When I have guests in Minneapolis, one my favorite places to take them is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center, one of the nation’s largest urban sculpture parks. When the Garden opened in 1988, it was immediately heralded by the New York Times as “the finest new outdoor space in the country for displaying sculpture.” There you’ll see Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985–1988), which has become a symbol of the city.
No matter what you think of contemporary art, it’s hard not to enjoy the setting against the Minneapolis skyline. The Walker hosts all sorts of great events during the summer including the Rock The Garden concerts, movies in the park, and my favorite, a miniature golf course with each hole designed by a contemporary artist.
Best of all, I love watching the way people interact with the art, which is after all, the goal. Click on the gallery below for larger images.
The Sculpture Garden is a favorite place for wedding and prom photos. This couple was just strolling the Garden after their wedding.
I caught this family peeking through a work of art.
You can’t resist interacting with this giant swing.
If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you know my goal is to encourage people to READ and GO. Literary travel means reading a great book and going where it takes place or to the type of place the book is set, which can be right in your own town. Literary travel allows you to experience both the book and the place in a more intimate way. And, it’s a great way to expose children to the pleasures of reading, giving them more ways to relate to books and their subjects.
Take, for example, the topic of Earth Day. What better way to help kids understand the
concept of caring for the environment than by reading a super-engaging book on the topic and then venturing out on a lit trip to a local park, garden, or community Earth Day event? Listen up grandparents, aunts and uncles and others who seek interesting ways to interact with the children in your life. You should put Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder on your list.
For a few great book suggestions, I stopped by one of the country’s all-time best children’s bookstores, Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. I have to admit that since my children are grown, I look for just about any excuse to wander into this store, which is full of fun booksellers, live animals, special events, and cozy reading spots, not to mention books, books, books. It’s pretty entertaining just watching children and their families interact with everything in the store. Don’t have kids? Wild Rumpus has a great selection of YA and adult books, and you can still enjoy the animals.
Here are a few of their Earth Day reading suggestions:
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Miss Maples’ Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Celebritrees— Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Travel to the places you read about. Read about the places you travel.