and friends can participate as a single unit by writing your “family name” while registering for the race. Family with the most numbers of runners at the run will win a $50 gift card to Cowboy Jacks.

When you register for the race, you’ll be given limited edition long sleeve race shirt, a chance for $5 Indoor Kids Care through Life Time Fitness, post-race foods and hot beverages, pre &postrace family carnival, even turkey bowling, and free race photos to capture your eventful day.

A great thing about this Thanksgiving run is that Life Time will match registration fee up to $10,000 and donate it to Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest and efficient food banks in the country.

Date: November 26, 2015
Time: 8 A.M.
Venue: Target Center, 600 North 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Website: http://www.turkeyday-5k.com/races/minneapolis/

 

2. Turkey Trot St. Paul 6K & 10K

Turkey Trot St. Paul

Even if this is things to do in Minneapolis on Thanksgiving Day, you may not want to miss out on St. Paul Turkey Trot as it is the latest Thanksgiving race gaining popularity with the runners and the cheering crowds alike. There will be support teams to keep runners hydrated throughout the race and they all will be getting a number of post-race refreshments as well as food items to keep them standing at the end of the day.

You will be running or walking along the Mississippi River and only the 10K race will be chip timed. Runners will get an authentic Turkey Trot St. Paul finisher’s medallion as well as cool long-sleeve performance T-shirt and you can get race results live online on Facebook or Twitter. Note: You will have to pick up your packet for the run before the race day.

Date: November 26, 2015
Time: 
8 A.M.                   6K
7:30 A.M.             10K
Venue: Downtown Saint Paul, MN 55105
Website: http://www.turkeytrotsaintpaul.com/#!info/c1jxp

 

3. Drumstick Dash 10K

Drumstick Dash

Running around the Lake Harriet and at that twice is a great feat. When you start to get hot from running around the lake you’ll have the cool breeze to freshen you up right away all the while getting to see the beautiful lake from its entire angle. You will have chip timing by MTEC and all runners get a technical shirt. Talking about the technical aspects of the race, it is USATF certified and the course isn’t that rough, however, it is a bit hilly on north and south ends of the lake and smooth on east and west sides.

So not to let the race be over-crowded, the race organizers have put a limit to number of runners for the event which is just 1,500 and that’s why you will need to register early to get your spot.

If you are not up for the whole 10K race, don’t dread it. The event has a Cranberry Cruise One Mile, Cranberry kids Half Mile and even a Pi Run. As for the Pi Run, it’s only one lap around the lake and covers just 3.14 miles. Another thing, the Pi Run allows only 250 runners.

The organizers have also added two team challenges:

1) Wishbone Challenge for the fastest Drumstick Dash 10K team

2) Family Challenge for the largest family group in all events

There is $5 discount for each entry fee for groups of 4 or more participants for which you will have to register online at the same time.

Date: November 26, 2015
Time:
7:30 A.M.             Cranberry Cruise One Mile
7:45 A.M.             Cranberry Kids Half Mile
8:00 A.M.             Drumstick Dash 10K
8:00 A.M.             Pi Run
Venue: Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 West Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Website: http://www.drumstickdash10k.com/

 

4. IRIS Turkey Trot 5K & 10K

IRIS Trukey Trot

The holiday season is about to start and when we talk about holidays it’s all about family, friends and the center of attention – the kids. And, what a great way to celebrate children even in their death and to provide some sort of comfort for the grieving parents no matter how insignificant it may seem.

IRIS Turkey Trot helps spread awareness about pregnancy loss and infant death and simply is a nice way to celebrate the day for being thankful to all good things, however short it may have been. This race is organized by southernminnSCENE.com and all the proceeds are given to Infants Remembered In Silence, a non-profit organization. Both 5K and 10K runs will be timed.

Date: November 26, 2015
Time:
8:30 A.M.             10K Timed Run
8:35 A.M.             5K Timed Run
8:40 A.M.             5K Walk
Venue: Faribault Middle School, 704 17th St. SW, Faribault, MN
Website: http://www.irisremembers.com/

 

5. Beast 2 Feast 5K

Beast 2 Feast

Beast 2 Feast 5K is another charitable race which helps children’s hospitals and clinics of Minnesota. You can register for this Thanksgiving race through Active.com. The registration covers a Beast 2 Feast custom T-shirt, Finisher’s medal and post-race refreshments. At the race venue, there will be a food shelf where you can donate canned food items which will be given to the Little Kitchen FoodShelf.

Date: November 26, 2015
Time: 9 A.M.
Venue: Lake Calhoun Executive lot, 3134 W Calhoun Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Website: www.Beast2Feast.com

Strap up your laces & get ready for a run!

What to do for Halloween in Twin Cities?

What to do for Halloween in Twin Cities

Hey, if you have the guts to face real terror-inducing Halloween attractions in Twin Cities, here are my top 6 picks.

This is a Halloween scare fest – Not for the faint of heart.

You have been warned!

