Another Minneapolis institution that I cannot say enough good things about is the Park and Rec system. They have sports and clubs and playgrounds and pools and classes, free ice skating in the winter and free canoeing in the summer! That's right, all you have to do is show up at the appointed time and they give you a PFD, a boat, and five minutes of instruction. The rest is up to you.
We arrived one Saturday afternoon in July and snagged two of the canoes right away. Willa and Calvin got in with me. I was the canoe steerer in the back (five minutes isn't enough to learn technical terms) while Calvin was the muscle up front. We used Willa as ballast.
Emma, Enoch, and Taran set off in their own canoe.
Here is a picture of Martin Canoe 2 coming in to ram us. They had a hard time working together, but finally made it around the lake.