We love living and working in the little city of Burnsville, MN! It’s a tight-knit but welcoming community, combining the pleasures of small-town life with big-city amenities and spark (it’s located about 15 miles south of downtown Minneapolis).
First settled by Europeans in 1855, the little township of Burnsville allegedly took its name from a misspelling of Scottish settler William Byrne’s name. The community remained more or less a quiet village until the post-WWII boom brought a sudden need for housing. These days, it’s home to nearly 62,000 Minnesotans!
The city of Burnsville is considered “built out” now, and largely serves as a bedroom community for the Twin Cities. But because of its unique characteristics, there’s hardly a lack of things to do in Burnsville. We’d love to share a few of our favorites!
Green Goods Dispensary’s Top Things to Do in Burnsville
SEA LIFE at Mall of America
One, Mall of America
120 East Broadway East Side, Level
Bloomington, MN 55425
We may be far from the ocean here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but this frankly awe-inspiring exhibit will give you a very up-close and personal experience with various sea creatures. The main attraction is the 300-foot glassed-in tunnel. You’ll be surrounded by literally thousands of tropical fish, sharks, and stingrays gliding all around you. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of Duke and Duchess, a pair of 14 foot-long sawfish, the only such residents in the state. Elsewhere, you can pet sea anemones, meet rescued sea turtles and be transfixed by floating jellyfish.
As of late 2020, SEA LIFE is closed to the public; check the website above for updates.
Normandale Japanese Garden
West Lot, 9700 France Ave S
Bloomington, MN 55431
Lovely and serene, the Normandale Community College Japanese Garden is a little like an old treasured friend. Always welcoming, it welcomes you even as it spurs quiet and inwards introspection. Open your-round except when reserved for special events, admission is always free. Traipse across the Taiko-bashi—the garden’s signature drum-shaped bridge—or thrill to the quiet burble of the waterfall the empties into the pond. True to classic Japanese garden design, the decor and foliage are designed to suggest restraint, not eye-catching foliage. Even in chilly weather, it’s a lovely place to collect one’s thoughts and be at peace.
Bob Dylan Mural
1, S 5th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
While admittedly not one of the things to do in Burnsville, this towering mural has become a world-famous attraction since it was painted in 2015 by renowned Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra and a team of collaborators. Dylan, of course, was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, MN, but the Nobel laureate has gone on to become one of Minnesota’s—and the rest of the world’s—most cherished artists. You can treat yourself to some fascinating shots of the mural taking shape here, before taking yourself up the road to catch the real thing. Prepare yourself to be blown away!
5000 Center Ct
Bloomington, MN 55425
This theme park may be tucked into Mall of America, but that’s not to suggest it lacks for thrills! Featuring rides and attractions based on characters from the TV network’s hit shows, you’ll find a mix of family-friendly and more thrilling themes. Soar 70 feet high through the sky on a “wave of air” with Avatar Airbender, hop a ride on a classic old-fashioned carousel, or help dispel unwanted supernatural guests from a haunted mansion!
As of late 2020, Nickelodeon Universe® is closed to the public; check the website above for updates.