Minneapolis attracts plenty of newcomers, mostly due to its thriving tech scene, the hip lifestyle dominated by various entertainment and dining opportunities, and easy access to outdoor activities. However, deciding whether moving to Minneapolis is a good decision — or not — requires massive exploration. You can, and should, do your research thoroughly — including details about the local job market, housing options, education and entertainment. It’s also useful to know the less interesting but more practical aspects of living in a new city. Did you know, for example, that there are almost 20 self storage facilities in Minneapolis? Boring? Perhaps! But having storage options away from home makes living there a whole lot easier.

Even more, really grasping the feel of a city requires more than simple, standard research, especially when planning a move sight-unseen. How can you dig deeper? Here’s an idea! Check out Minneapolis through the lens of movies and TV shows and see what intimate knowledge and understanding of the city you can gain that way. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 movies and TV shows that focus on Minneapolis to help you get to know the city better (even from afar):

1. Fargo

The movie “Fargo” has a cult following and makes for amazing entertainment, but it’s also a great start for learning about Minneapolis, and Minnesota, through the lens of movies. Even though the title references a town in North Dakota, the events take place in Minnesota, and the filming occurred around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. In this movie, you get to see different places around the metro area, but most importantly, you will grasp just how cold Minneapolis winters can get. So if you plan to move here, prepare accordingly. Also, the movie can help you get used to the local Minnesotan accent, as it contains a pretty accurate rendition of it.

Minneapolis in the winter

2. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

This funny and charming movie builds on the fame of “Fargo.” A Japanese woman, Kumiko, obsessed with treasure hunting, leaves her boring office job in Tokyo to travel to Minneapolis. Her goal? To search for the satchel with ransom money buried along a highway in the movie “Fargo.” Convinced that “Fargo” is real, Kumiko embarks on her journey, during which she discovers a lot of things about Minneapolis and its people — and so will you, if you watch this movie.

3. Jingle All the Way

This classic Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy released in 1996 entertained generations of both kids and adults, particularly around Christmas times, since it deals with the common conundrum of parents doing last-minute shopping for gifts and not being able to find the items on their children’s lists. Set and filmed in Minneapolis, the film includes locations like the Mall of America, located in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington.

4. Little Big League

Baseball is big in Minneapolis, and “Little Big League” perfectly conveys the local passion for the Minnesota Twins. Filming locations include Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (demolished a few years ago), Valleyfair Amusement Park and even Lakewood Cemetery.

Former Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

5. The Mighty Ducks

It’s not just baseball that’s big in Minneapolis — hockey is a very popular pastime also. “The Mighty Ducks” is a story not only about hockey but also about perseverance, ambition and team spirit, qualities that extend to many Minneapolis residents. You can also see plenty of Twin Cities locations in this movie, including Peavey Field Park, IDS Center, Augsburg Ice Arena and Theodore Wirth Chalet.

6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

A classic TV show that aired for seven years during the 70s, the Minneapolis-set “Mary Tyler Moore Show” impresses viewers even today with its compelling storyline and characters. The TV show also made some locations in Minneapolis truly iconic: the Kenwood Parkway home where the main character lived, RSM Plaza, Riverside Plaza and the IDS Center Crystal Court. You should also know that a statue that celebrates Mary Tyler Moore’s character in the show exists in downtown Minneapolis.

Downtown Minneapolis with the IDC Center in the background

7. Purple Rain

Minneapolis is a great place for music fans too, not just for sports fans, as proved by “Purple Rain.” The movie, starring Prince and his band the Revolution, aired in 1984, and almost all of the filming took place in Minneapolis. Many local landmarks, including the First Avenue Club, the IDS Center Crystal Court and the banks of the Minnesota River, make an appearance in the movie.

8. Stuck Between Stations

This 2011 romantic drama takes the viewer through an unconventional tour of Minneapolis that includes a house party, a punk-rock circus and a collection of peculiar characters. Not only was the film set in Minneapolis, but it was also written and directed by Minneapolitans, with a mostly local crew. Writers Sam Rosen and Nat Bennett and director Brady Kiernan used Minneapolis as another character in the movie — so you learn a lot about the city by watching it.

9. Wilson

The movie, starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, is a funny and sometimes dark tale of people struggling with personal and family issues. The movie includes a huge host of locations in and around Minneapolis, like the famous Mall of America, Como Park in St. Paul, Lake Minnetonka — which is close to Minneapolis — as well as plenty of scenes filmed on the streets of the city.

Como Park, Twin Cities

10. Zoë Bakes

This cooking show created by Zoë François and featured on Magnolia Network is a good way to learn about local Minnesotan cuisine and the food-related history and tradition of the place, including farming, milling and baking.



Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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