The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is so proud to call Winona home. Nestled between the bluffs along the mouth of the mighty Mississippi, Winona is both ascetically beautiful and buzzing with activity both indoors and out.  Over the past decade Winona has experienced a renaissance that has transformed it into an arts destination. MCA is proud to contribute to the cultural scene through theatrical and pre-professional dance performances, dance classes, private music lessons, and even a two-week summer dance intensive (SDI) which hosts students from around the nation.

Though this list is by no means exhaustive it should give you a few ideas of what you can do if you have a little time to kill in Winona while your child is in class, before or after a performance, or when you travel our way for our SDI.

Got a little time to kill while your child is in a class, rehearsal or lesson at MCA?

  1.  Why not take a little walk?  We are only blocks away from the West Lake Trail.  Since it is only 1.8 miles it is easily manageable during classes that are an hour or more.  As an added bonus, dogs are also welcome on this trail and their is a small park.
  2. Need to keep younger kids occupied? Winona’s newest attraction is a new indoor playground that features a huge jumping pillow, imagination blocks and an indoor play structure.  The Playground which is located about a block and 1/2 away from MCA in the Winona Mall is going to be invaluable in the winter.  There is a small fee to enter, but is great note that they allow you to bring in your own food, as well as come and go (8am-9pm) as much as you please once you have bought a pass.
  3. Need to have a little down time? You can grab a quick cup of Jo at Winona Mall Blooming Grounds.

Have a little time on a weekend before of after a performance?

  1. Why not take in a bird’s eye view of the city?  Follow the winding mile-and-a-half road up the bluff side, and immerse yourself in rich oak savanna atop Garvin Heights scenic overlook.
  2. Have you seen the masters?  The Minnesota Marine Art Museum located right along the Mississippi in Winona is home to major works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne, Turner, Constable, Leutze, O’Keeffe, Cassatt, Homer, Cole, Wyeth, and many more.
  3. Want to taste the best?  A trip to Winona wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bloedow’s Bakery. People line up down the street to enjoy these award winning donuts.

Are you dropping a child off at our SDI?  Want to spend a day or more in Winona?

  1. Do you love live arts?  Winona is vibrant year round, but if it is summer time you have even more choices of live music and theatre. Winona is home to Great River Shakespeare Festival , Minnesota Beethoven Festival, The Page Theatre, Midwest Music Festival, Winona Municipal Band, Frozen River Film FestivalBoats & Blue Grass and more.
  2. What to try kayaking for only $15? Spend $15 per person and you can enjoy the Lake Lodge year-round. A $15 membership gains you unlimited passes to kayak, canoe, and paddle board during the summer and ice skating in the winter right on Lake Winona with no additional fees.
  3. Are you a history buff? Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of downtown Winona, Winona Historical Society, or JR Watkins Museum & Store.

Still want more ideas?  Below are links to a few great articles  and websites about Winona.

A Weekend in Winona– Life with Boys

A Day in Winona– MN Public Radio

Visit Winona

Christmas Along the River– Midwest Living Magazine

7 Ways to Spend a Winter Week in Winona– Winona State University

Best Small Cities in America– Nerd Wallet