At one point during the 1950’s, the state of Minnesota was home to approximately eighty drive-in movie theaters. Sadly, the majority of these drive-ins are now closed, and now only six drive-in theaters are still in operation throughout the state today. While not many outdoor movie venues are left in Minnesota, visitors and residents of the state alike can fortunately still find a handful of places where they can enjoy a movie from the comfort of their own car, just like people did in the past. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Elko Drive-in

Elko Drive-in
© Elko Drive-in

The Elko Drive-in movie theater is one of the newer drive-in theaters within Minnesota, having opened in the year 2014. The outdoor movie venue is situated on the grounds of the Elko Race Track, around thirty minutes to the south from the city of Minneapolis, making the drive-in conveniently located to quite a huge number of people. Current blockbusters hits are show at the theater during the summer months on the weekends. The Elko Drive-in is one of the few drive-in theaters that allow customers to BBQ on the property. There is also a concession stand that serves movie snacks.

26350 France Ave, Elko New Market, MN 55020, Phone: 952-461-7223

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2.Vali-Hi Drive-in

Vali-Hi Drive-in
© Courtesy of blende11.photo - Fotolia.com


The Vali-Hi Drive-in theater originally opened back in the year 1966. The outdoor movie venue is open seasonally, showing first-run films seven nights a week. The Vali-Hi only accepts cash, so customer may as well leave their credit cards back at home. There is, however, an ATM available on the property if customers forget to bring cash. The grounds of the drive-in also include an arcade where guests can spend time before the movie begins, which features a variety of games, a black-and-white photo booth, and a Mini-Harley for small children to ride. The snack bar serves freshly popped popcorn and other snacks.

11260 Hudson Blvd, Lake Elmo, MN 55042, Phone: 651-436-7464

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3.Starlite Drive-in 5

Starlite Drive-in 5
© Starlite Drive-in 5

The Starlite Drive-in 5 originally opened back in 1955, boasting just a single screen at the outdoor movie theater at the time. The drive-in closed for over a decade in 1981 due to a lack of business. It remained empty until 1997 when new owners purchased the property. The Starlite Drive-in was restored by the new owners and then re-opened in 1998. During the restoration three more large outdoor movie screens were added. Customers can use cash or checks at the box office and the concession stand, however, not credit or debit cards. Double features are shown on two of the drive-in’s screens.

28264 Highway 22, Litchfield, MN 55355, Phone: 320-693-6990

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4.Long Drive-in Theater

Long Drive-in Theater
© Long Drive-in Theater


The Long Drive-in Theater is a single-screen outdoor movie theater that first opened back in the year 1956. Open only on the weekends, the drive-in is possibly the only drive-in theater to allow camping on the property. Guests can put up their tents, watch a film, and then settle in for the night and get some sleep. Pets are also allowed at the Long Drive-in as long as they are well behaved and leashed at all times. Outside food, however, isn’t allowed on the property, so customers will need to be enough cash for snacks, especially those who plan on camping.

24257 Riverside Dr, Long Prairie, MN 56347, Phone: 320-732-3142

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5.Verne Drive-in

Verne Drive-in
© Verne Drive-in


Located in the town of Luverne, Minnesota, the Verne Drive-in was closed for quite some time, but was restored and the re-opened in the year 2000. Double features of current releases are screened at the drive-in movie theater seven days a week during the outdoor theater’s peak season. The outdoor movie venue doesn’t allow guests to bring in any outside beverages or food onto the grounds of the Verne. Those who are caught doing so will be asked to leave. Credit cards are accepted at the concession stand. Well behaved pets are permitted on the grounds as long as they are leashed.

327 West Warren St, Luverne, MN 56156, Phone: 507-283-0007

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6.Sky-Vu Drive-in

Sky-Vu Drive-in
© Sky-Vu Drive-in


The Sky-Vu Drive-in is a single screen outdoor movie venue that has a maximum capacity of 180 vehicles for a showing. This make it one of the more intimate, smaller drive-in theaters that still remains in operation in the country. The Sky-Vu is open on a seasonal basis, showing current releases every night of the week during the summer season. The Snack Bar at the drive-in serves a variety of food, as well as an array of candy and drinks. The drive-in theater is located near the border of Minnesota and North Dakota, just minutes away from Grand Forks, North Dakota.

1 Minnesota 1, Warren, MN 56762, Phone: 218-745-4161

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6 Best Drive-in Theaters in Minnesota



More Ideas: Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium

Located in Bloomington, Minnesota within the Mall of America, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium is a marine wildlife aquarium featuring a 1.2-million-gallon aquarium tank containing thousands of marine animals, including sharks, stingrays, octopuses, sea turtles, and a variety of freshwater fish native to the United States.

