My co-worker Brittany described Super Bowl LIVE as a winter version of the Minnesota State Fair. That’s extremely accurate. There’s plenty of food to eat, live music to enjoy and you can watch a local or national television newscast.
What is Super Bowl LIVE?
Super Bowl LIVE a six-block, free event on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. There’s plenty to do indoors and outside (my picks are below). It’s open daily through Sunday, February 4. Hours are at the bottom of this page.
Wait, this is different than the Super Bowl Experience?
Yes. Super Bowl Experience is inside the Minneapolis Convention Center. That’s where you can (try to) kick a field goal, run a 40-yard dash and score autographs from NFL alumni. Tickets to that cost $35 for adults and $25 for kids.
How do I get to Super Bowl LIVE without pulling my hair out?
If you want to drive downtown, read my guide on where to park. Ramp parking on January 27 went all the way up to $50. Please don’t pay more than $20…it’s not worth it.
How long should I plan to be there?
Unless you’re going to listen to an entire concert, I would plan to be there for two to three hours once you enter.
Is it family-friendly?
Absolutely. I saw plenty of kiddos enjoying the scene. I should mention there are plenty of bathrooms along the way. Ask a Crew 52 volunteer (in the blue jackets) for the one nearest you. Strollers and wagons would fare just fine.
What do I need to check out?
- Target Bullseye Lodge
The creative geniuses at Target turned their employee common space (aka the student union) at 10th and Nicollet into an extremely fun, free exhibit. You can sip on hot cocoa and pick up free samples of pop and candy.
There are two gems at the Lodge you can’t miss. First, you can get your face printed on a marshmallow! They take your photo, and in just a couple minutes, you mugshot is good enough to eat. Grab a plastic baggie at the end of the line so you can take it home. I haven’t eaten mine yet…it feels a bit weird. But it’s super cool.
The other gem is outside in their courtyard. Their Dance exhibit has you show off your touchdown dance and you appear a silhouette on top of the Target Corporate tower! Really cool.
You will need to register when you enter the Bullseye Lodge; they’ll ask for your name and email. I had to wait a few minutes to get inside, but it’s definitely worth it. The Bullseye Lodge also had a mini-Target shop featuring items from their new apparel and accessories collaboration with Minneapolis-based Askov Finlayson.
2. Made in the North Market
It’s easy to overlook, but City Center, located between 6th and 7th Streets, is home to 25 Minnesota-based businesses selling goods. Excelsior Candle Co. is selling candles inside drink glasses, Hagen and Oats has images of U.S. Bank Stadium made of wood, and Smile Network International features apparel and home goods made by artists from around the world.
3. Dayton’s Project
The first floor of the
Macy’s — no, I mean Marshall Fields — how about Dayton’s — on Nicollet Mall is a multi-purpose space with a few big companies. There’s a large NFL Shop with plenty of Minnesota-centric gear and CNN will broadcast live inside as we get closer to the big game.
The Hallmark Channel is showcasing their 5th annual Kitten Bowl, which will air on the network on February 4. (Note: the broadcast you’ll see February 4 was already recorded). You can wait in line to see a stadium of kittens pounce and hiss at one another. The exhibit also features furry friends from rescues looking for forever homes.
If you don’t want to fork over the money to go inside the Super Bowl Experience, Bridgestone has a mini version inside the Dayton’s Project. You can fly through the air to catch a football and land in a foam pit, toss a football through tires (fitting) and look like a true player with a paper helmet that has an authenticity sticker from the NFL.
Also while you’re inside the Dayton’s Project, it’s worth checking out the outfits, shoes and memorabilia on display from Minnesota music icon, Prince.
The Dayton’s building looks no different than it did before Macy’s closed.
4. American Birkebeiner International Bridge
The American Birkebeiner is an annual cross country ski race in Wisconsin. The race has competitors cross over a road, so organizers built a bridge which can support a couple feet of snowpack, allowing skiiers to go over cars. The bridge was delivered to Minneapolis and now crosses over 9th Street, allowing you to give cross country skiing a try or glide down the large hill in an inner tube. Even if you don’t strap on skis, it’s cool to see a usually busy Minneapolis street packed with snow from curb to curb.
5. ‘Sota Pop
You’re not going to find this on the official Super Bowl LIVE list of activities, but Explore Minnesota did a phenomenal job putting together a display called ‘Sota Pop. The free, indoor exhibit at 5th and Nicollet Mall guides you through the four seasons in the North Star State. There are so many photo opportunities in this one spot, and they’re all on point. Bravo, Explore Minnesota.
What else do I need to know before I go?
- No tickets are necessary for anything at Super Bowl LIVE.
- There’s a music stage at 8th Street and Nicollet Mall that has 10 days worth of concerts. View the lineup here.
- The stage is in a horrible spot and it’s REALLY HARD to get around the crowd. Pro tip: hop in a building and take the skyway to get past that intersection.
- There are exhibits behind the music stage on 8th Street. Minnesota-based Schwan’s has a really cool trivia game show stage and Tostitos is giving out free samples.
- Super Bowl 360 at 11th Street and Nicollet Mall near Orchestra Hall is a planetarium-like experience. Get ready to wait in line before you get to go inside. If you went through it, please let me know what you thought! I didn’t want to wait in that line.
- There’s plenty of food and drink available for purchase throughout the event. I didn’t notice any lines, either. A flurry of food trucks are parked on 10th Street. I recommend going inside Haskell’s Wine Bar just south of 9th Street if you’re looking to take a break with an adult beverage and warm up a little.
- The entrance at the south entrance at 12th Street is the most visually impressive.
Super Bowl LIVE hours
Friday, January 26 — 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 27 — 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 28 — 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Monday, January 29 — 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 30 — 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 31 — 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 1 — 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, February 2 — 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 — 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 4 — 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
What else is happening leading up to the big game? Get a list of 100 events happening over 10 days here.