BTN.com LiveBIG Staff, July 22, 2019
Summer is upon us, and we know that probably the last thing you want to think about is the school year. But, whether you're a seasoned senior or an incoming freshman, it is never too late - or too early - to brush up on all that your Big Ten university has to offer.
So, we asked the experts from all fourteen universities to round up a list of can't-miss items, from cool locations to creative programs, which students would be remiss in missing out on. Consider it your collegiate bucket list. If these are news to you, we hope you're inspired to adventure. If you've already checked off a few of these, also great; please let us know in the comments below.
Tour the Bell Museum
Get up close to a woolly mammoth, take a trip through the cosmos, visit the Touch & See Lab and more at the Bell Museum, the University of Minnesota's natural history museum. Located on the St. Paul campus, visitors can explore high-tech exhibits, wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences and more. A must-see is the Bell's planetarium that can make you feel like you're flying through Earth's atmosphere to the far reaches of the universe, delving inside plant life and the human body or swimming in the Great Lakes.
Paint the Bridge
Every year, new colors cover the Washington Avenue Bridge, which connects the east and west bank campuses across the mighty Mississippi River, at the University of Minnesota. At the Paint the Bridge event, held every fall semester, more than 350 student groups and University departments paint a panel on the interior section of the pedestrian walkway to promote their group. Take a walk across it to discover both the artistic talent and diverse interests and passions of University of Minnesota students.
Gobble up some Gopher Ice Cream
Treat your tastebuds to delicious gouda, aged cheddar, apple pie crunch ice cream, wildberry frozen yogurt and more at The Dairy and Meat Salesroom. Located on the St. Paul campus and open Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m., visitors can satisfy their stomachs on tasty cheese, ice creams and frozen yogurts made by students, faculty and staff. The store also offers smoked meats, specialty sausages and freezer-ready cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. On your next visit, make sure to try the Gopher Gold ice cream made with a French vanilla base mixed with raspberry chocolate ripple.
Peep some basketball at The Barn
Williams Arena, also known as "The Barn," is the current home to the University of Minnesota men's and women's basketball teams. Located on the East Bank on the Twin Cities campus, the 14,000-plus capacity arena is one of the oldest and most celebrated college basketball venues in the nation. Besides its trademark shape, which mirrors the barns that dot Greater Minnesota's landscape, the building is probably best known for its signature, raised gym floor. While there, be sure to cross the street and check out the Barn's much younger sibling, TCF Bank Stadium, the newest football stadium in the Big Ten.
Take in the State Fair
The statewide and global impact of University of Minnesota research and outreach is prominently displayed during the Minnesota State Fair, the second largest state fair in the nation. The 12-day summer event, held adjacent to the Twin Cities campus in St. Paul, welcomes its more than two million yearly visitors to check out the U of M Central building, Driven to Discover Research Facility - where researchers conduct experiments and surveys to engage in community-focused discovery - the University's Extension and 4-H activities and more. For additional information, visit state-fair.umn.edu.