History

The Mall of America was opened in 1992, designed by architectural firm Triple Five Group, a subsidiary group of Canada’s Ghermezian brothers architects. As the largest mall in the United States by area space, the mall is host to more than 42 million annual visitors and features more than 500 retail stores, restaurants, and attractions, including the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, Crayola Experience museum, and FlyOver America flying ride. The history of aquariums at the Mall of America dates back to 1996, when the mall’s original Underwater World aquarium was opened to the public. In 2000, the aquarium was remodeled and reopened to the public as the Underwater Adventures Aquarium, and in 2008, the facility was acquired by the Merlin Entertainment group, which rebranded it as one of its chain of Sea Life Centres in 2011. As part of the branding transition, several new exhibit areas were opened, including a touch pool exhibit and the most comprehensive jellyfish exhibit at any aquarium in the world. A rainforest habitat was added to the facility in 2012, and in 2016, a new shark exhibit with a focus on conservation was opened.

Permanent Exhibits and Animals

Today, the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium is home to more than 4,500 marine creatures, including collections of sharks, stingrays, octopuses, sea turtles, and freshwater fish from a variety of habitats throughout the northern United States. The aquarium contains more than 1.2 million gallons of underwater exhibit space, including a 300-foot underwater tunnel that allows visitors to travel underneath animal habitats for up-close observation.

Upon entering the aquarium, visitors enter the Stingray Adventure exhibit area, which features the Pacific Northwest Rockpool touch tide pool, where young visitors can touch sea cucumbers, fish-eating anemones, and leather sea stars. At Ray Lagoon, visitors can experience a simulated shipwreck exhibit and feed cownose and southern stingrays and shovelnose guitarfish within the exhibit’s 15,000-gallon ray pool.

The aquarium’s Jellyfish Discovery exhibit, the largest exhibit of its kind anywhere in the world, offers dioramas and displays with jellyfish facts and trivia and showcases moon, lagoon, spotted, cone, and blue blubber jellyfish and Pacific sea nettles. At the Seahorse Kingdom exhibit, six varieties of seahorses are highlighted, including lined seahorses, broadnose pipefish, and potbelly seahorses. Pregnant seahorse fathers are also showcased as part of the aquarium’s seahorse breeding conservation program. Clownfish and blue regal tang fish, popularized as the stars of the Finding Nemo film franchise, are also displayed at the Coral Caves exhibit.

The aquarium’s 300-foot underwater tunnel travels through four exhibit areas, including the Shark Cove exhibit, which showcases sandtiger sharks, green sawfish, and loggerhead sea turtles. The Rainbow Reef exhibit area is a sanctuary for coral reefs, serving as a habitat for puffer fish and schooling stingrays, and the Sturgeon Lake exhibit highlights native Minnesota freshwater fish such as alligator gar, large mouth bass, and muskellunge. At the end of the tunnel, the Mysteries of the Rainforest habitat is home to a variety of reptile and amphibian species, including spectacled caiman, red-bellied piranhas, and poison dart frogs.

Ongoing Programs and Events

A variety of ticket discount packages are offered for general admission tickets, including annual aquarium passes and combination tickets offering admission to both the aquarium and the Mall’s Nickelodeon Universe area. Group tours of the aquarium are offered for school groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary and secondary school students. A Homeschool Week program is also offered for homeschool students, featuring a variety of nature- and science-themed workshops and activities. Teachers-only discounts and professional development opportunities are also offered periodically.

A 45-minute Behind the Scenes tour program is presented for an additional fee, taking visitors through the aquarium’s food preparation kitchen, research laboratory, and over the top of several aquarium tank areas to get as close to the animals as possible. A Snorkeling with the Fish experience is also offered to the public, allowing visitors over the age of nine to get into the water with more than 75 marine species during hourlong snorkeling excursions. Groups may also book Sleeping Under the Sea overnight adventures, which offer a pizza party, group breakfast, and behind-the-scenes activities. Birthday party packages are offered for young visitors, and facility rental may be scheduled for private special events such as weddings and proposals.

120 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425, Phone: 952-853-0612

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More Ideas: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Located in Chanhassen, Minnesota, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a 1,137 acre facility that preserves and showcases the beauty of nature and horticulture. Next read: 25 Best Things to do in Minnesota

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was founded in 1907 with the name Horticultural Research Center. The Horticultural Research Center started as a small initiative that grew honeycrisp apples and Northern Lights azaleas. Nearly fifty years later, the Horticultural Research Center expanded to create the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum started with approximately 160 acres of land under the direction of Leon C. Snyder.

Over the course of over fifty years, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has grown to be the most diverse and largest horticultural facility within Minnesota. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum currently has over 5,000 plant varieties and is expanding the diversity of their flora and fauna every day.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is spread out across 1,137 acres of land. Over the wide acreage, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has approximately 32 displays and specialty gardens, as well as a total of more than 5,000 plant species.

Annual Garden is dedicated to the Griggs and Burke families. Although the Annual Garden has a different color scheme every year, the garden has continuous formal layout. The Annual Garden features an English fountain in the center, as well as garden steps that are located along the three-mile drive. 25,000 to 30,000 annuals are planted every spring in the Annual Garden.

