Not many miles from the quiet, suburban city of Plymouth, where AFLBS makes its home, students will find one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, affectionately known as the Twin Cities. A major center of culture, art, and good old Midwestern natural beauty, Minneapolis and St. Paul offer a vast array of options for the adventurous young heart. With over three million residents, the Twin Cities provides any small-town boy or girl with more than enough “big city” for his/her satisfaction.
No matter the interest, the Twins Cities buzz with opportunities for everyone. If you like sports, you can make your way to downtown Minneapolis and watch the Minnesota Twins play at Target Field. If you have an artist’s heart, you can visit the Walker Art Center or the Sculpture Gardens (It’s free!) or the Guthrie theatre. The Global Market, where you can buy food and merchandise from many countries and cultures, lends itself to the student of the world’s diversity. Hidden behind the hustle and bustle of city life, the gorgeous rush of Minnehaha Falls and the lush green parks surrounding it welcome the students who want a quiet moment to enjoy God’s creation. Full of history and stories, the Twin Cities also have several museums to occupy a learning mind.
On an open day where you need a spontaneous adventure, you can take a group of friends to Annie’s Parlour in Dinkytown for shakes and burgers, or stop by the Tea Garden for, you know, tea. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area has countless lakes and parks that young folks in need of some fresh air and thrifty activities can enjoy. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the Minnesota outdoors in the Fall.
In the winter, many AFLBS students enjoy taking a jaunt to Centennial Lakes in Edina to ice skate under the festive, twinkle lights. Nearing Christmas, the famous Holidazzle parade comes to town (This one’s free, too!) and has always been a favorite among students of our school.
More than just a hub of activity and excitement though, Minneapolis-Saint Paul is also a large center of religious diversity. Many Christian groups and synods once had or still do have their headquarters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. With nearly every religion and belief-system—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Eckankar, Wicca, and many others—represented in the Cities, Minneapolis-Saint Paul becomes a mission field for students with a heart to reach souls for Jesus Christ. AFLBS students have a chance to become part of an Urban Ministry training school, as well as be a part of an urban ministry team called Street Level.
Of course, the “big city” doesn’t suit everyone, but even for those who prefer small towns and familiar faces, there are little gems—favorite restaurants, parks, ministries, or museums—that everyone can find.