Weekly Events in Minnesota

Credit to Explore Minnesota

Don’t miss the Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival at Mears Park in St. Paul, July 19-20 / Minnesota Blues Society

 

Event highlights this week include:

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast

July 18-21, Stillwater
Stillwater Lumberjack Days

July 19-21, Battle Lake
Art of the Lakes Studio Tour

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam

July 20-21, Duluth
Duluth Airshow, presented by St. Luke’s

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 30 – July 21, Winona
Minnesota Beethoven Festival
The Minnesota Beethoven Festival offers a broad range of concerts to satisfy a variety of musical tastes. There are 11 concerts planned including headliner Joshua Bell. Other guest artists to perform include clarinetist Julian Bliss, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Parker Quartet, and 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo. Various venues in Winona. 507-474-9055

July 5-20 (Fridays & Saturdays), Walnut Grove
Wilder Pageant
The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove. Nightly live performances feature all the characters from the Walnut Grove area. Laura narrates the story, reflecting on her life in Walnut Grove in the 1870s. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. 507-859-2174

July 17-21, Kasson
Dodge County Free Fair
The Dodge County Free Fair is Minnesota’s oldest county fair. The 162nd Dodge County Free Fair will feature carnival rides and games, the Bull Riding Challenge, Thunderbird Stock Car Races, truck and tractor pull, demolition derby, Kiddie Power Wheels Demo Derby, Dodge Mayhem Trailer Races, great fair food, a dance party, live music, and hula hoop, cow milking and other contests. Dodge County Free Fair grounds. 507-634-7736

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast
In its 14th year, Bavarian Blast returns to celebrate Bavarian heritage and culture. Surround yourself with all things German and enjoy a wide variety of German food, German-American music under big top tents, Schell’s Beer, 1919 Root Beer, the famous Bavarian Blast Parade and uniquely German contests such as the stein holding contest, sauerkraut eating competition and barrel rolling races. On Sunday, don’t miss the Polka Service. Brown County Fairgrounds. 507-233-4300

July 24-28, Madison Lake
Paddlefish Days
Madison Lake’s Paddlefish Days features a wide array of fun activIties and events including Bands & Burgers at Lucky Lure, Kiddie and Grand parades, Sheephead Fishing contest, a Foam Party, 5K race/walk, children’s games, car show, kiddie tractor pull, Kiss-A-Fish contest, street dance, live music by IV Play, food vendors and much more. 507-243-3216

July 26-27, Wabasha
Riverboat Days
Join in the fun at the biggest party of the summer on the Upper Mississippi! Highlights include live music acts, the Rubbery Ducky Derby, bouncy houses, parade, children’s activities, performance of Jack & the Beanstalk, the Grumpy Old Men Walleye Tournament, Yoga in the Park, Wabasha Sings, tractor pedal pull, volleyball tournament, 10K, 5K & 1K runs, firemen’s chicken feed, beer tent, farmers market and more. Heritage Park, under the bridge. 651-565-4158

July 26-28, Montgomery
Montgomery Kolacky Days – Czech Festival
Kolacky Days celebrates Montgomery’s Czechoslovakian heritage and culture by blending the Czech traditions of the past with today’s festival favorites. From authentic Kroj costumes, Czech dancing, Bohemian tractor pull and classic car show to a Grand Day Parade, U.S. National Prune Spitting Championships, Tour de Bun Bicycle Classic and 5K Bun Run Road Race, there’s something for everyone! Complete list of events. Memorial Park and downtown Montgomery. 507-953-0094

August 2-4, Red Wing
River City Days
Red Wing’s annual summer festival is tons of fun for all ages! Events include live entertainment by the Fabulous Armadillos and other popular bands, a large arts and crafts fair, 43rd annual Drive-In/Fly-In Pancake Breakfast, River City Ramble 5K & Kids’ Fun Run, River City Days Parade, Mystery of Chemistry Family Show, performances by the Royal Order of Klondike Kates, beer gardens, vintage car & truck show, antique boat & motor show, Cookies on the Cannon Valley Trail, Kids’ Treasure Hunt, sidewalk sales, Human Foosball Tournament, children’s games and activities, the Taste of Red Wing and fun activities such as archaeological dig boxes, dunk tank, climbing rock wall, goldfish pond, environmental games, dunk tank and so much more! Bay Point Park & Levee Park. 651-388-5934

