Photo Credit- Richard Pearson Photography
Tell us a little about the Venue!
Green Acres, An Enchanting Event Center in a Historic Barn is the ultimate in uniqueness and charm with a marriage of rustic and elegance. The perfect venue to create beautiful and unforgettable memories in a magical, old-world setting conveniently located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Previously the Goodrich-Ramus barn, Green Acres is the oldest standing barn in Eden Prairie and an important part of Minnesota history. In 2009, Hennepin County developed construction plans to widen Pioneer Trail and considered demolishing the barn, but the City of Eden Prairie and the Historical Society stepped in to save it. After reading an article in the Star Tribune about its demise, Steven Schussler, well-known as the creator of the Rainforest Cafe® chain of restaurants, was inspired to restore the barn. It took almost 3 years to complete all the renovations and obtain approvals from over 20 government agencies. In March 2013, we received our certificate of occupancy and became the first and only event center in the city of Eden Prairie.
Built in 1942, with a Gothic Arch shape roof of ancient timbers and rare yellow glazed tile, this historic barn has been meticulously and lovingly restored. Original materials were used or exposed when and where available to keep the rich history and beauty of its structure. The barn’s authenticity was preserved and complemented with the modern conveniences of heat, air conditioning, new up-to-date bathrooms, an elevator, sound system, and theatrical lighting. Create your most memorable event amongst the crystal and candlelight chandeliers, a collection of antique jukeboxes, an extravagant Italian water fountain, old fashioned player pianos, music, color and lighting. Cozy seating areas around warm fireplaces with weathered horse saddles, antique kerosene lanterns, aged furniture, and artwork makes your guests feel comfortable and transports them back to those fond bygone days of the past.
Photo Credit: Barcaly Horner
Are there any special restrictions such as restrictions on room access, music level or timeline, decorations, or flames?
We like to say that the only restriction is your imagination. Evening events are from 5PM to 12 Midnight. The client has the venue from 1PM to 1AM. We have the electrical to accommodate a 12 or more piece band. You can bring in your own DJ and there is a sound system throughout the entire venue, upstairs, downstairs and outside. Each level can be controlled differently. You can have the volume higher or lower or turned off. Clients can bring in their own music mix and play it on our ipod docking station. A lot of clients will have a band or DJ upstairs and then play more mellow music via an ipod downstairs and outside.
Photo Credit: Time into Pixels
What is your catering policy? (Onsite, Preferred List of Caterers, etc.)
We have an exclusive caterer named Sterling Catering, who is a division of the award-winning Green Mill Caterer. They in fact won the Knot’s Best of Weddings for both 2014 and 2015. They always provide the beverages and alcohol. An outside caterer for food is allowed with an 18% catering fee.
What amenities does the site offer (changing of rooms, bathrooms, dance floor, lighting, entertainment equipment, wheelchair access, picturesque areas, on- site stocked bar, kitchen facilities, and coat rooms)?
We endeavored to keep all the rustic charm of a barn and then added:
- Modern convenience of heat, air conditioning, modern bathrooms, and handicap accessible elevator.
- Theatrical lighting both inside and outside. The client can choose the color they would like the barn to be lit on the exterior from purple, blue, red, yellow, green, to a classic white.
- The silo has been turned into an intimate cheese & wine tasting room with a wine cellar. This is often used by the bride as a bridal suite to use as a changing room, make up room or just a fun space to hang out with her best friends before the ceremony.
- The upstairs Great Room Loft is perfect for ceremonies, dinner and dance. Sterling Catering will execute the scene changes. There is a ceremony fee of $500.
- Handicap accessible ramps, elevator and bathrooms.
- Holding kitchen is perfect for the caterers
- Photographers have mentioned that Green Acres is a photographers dream both on the inside and outside. Starling Lake & Park is directly behind the barn and has been a fabulous place for beautiful outdoor pictures.
- There are 3 bars available for use. Sterling Catering brings in all the beverages and alcohol for each event.
- There is a space for coats but not an official coat room.
- There is an AV system with a big screen for presentations that is available for a $350 fee.
- Wireless Microphone enables the host to reach all the guests upstairs, downstairs and outside.
- Wonderful outdoor space with a fireplace that is lit with the wonderful aroma of wood logs burning during the entire event.
Photo Credit: Spicy Meatball Photography
How many people will comfortably fit in each room?
There are three wonderful entertainment spaces which include the Upper Level Great Room Loft, Lower level perfect for social hour with the Wine Cellar in the Silo and the outside that has a big tractors, hay ride, fire place and Cowboys cauldron for roasting marshmallows for custom s’mores. The lovely pavers are wonderful for games or taking pictures. The total facility can accommodate up to 299.
Does the venue hold multiple events at a time?
The event center is always rented as a whole.
Is there a special event coordinator on-site that would be helping day of?
The Event Manager or the Assistant Manager will be at each event. Sterling Catering also provides staffing in accordance to the event and number of attendees.
How many sizes of tables are available?
There are 19 of the 72 inch rounds and 10 of the 8 foot rectangulars are provided.
What are the shapes of tables?
Rounds and Rectangular
Photo Credit- Richard Pearson Photography
What have they found to be the best layout for the tables?
The layout varies based on the number of guests and what the host chooses.
Where do you typically put the head table? The head table will often be at either ends of the upper great room loft.
Sometimes the bride/grooms will choose to have their table in the center of the room or on one side and still centered so they feel like they are mingling more with the guests.
What colors of linens do you have to choose from?
The standard linen choices are white, ivory or black. There are a dozen napkin colors to choose from. They can also order other colors and fabrics through linen effects and Sterling Catering will pick them up for them.
Can décor be brought in? Draping?
They can bring in whatever décor they want including Draping. Because we have limited storage, we do ask that the existing furniture stay within the facility but they can move it around.
Are candles allowed?
Candles are allowed as long as they are enclosed.
Is special lighting available?
- The chandeliers are all on dimmers so you can create the mood you would like.
- The exterior of the barn is lit in the evening and the host can choose the color.
- There are two spotlights for highlight the speakers, toast makers and bride/groom dance.
Photo Credit- Richard Pearson Photography
Best location of bar?
One bar downstairs and one bar upstairs. There is a third bar available and during the warmer season, they can have a bar outside as well.
Best location for buffet or dessert table?
These really vary based on the bride/groom or host.
Best place for the cake table?
Varies based on the preference of the host.
Do you have a dance floor? Where is the best location?
Dance is usually on the Upper Great Room Loft.
Can any décor be removed from the venue?
Smaller fixtures and plants can be removed. The furniture can at the host’s expense.
There is a beautiful Italian Water Fountain on the first floor and multiple fireplaces throughout that create warm and intimate mingling spaces.
Renovations or changes scheduled in the near future?
We will be adding parking in the near future which would add 55 additional parking spots to our existing 12.
Awards won? Memberships to Associations?
Friends of Minnesota Barns 2012 Barn of the Year for Best Non-Agricultural Adaptive Re-Use. Top Pick Knot’s Best of Weddings 2015. Members of Friends of Minnesota Barns and the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce