Gift for friend moving to MN?
July 23, 2012 7:24 PM   Subscribe

I need awesome gift ideas for a friend moving to Minneapolis.

Several of us are chipping in, so we should have around $150-200 to spend. He has lived there before so it won't be a completely new experience for him. He and his wife like craft beer, ethnic cuisines and travel.

We'd like to give something great that isn't an extra thing to pack / deal with / manage. So far I'm looking at a theater gift certificate, which might be a *little* bit frou-frou for him but I think he'd find something to enjoy.

I know absolutely nothing about MN. My initial idea was gift certs for a few restaurants but the online gift certificate options I'm looking at seem a little sketchy. Help?
posted by bunderful to Shopping (13 answers total)
My girlfriend (who is from MN) seconds your tickets idea and suggests the Guthrie Theater.
posted by griphus at 7:28 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Autumn Beer Review is the craft beer event in Minneapolis. Tickets will go on sale on August first at noon. If you can manage to get them for him before they sell out, he will meet lots of interesting people and brewers early in the afternoon, and lots of drunk and stumbling people a few hours later.
posted by Think_Long at 7:30 PM on July 23, 2012

The Twin Cities has some AWEEEESOME musical heritage. I'd probably do a cheap lil' MP3 player preloaded with a Minneapolis playlist: Husker Du, The Replacements, Prince, The Jayhawks, The Hold Steady, Cloud Cult, etc. I'd give them a gift certificate to Hell's Kitchen, which is a fantastic, unpretentious restaurant with live music on the weekends. You could also get them a gift cert for admission to the Walker Art Center, which is a very cool modern art museum.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:56 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Griphus totally has it.
posted by COBRA! at 7:57 PM on July 23, 2012

I would suggest a gift card to Home Depot where your friend can buy a remote heater for his car. I lived in and loved Minneapolis for several years and it was the one thing I really wish I had.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 8:33 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've ordered gift certificates for restaurants in other cities by calling up the restaurant and doing it via credit card over the phone (then they mail the card to the address I specify).

I've received gift certificates to Ngon Bistro in St Paul, which is a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant in St Paul that also has a lot of great local beers. It's nowhere near the Guthrie, but you could set them up for dual Twin Cities adventures - one in Minneapolis and one in St Paul.
posted by Maarika at 8:33 PM on July 23, 2012

Co-op grocery stores are a big deal in Minneapolis. I think an awesome gift would be a co-op membership (Seward if he'll be in South Minneapolis, Eastside if in Northeast, the Wedge if in Uptown, Mississippi Market if he's in St. Paul). For a lot of the big co-ops you can buy a gift membership over the phone which he'll sign for/pick up in person (because it's technically stock). A membership would use maybe half of your budget and if you were looking to spend the other half on a restaurant gift certificate the City Pages 'best of' would be a great way to start, and an easy way to narrow down to where he lives or where you think he should visit.
posted by sorrel at 9:50 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Minneapolis is a huge bike city. Does your friend already own a bike? Would he ride one if he had one? If he has one, does he need tuneups or accessories or winter gear? Could be nice to get a gift certificate to a good bike shop, like Erik's.
posted by Sfving at 10:58 PM on July 23, 2012

I, too, have done gift certificates over the phone. If the place is reasonably honest you should be fine; if that makes you nervous, get a Visa gift card and then put it in a card with a copy of the Guthrie's and the Fitzgerald Theater's schedules, plus the names of a few good restaurants (like Blackbird, which my good friend owns!). That way they can buy whatever grade seats they want to whichever place, and also go somewhere else if something strikes their fancy.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:32 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd call up Busters on 28th (Minneapolis) and The Muddy Pig (St. Paul) to see about ordering gift certificates. These are two of the best places to get craft beer and delicious food in the cities.
posted by vytae at 8:14 AM on July 24, 2012

If you go with a bike shop gift certificate I'd recommend somewhere like The Hub over Erik's. All good suggestions so far, and if you end up getting him Autumn Brew Review tickets I may be one of the hopefully interesting and definitely drunk people he encounters.
posted by look busy at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2012

It might be fun to gift them with a night out. All of the above suggestions are great btw (LOVE Busters!), but if you want to do a night out type of thing you could get some tickets to Jungle Theater along with dinner tickets to either Muddy Waters or Heidi's, which are both great restaurants right next to Jungle Theater.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2012

In the end we presented a healthy Visa gift card with a carefully curated selection of spending ideas - mostly thanks to this thread - and it was very appreciated. Thanks everyone!
posted by bunderful at 3:19 PM on July 27, 2012

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