 

1. Trail of Terror

3525 145th Street West, Shakopee, MN 55379, 952 – 445 – 7361

Trail of Terror is said to be the largest Halloween affair in the Midwest with both scare free and, as advertised, spine chilling attractions, Zombie Paintball, Running Dead & Phantom’s Feast. Try your hand at escaping from HARMONY Department of Corrections, and enjoy your freedom in Howling Pines with not so serene walk. After all the running like a fugitive, get some rest by staying a night at Hotel 666 & have a chat with a few of its permanent guests. And, if your scary Halloween appetite is still not satisfied, then try something from Chuckles Pizzeria or BonE Appetit!

Filled up good? Alright, put your mind to test in Escape Room, if you are still up for it that is, no pressure. Go for Hogtied Pub Crawl for a couple of chilled beers.

For those of who don’t want to be scared as hell, Trail of Terror also has scare free attractions such as –

  • Knockerball
  • Meet The Dire Wolves!
  • Giant Twister
  • Hookah Lounge
  • Mechanical Bull Rides
  • Club Scream
  • Terror Tavern
  • Dead Man’s Gulp
  • Screw Loose Cabooze
  • Throne of Swords
  • Karaoke

To know what you are getting into see website Trail of Terror.

 

2. The Dead End Hayride

28186 Kettle River Blvd, Wyoming, MN 55092, 651 – 462 – 4848

If you think that this is going to be just another hayride then you are so mistaken. Don’t want the scary stuffs? Get off while you’ve the chance. What you will experience at the The Dead End Hayride is a great Halloween scare. It’s a perfect ride through spooky and creepy woods. Don’t be scared of the patients in Sunny Vale Asylum, the poor souls are just trying to get their freedom and a little lively company. Be a good sport and spare a few minutes of your time for them too, will you?

No? Ok then, but how about getting out of here, through the haunted field Site 66. You do want to get out right?

For details visit The Dead End Hayride.

 

3. Halloween Haunt at Valley Scare

1 Valleyfair Drive, Shakopee, MN 55379, 952 – 445 – 7600

Think you can pick just one?!

MAZES

  • Hellside Farm
  • Human(e) Habitat
  • London Terror
  • Mangler Asylum
  • Cleaver’s Bloodshed
  • The Chateau
  • Zombie High

SCARE ZONES

  • Abnormal Alley
  • Blood Creek Cemetery
  • Carnevil: Ringmaster’s Revenge
  • Dinoslaughte
  • Trails End

RIDES

  • Corkscrew
  • Enterprise
  • High Roller
  • Looping Starship
  • Mad Mouse
  • Power Tower
  • Renegade
  • Ripcord
  • Scrambler
  • Steel Venon
  • Tilter
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Wild Thing
  • Xtreme Swing

SHOWS

  • Dark Divas
  • Hacks Live
  • The Fourth Ring

EXPERIENCES

  • Blood Suckers Brew Bar
  • Great Pumpkin Fest (daytime)
  • Skeleton Key

For tickets, date & time, check out their website.

 

4. The Haunting Experience

10900 E. Pt Douglas Rd. Cottage Grove, MN 55016, 651 – 459 – 3001

A 20 minute drive from the Twin Cities will take you to the longest running Halloween attraction in Minnesota that is HWY 61 Haunting Experience. You will find it in between Cottage Grove and Hastings on the northbound side of Highway 61. You know, it’s so believably scary that you would definitely think that it’s from outside this world. It has been around for more than two decades!

You got to go home either completely scared or frightened, with just a fun little detour of this place. So, wondering what are your choices? Well, here awaits your nightmares –

  • The Manor House
  • Tinkles Playland
  • The Hayride
  • Low Scare “Lights On” Experience
  • Zywiec’s Corn Maze
  • Big Zombie Hunter Paintball

For detail on the Halloween scare, go to their website.

 

5. 2015 Haunted Basement

The Soap Factory, 514 Second St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414,

Looking for a terrifying Halloween scare? Well, come down to The Soap Factory’s 13,000 square feet Haunted Basement!

The experience may feel horrible, grotesque and even terrifying most of the times. But, what can you expect from a production team with more than 75 artists, directors & performers who come together to give you the Halloween horror of the scariest nature.

2015 Haunted Basement will be The Soap Factory’s 9th installment for the horror. This is restricted area only meant for 18+, and you have to sign a waiver form before entering the basement. This year you will also have to endure a disturbing maze built in Gallery 1 of the Factory’s 1st floor, where you will have  to wait before they let you into the basement.

You will be sent in 2 – 4 people at a time and there is no set time limit. Dare to go solo in the Haunted Basement? Then, go for Blind Invocation.

And or when you cannot handle the situation and it’s too much for you, just say “Uncle” to end the torturous experience. But, if you can handle it, you will definitely have stories to brag about.

By the way, the smells/stench that you’ll have to suck it in is custom made by Art and Olfaction Award nominated St. Croix Sensory.

