Bloomington Quick Facts
County: Hennepin
Population: 85866
Size: 34.68 sq mi
Median Home Price: $350,000
Average Rent Price: $1479
Commute to Mpls: 15 minutes
Commute to StP: 18 minutes
Electricity: Xcel Energy
Natural Gas: CenterPoint Energy
Garbage / Recycle: City
Water: City
House Styles Website
Bloomington Overview
Bloomington is the fifth largest city in Minnesota and just south of Downtown. As of 2016, it has a population of roughly 85,000 people, and it's known for its abundance of parks, including the Hyland Park Lake Reserve with its majestic vistas and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. There are several bodies of water, including Marsh Lake, Bush Lake, and a hundred other smaller lakes and ponds. It has a strong economy and job market, thanks in a large part to being the home of the Mall of America, which is one of the largest malls in the world. It also has the only Ikea in Minnesota, and business has always been a mainstay of Bloomington. The businesses provide more than 100,000 jobs, and many corporations have their headquarters there, including Ceridian, HealthPartners, and Toro. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is also nearby, which means there are a lot of hotels in Bloomington as well as a booming service/hospitality industry. The city is rich with artistic expression, which can be enjoyed in several ways. There are sculptures and murals around the city, such as the Mhiriphiri Gallery which features displays Zimbabwean sculpture and other African arts. It also has several museums and theaters. If you're more the sports type, there is plenty here for you as well, especially if you enjoy skiing. They take their skiing seriously, and there are several well-known places where you can swish down the slopes, including Hyland Park (which also has Nordic skiing). They also take their Pickleball seriously, and there are roughly 1,500 active participants in the sport.
Bloomington History
Before Bloomington was Bloomington, it was the land of a Dakota tribe (in the late 1830s). Soon after, the Bloomington Ferry was opened, and travel across the Minnesota River was possible. In 1851, the area was opened to settlers, and some of the settlers were from Bloomington, Indiana, and decided to name the new area after their home city. In the early years of the city, the primary industries were flour milling, farming, and blacksmithing. Bloomington slowly grew in the early 1900s. It experienced rapid growth in the mid-1900s, in part because of the post-World War II boom. It officially became a city on November 8th, 1960, and it has flourished ever since. In the sixties through the eighties, it was the home of the Twins and the Vikings, and the North Stars. It lost the Twins and the Vikings in the early 80s, and the North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. The Mall of America, affectionately known as the MegaMall opened in 1992, and it put Bloomington on the map. The Mall of America is a major tourist attraction, and it's been a boon for Bloomington. Bloomington is strong on education from elementary school to higher education. It has plenty of culture, including theater and museums, sports, and nature. It's close to Downtown Minneapolis as well.
Green / Environmental
Bloomington recently (2018) went to a combined garbage hauler system. In the past, each homeowner would contract with one of the approved garbage haulers and each hauler would go down each street. This would mean that every street could have 5 trucks going down it on collection days. Now Bloomington contracts out to various haulers in various zones. This reduces the number of garbage trucks on collection days, and reduces the wear and tear on the streets by having only one truck assigned to each street. Bloomington has also put together a Sustainability Commission (2017) to advise the city council and staff and community. Successes from the Sustainability Commission include:
  • Creating the Energy Action Plan with a goal of reducing carbon emissions from natural gas and electricity by 75 percent by 2035.
  • Successfully launching the Organics Drop-off program.
  • Establishing a plan with a goal of reducing commercial groundwater use by 350 million gallons by 2028.
  • Restoring land in the Minnesota River Valley and making plans to restore an additional 20 acres of ecologically sensitive areas this year.
  • Achieving Step Three recognition in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.
Bloomington was recently named a Step Three GreenStep City (2018) as noted in the bullet point above. They joined the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program in 2017, and they are one of four cities to jump from a Step One to a Step Three city in such a short time. It shows how committed Bloomington is to sustainability, and they continue to take steps to make their city greener.
Real Estate
Bloomington MN was mostly developed in the 1940's to the 1970's. There are of course homes older and newer than that range, but the bulk of the homes were built in those few decades, as the city grew tremendously in the 1950's. The predominant style of houses built in the 1940's to 1960's is the ranch (or rambler as it is also called) along with the 3-level split and the 4-level split. If you are wanting to search for homes, or list your home for sale, click on the links below.
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Bloomington Off-leash Dog Park - (Nesbitt Ave. S & W 110th St, 952-563-8877, website) Bloomington Off-leash Dog Park is 25 acres of dog heaven. It's a great place to let your pooch run around to their heart's content and to meet some dog friends (and dog lovers as well, of course).
Hyland Lake Park Reserve - (10145 Bush Lake Rd., 763-694-7687, website) Hyland Lake Park Reserve is a vast expanse of nature in the city. It's a great place to escape from the hectic pace of daily life and truly feel as if you're in the wilderness. It's beautiful to behold and to experience. They have disc golf, skiing, and plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy.
Hyland Park Reserve - (10145 Bush Lake Rd.,, 763-694-7687, website) Hyland Park Reserve is run by the Three Rivers Park District, and it's 1,000 acres of pristine wetlands, marshes, and other flora. It has miles of hiking and walking trails, and a biking path as well. There is an open play area for children that has won awards for its design. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what it has to offer. It has disc golf, skiing (downhill, telemark, and cross-country), dog trails, canoeing, snowboarding, and more. It also hosts the Richardson Nature Center, which can teach you a lot about animals and nature. You could spend all day here and not experience all it has to offer.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife - (3815 American Blvd. E, 952-854-5900, website) Minnesota Valley National Wildlife was created in 1976 in order to house endangered species (including waterfowl and fish) across nearly 70 miles and 14,000 acres. It's a good way to get to know the various endangered species we have in Minnesota. Be sure to call before you visit either visitor center to make sure they are open.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge - (3815 American Blvd. E,, 952-854-5900, website) Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1976 to protect the native waterfowl and wetlands. In addition to protecting the habitat, it was also created in order to educate the general public about said habitat. The Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (the address provided here) will help you coordinate your visit. It also has an 8,000 square foot exhibit area. The refuge itself is 10,000 acres, and there are many hiking trails so you can explore to your heart's content. There are plenty of activities available, including canoeing, fishing, snowmobiling, and more. You can also walk your dog, weather permitting, and cross-country ski, again, weather permitting. There is a lot to do here.
Moir Park/Central Park - (10320 Morgan Ave. S,, 952-563-8877, website) MoirPark/Central Park is 200+ acres of bucolic paradise that includes much flora goodness and tranquil waters. The trees tower over you, giving you the impression of a secluded getaway. They are actually two parks which are right next to each other, so they are paired together on the city website. Moir Park is smaller, but it has plenty to offer including a children's playground, trails, and a picnic area. Central Park is bigger, and it has softball fields and volleyball courts for the more athletic types.
Moir/Central Park - (10320 Morgan Ave. S, 952-563-8877, website) Moir/Central Park is over 20 acres, and it has disc golf, softball fields, a volleyball court, grills, and a playground for the kids. It also has plenty of trails to traverse. It's family-friendly, and the perfect place to go on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Running Park - (9501 12th Ave. S, 952-563-8877, website) Running Park is a great place to take the family whether you want to go for a run, play hockey, ice skate, or just have a picnic. It also has a playground and a softball field so it's perfect for outdoorsy fun.
West Bush Lake Park - (9401 W. Bush Lake Rd., 952-563-8877, website) Wet Bush Lake Park has a boat landing and canoeing, an area for picnicking, a playground, and a volleyball court.
5120 Restaurant & Oxygen Bar - (5120 American Blvd. W, 952-698-4864, website) 5120 Restaurant & Oxygen Bar is an elegant, modern American restaurant in a Country Inn & Suites hotel. It's quietly upscale atmosphere surrounds you as you dine on their updated versions of American classics such as pan-seared scallops and the nicoise salad. It's the perfect place for any special event, be it a family holiday or a wedding party dinner.
Bloomington ChopHouse - (3900 American Blvd. W,, 952-830-5200, website) Bloomington ChopHouse is a high-end steakhouse located in the Bloomington Hilton. The decor is contemporary, and the atmosphere is relaxed. The staff members are friendly and knowledgeable. The menu includes the ChopHouse scramble, lobster mac and cheese, rib-eye, Wagyu flat-iron, and bison. They also have private dining if you want a more intimate experience.
Ciao Bella - (3501 Minnesota Dr., 952-841-1000, website) Ciao Bella has been serving Italian fare to the city for over 20 years. They use local ingredients and make their dishes by hand. They believe in quality, and it shows in every dish. They will help you pair your meals with the perfect wine in this upscale restaurant. Try the seared ahi tuna or the walleye Milanese if you're partial to fish. Otherwise, there's brick roasted chicken, braised short ribs, or the New York strip if you prefer meat. They have gluten-free options as well.
Ciao Bella - (3501 Minnesota Dr.,, 952-841-1000, website) Ciao Bella was opened in 1997 by Rick Webb, a local restauranteur, and it's been a neighborhood favorite ever since. It's an Italian restaurant with a contemporary look (and art!) and fresh and simple dishes. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is relaxed. There is patio dining weather permitted. They believe in using local products whenever possible, and importing sustainable items when it's not. They use only the best ingredients, and they make their dishes by hand (including their pasta). The menu includes wood-grilled filet mignon, pesto-crusted sea bass, herb linguini with braised meatballs, seared ahi tuna, and roasted heirloom potatoes. They have plenty of vegetarian options, gluten-free options, and a careful selection of fine wines, too.
Co Tu Oriental Cuisine - (8907 Penn Ave. S,, 951-884-3295, website) Co Tu Oriental Cuisine is a Vietnamese restaurant that was opened in 2018 because the owners wanted to bring the taste of their homeland to Minnesotans. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, and it's a cozy spot. They believe in the harmony of foods, including the combination of five fundamental tastes in Vietnamese cuisine, and they strive to achieve the perfect combination for each dish. The menu includes crab and swimming bladder soup, bun with grilled beef, and Vietnamese-style spaghetti.
David Fong's - (9329 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-888-9294, website) David Fong's is a Cantonese restaurant opened in 1958, and it's Minnesota-friendly. It's a roomy and warm restaurant that serves favorites such as chicken chow mein and New York Steak Chinatown. Or, you can try something different like the Hoong Shu Chicken or Steak Kow. Their food is made from scratch. The service is friendly, and they have a bar as well.
El Loro Mexican Grill - (8405 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-881-2151, website) El Loro Mexican Grill (also at 9332 Ensign Ave. S, 952-452-9975) is a casual Mexican restaurant that is great to eat at with family and/or friends. It has many of the favorites, such as burritos, enchiladas, and they have plenty of vegetarian options as well.
Fat Lorenzo's - (311 W 84th St., 952-888-3282, website) Fat Lorenzo's is an Italian restaurant in the Everett McClay VFW Post 1296. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed, and they are known for their award-winning pizzas, such as the New Haven (with clams). They also serve pasta like Baked Rigatoni, hoagies, and gelatos plus other desserts. They have both take-out and delivery as well.
Golden Wok - (617 W 98th St., 952-888-0833, website) Golden Wok is a casual Chinese and Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and moo shu with equal aplomb. They have an extensive menu, so you can try several different things if you choose. Sushi rolls including hand rolls, sashimi, and udon noodles on the Japanese side. Chow mein, fried rice, and lo mein on the Chinese side. They have vegetarian options as well.
Gyropolis - (2320 W 90th St., 952-746-2091, website) Gyropolis started in 2005 and has been serving gyros to the community ever since. It's colorful and casual restaurant with great service. As you can probably guess, they're best known for their gyros, but they have other dishes as well, such as falafel salad, spanakopita, and Greek oven potatoes.
Gyropolis - (2320 W 90th St.,, 952-746-2091, website) Gyropolis is a Greek restaurant that was opened in 2005 by a hometown kid and his brother who were nostalgic to open a restaurant where they used to hang out, serving the food they used to eat as kids. They were committed to making the best on the go (sto xeri in Greek) food possible. They upped the ante in 2011 by starting to grow their own organic vegetables on their farm, which they use in their dishes. Their father picks oregano by hand in the mountains of Greece, and the two owners use it to season their salad dressing. The restaurant is small and cozy, and the staff is friendly. The menu includes a spicy chicken pita, spanakopita, chopped Greek salad, and pizza. They have vegetarian options, and they cater as well.
Hunan Restaurant - (8066 Morgan Circle S, 952-881-2280, website) When you are looking for that quick chinese lunch buffet, this is the place. It's on the smaller side, but what they do, they do well. Always fresh and hot, and ready to go.
Hunan Restaurant - (8066 Morgan Circle S.,, 952-881-2280, website) Hunan Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant that specializes in Hunan, Cantonese, and Szechuan cuisine. The decor is warm and colorful, and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual. The staff is friendly and cheerful. Their signature dishes include black seabass filet with mushroom, Hunan lamb, and honey walnut shrimp. The menu includes minced chicken & velvet corn soup, crispy fried duck or roast duck, and shrimp with lobster sauce. They have takeout, too.
Ike's Food & Cocktails - (4400 W 78th St., 952-831-4537, website) Ike's Food & Cocktails is a low-key, casual restaurant where it's fun to hang out with your friends and sip on a mojito. Try one of their sandwiches such as the Frenchy or the walleye po'boy, or have a burger. They also serve small plates such as spicy fried calamari and the BBQ ribs sampler. They have happier hour every Monday through Saturday.
Lucky's 13 Pub - (1800 American Blvd. W, 952-405-2213, website) Lucky's 13 Pub is a brick-lined hangout spot with a wraparound bar and a patio for summertime dining. It's a great place to go with your friends and have a pint and a bite. They have all your pub favorites such as tater tots and Jucy Lucy (called the Juicy Lulu here). They also have other tasty dishes, like the cheese curd burger, Cajun hash, and Cincinnati spaghetti. They'll serve you a jumbo pretzel with a smile.
Mandarin Kitchen - (8766 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-884-5356, website) Mandarin Kitchen (8766 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-884-5356) is a Cantonese restaurant that is most famous for its dim sum. There is nothing like the feeling of busily eating little morsels of delicacies while servers are pushing carts of more tiny delicious bites nearby. Steamed buns filled with BBQ pork, shumai, spring rolls, scallion cakes, and hundreds more dishes to tempt your appetite. It's a beloved Twin Cities restaurant and with good reasons.
Sports Page Bar & Grill - (9014 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-887-0046, website) Sports Page Bar & Grill (9014 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-887-0046) is a neighborhood watering hole where friends gather to root for their favorite team. They serve up all your favorite bar food including hamburgers, late-night pizzas, and wings. When it comes to game time, Sports Page has you covered. Located in the Great Bear Shopping Center.
Tandoor Restaurant - (8062 Morgan Cir. S, 952-885-9060, website) Tandoor Restaurant has been serving authentic Indian food to the community for over 20 years. Their curry is a family secret and made fresh, and the bread is baked in a clay oven. There are vibrant tapestries on the wall, and the staff is friendly. They have plenty of vegetarian dishes as well as traditional Tandoori-cooked meat and seafood, plus many more options.
Attic to Basement - (8909 Penn Ave. S,, 952-888-1204, website) Attic to Basement is filled with unique odds and ends, antiques, and other eye-catching items. The decor is warm, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The owners are friendly and knowledgeable, and they are eager to pair you with the perfect item(s). It was opened in 2008 by Mary and Pat, which was her dream come true. They have jewelry, furniture, toys, books, and so much more. They love to hear their customers exclaim, "I had this as a child!", and it makes them happy to satisfy their customers' nostalgic dreams.
Attic to Basement MN - (8909 Penn Ave. S, 952-288-1024, website) Attic to Basement MN is a store that sells antiques, collectibles, and gently-used household items. They opened in 2006 and have been going strong ever since. They believe in finding the perfect fit for their customers, and they love to hear, "I had this as a child." Located in the mall.
Duluth Trading Company - (9801 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-884-3561, website) Duluth Trading Company was started by two brothers in Duluth before becoming massively popular for their durable and quality men's clothing and expanding all over the state. If you need clothing that will last through any kind of hard job you might put it through, DTC will have the answer for you. They recently added a women's line as well, and it's the same quality as the men's. The service is friendly and knowledgeable, too.
