ST. PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS - If you find yourself with a free weekend this summer and you're looking for a quick and fun getaway, one suggestion I have is St. Paul and Minneapolis. Of course, as a life long Minnesotan, I've been there many times but I'm still finding fun new things to do. This weekend took me to the downtowns of both cities.

My first stop was St. Paul's Rice Park, where the Peanuts gang has been added as a new addition to the park.  However, they're only there for a short time, so if you want to seem them, you need to get down there soon.

Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins and Peanuts Worldwide,this week unveiled 10 life-size statues of the iconic Peanuts Gang, including Charlie Brown and Snoopy, dressed in full Twins baseball uniforms at St. Paul’s Rice Park. These statues are set to welcome St. Paul residents and visitors alike to the city’s downtown area for the next three weeks in advance of MLB All-Star Week.

The 10 life-size statues are decorated with full baseball gear to go along with their uniforms, including mitts, cleats, bats and in Schroeder’s case, catcher’s equipment.  Standing between five and six feet tall and weighing between 200-300 pounds, these Twins-themed All-Star statues will reside in St. Paul’s Rice Park until June 16 at which point they will move to the Minneapolis Convention Center for MLB All-Star festivities through July 15.

Photo by's Jim Maurice

The next stop for me was down to St. Paul's Harriet Island for a ride on a Mississippi River Boat Tour.  The hour-and-a-half cruise takes you up the river to the area where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers join.

In the distance you can see historic Fort Snelling.  Along the tour you hear historical information about the area narrated by Don Shelby.

During the months of June, July, and August they offer multiple sightseeing cruises every day.

Photo by's Jim Maurice

And the last stop on my trip was across the river to downtown Minneapolis and the historic Foshay Tower.  For some reason I have never been inside this iconic building before, even though I've walked by it probably hundreds of times.  The 27th floor has been converted into a bar called "The Prohibition".  Even though the bar covers the entire floor, it's not very big.  But you can have a drink and appetizers and check out some amazing views of the Minneapolis skyline.

The Foshay Tower, now the W Minneapolis – The Foshay hotel, is modeled after the Washington Monument, the building was completed in 1929, months before the stock market crash in October of that year. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

So there you go, if you're looking to explore the Twin Cities area, and want to do something different besides a trip to the Mall of America, here are a few ideas that I found.  Have fun and make this a great summer of discovering new places.