About the club
FFMN/TC has sent Ambassadors on 69 FFI Exchanges to 35 different countries since the Club was formed in 1978. We have hosted 58 groups of Ambassadors from 25 different countries. The Club has 149 members in 102 households (47 family members and 55 single members) as of August 2010.
About the region
The State of Minnesota has more than 10,000 lakes and an abundance of parks and gardens. The many lakes are part of what makes it different, but it has a lot more to offer. The State is on the shore of the biggest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, and Minnesota is where the world’s third largest river, the Mississippi river begins. The Mississippi river begins in northern Minnesota and flows 2,350 miles. It is a critical migration corridor for millions of birds and essential to the ecological health of North America.
The Twin Cities Metro area with a population of 3.2 million people has much to offer visitors. The Mississippi River runs through Minneapolis and St. Paul making boating a popular visitor activity along the scenic river fronts. The riverfront includes the St. Anthony Falls, the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, and the internationally known, Guthrie Theater. Visitors touring the St. Anthony Falls will be viewing the only remaining major waterfall on the great Mississippi river. The Mill City Museum is also located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront with the Museum being built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flourmill.
Minnesota has a strong tradition of supporting theater, the arts, and music. The Twin Cities have more theater seats per capita than any other city outside of New York. St. Paul offers the Fitzgerald Theater, which is the home of a Prairie Home Companion, an internationally known radio show, featuring Garrison Keillor. Other famous Minnesotans include Bob Dylan and Prince who have won multiple Grammy awards and who are enrolled in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Major museums such as the Walker Art Center, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Minnesota History Center have outstanding exhibits throughout the year. The Minnesota Zoo and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum are great for an outdoor experience. Other historical sites near the Twin Cities include Fort Snelling, a frontier fortress and Murphy’s Landing, a pioneer village.
American Indians, the first residents of Minnesota, known as the Ojibwe (Annishinabe) and Sioux (Dakota) are honored in the place names of many of our natural features, cities, and streets. Their Pow Wow celebrations are open to the public. Minnesota is the home of many ethnic communities. Although our population is largely of Scandinavian and German descent, we have one of the largest Hmong and Somali communities in the United States. Over 70 languages are spoken in the homes of Minnesota.
About the Journey
The climate of Minnesota varies during its four seasons with each season offering its own pleasures. Everyone finds spring delightful, as trees return their greenery and flowers add color to roadways, gardens and parks. Summer is sunny and pleasant and this is the time when Minnesotans start their annual journey to destinations known as “up to the lake”. Others venture to our national wilderness area, the Boundary Waters, to canoe in a 1,090,00 acre wilderness area located within the Superior National Forest, or to camp outdoors at the Voyageur’s National Park. Autumn is a golden season as the trees and shrubs turn colors of red, orange, and yellow. Remarkable sunsets and warm evenings bring Minnesotans outdoors to enjoy the fall evenings. Winter is a special season in Minnesota with snowmobiling, dog sledding, and outdoor skating and skiing.
Visitors who enjoy being outdoors will enjoy visiting one of the many parks and gardens in Minneapolis. In 2014, the US Trust for Public Land designated Minneapolis as having the best park system in the United States. Visitors will not want to miss the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.
Minnesota is home to the Mall of America, the biggest shopping center in the United States, which also includes an indoor amusement park and an underwater aquarium. Shopping can also be experienced using Minneapolis’s skyway system, an interlinked collection of enclosed pedestrian walkways, connecting buildings in downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Skyway System is the world’s largest continuous walkway system, spanning over 8 miles (13 km).
The FF of Minnesota-Twin Cities will plan activities for Ambassadors based on their expressed interests. This could include a baseball game to see the Minnesota Twins play in their outdoor stadium, a visit to one of the venues of the Minnesota Historical Society, or a visit to the State Capital. It could be a boat ride on the Mississippi River or a picnic in one of our gardens or parks. Some visitors do not want to miss a visit to the Mall of America, the biggest shopping center in the United States. Sport enthusiast will want to attend a game one of our four major league sports teams offering basketball, hockey, football, and baseball.