Make a Day of Art
Plan a day of laughter, lunch and arts-learning with your favorite friends. Meet your CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour docent at 10:00 am on the First Saturday of the month (June – October) for a free guided tour of twenty-seven works of art in City Center Mankato. After all that walking, you’ll have worked up an appetite! Head over to Olives, located in the Hilton Garden Inn, for a Mediterranean style lunch. After lunch walk across the street and get a group photo in front of our newest public art mural, Mni Mural, on the flood wall near Reconciliation Park. Tag your photo with the hashtag #cityartkato! Finish up your afternoon with a Ginger Shot at WYSIWYG and shopping along Front Street where you’ll find beautiful gems at Julee’s Jewelry
Family Fun Day
Fill up on hearty oatmeal and homemade baked goods at Tandem Bagels and head out to explore the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour with the kids! See how many animals you can find in art around the City Center! Plan to have lunch at Dino’s Pizzeria on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato and be sure to ask for a piece of homemade play “dough” for the kids to sculpt! Next see how many of the Wordwalk Poems the kids can find stamped into the sidewalk along Riverfront Drive in Old Town. Can you find all six? You’ll be sure to find all kinds of great local shopping in the Old Town District like cool bike gear at Nicollet Bike Shop and unique board games at Dork Den. End the day with a tasty treat at Mom and Pops Ice Cream Parlor.
Silo Art Day Trip Itinerary
You’re here to see and experience Mankato’s largest mural project, but you’ll find public art displayed around every corner of the Old Town District. From sculptures to artist designed benches – art is everywhere.
Use the public art map on Google or go explore on your own. Be sure to check out the recently installed window well murals at the historic Ardent Mills site, the community mural “All for One” on the Bellisimo Paint and Coatings building, and stained glass artwork titled Land of Memories offering a message of hope and reconciliation on the east side of Wooden Spoon.
See Public Art Map
Learn more about Mankato’s history and our pathway to healing. The Silo Art Project is just a few short steps away from Reconciliation Park and “Mni Mural” on the flood wall.
On September 19, 1997, reconciliation Park was dedicated. The park is the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history where 38 Dakota Indians were hanged by the government. This was the result of trials during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. Tom Miller sculpted the bison from a 67-ton block of local Kasota limestone; it is surrounded by native flowers and prairie grasses. The buffalo symbolizes the spiritual survival of the Dakota People and honors the Dakota heritage of this area. The park is a site to reflect, meditate and remember. “A reconciliation for all people.” Dakota Elder Amos Owen, 1997.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict, this memorial lists the names of the 38 Dakota Warriors who were hanged on December 26, 1862. Included in this memorial is a prayer written by Eli Taylor and a poem by Katherine Hughes. The theme of the memorial is “Forgive Everyone Everything.” The monument was inspired by the vision of Vernell Wabasha, an elder of the Dakota nation.
Mni means “water” in the Dakota language, the language that was formed from this land. This Mni Mural depicts our river before settlement times to remind us of its beauty and vitality. The Mni Mural is a promise to water. A promise to restore our river to its original health.
It has been more than 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota Conflict. At least 450 white settlers and soldiers lost their lives along with many unrecorded Dakota casualties and forced removals. In the present day we try to understand the events leading up to the conflict along with the grim outcome – the simultaneous hanging of 38 Dakota on December 26, 1862. It was the largest mass execution in US History. The U.S.–Dakota Conflict also was the largest attack on settlers in the history of the U.S. This Self-Guided tour brings you to 33 sites of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict. Each site offers a brief description of its significance. Download the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862 Self Guided Tour PDF.
A few of our favorite spots to eat and drink in Old Town Mankato:
The Coffee Hag – A local fav for great coffee and a cool ambience.
The Hub Food Park – A food truck destination for foodies. Check out their website for details about what food trucks will be out and live entertainment.
Wooden Spoon – Grab fresh food and homemade baked goods. They specialize in a variety of dietary needs including gluten free and vegan options.
Wine Café – A full service bar and live entertainment daily.
The Old Town District has a great local boutique and shopping scene. Find unique home goods at Salvage Sisters or Weathered & Whimsy, trendy clothing for you at Gallery 512 or Bella Nova, and fashionable finds for the kids at Bumbelou, games at The Dork Den, and great music at Tune Town. Download the Old Town Map for easy navigating!
Head across the Minnesota River via the Veterans Memorial Bridge into North Mankato to get a stellar view of the silos from the Rex MacBeth memorial site near the intersection of 169 and Belgrade Avenue.
Take in the public art of City Center North Mankato including six sculptures from the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour and the colorful Loon mural on the east wall of the NaKato Bar & Grill.
A few of our favorite spots to eat and drink on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato:
Dino’s Pizzeria – Family friendly environment and delicious gourmet pizza.
NaKato Bar & Grill – Great breakfast and patio atmosphere for lunch or dinner.
Neutral Groundz – Grab a coffee, tea, pastry while you peruse their cute gift shop of home goods.
The Circle Inn – A lower North Mankato classic for a post work drink.