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

July 13-21, Hopkins
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival has become a Twin Cities institution as a family friendly event. Highlights include the Hunt for the Golden Raspberry, Raspberry Festival of Bands, street dance, marketplace and craft fair, children’s activities, big wheel races, ice cream social, car show, Grande Day Parade, Raspberry Run, fireworks and so much more! Sites throughout Hopkins. 952-931-0878

July 18-21, Stillwater
Stillwater Lumberjack Days
Stillwater Lumberjack Days is filled with fabulous events such as Lumberjack competitions and demonstrations, live music concerts by numerous bands, Grand and Little Lumberjack Days parades, medallion hunt, vendors, gondola, pontoon & helicopter rides, Karaoke contest, minnow races, petting zoo, fly fishing demonstrations, games and activities for all ages. Lowell Park/St. Croix Riverfront. 651-351-1717

July 19-20, Eagan
Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games
Visit Scotland in your backyard, where the “Highlands Meet the Prairie.” Enjoy everything Scottish such as Highland & Country Dancing, a living history area, Scottish vendors & clans, pipers, traditional athletic competitions, non-stop music, children’s activities & prizes, sheepherding demonstrations and hands-on curling activities. Great food, both ethnic and American, will also be available. Kids should bring their swimsuits and visit the splash pad. This fair and the parking are free. Eagan Central Park festival grounds. 952-994-8355

July 19-20, St. Paul
Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival
The Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival returns with a night of soul and funk on Friday, July 19, followed by a night of blues on Saturday, July 20. This is the Twin Cities’ largest free blues festival (with an extra dose of funk). Mears Park. 612-308-5785

July 19-21, Hastings
Rivertown Days
This citywide festival includes many great events including Rivertown Days carnival rides & games, Heavy Metal Rodeos sponsored by Extreme Sandbox, Machinery Hill, Rivertown Days Arts & Crafts Fair, Fishing for Life Trout Pond, River of Life Kiddie Carnival, Model Aircraft Flying demonstration, Bubble Park, Black Dirt Improv Show, Daisy Dillman Band, Rivertown Days Grand Parade, Giant Duck Race on the Vermillion River, Hastings Sings Competition, sidewalk sales, petting zoo and fireworks display. Levee Park and Jaycee Park along the Mississippi River. 651-437-6775

July 20, Chanhassen
American Soul – A Tribute to James Brown, Ray Charles & The Blues Brothers
This is the show that never happened, but should have! Get on up with the most electrifying tribute to soul music with Ty Stone! Celebrating the legendary Ray Charles, Blues Brothers and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Hear hits like “Unchain My Heart,” “Georgia On My Mind,””Soul Man,” “Living In America,” “Super Bad,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” and many more! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

July 20, Burnsville
International Festival of Burnsville
The annual International Festival of Burnsville celebrates the city’s rich cultural diversity. Enjoy a wide array ethnic foods and vendor tents, ongoing performances and cultural displays. Kids’ Village will feature craft projects, games, crazy hair, face painting and henna tattoos. Nicollet Commons Park. 952-895-4509

July 20, Anoka
Anoka Food Truck Festival
More than 45 food trucks will be selling their special concoctions with global cuisines ranging from Indian to British to Japanese to locally grown pork. Also enjoy live music by various bands, games, give-aways and handcrafted beers. Proceeds from all wristband sales will benefit a local charity. Downtown Anoka. 763-220-2380

July 24-27, Minneapolis
Minneapolis Aquatennial Festival
Join in the fun during The Best Days of Summer and enjoy activities for the whole family, Minnesota’s largest night-time parade, the Top 5 Fireworks Display in the nation, Loring Park Art FestivalTwin Cities Carifest, AquaFest, Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur Canoe Rides, Life Time Torchlight Parade After Party, Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show, Go Outside Trivia Night, great local food and so much more! Sites and venues throughout Minneapolis. 612-376-7669

July 25-27, Prior Lake
The Great Midwest Rib Fest
Summer sizzles as The Great Midwest Rib Fest returns with three days of food, music and fun! Get your groove on with free outdoor concerts by national and local acts. Bib up and chow down on ribs from the country’s top pitmasters competing for bragging rights and thousands in prizes. Mystic Lake Resort & Casino. 952-445-9000

July 26-28 & Aug. 2-4, Minneapolis
2019 Minnesota Family Fringe
Adventurous art, family-sized. Don’t miss this made-for-families festival of adventurous performance. With relaxed seating accommodations, accessibility services and more, all will enjoy the adventure of Fringe in an environment for adventurers of all ages. Shows are geared toward young people 12 and under and their families and caretakers. Barbara Barker Center for Dance on the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus. 612-872-1212

July 26 – Aug. 11, St. Paul
Circus Juventas presents Twisted
Comedy, magic and romance abound this summer at Circus Juventas as the renowned youth circus presents Twisted – a return to the world of international fairy tales for the first time since 2011. Circus Juventas. 651-699-8229

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include: 
Lynyrd Skynyrd at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 19
Backstreet Boys at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, July 20
Khalid Free Spirit World Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, July 23
Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the Xcel Energy Center, July 25
Jon Bellion at The Armory in Minneapolis, July 28
Tony Bennett – The I Left My Heart Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, July 28
Fiddler on the Roof at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, July 30 – Aug. 4
O.A.R. at Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake, Aug. 2
Santana: Supernatural Now at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 3
Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Aug. 3
John Mayer at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 5
Justin Hayward – All the Way at Ames Center in Burnsville, , Aug. 6
Kid Rock at Treasure Island Ampitheater in Welch, Aug. 10
Queen + Adam Lambert: The Rhapsody Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 10
Zakk Sabbath at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, Aug. 13
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Aug. 14
Rent (Touring) at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Aug. 14-18
Bill Maher at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Aug. 17
Reba McEntire at Treasure Island Ampitheater, Aug. 17
Small Town Murder Podcast at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, Aug. 17
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Aug. 18
The Stray Cats – 40th Anniversary Tour at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Aug. 18
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

July 18-21, Sauk Centre
Sinclair Lewis Days
Sinclair Lewis Days is four days of fun for everyone with parades, fireworks, a craft fair, Family Day in the Park, ice cream social, 5K and kids’ one mile run, Miss Sauk Centre Pageant, soap box derby races, raffle and more. Sinclair Lewis Park. 320-352-5201

July 19-21, Battle Lake
Art of the Lakes Studio Tour
The Art of the Lakes Studio Tour is a scenic, drive-yourself tour of 56 artists in 24 studios on curvy, hilly roads around lakes and through valleys with views that go on for miles. Many of the artists are tucked away on gravel roads scattered throughout Ottertail, Douglas and Grant counties. Look for the yellow signs to help guide you to your destination. Not all studios are open on Sunday. 218-864-8606

July 20, St. Joseph
HIKE@Night
There is nothing like viewing nature at night, especially with glow sticks, bonfires and specialty s’mores! Explore a Stearns County Park through night vision and enjoy a night out for less than the cost of a movie and popcorn! Kraemer Lake and Wildwood Park.

July 25-28, Glenwood
Waterama
Glenwood Waterama, located on the beautiful shores of Lake Minnewaska, features a 100-unit parade, kiddie parade, lighted pontoon parade, water shows, pageants, dances, sporting events, running races, great food, Crazy Days sales, an arts & crafts fair, fireworks and more! Learn why this is the largest community celebration of its kind in West Central Minnesota. Glenwood and Lake Minnewaska. 320-634-3636

July 26-28, Hutchinson
Orange Spectacular
The Orange Spectacular is considered the largest all Allis-Chalmers tractor show in the world, and it is dedicated to preserving the Allis-Chalmers name and its legacy. Don’t miss the many field demonstrations, lawn and garden demonstrations, all Allis-Chalmers Tractor Pull, seminars, swap meet & flea market, toy farm scene displays, large toy vendor show and children’s activities area. McLeod County Fairgrounds. 320-587-5252

Aug. 2-4, Pennock
Pennock Fun Days
Pennock Fun Days festivities include a hog roast, street dance, Movie in the Park, Grand Parade, antique tractor pull, craft show, kiddie parade, bean bag tournament, vendors, musical entertainment, children’s activities, classic car cruise-in, tractor parade, beer garden, scavenger hunt, bingo and more. 320-599-4546

Northwest Minnesota

July 17-21, Thief River Falls
Pennington County Fair
The very popular Pennington County Fair includes a concert by Hairball, huge midway, Thunder On Hooves P.B.R. Bull Rides, the demolition derby, parade, fireworks display, grandstand acts, Talent Show, Beard & Mustache competition, chainsaw sculpting, raffle, wide variety of food and vendor booths and much more. Pennington County Fairgrounds. 218-681-5922

