Yeah, we're in a global pandemic. But, that doesn't mean you can't find some safe, socially distant fun. Here are five things to do in the Northland for $15 or less.
Take a ride up Highway 61 till you hit Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen.
Caramel and English Toffee are top picks, each running about $10 for a half a pound at this Knife River shop. Depending on the day, you can snag (meaning, pre-order) their triple dipped malted milk balls, blueberry bark, key lime truffles or plain ole fudge (which is far from plain).
A whirl around the sweet-tooth haven is not allowed at this time due to the pandemic. But, they’re taking online orders, with pickup on the porch. Check greatlakescandy.com for what’s available.
The shop is open every day 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed on Tuesdays.
You can’t go wrong with a scenic mini excursion, a good podcast and snagging a haystack to soothe your chocolate jones with goodies made from third- and fourth-generation candy makers.
Head out West
If you miss seeing movies on the big screen, The West Theater is showing oldies-but-goodies and some newer flicks at a reduced capacity.
From Friday-Sunday and for 7 buckaroos, catch everything from “Back to the Future” and “Field of Dreams” to “1917” and “Black Panther” — in a renovated theater originally built in 1937.
Face masks are required. There will be temperature checks, and advanced reservations are preferred to ensure the theater doesn’t exceed 25% capacity. Patrons are asked to sit two buffer seats apart. Employees will also be masked. More info: facebook.com/westtheaterduluth or thewesttheatre.com.
If you wanna channel your inner 9-year-old or save the tread on your tennies, take a spin on Leaf Rides electric scooters.
Spot the black scooters with a green tag in Canal Park, downtown Duluth or Bayfront Festival Park. (Stay tuned, these may be available at UMD this fall, according to Leaf Rides co-owner Jed Irvine.)
Download the Leaf Rides app. It costs $1 to unlock, and is 35 cents per minute to ride. That’s a half-hour of wind blowing through your hair while swerving past the gulls for less than $15.
Only one per scooter, stick to the bike lanes or watch for peddies on the sidewalks. For riders 18 and older with a valid driver’s license.
Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Note: While they’re sanitized during nightly maintenance, Irvine said it’s not feasible for he and co-owner Latisha Irvine to do this in between rides. “That’s not something we can make happen; users have to be aware of that at their own risk.”
So, BYO-Clorox wipes.
More info: leafrides.com
Eat, drink or slurp near a giant wooden shark during Glensheen’s Shark on the Lake.
The historic mansion hosts this shine-only event from 1-5 p.m. daily, and 5-10 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Explore the grounds, BYO-food, or order in, but no outside alcohol. Ice cream and drinks will be available for purchase. Grounds admission of $5 or a tour ticket are required, but get in for free on Wednesdays.
For the uninitiated, the mansion holds an indoor shark scavenger hunt during tours, it hosted former Shark Watching Society bonfires, and Glensheen leaders commissioned the construction of a 24-foot-long, 12-foot-high wooden shark intended to burn for the mansion’s first Fire Fest.
Shark on the Lake is just another excuse to eat, drink and be merry next to the water, while socially distanced.
Also, check their virtual tour. It’s free.
Check out a telescope live stream from UMD’s Planetarium, an online pub quiz, or a gentle AF yoga class. If you’re new to Duluth, it’s a great way to get acquainted with some Duluth-Superior names to know, and it’s a F-R-E-E spot to get plugged in. Perfect if you want to break to learn how to draw a bird or listen to local brewers talk beer, Virtual Duluth has a cornucopia of options.
More info: facebook.com/groups/virtualduluth