GameWorks Mall of America - (401 E Broadway, 952-500-8700, website) GameWorks Mall of America is a place to play games during the day (physical games including bowling and video games, current and classic) and to watch sports at night. They have plenty of treats to nosh on as you watch your favorite team, including tin can nachos, BBQ bacon cheddar burger, baked mac & cheese, and pomegranate parfait cheesecake. Located in the Mall of America.
Groth Music - (8056 Nicollet Ave.,, 800-969-4772, website) Groth Music opened in 1939 by Chester E. Groth who was a professional musician. It stayed in its downtown location for almost 50 years before moving to its current location. His daughter, Nancy Groth, took over in 1985, and she expanded the store to be more globally diverse. The store is still family-owned and places a high emphasis on exemplary service. They added an online presence in 1999 and continue to be a full service music store. They have instruments to buy and rent, classes and lessons, printed sheet music, and repairs. Fun fact: when the Minnesota Vikings wanted a 'Yelling Horn' for their games, they asked Groth Music to find one. When Groth Music couldn't, they made one instead.
IKEA - (8000 Ikea Way, 888-888-4532, website) IKEA Twin Cities Home Furnishings is a well-known and respected Swedish chain that provides ready-to-assemble furniture and housewares. It has other products as well, such as pet beds, rugs and other woven wares, and home electronics. One of the fun parts of shopping at IKEA is seeing all the (naturally) Swedish names for the products and trying to figure out what they mean. When you're tired after a full day of shopping, you can stop at the restaurant and try some of their tasty Swedish fare.
IKEA - (2131 Lindau Ln., Suite 420,, 952-858-8500, website) IKEA is the iconic Swedish store that has something for your every home furnishing need. They believe in creating the perfect home for each person, not that there is an objective perfect home. They have a vast collection from which you can choose, and they are more than eager to help you find the right item for you. They have a delivery option, and they also have TaskRabbit, which is a way to help you assemble the furniture you just bought. You can buy online and pick it up in store as well. Of course, they also have a restaurant in which you can have something to eat and drink when you need a break from browsing through their products. Whether you're looking for a new bedroom set, a new futon/bed, or furniture for your home office, they've got you covered.
Mall of America - (60 E Broadway, 952-883-8800, website) Mall of America opened in 1992 to much fanfare. It has over 520 stores, 50 restaurants, a theme park, rides, movie theaters, an aquarium, and other attractions (such as The Lego Store). It has events like book signings, live music, and Toddler Tuesdays. No matter what your interest, you will certainly find something to slake it here. The Megamall, as it's affectionately known, is a popular tourist attraction as well as a local favorite.
Mall of America - (60 E Broadway,, 952-883-8888, website) The Mall of America was opened in 1992 to much fanfare. It was touted as the biggest mall in the world at the time, and it's now the largest or fifth largest in America, depending on how you measure it. It has over 500 stores, and you could spend all day in it without seeing every one. It addition to all the stores, it has plenty of attractions and activities when you're tired of shopping. There is the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, the Amazing Mirror Maze, The Lego Store, and the Xscape Entertainment Center. When you get hungry, you never have to go far to find something to eat.
Pierce Skate & Ski - (208 W 98th St.,, 952-884-1990, website) Pierce Skate & Ski was opened in 1936 by Walter Pierce under the name of Trading Post's Skate Exchange in a different location. The name was changed to the current one by John (son of Walter) and Barbara (new owners) in 1956 when they expanded to include skiing equipment and clothing. They came to their current location in 1981 and have been going strong ever since. They are a full service store for both skates and skis, and they sell everything related to skiis and skates. They are nationally recognized and renowned, and they are proud of their well-deserved reputation.
Creative Lounge on Lyndale - (9424 Lyndale Ave. S,, 952-210-5119, website) Creative Lounge on Lyndale is an open mic for musicians every 2nd & 4th Friday of the month. The equipment is provided, and it's top notched. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and it's a great way to make connections with other musicians and music lovers. There is no food or drinks, but you can bring your own. If you're in a band, this is a welcoming environment in which to play.