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam is a classic rock and roll music festival held annually on the 300-acre Moondance Fairgrounds. This event features open festival seating, camping, well-kept facilities, two indoor regional stages, excellent security and an organized staff so fans are treated to great music and camping in a clean, safe and friendly atmosphere. Headliners for the 2019 Moondance Jam include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Train, Rick Springfield, The Sweet, Skillet, Goo Goo Dolls, Gov’t Mule and Molly Hatchet! Moondance Fairgrounds. 218-836-1055

July 20-21, Bemidji
Art in the Park
Art in the Park features over 100 artists, live entertainment and a dozen food vendors, all within walking distance of downtown art galleries, including the premiere Watermark Art Center. This juried fine arts and craft fair is held on the shores of Lake Bemidji in the beautiful, tree-lined Library Park. 218-444-7570

July 26-27, Nevis
Nevis Muskie Days Music Festival
This annual celebration honors the big lunker that once ruled the waters of Lake Belle Taine. Highlights include music on three stages, parades, the 5K Muskie Race, fish fry, inflatables, children’s games, kids’ money dig, kids’ fishing contest, street dance, beer garden, lots of food stands and more. 218-652-3115

July 27-28, East Grand Forks
Cats Incredible Catfish Days
The 32nd Annual Cat’s Incredible Catfish Days will once again be held on the banks of the Red River of the North in East Grand Forks. The tournament is a two day event with cash paid to the top 15 teams. There will also be door prizes, beer gardens, food vendors, live entertainment and a Kids’ Fun Zone. Great fun for participants and spectators alike! Downtown East Grand Forks, adjacent to Cabela’s. 701-746-0444

Aug. 1-3, Detroit Lakes
WE Fest
WE Fest is considered by many to be America’s best camping and country music festival! Headliners for this year’s WE Fest include Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Jake Owen, Big & Rich, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Currington and Jimmie Allen. Soo Pass Dude Ranch. 800-493-3378

Northeast Minnesota

July 19-21, Ball Club
Mii Gwitch Mahnomen Days Traditional Pow Wow
Just some of the highlights of the Mii Gwitch Mahnomen Days Traditional Pow Wow include Grand Entries, Flag Raising Ceremonies, parade, the open fire frybread contest, parade contest, Rez Car contest and walk/run. Ball Club, west of Deer River. 218-335-8395

July 20, Duluth
Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
The 14th Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival showcases internationally touring performers, along with ethnic foods, beverages and a variety of artisans displaying their wares. This celebration of world music whose artists spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide — bring your flag and wave it proudly! Bayfront Festival Park. 218-525-8099

July 20, Pine City
Art Fest 2019
The annual Pine City Art Fest is a unique outdoor arts and crafts fair. In addition to quality artwork and hand-crafted items, enjoy a Children’s Corner, music by Freeway Jam, a petting zoo and great fair food. Robinson Park and downtown Pine City. 320-322-4040

July 20-21, Duluth
Duluth Airshow, presented by St. Luke’s
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels headline the largest airshow in Minnesota! Arrive early to take in all of the static displays, a host of other aerial acts, and rides such as a 36′ inflatable turbo shuttle slide, an inflatable aircraft carrier obstacle course, a Blue Angels bounce inflatable and the extreme air power jump ride at the Duluth Airshow Kids Zone! Additional charges may apply. Duluth International Airport. 218-628-9995

July 26-28, Ely
Blueberry Art Festival
This three-day event in beautiful Ely features more than 260 artists and crafters, 30 food vendors, activities for the children, a variety of musical entertainment and fresh blueberry pies. Whiteside Park. 218-365-6123

July 26-28, Grand Rapids
Northern Minnesota Car Show & Swap Meet
This car show & swap meet is considered the largest in Northern Minnesota with lots of vendors, morning breakfasts and free admission at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. On Sunday, July 28, don’t miss the 35th Annual Northern Cruisers Weekend of Wheels Car Show at the IRA Civic Center. 218-326-6470; 218-259-3799

July 31 – Aug. 4, Grand Marias
Fisherman’s Picnic
The 88th Annual Fisherman’s Picnic is filled with crazy days sales, a craft show, daily contests and prizes, live music, food trucks, children’s activities and so much more! Also enjoy Cutest Puppy, log rolling and loon calling contests, demonstrations, the Fish Toss and the Fisherman’s Picnic Trail Run 5K. Downtown Grand Marais & Harbor Park. 218-387-2524

