Although Bloomington is known for its extensive park system and excellent shopping opportunities, the city also has some fun attractions that are worth exploring. The next time you’re looking to get off the beaten path for a while, check out these unique and whimsical attractions.
Spoonbridge and Cherry
While plenty of cities have public art pieces that are iconic, perhaps none is as recognized and playful as “Spoonbridge and Cherry” in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at Walker Art Center. Artist Claes Oldenburg created the spoon sculpture, and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, had the idea of adding the cherry to it. You can stand close to take in its incredible size. The spoon weighs 5,800 pounds, and the cherry adds an additional 1,200 pounds to the weight of the piece.
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum
While the collection of Native American pottery, modern art, and traditional Korean furniture is certainly worth seeing when you visit the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus, the real treat is actually viewing the building. On the campus side, the museum has a brick facade that blends in perfectly with the brick and sandstone buildings already on the campus. However, on the opposite side, you’ll discover an abstract waterfall made using a stainless steel skin designed by architect Frank Gehry.
The next time you’re strolling down the sidewalk in front of the Be the Match building in Minneapolis, don’t ignore the public art sculpture you see in front. While the 40-foot-long stainless steel wave looks like a regular piece of modern art, if you wave your hand under the glowing LED lights, you’ll soon realize this piece of art is something special. It’s a sidewalk harp, and each light has a sensor that produces a musical tone so you can create your own music.
Mall of America
The Mall of America has some quirky secrets that are worth exploring. It was built where Metropolitan Stadium once stood. To see the special way the mall honored the memory of this old stadium, you need to head into Nickelodeon Universe. Here you’ll find a plaque embedded in the floor in the exact spot of home plate.
Additionally, look up on the wall and you’ll see a single stadium seat bolted there to commemorate the spot where Harmon Killebrew hit the longest home run in the stadium’s history. There are also numerous quirky stores in the mall worth exploring, so consider staying in one of the nearby hotels so you have plenty of time to see everything.
Deming Heights Park Elf Door
If you go to Deming Heights Park to enjoy the walking paths and city views, keep an eye out for the famous elf door at the base of an old tree. Some people say if you unlock the door and peek inside, you might see jewelry, notes, or toys that the magical elf who lives there left behind for children to find.
When you’re searching for some fun around Bloomington, check out these whimsical attractions that you won’t find anywhere else.