House of Comedy - (408 E Broadway,, 952-858-8558, website) The House of Comedy is located in the Mall of America, and it showcases all the best and the brightest in comedy as well as upcoming stars. Go for some food, a drink, and a bellyful of laughs in a swank but comfortable atmosphere. Grab a bunch of your friends and be ready to laugh your way through the night.
Lucky's 13 Pub - (1800 American Blvd. W, 952-405-2213, website) Lucky's 13 Pub is a brick-lined hangout spot with a wraparound bar and a patio for summertime dining. It's a great place to go with your friends and have a pint and a bite. They have all your pub favorites such as tater tots and Jucy Lucy (called the Juicy Lulu here). They also have other tasty dishes, like the cheese curd burger, Cajun hash, and Cincinnati spaghetti. They'll serve you a jumbo pretzel with a smile.
Poor Richard's Commonhouse - (8301 Normandale Blvd.,, 952-835-8308, website) Poor Richard's Commonhouse is a modern day tavern with a cheerful staff and a chill atmosphere. They believe that the tavern is an integral part of the community, and they are proud to provide a place for people to gather. Their menu includes a Jalapeno Lucy, a BBQ brisket sandwich, and Cajun chicken pasta. They have two banquet rooms in which you can have a private party. They have big screen TVs, too, so you can watch your favorite sports team as you eat. They also have live music on the weekend.
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy - (408 E Broadway, 952-858-8558, website) Rick Bronson's House of Comedy is all about making you laugh. It's a great place to have a bite to eat and a sip of wine as you listen to the likes of Michael Blackson and Heather McDonald. They are currently sponsoring a competition, Funniest Person with a Day Job, and you can sign up on their website. They are located in the Mall of America.
Shantytown Bar & Grill - (8512 Pillsbury Ave. S,, 952-881-7223, website) Shantytown Bar & Grill has been around in one form or another for 70 years. The current owners, Peter and Laura Taykalo, bought it in 1999 and saved it from oblivion. It's a dive bar with an open and warm feeling to it, and the service is friendly. It's an easy place to miss, but it's worth your time to find it just for the burgers. What they do, they do simply, but very, very well. They have a full slate of cocktails and beers as well, and it's a great place to spend an evening with family and/or friends.
Sports Page Bar & Grill - (9014 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-887-0046, website) Sports Page Bar & Grill (9014 Lyndale Ave. S, 952-887-0046) is a neighborhood watering hole where friends gather to root for their favorite team. They serve up all your favorite bar food including hamburgers, late-night pizzas, and wings. When it comes to game time, Sports Page has you covered. Located in the Great Bear Shopping Center.
Sports Page Bar & Grill - (9014 Lyndale Ave. S,, 952-887-0046, website) Sports Page Bar & Grill is a neighborhood favorite and a place to cheer on your favorite sports team with a bunch of your friends and a pint of beer. It has a relaxed atmosphere in which everyone just wants to have a good time. There are several big screen TVs, billiards, pull tabs, and darts. The menu includes burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and wraps. They have a party room you can reserve for special occasions, and they have event nights such as karaoke and trivia.
Community Arts & Recreation
Artistry - (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd.,, 952-563-8575, website) Artistry is a nonprofit organization focusing on visual arts and producing theater in the Bloomington Center for the Arts. They welcome people from all over the region, and their goal is to ignite a lifelong passion for all the arts. In addition to their theater shows and art shows, they provide classes and workshops in the visual arts for people of all ages and talent, including painting, fiber, clay, and more. They also provide classes focusing on the business side of the arts as well.
Artistry MN - (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd., 952-563-8575, website) Artistry MN is committed to producing diverse, enriching, and progressive theater and visual arts. They are proud of their Bloomington roots, and they engage with their community in many meaningful ways. They support regional artists, encourage creativity, and embrace inclusiveness. They also offer classes, workshops, and exhibits.
Bloomington Center for the Arts - (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd., 952-563-8889, website) Bloomington Center for the Arts is at the north end of the Bloomington Civic Plaza, and it offers a variety of performing and visual arts. It has two theaters, two galleries, a dance studio and rehearsal spaces, and classrooms for art. There are many events that happen at the center as well. The center is passionate about art, nurturing artists and art organizations, and being a place that supports the community through the arts.