Fourth of July Fireworks: Where to watch in Minnesota

Credit to Jiwon Choi of MPR News

Independence Day fireworks, San Diego.
Wherever you are around the state, you’re not far away from a patriotic pyrotechnic display for the Fourth of July. Jon Sullivan

4th of July Firework Shows

Credit to Explore Minnesota: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNEXPLORE/bulletins/24f0647

Fireworks during the Spicer 4th of July Celebration, July 4-7

 

Event highlights this week include:

July 3-4, Worthington
Beach Bash & Old Fashioned 4th of July

July 4-14, Lakeville
Pan-O-Prog

July 3-4, Pequot Lakes
Stars & Stripes Days

July 4, Park Rapids
Hometown 4th of July

July 4, Ely
July 4th Parade & Fireworks

And be sure to check out Where to Watch Fireworks in Minnesota!

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 28 – July 4, Austin
Freedom Fest
Celebrate our Independence Day with parades, sporting events, games, food, an arts and craft fair, vendors, live music, fireworks display, contests, street dance, Hog Jog 5 Mile Run, Mini Piggy Fun Run, 25-mile bike race, free kids’ fishing contest and more! Band Shell Community Park. 507-437-4561

June 30 – July 21, Winona
Minnesota Beethoven Festival
The Minnesota Beethoven Festival offers a broad range of concerts to satisfy a variety of musical tastes. There are 11 concerts planned including headliner Joshua Bell. Other guest artists to perform include clarinetist Julian Bliss, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the Parker Quartet, and 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo. Various venues in Winona. 507-474-9055

July 1-4, Cannon Falls
Cannon Valley Fair
The Cannon Vally Fair 4th of July celebration features a midway, grandstand demolition derbies, harness races, 4-H and Open Class competitions, livestock exhibits, and all the things you would associate with a real hometown fair. The Cannon Valley Fair culminates with traditional fireworks at dusk on July 4. Cannon Valley Fairgrounds. 507-263-3548

July 3-4, Worthington
Beach Bash & Old Fashioned 4th of July
On July 3, don’t miss the Beach Bash at Centennial Park with fun activities, games, great fair food, beer garden and country music by The Chris Hawkey Band! On July 4, see history come to life at Pioneer Village’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Pioneer Village is a historical attraction located next to the Nobles County Fairgrounds. Also on the 4th, enjoy a Boat Parade near the old power plant on the east end of Lake Okabena at 8:30 p.m. Decorations and lights are encouraged. Then at dusk, “ooh and aah” during the fireworks display over Lake Okabena! 507-372-2919

July 4, Mankato
Red, Hot & Boom! – Mankato
Celebrate the 4th of July in Mankato and enjoy a giant fireworks display, as well as performances from City Mouse and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra! Free admission. Vetter Stone Amphitheater. 507-385-6660

July 4, Luverne
4th of July at the Lake
Enjoy a great day at the lake during Luverne’s 4th of July celebration. Festivities include games for children, fair food, beer garden, triathlon, log-rolling, a dock dog contest, sand castle contest, bingo, Quaddleball tournament, inflatables and a fireworks display! The lake at West Edgehill Street and Walnut Street S. 507-283-4061

July 4, St. Peter
Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
St. Peter’s old-fashioned 4th of July celebration includes a 90-unit parade on Washington Ave., live music, 8K run and 5K walk event, food vendors, beer tent, children’s games and activities in Minnesota Square Park from noon until 4 p.m., and a fireworks display at the Nicollet County Fairgrounds at 10 p.m. 507-934-3400

July 5-20 (Fridays & Saturdays), Walnut Grove
Wilder Pageant
The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove. Nightly live performances feature all the characters from the Walnut Grove area. Laura narrates the story, reflecting on her life in Walnut Grove in the 1870s. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. 507-859-2174

July 12-13, Madelia
Madelia Park Days, Blues Festival and Arts & More Fair
Family fun in Madelia! Highlights include a kick-off Grande Parade on Friday, followed by live music, fireworks and more live music. Saturday features all-day fun with 70-plus vendors at the 5th Annual Rivers Edge Art & More Fair, the 7th Annual Watona Park Blues Festival, 7th Annual Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic 5K Run/Walk, Kids’ Fun Zone, giant inflatables, food vendors, Schell’s Beer & Wine Wagon, Carp Classic Fishing Tournament, bean bag tournament, Kids’ Tractor Pull and much more! Watona Park on the Watonwan River. 507-642-8822

