Girlfriends’ Getaway: Your Guide to Planning a Relaxing Winter Weekend
From boutique shopping and spas to cocktail bars and art classes, here are 10 ways to bond with your best pals this winter.
Winter gives friends a chance to downshift and have fun. It’s the perfect time to get cozy, raise a glass, catch up and make memories. So get the group text going and plan a girlfriends’ getaway to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region with these tips.
1. Rejuvenate in Spas and Salt Caves
Beat back the winter cold with a cozy, colorful and aromatic afternoon of pampering. Schedule a massage, facial, or mani/pedi at Juut Salon Spas throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region or the Minneapolis Aveda Institute. For a different twist on therapeutic relaxation, settle into Minnesota’s First Salt Cave, a unique spa experience that features halotherapy (aka salt therapy) and is said to ease stress and alleviate ailments. You can also experience a healing Himalayan salt room at SALT Salon Spa in St. Louis Park.
2. Shop ’Til You All Drop at Mall of America
Here’s a weather-proof weekend plan — an immersive shopping experience at more than 500 stores. Trust us, you can certainly spend a full weekend at Bloomington’s Mall of America®. In fact, the attached Radisson Blu hotel offers a Mall of America Shopping Package accommodation option so you can stay close by. On the mall’s north side, the stately JW Marriott hotel sits near high-end retailers like Kendra Scott, Burberry and Michael Kors. If you’re staying at another hotel, don’t worry — most provide free mall shuttles.
3. Beat the Winter Blues at Local Boutiques
If mainstream labels and big-box stores aren’t your style, there are plenty of small boutiques you and your crew can explore this winter. Head to Edina’s Galleria for home decor stores like Soft Surroundings, Rypen and Design Within Reach. Near the 50th and France neighborhood, you’ll find plenty of local boutiques. If you’re looking for a new look, you’ll find plenty of options at Saint Paul’s Grand Avenue, Roseville’s Rosedale Center or The Shops at West End in St. Louis Park.
4. Tap Into Your Artistic Sides
Roll up your sleeves and get creative. From knitting at Steven Be, weaving or embellishing scarves at the Textile Center or even pottery at Northern Clay Center, you’re bound to find something that fits your group’s vibe. Looking for something even more hands-on? Try glass blowing at Foci or Skylab Glass Arts!
5. Get Cooking (and Eating!)
Looking to DIY with dinner included? Cooks of Crocus Hill, with locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, guides you through everything from crafting pastries and rustic breads to homemade pastas and global cuisine. Or learn to make truffles and French macarons while sipping heavenly drinking chocolate at L’More Chocolate.
6. Do Dinner and a Show
This winter, there are concert and theater options for every taste. Get grooving with tribute concerts inspired by legends like Elvis and The Eagles, laugh along with Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret or catch the lively production of “Mamma Mia!” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Make it a music-themed day with a tour of Prince’s Paisley Park studio, which is less than two miles from Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Need more laughs? Catch legendary comedy at Minneapolis’ Brave New Workshop.
7. Raise a Glass at Happy Hour Hotspots
Cheers to quality friend time! In northeast Minneapolis, stop by Tattersall Distilling and try their handcrafted gin, rum, vodka, aquavit and more. And just half a mile away you’ll find both Sociable Cider Werks and Indeed Brewing Company, two other great happy hour options. To make it even better, all three are regular spots for local food trucks, giving you an opportunity to try a mix of flavors and fusions.
Looking for something quirkier? Linger over dinner and tiki-themed drinks at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. Venture to Eagan for a Prohibition-era whiskey cocktail at The Volstead House Speakeasy & Whiskey Bar, or do a tour and tasting at St. Louis Park’s Copperwing Distillery or Dampfwerk Distilling (they’re located across the parking lot from one another). Drop into Lakeville Brewing Company on a Sunday and take advantage of their all-day happy hour prices.
8. Get a Taste of the Area
Sometimes, a glass of red wine can be just as good as a mug of hot chocolate during the cold days of winter. Luckily, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region has plenty of wineries nearby. Take a daytrip to Stillwater along the river for a tour of St. Croix Vineyard, which is well known for its cold-hardy Minnesota grape wines and dessert wines. Be sure to stop in at one of the many antique shops along Main Street — they’re filled with treasures!
9. Test Your Luck at Mystic Lake
Every friend group has a lucky charm, so make sure to bring yours to Mystic Lake Casino — Minnesota’s largest resort casino — located near Shakopee. Newly renovated, the hotel and casino includes a spa, several restaurants and one of the largest gaming floors east of Las Vegas.
10. Dance (and Sing) With the Stars
Your favorite superstars are coming to town. Look for Blake Shelton and Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Muse with Evanescence at Target Center, plus Ani DiFranco and Semisonic at First Avenue in Minneapolis.