Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Dinkytown is known for being the fun little town around campus, where the students hang out and have a good time. It’s full of restaurants and bars that make for great nightlife, but there’s more to do than that. Here’s our Top 10 list of fun things to do in the neighborhood. For more great ideas go to www.dinkytownusa.org
Varsity Theater - This isn’t a movie theater. This is a live entertainment theater. Come for a concert, stand up comedy, and other acts. The Varsity draws crowds from all over Minneapolis, but we’re lucky enough to have it in our own neighborhood. Want something fun to do on Friday night? Check out what performances are coming up. See schedule.
TCF Bank Stadium - In the fall, students and Gopher fans unite at TCF Bank Stadium and rejoice around the fact that there's a good reason to drink on a Saturday morning. Dinkytown houses will be rowdy with amped students and loud music preparing for the game. The tailgate lots around TCF will be flooded with pre-game parties, and the stands will begin to flood as students try to get the best seats in the students section. See games and concerts schedule.
Weisman Art Museum - You know that one building on campus that looks really cool, but you’ve always wondered what it is? It’s an art museum. That’s right, there’s a museum on campus and it’s time to go check it out. If you enjoy modern and abstract art, then it’s worth a walkthrough.
Loring Pasta Bar - Don’t let the name fool you. This is more than just an Italian restaurant, it’s also a concert venue, a swing dancing club, and most of all an architectural wonder and icon in Dinkytown. If you haven’t been inside Loring before, it’s time to go. Ask that cute guy or girl in your class on a date and bring them here for dinner then swing dancing. You’re sure to have a great night. Find out more on their website.
Kitty Cat Klub - You’ve probably passed by the Kitty Cat Klub a thousand times on your way to class and you’ve always wondered, “what the heck is that”, but you’ve never taken the time to just wander in and see what’s up. Well, what you’re missing out on is an underground restaurant and bar with a patio and live music. Although the name sounds like a strip club, this fun little bar is actually a hidden gem for those brave enough to enter.
Northrop Memorial Auditorium - One of the greatest things about being a U of M Gopher is that you get loads of free stuff. Free as in you’re forced to pay for it in your student fees, but as long as you’re paying, might as well take advantage of the activities that your money is going towards, right? One of those activities is free concerts and acts at the Northrop. Make sure to stay up to day with what’s happening at Northrop, because if you’re not on top of it, you might miss a really cool show.
Nice Ride Bike Ride - Minnesotans love to get out and get active in the summer. Our winters are so brutal that when summer comes around, we’re one of the most active and healthy cities in the USA. We’re also one of the most bike friendly cities in the States as well. Grab a Nice Ride bike and for a few bucks an hour, you can pick up a bike in Dinkytown and ride around to the Stone Arch bridge, Como Zoo, and more using nothing but paved bike lanes.
Walk to the Pink Bridge - A little known secret in Dinkytown is the walkway that goes under the streets of Dinkytown. If you walk from McDonalds towards Mariucci and look to your left when the concrete railing ends, you’ll find a small little footpath that will bring you down to the paved bike lanes. You can walk this path all the way until you get to the “Pink Bridge”, which goes over the Mississippi. Keep walking to get taken all the way to the Stone Arch Bridge, or stop here and watch the sunset from the Mississippi.
Student Night at Kafe 421 - Looking for a date night? Dress semi-fancy, and buy a half off bottle of wine (on Mon and Wed nights) and enjoy a discounted dinner with your student ID. You can sit outside on the patio and enjoy the warmth of a summer night before you move to the next destination around town.
The Yellow Room - Although, this is a Dinkytown top 10 list, the Yellow Room is a decent walk out of town, but it’s so worth it that you have to go! The Guthrie theater is the big black building on the Mississippi near the Stone Arch Bridge. It’s free to enter and you don’t even need a ticket to go all the way up to that big yellow room in the sky. Once you’re up there you’ll see some of the best views of the cities. The only caveat is… everything is YELLOW! For a less yellow view, go down a few floors to the hanging bridge that overlooks the old Mill District. What a great place to take a date after your dinner at Kafe 421.