July 12-13, Edgerton
Edgerton Dutch Festival
The 70th Annual Edgerton Dutch Festival features two parades, a fun run, fishing contest, kids’ mutton busting, helicopter rides, street dance and a concert by Hairball! 507-442-7891

July 18-20, New Ulm
Bavarian Blast
In its 14th year, Bavarian Blast returns to celebrate Bavarian heritage and culture. From the moment you arrive at this weekend-long festival you will be surrounded by all things German. This festival has something for everyone with its wide variety of German food, German-American music under big top tents, Schell’s Beer, 1919 Rootbeer, the famous Bavarian Blast Parade and uniquely German contests such as the stein holding contest, sauerkraut eating competition and barrel rolling races. On Sunday, don’t miss the Polka Service. Brown County Fairgrounds. 507-233-4300

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

May 25 – Sept. 2, Apple Valley
Llama Trek
You ‘herd’ right… Llamas are at the Minnesota Zoo! This summer, get a taste of South America right here in Minnesota. Llama Trek is an immersive outdoor experience that gives you the chance to walk freely among some of the coolest characters of the Andes Mountains. Get up close and wander, without barriers, among free-roaming llamas and some of their mountain dwelling neighbors. Located along the Northern Trail, Llama Trek also features guinea pigs, flightless birds known as rheas, and highlights conservation efforts being made to help endangered wild chinchillas. Llama Trek is included with general Zoo admission. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9200

July 2-4, Chanhassen
City of Chanhassen’s 4th of July Celebration
Head to Chanhassen for this three day, fun filled event for the whole family. Event highlights include Midwest Carnival rides and concessions, pony rides, Family Night at the Carnival, the Taste of Chanhassen, a street dance featuring the Fabulous Armadillos, kids’ fishing contest, The Medicine Show featuring Vaudeville, 4th of July parade, live music, face painting, Wacky Hair, Fireworks Spectacular and more. City Center Park & Lake Ann. 952-227-1100

July 2-4, Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids 4th of July Community Celebration
Enjoy the 2019 Coon Rapids 4th of July Community Celebration featuring family fun for everyone. A parade kicks of the celebration on July 2. Other highlights during the festival include carnival games, rides, live music, bingo, a car show, the Firecracker 5K, 10K and Kids’ Sparkler Dash, food trucks and drink vendors, and some of the best fireworks in the Twin Cities. 763-767-6582

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA
Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs — from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino — display astonishing innovation and technical mastery. The New York Times calls this exhibition “much-anticipated” and ArtForum says it’s “groundbreaking.” Minneapolis Institute of Art. 612-870-3000

July 3, Bloomington
Bloomington Summer Fete
Summer Fete is a family-fun festival that kicks off Independence Day in the Twin Cities. This year’s fun starts with a Kids’ Carnival Area, live music at the Kid’s Stage and Main Stage featuring a great line-up of performers, a wide array of food vendors and food trucks, and of course, a fantastic fireworks display just after dusk. Normandale Lake Park. 952-563-8877

July 3-4, Eagan
July 4th Funfest
Be sure to bring friends and family to the July 4th Funfest for thrilling rides, carnival fun, the colorful parade, live music by The Gear Daddies and Transit Authority, DJ music throughout the day, the Royal Brain Freeze, a car show and more. And don’t miss the region’s largest display of fireworks at dusk on July 4th. Central Park Festival Grounds. 651-675-5546

July 4, Afton
Afton 4th of July Parade and Celebration
Afton’s annual 4th of July celebration is bursting with fun for the whole family. In addition to the parade, enjoy live music, a bounce house, food vendors, crafts, vendor tents and a beer garden tent. Free trolley rides will be offered within the Village of Afton during the day. Afton’s Town Square Park. 651-436-8883

July 4, Minneapolis
Red, White and Boom
Celebrate America’s Independence Day at Minneapolis Red, White and Boom, a celebration hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. This annual event attracts more than 75,000 people to sites along the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, and features live music, the Red, White & Boom TC Half Marathon, Relay and 5K, great food, fun activities for the whole family, and the grand finale – fireworks! Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront. 612-230-6400

