52 Dates a Year

Having fun together!

Minneapolis Art Institute April 25, 2010

Filed under: Free,Just Us,Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 8:58 am

On Thursday, March 18, 2010 we headed over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to get a dose of culture. The MIA is free every day, but Thursday is the only day they’re open past 5pm which is why we choose to go then. It just so happened that it was the 3rd Thursday as well and that means they brought in a DJ and made it a more casual atmosphere.

One exhibit Nikki was really interested in was Foot In The Door. That is an exhibit that comes to the MIA every 10 years and it allows anyone to submit art as long as it fits within one cubic foot! We saw some very interesting things and were also able to find the photograph that was taken by Nikki’s Dad’s Cousin which was neat. Here are some of the items we saw on the tables:



This is what the walls looked like…and the photo we were looking for is in the middle – the duck one!
And, of course we saw other art too…the Photography area was called “Southern Exposure” and was all photographs of people, places and things in the Southern US. Here are a few other things we found in our adventure:

Party Art

Lobster Phone

Chris’s Review
We have both been to the art institute, but we have never been together. We chose to go over on a Thursday so that we could have a good weekday date without all the crowds at the museum. The square foot installation was fun to see, but was pretty busy. After spending some time there we walked the halls of the almost empty museum, seeing most of the permanent exhibits. We had fun just looking and commenting on the art together, and it was great to not feel rushed at all.

Best Part: The cost, getting in is always free, but we did a donation anyway. Also, since there was a special exhibit going on, it was nice to have many of the areas to ourselves.

Worst Part: None, Great night together just talking.


Nikki’s Review
I’ve realized recently that I’m not really a “museum” person. However, I know Chris enjoys museums so I am working on enjoying them as much as I can! I really liked the Foot In the Door exhibit, probably because I could relate to a lot of the items. If by any chance I remember…in 2020 I’m going to submit something!

Best part of the night: The music – I enjoyed the more laid back atmosphere at the museum. Also, having Chris point out the things that he really likes – it’s very interesting to me. Sometimes I’m surprised and sometimes I’m not!

Worst part of the night: Trying to convince Chris that even though there’s nothing I’m really anxious to see, that I’m also not bored!


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Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! February 7, 2010

Filed under: Free,Home Sweet Home,Just Us — Nikki @ 8:48 am

Saturday January 30, 2010 was one of those Saturday’s where you just feel like being a bum. So…bum’s we were! We got into our comfy clothes, mixed up some Guacamole (to be enjoyed with our favorite Mission chips) and settled into the couch for a night of playing Wii!

First up…Super Mario Bros. Wii, the latest (and greatest?) Mario game out for the Wii. Chris got the game for Christmas and surprisingly, this was Nikki’s first time playing! One different thing about the Wii version compared to the good-ole NES version is that BOTH Mario and Luigi (and apparently 2 others) can play a level at the same time. The jury is out if that’s a good idea or not. 🙂

Once we were done with that game we moved on to Dr. Mario which we’ve purchased from the online store. Chris is quite a bit better than Nikki is, but luckily the game allows you to adjust which level you start at and so our games are usually relatively close after the handicap!

Chris’s Review
We stayed home for this week and had a night of playing some old school super mario and Dr. Mario on the wii.

The new Mario brothers let’s you play at the same time as each other. We actually found it pretty frustrating, we each got in the way more often than helping out.

Best Part: The night was free and was nice to have a night at home together. Working on a game together was a nice twist in super mario brothers.

Worst Part: We are both pretty competitive, and we ended up frustrated at the game, and each other after a while.


Nikki’s Review
A good night “in” is sometimes such a treat! It was fun to relax with my husband & use the Wii system which sits idle way too often in our house.

Best part of the night: Comfy clothes & the new Wii game!

Worst part of the night: Chris is a mean Dr. Mario player…ruthless even! But, I guess that’s necessary when I start out with 1/3 less germs to kill.

I would call the night a success. Delicious homemade guacamole, random snuggles on the couch and lots of relaxation!


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Last Polaroid Show @ Como Zoo January 14, 2010

Filed under: Free,Just Us,Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 6:27 pm


On Sunday, January 10, 2010 we headed over to the Como Zoo to check out an exhibit that Nikki had heard of from MPR’s State of the Arts blog. The Last Polaroid Project exhibit will be at the Como Zoo through Tuesday January 19, 2010.


What is “The Last Polaroid Project”? It is a series of photographs that were taken with a Polaroid camera and then modified before the picture dried completely which makes a super cool look. The original Polaroids were not on display but we did get to see large prints of the results (which were on sale too).


After viewing some of the Conservatory we checked out the exhibit and then we walked around the zoo a bit. It’s a little bit depressing being at a zoo during a MN winter because so many of the animals are inside, but we had a good time checking out the buildings. A lot of the animals were the same ones we recently saw in the wild in Costa Rica: monkeys, sloths, fish and birds.


Chris’s Review
I’ve never been to the zoo in the winter, but it was pretty fun. No one was there, and we were able to walk freely throughout the grounds. We had a good time, but it was a bit depressing for some of the animals… Como seemed much bigger when I went there as a kid.

Best Part: The rainforest area felt amazing on a -5°F afternoon. Just walking somewhere with some humidity was worth it!

Worst part: It was cold enough that EVERY outdoor animal was stuck inside. The zebras, giraffes and gorillas were stuck in their tiny indoor areas. It was a little depressing. One of the giraffes had OCD and just kept licking a piece of wood.

This is a good idea for a cold winter day to get into the rainforest and arboreautem. I would recommend this for a new couple, or anyone looking to get away from the cold for a few hours. On a sunny day it feels amazing in the glass enclosed areas at Como. Como is free year round ($2 suggested donation) and worth seeing in the winter. RATING: 2/5

Nikki’s Review
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the exhibit was smaller than I thought it would be. The images are really neat – it’s fun to think about what the original looked like before it was modified, especially as we were standing in the Conservatory where the photos were taken.

Best part of the date: Being in the Conservatory and at the Zoo brought me right back to our honeymoon in Costa Rica as we stood in the humid/tropical green houses and saw the monkeys!

Worst part of the date: I wish they had displayed one or more of the actual Polaroid photos, but otherwise it was neat to see. As for the Zoo, it was depressing seeing the animals inside in because the outside living appears to be a lot better for them.

I would recommend checking out the Last Polaroid Show IF you’re also interested in spending some time at the Conservatory and Zoo. Otherwise, I think the Como Zoo would be a better date in the summer when all the animals are outside as long as you don’t mind crowds. RATING: 3/5

NOTE: This is marked as free but the Como Zoo recommends an optional $2 donation per adult and $1 per child.

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