Home Demonstration Gardens is an area of approximately ten home demonstration gardens. These gardens are clumped together to make it easy for visitors to compare and view each garden. Each of the gardens within the Home Demonstration area are dedicated to home gardeners, and can easily be replicated. These gardens are dedicated to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s second director, Dr. Francis de Vos. Some of the highlighted gardens within this area include the Naturalistic Garden, Seasonal Garden, Garden for Outdoor Living, and Herb Garden.

Japanese Garden is one of the prized treasures of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This garden took influence from Japanese gardens within the Edo Period, which is from 1603 to 1869. The Japanese Garden was designed by renowned architect, Koichi Kawana, in 1985. Currently, the Japanese Garden is maintained by Dr. David Slawson. 24 types of shrubs, 3 ground covers, and 20 different kinds of trees wrap around the intricate design and architectural details of the Japanese Garden.

Rain Gardens are used as an effective way to control runoff within the grounds of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Instead of establishing storm sewers, or allowing rain to flood the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the plants in the Rain Gardens soak the extra rain and use it to grow and prosper. Thus, runoff is effectively controlled while providing nourishment for magnificent flora and fauna.

Clotilde Irvine Sensory Garden was created with the help of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program. The Clotilde Irvine Sensory Garden is a garden that evokes all of the senses. While most gardens are designed for visual appeal, this garden takes into account all of the senses. It is specifically designed to cater to people who are in wheel chairs, so they can perfectly see and explore the diversity of flora and fauna.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has a variety of educational opportunities for children and adults. The educational programs at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum include; specialized tours, classes, workshops, internships, lectures, therapeutic activities, and lesson plans.

One of the most popular and general educational opportunities at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the variety of garden tours. These garden tours are led by specially trained employees or renowned members of the horticulture community. Throughout the specialized garden tours, groups of visitors or schools have the opportunity to learn about specific gardens in-depth, as well as get a behind the scenes glimpse of how the gardens are created and maintained.

There are even add-on options for classes and special hands-on activities to be integrated within the specialized tours.

Another popular educational opportunity at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the array of conferences and summits. Special conferences and summits are led by leaders in the horticulture industry and are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about horticulture.

Back to: Best Things to do in Minnesota

3675 Arboretum Drive, Chanhassen, MN 55317-0039, Phone: 952-443-1400

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More Ideas: FIVE Event Center

Constructed during the late 1800’s, the FIVE Event Center is situated within the historic Minneapolis Fifth Precinct. The wedding venue offers memorable experiences with its state-of-the-art, fully-remodeled event space that is rich with beautiful architecture with every turn. FIVE Event Center provides personalized attention to all events held at the venue and every little detail. The venue offers personalized attention in order to provide people with the chance to design their wedding or other events in the way they they wish.

The policies and pricing at the FIVE Event Center are designed to encourage event customization, and assistance is provided throughout the entire planning process through the help of event coordinators at the venue. One coordinator is also on-site on the actual day of the wedding to ensure everything goes smoothly and according to the plan. The FIVE Event Center is a one-of-a-kind venue with a unique atmosphere that is sure to provide a memorable wedding experience for both couples and their guests in an ideal location.

The FIVE Event Center is a state-of-the-art, fully-remodeled event venue that features stunning and rich architecture of the historic building at every turn. The elegant yet simple event space offers endless charm to any event, as well as the chance to customize the setting to exactly the look of the wedding that is desired. Along with hosting memorable wedding ceremonies and reception, the venue also hosts other events, such family celebrations and corporate events. FIVE strives for perfection in its events and customer satisfaction. The venue is considered to be the Hidden Gem of Uptown Minneapolis, and is situated in an excellent location with abundant parking.

Amenities and Facilities

The event space of the FIVE Event Center boasts an eclectic charm and architecture from seventeenth century Minneapolis, providing a truly unique contemporary atmosphere. The venue is great for the accommodation of both small and large wedding ceremonies and receptions. The bar area on the first level, as well as the more intimate second level, provide dramatic lighting, beautiful architecture at each turn, and a romantic palette of color. FIVE Event Center is able to accommodate a maximum of two hundred guests for a seated wedding reception, and a maximum of three hundred and fifty guests for cocktail receptions. The venue also features a quaint outdoor patio, and a full-service bar on both levels. The upper-level dance and dining area features stunning hardwood floors.

Services

The FIVE Event Center aims to help every couple have the wedding of their dreams, and a personal Event Manager is available to help with every step of the wedding planning process. Rentals of the venue include a variety of services, such as Event Staff, a Professional Event Coordinator, helpful suggestions and planning advice, sound systems compatible with both Apple and Android that include wireless microphones, and high-speed wireless internet. Tables, chairs, bar glassware, accoutrements, and equipment are also included. There is also an

General Information

FIVE Event Center is located at 2917 Bryant Avenue South in Minneapolis, is wheelchair accessible, and provides on-site parking.

2917 Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55101, Phone: 612-827-5555

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