July 4, St. Paul
Independence Day Celebration
Spend the United States’ birthday at Historic Fort Snelling and explore the history of freedom in 19th-century America. Discover how many Americans celebrated the holiday nearly two centuries ago, complete with cannon and musket salutes, military dress parades, fife and drum music and much more. Visit interactive learning stations around the fort and learn about the struggles for freedom and independence for several different groups of Americans—such as enslaved people, Native Americans, and women—while exploring the question “What does freedom mean today?” Historic Fort Snelling. 612-726-1171

July 4-14, Lakeville
Pan-O-Prog
This festival begins with 4th of July fireworks. The following week includes numerous events including a carnival, Beer, Brats & Bingo, dances, the Grande Parade, picnics, classic car show, talent contest, car show, 32nd Annual Cruise Night, golf tournament, contests and more! Historic downtown Lakeville. 952-985-4400

July 7, Prior Lake
Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan
Celebrated artists and enduring forces in popular music Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan are bringing their co-headlining tour to the Mystic Showroom. McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” and the James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There.” Chaka Khan blazed onto the music scene as a solo artist with hits “I’m Every Woman” and “What Cha Gonna Do For Me?” She propelled to superstardom with the chart-topper “I Feel For You.” Mystic Lake Hotel & Casino. 952-496-6563

July 10-14, Maple Grove
Maple Grove Days
Maple Grove Days, a five day city festival hosting over 40 events for all ages, includes a car show, races, business expo, parade, live music, coronation, children’s run, kids’ parade, diaper derby, outdoor movie, inflatable rides, fishing, paddle boarding, Zumba workouts, garden tours, and much more. Various locations in Maple Grove. 763-494-5985

July 12-13, Minneapolis
Basilica Block Party
Don’t miss this two day line-up of premiere music with headliner acts such as Kacey Musgraves, Semisonic, The Jayhawks, Jason Mraz and CHVRCHES. The Basilica Block Party began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help pay for the structural restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Today, proceeds from the event benefit The Basilica Landmark, which preserves, restores and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. The Basilica of Saint Mary. 612-333-1381

July 13, Anoka
Anoka Riverfest & Craft Fair
The 21st Annual Anoka Riverfest & Craft Fair will be held in historic downtown Anoka with over 130 juried artisans and crafters, live music, plenty of food and much more. 763-421-7130

July 13-21, Hopkins
Hopkins Raspberry Festival
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival has become a Twin Cities institution as a family friendly event. Highlights include the Hunt for the Golden Raspberry, Raspberry Festival of Bands, street dance, marketplace and craft fair, children’s activities, big wheel races, ice cream social, car show, Grande Day Parade, Raspberry Run, fireworks and so much more! Sites throughout Hopkins. 952-931-0878

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include: 
3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, July 2-7
Kidz Bop World Tour 2019 & Fireworks at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 3
Carly Rae Jepsen at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, July 5
Billy Idol at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, July 6
Ozzy Osbourne at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, July 6
Ariana Grande at the Xcel Energy Center, July 8
Patton Oswalt Live: 2019 Tour at the Historic State Theatre, July 11
Chelsea Handler at the Historic State Theatre, July 13
Premier Boxing Champions at The Armory in Minneapolis, July 13
Tiffany Jenkins: This Show Is Awkward at Ames Center in Burnsville, July 14
The Raconteurs at The Armory, July 15
Lynyrd Skynyrd at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 19
Backstreet Boys at the Xcel Energy Center, July 20
Khalid Free Spirit World Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, July 23
Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the Xcel Energy Center, July 25
Jon Billion at The Armory, July 28
Tony Bennett – The I Left My Heart Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, July 28
Fiddler on the Roof at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, July 30 – Aug. 4
Santana: Supernatural Now at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 3
Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Aug. 3
John Mayer at the Xcel Energy Center, Aug. 5
Justin Hayward – All the Way at Ames Center, Aug. 6
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

July 3-4, Pequot Lakes
Stars & Stripes Days
Celebrate Independence during Stars & Stripes Days, and enjoy fireworks, a Grande Parade, live music and entertainment, games, fair food, beer garden, craft fair, water wars, bungee trampoline, kids’ climb, Money in the Haystack, Golden Bobber hunt, kiddie parade and other family-friendly events! Trailside Park. 218-568-8911