What you ask for is what you get – the unimaginable horror and an epic scare, delivered to you, courtesy of Haunted Basement.

For more info on the Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement, tickets, rules and FAQs see here.

 

6. Nightmare Hallow Scream Park

15201 Zurich St., Columbus, MN 55025, 651- 462 – 7279

Running for your life? OR Screaming for the band or the DJ?

Whatever you’ve got, it’s awesome. Want to know what being terrified means? Well, hop on Minnesota’s Scariest Hayride. Nightmare Hallow Scream Park has been dishing out fun; I mean spine tingling Halloween scare for 20+ years now. Test your metal by trying to last at least 15 – 20 minutes without screaming. So, what’s it going to be? Terror Trail, Double Sided Haunted House with – The Dark Crypt & Clown Alley, or is it the Twin Cities Zombie Hunt to have a blast!

 

Ready for your scariest nightmares to come alive?

 

Ready for 5 BEST US Road Trips!

Ready for 5 BEST US Road Trips

If you ask me, road trips are the best mini-vacations there is. From hundreds of highways with most scenic drives in America, the road just keeps on calling. Whether you want a quiet and peaceful drive or a dramatic one, there is always a perfect one for you with the most scenic drives in America. Choose a trip, get the map and call up your favorite travel buddies.

Gear up for 5 of the most scenic drives in America!

Take road trips to the west during summer, and go for the trips in eastern part of the country in fall. From hundreds of options available for you, here are 5 most scenic drives in USA for road trips:

1. Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

With 113 miles of open road, Overseas Highway takes you to Key West, the southernmost part of the country. The starting drive from Florida mainland to Key Largo may not be much to look at, but once you get to Key Largo and begin your drive on Route 1, all bets are off.

On the drive through Route 1, from Key Largo to Key West in Florida, you will get to not only cross one of the longest bridges in the country – Seven Mile Bridge, but will get to have the view of the stunning ocean. Having the company of turquoise hued sea on a sunny beautiful day feels much like heaven.

2. Pacific Coast Highway, California

Highway 1 on the Pacific Coast Highway will take you on an incredible journey from California, Oregon and Washington. When you are making your way from Santa Barbara to Canadian border, you get to witness some of the most amazing views of Pacific Ocean and coastal mountains.

Pacific Coast Highway may only be 123 miles long, Highway 1, however, is much longer. It has a number of sharp twists& turns, so you have to be careful. And then, there is the 90 mile long part of the highway, popularly known as Big Sur with the scenic redwoods. If you could, avoid going on a road trip here in July & August, as there is way too much traffic. I also do not recommend a visit here in winter because of the mudslides.

The drive on Pacific Coast Highway will give you a real good goose-bumping adventure. Don’t forget to make short stops to take in the fabulous views, while passing through California’s Monterey Peninsula, Mendocino and Eureka.

3. Patchwork Parkway, Utah

It takes around 2-3 hours to drive Patchwork Parkway in Utah which bridges Heritage Highway 89 and Scenic Byway 12. The 51 miles long scenic roadway is also known as Route 143. It offers a hell of a view of canyons colored in different shades of oranges and reds.  With an elevation of more than 10,000 feet at Cedar Breaks National Monument, it is one of the highest paved roads in the state.

Take breaks from time to time to admire the breathtaking views of canyons, silt cliffs, peaks and plateaus, lakes as well as lava fields. If you love looking up to the stars, plateaus here give you quite a welcome for star gazing.

4. Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive is a part of the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway that goes through Shenandoah National Park. So, there is a definite speed limit of 35 mph here to prevent the animals crossing the path from becoming a road kill.

The drive or say the crawl on the Skyline gives a whopping 75 stops, overlooking the scenic valleys and incredible mountains. Go for a road trip on Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn to view the vibrant colors decorating the mountains and the foliage.

While spring is a great time to see the wild flowers in full bloom on this 105 mile stretch. If you are short on time, do not worry, Skyline Drive only takes around 4 hours to complete, with stops in between. And for some of us, with a speed limit of 35 mph, who needs to stop!

5. Going to the Sun Road, Montana

This is definitely one of the popular drives in the country. Many of us have either done a road trip here or are planning for one. The 52 mile long scenic roadway takes you through Glacier National Park, Montana. And, the drive itself can be completed in around 2 hours without a pit stop. The coolest thing about this drive has to be crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, at an elevation of 6646 ft.

Besides that, you have got spectacular views of glaciers at Jackson Glacier Overlook which is right on the road. Plus, you get to drive through different landscapes from cedar forests to alpine tundra, as well as the glacial lakes and valleys. You get to see all of these in just one amazing road trip!

If you wish to finish the entire thing in one go, you should do it in summer for the magnificent views.

 

All 50 states have amazing roadways while these are only the top 5 favorites of mine. Whatever you do, DO NOT miss these, no matter what! Make time for having some of the most memorable moments in your life with some best American road trips there is.

For more scenic drives in US, check out the list here http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/