Every spring and every fall Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis puts on the biggest outdoor show of the season. It's coming up this weekend, and if you're at all interested in exploring the outdoors this winter, you should get there.
It's shoulder-to-shoulder fun. Midwest turns all their parking lots into tents and all their spare rooms into classrooms. 80 free programs, a whole circus tent full of exhibitors, and merchandise galore.
For you fans of the North Shore, there are some great, unique programs you should plan your visit around. If you go on Saturday, which is the biggest, busiest day, you can :
Get an Introduction to Snowkiting
Learn about Great Places to Snowshoe in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the U.P.
Check out The North Shore: Winter Photo Essay
Brush up on Winter Camping: The Basics
If you can only get there on Sunday, you can make the coolest program of the weekend, The North Shore: Skiing the River Canyons. If you go, say hi to Rudi for me.
While the programs are fun and informative, my favorite thing to do is to go through the exhibitor area and talk with folks. I learn something new every time, whether it's a cool new piece of gear or an important new environmental concern.
Great food all around
If the grilling and brewing inside the tent isn't enough for you, just step outside the Expo and you're on the West Bank, with restaurants of every nationality from Ethiopian to Mongolian.
I do hope you can make the trek to the Expo. It's the best North Shore day you can have if you can't actually be on the North Shore.