Bloomington Center for the Arts - (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd.,, 952-563-8877, website) The Bloomington Center for the Arts is located in the Bloomington Civic Plaza, and it's the home to nine resident arts organizations. It's also used by the City and by the community for various art events, and it has two rehearsal space and a dance studio, two galleries, two theaters, and art classrooms and offices for the nine resident arts organizations. In 2007, Erik Pearson painted a 2,500 square foot mural for the exterior of the building.
Bloomington Chorale - (1800 W Old Shakopee Rd., 952-563-8582, website) Bloomington Chorale is a non-audition, mixed adult choir that allows all kinds of people in Bloomington and the nearby surrounding communities to enjoy the beauty of singing in a way that non-professionals rarely get to experience.
Bloomington Symphony Orchestra - (1900 W Old Shakopee Rd., 952-563-8573, website) Bloomington Symphony Orchestra is comprised of volunteer adult musicians who are amateurs, semi-professionals, and professionals from the metro area. They perform six times a year.
Continental Ballet Company - (1900 W Old Shakopee Rd., 952-563-8561, website) Continental Ballet Company was established in 1988 and is committed to bring ballet to a wider audience. Not only do they adhere to the standards of traditional ballet themselves in their performances, they have classes to ensure that the tradition of ballet will be passed on to future generations. Whether you're a lover of ballet and want to see a performance or you're interested in learning ballet, the Continental Ballet Company is the perfect place to do so.
Creekside Community Center - (9801 Penn Ave. S,, 952-563-4944, website) The Creekside Community Center is a great place for people in the community to gather. It's not just a social hub, however, but it also have services to help people in many different situations. Loaves and Fishes provides free dinner for anyone during a certain time. They have art classes, classes for caregivers, tax classes, and ESL classes, too. They also have programs specifically geared for people 50+.
EcoArts Fest - (3815 American Blvd. W,, 651-698-2787, website) EcoArts Fest is an annual art festival hosted by ArtStart at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It is in the twelfth year, and it's a celebration of art and nature. Artstart is a firm believer in arts (obviously) and being environmentally conscious, so what better than to combine the two? It opens with a pageant that showcases the creative works of the schools with Artstart residencies that they did with guidance from professional artists. There are also cultural dance and music performances for you to enjoy, and food trucks will be available as well. There will be activities that connect art and nature, such as making a Minnesota fish windsock and weaving a Minnesota river headpiece. This is a free event with the aim to celebrate art and the environment. It is also a zero-waste event, which is in keeping with ArtStart's ideals.
Eleve' Performing Arts Center - (10820 Normandale Blvd., 952-300-0856, website) Eleve' Performing Arts Center offers several variety of dance classes for kids of all ages. Tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and acrobatics, just to name a few. They have competition classes and performance classes in addition to their regular classes. They also have classes for babies and caregivers, such as Baby Momma Yoga. They want to instill their students with a sense of excellence and teach them the beauty and fun of dance along the way.
Great Wolf Lodge - (1700 American Blvd. E, 844-563-9653, website) Great Wolf Lodge is more than just an indoor water park. In addition to the all the water activities they offer, there are other kid-friendly activities, shopping, restaurants, and other exciting adventures that the whole family will be sure to love. Climbing walls, bowling alleys, story time, and the Northwoods Friends Show are just a few of the options available. This is a great place for your next family vacation.
Hyland Greens Golf and Learning Center - (10100 Normandale Blvd., 952-563-8868, website) Hyland Greens Golf and Learning Center has all the amenities you'd expect at a quality golf course. A driving range, bunker practice, and standard and family tees. They also have classes for kids to start them off young in learning to enjoy golf.
JAN: 15th Annual Winter Fete - (9140 E Bush Lake Rd, 952-563-8878, website) Join Bloomington Parks and Recreation and area sponsors in welcoming winter during the 15th Annual Winter Fete celebration. This year, Winter Fete activities will take place throughout the City from Saturday, January 19, through Sunday, January 27, 2019. All Winter Fete activities are free unless otherwise noted, and fun for the whole family! In case of inclement weather, call our weather line at 952-563-8878 for up to the date cancellation information.
