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Planning a Holiday Trip to the Twin Cities

November 2, 2012

For some people, holiday shopping is like a treasure hunt—it’s a challenge to find that perfect gift that will make a loved one’s eyes light up.  They love to think and mull over and brainstorm and window shop until—aha!—they pinpoint the ideal gift.  For others, it’s a “must do” and they want to simply buy those presents and be done already.  Whatever your shopping style, you can turn holiday shopping into a special occasion by combining shopping with other holiday activities in the northwest Twin Cities.

The Minneapolis Marriott Northwest is located near two premier shopping hubs that have the added bonus of a plethora of diverse dining options.

Great Shopping

Arbor Lakes.  Head three miles west to the Arbor Lakes area for tons of great stores, such as Anthropologie, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Talbots, Teavana, Nordstrom Rack, Main Street Chocolates, Gymboree and The Gap—and those are just the beginning.  There are stores of all types, from home furnishings to clothing for women, men and children; electronics; arts and crafts—you name it.  It’s also a great place to shop because the area itself is modern but has character and a “downtown” atmosphere as you walk from store to store.  Dining options include Mexican, Italian, steak houses, Japanese, barbecue and fast food.

The Shops at West End.  Head south down 169 and then go east on 394—it’s 11 miles to the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park.  Stores here include Lululemon, Creative Kidstuff, Hot Mama, Republic of Couture, Charming Charlie, Primp and Parmida Home.  Restaurants like Toby Keith’s, Crave, Rojo and Figlio are great places to refuel.

Seasonal Activities

It’s the Holidazzle parade’s twentieth season.  From Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, Thursdays through Sundays at 6:30 pm, bundle up and head downtown (13 miles).  Arrive early for some shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, Neiman Marcus (before it closes in July of 2013) and Macy’s.  There are dozens of great places to eat after the parade, from fondue at the Melting Pot to steaks at Murrays or teppanyaki at Ichiban.

The Twin Cities is a great place for the theater and music, and every place in town puts on its holiday best this time of year. From the perennial favorites like A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie and Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy at the new Cowles Center; kid classics like Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Children’s Theatre and Elf, the Broadway Musical at the Ordway; and irreverent independent shows like David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries by Frank Theater and Miss Richfield 1981 at Illusion Theater.

And of course, you can always head back here to the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. We’ll welcome you with warm hospitality and a fantastic new menu at Wadsworth, and get you checked into your spacious renovated suite for a night of relaxation.  And then you can head back out the next day refreshed and ready to finish off that shopping list.

There are tons of ways to blend fun, good food, a festive show, and your holiday shopping.  You get the joy of finding those “just right” gifts while sneaking in a little fun for yourself at the same time.  Perfect.

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