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 couple decades Winona has experienced a renaissance that has transformed it into an arts destination. MCA is proud to contribute to the cultural scene through theatrical, musical, and pre-professional dance performances, dance classes, private music lessons, and even a 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 has many beautiful parks, here is a list of playgrounds . Two of our favorites are Levee Park which features a splash pad and two bouldering rocks to climb while you take in views of the mighty Mississippi River and Every Child’s Dream Playground on Winona’s East Lake, this is a newly remodeled and accessible park. 
  3. Need  a little down time? You can grab a quick cup of Jo or tea at one of the many cafes. The three establishments that are closest to MCA are; the Curisosi-Tea House, Blooming Grounds Express, and Caribou Coffee.

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.
  4. Want to enjoy the weather & water? Check out Lake Lodge. From paddle boards & canoes to bikes and hammocks in the summer to ice skates and snow shoes in the winter. There is something for everyone. If you are going to be in town for more than a day, check out the season passes for only $15-$22.

Are you dropping a child off at our Summer Dance Intensive?  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, dance, visual art, & theatre. Winona is home to Great River Shakespeare Festival, Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Hurry Back Productions, Midwest Music Festival, Winona Municipal Band, Frozen River Film Festival, Boats & Blue Grass, Winona Poetry Walk, and more.
  2. Want to take in a movie? Check out the Lake Park Drive-In free movies & music series throughout the summer and fall. Incase of inclement weather, check out Winona 7 , this local movie theatre holds $5 Tuesdays and Kids Summer Movie Series.
  3. Are you a history buff? Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of Winona’s historic downtown and riverfront,  Winona County Historical Society, or JR Watkins Museum & Store.

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

Winona Itineraries- Visit Winona

The 7 Most Beautiful Things in Winona- Winona State University

Five Things Families Love About Winona- Visit Winona

The One Minnesota Town That’s so Perfectly Midwest- Only in your State

5 hottest small town destinations in MinnesotaStar Tribune

22 Awesome Things to do in Winona- Life in Minnesota

A Day in Winona– MN Public Radio