JAN: Ice Harvesting Day - (8737 E Bush Lake Rd.,, 763-694-7676, website) Ice Harvest Day is an annual event in January that has been hosted by the Richardson Nature Center of Three Rivers Park District for over twenty years. The purpose is to experience what Minnesota ice harvesters went through back in the day and to learn more about the entire process. There is a campfire and cocoa if you need to warm yourself while practicing these endeavors, and it's a great way to learn more about an interesting aspect of Minnesota history.
MAY: Kite Day - (9000 Portland Ave. S, 952-858-8500, website) Kite Day is an annual celebration of kites. Kite lovers across the city are encouraged to come and let their kites fly high and proud. There's free entertainment and activities as well, so get out and enjoy the sun on your face as you merrily fly a kite.
JUN: EcoArts Fest - (3815 American Blvd. W,, 651-698-2787, website) EcoArts Fest is an annual art festival hosted by ArtStart at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It is in the twelfth year, and it's a celebration of art and nature. Artstart is a firm believer in arts (obviously) and being environmentally conscious, so what better than to combine the two? It opens with a pageant that showcases the creative works of the schools with Artstart residencies that they did with guidance from professional artists. There are also cultural dance and music performances for you to enjoy, and food trucks will be available as well. There will be activities that connect art and nature, such as making a Minnesota fish windsock and weaving a Minnesota river headpiece. This is a free event with the aim to celebrate art and the environment. It is also a zero-waste event, which is in keeping with ArtStart's ideals.
JUL: Bloomington's Summer Fete - (W 84th St. and Chalet Road,, 952-563-8877, website) Bloomington's Summer Fete kicks off Independence Day with fun and festivities. It's held on July 3rd at Normandale Lake Park, and it's hosted by the city. The fete starts with a Carnival with two stages--one for kids and the main stage. For the kids, there will be inflatable buildings for bouncy fun as well as a DJ dance party. There will be other musical performances as well to keep the kids busy and happy, and musical performances on the mains stage for the adults. There will be plenty of food, too, and a family sandcastle building competition. The fete ends with fireworks at dusk, which will send everyone home with a smile on their faces.
SEP: Bloomington Heritage Days - (9900 Lyndale Ave. S,, 952-881-8671, website) Bloomington Heritage Days has been held every September since 2010 to celebrate the rich heritage of Bloomington. It started with one man's vision (Tom Kendall) after he visited his wife's hometown year after year and watched the grand parade the town had every year. He decided to bring the idea of celebrating the heritage of a city back to Bloomington, and thus, in 2010, the first annual Bloominton Heritage Days was celebrated. A parade was added in 2012 and has been a community favorite ever since. The festivities include dancing, live music, other performances, food, activities for children, and much more. It is held on the grounds of the Nativity of Mary Catholic Church and School.
DEC: Skate The Star at MOA - (60 East Broadway, 952-883-8800, website) Mall of America® invites you to Skate the Star presented by UCare! Bring your friends, family + coworkers to skate at the MOA® north entrance around the iconic star sculpture from Saturday, December 8 – Monday, February 18. *All skaters must complete waivers before skating. Minors under the age of 18 must have waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Waivers are available on-site. A drivers license, state ID card or $20 deposit is required for skate rental. *Student ID's will not be accepted. Please be aware of the Parental Escort Policy. These policies apply to the Ice Rink.
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Colleges & Universities

National American University Bloomington (7801 Metro Pkwy., Suite 200, 952-356-3600) is a small, private four-year university. They have flexibility that makes it easier for students with jobs to complete their degrees. They also have online classes as well. It's never too late to get your degree.
Normandale Community College (9700 France Ave. S, 952-8200) offers a variety of quality programs, whether you're interested in an 'employment-ready' degree or a four-year degree. They are affordable, and they have the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, which easily allows the transfer of credits to the U of M, Minnesota State College and Universities, and several private Minnesota colleges. They have classes scheduled throughout the day and evening, and on the weekends as well. Flexibility is key here. They also offer several quality of life options, such as tai chi classes and stress management.
Northwestern Health Sciences University (2501 W 84th St., 952-888-4777) is a private non-profit university focused on health and wellness, including natural health care. They have a great teacher-student ratio, and they offer classes in a variety of disciplines including TCM, acupuncture, and massage.
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