July 4, Hill City
Hill City 4th of July Celebrations
Enjoy small town 4th of July festivities in Hill City. Featured activities include a parade, all-day flea market, pudding eating contest, turtle races, Lefty’s Kids’ Games, 5K Fun Run, saw dust pile, children’s events, comedy acts, and of course, a fireworks display. 218-326-9607

July 4, Brainerd
Brainerd Fireworks & 4th of July Celebration
Just some of the highlights during Brainerd’s 4th of July Celebration include a parade, live music acts such as Salute to Kansas & Foreigner and A Tribute to Journey, and fireworks synchronized to music. Don Adamson Field. 218-829-2838

July 4-7, Spicer
Spicer 4th of July Celebration
Spicer’s popular 4th of July Celebration is filled with activities for all ages including an arts and crafts fair, amusing flea market, volleyball, basketball and softball tournaments, kiddie pedal tractor pull, a competitive 12-mile running race, and a street dance for ages 21 and older. On the 4th, enjoy a Grande Day parade including over 100 participants with lots of entertainment and candy. Venues throughout Spicer. 320-796-8066

July 5-7, Brainerd
33rd Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go
The 33rd Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go includes Muscle Car Series drag racing, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road racing, a classic car show, fireworks display, on-site camping and live music. Brainerd International Raceway. 218-824-7223

July 6, Crosslake
Celebrate America 49th Annual Fireworks Display & Original Craft and Flea Market
Enjyo unique shopping opportunities at Crosslake’s Original Craft and Flea Market located at the intersection of County Roads 3 and 103. Later that day, head to the shores of Cross Lake to view the fantastic fireworks display from Sand Island beginning at dusk. Other highlights include Grandpa’s Run for the Walleye, the Ideal Farmers Market and outdoor music at Town Square. 218-692-4027; 612-597-1827

July 11-14, Isle
Isle Days
This city celebration is filled with fun events including a boat parade, street dance, Kiddie & Grand parades, kids’ 1 mile fun walk, craft vendors, car show, arts and crafts, flea market, launch rides, food stands, beer gardens and more. Various locations in Isle. 888-708-3669

July 13, Pierz
Pierz Freedom Fest
Four great country bands will perform at this year’s Pierz Freedom Fest, with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as the headliner! Much more than a music festival, Pierz Freedom Fest is committed to giving back to Pierz and the surrounding communities! Genola Ball Park. 320-468-6925

July 18-21, Sauk Centre
Sinclair Lewis Days
Sinclair Lewis Days is four days of fun for everyone with parades, fireworks, a craft fair, Family Day in the Park, ice cream social, 5K and kids’ one mile run, Miss Sauk Centre Pageant, soap box derby races, raffle and more. Sinclair Lewis Park. 320-352-5201

Northwest Minnesota

July 3-5, Warroad
4th of July Festival
Warroad celebrates the 4th like never before with an amazing fireworks display over the Warroad River at Kakaygeesick Bay, water wars, a street dance, kids’ foot, gunny and 3-legged races, a parade, inflatables, live music, pancake breakfast, food vendors, movie night, AC/DC Tribute Band and so much more! Rainbow Park. 218-386-3543

July 4, Detroit Lakes
Fireworks Display
Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display at dusk at the mile-long, city beach along Detroit Lake. Before and after the fireworks, check out the many fine, local restaurants, as well as live music in Detroit Lakes. Detroit Lakes city park and beach. 218-847-9202

July 4, Park Rapids
Hometown 4th of July
This classic 4th of July Celebration will feature dawn to dusk events and entertainment. Enjoy the Firecracker Foot Race, boat parades, picnics, pie baking contest and auction, Grande Parade, pre-fireworks concert and a fireworks display over the Fish Hook River. Main Avenue, Red Bridge Park and Heartland Park. 218-732-4111

July 5-6, Remer
Bigfoot Days
The annual Bigfoot Days celebration has been growing since Remer declared itself the Home of Bigfoot in 2016! Events include a family picnic, BBQ Contest, bingo, 5K run, information from the Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team, a pancake breakfast and more. Downtown Remer. 218-566-1680

July 7, Nevis
Nevis Pig Races
Pig racing has quickly become a crowd pleaser, and Gary Dauer knows how to put on a humerous and engaging show! Sponsor a pig to run in the race — each porker will be adorned in “dashing” capes. Besides the pig races, enjoy the beer garden, children’s activities, face painting, hamburger sliders, french fries and snow cones. Muskie Park, a.k.a. Muskie Downs. 218-652-3115

July 9-14, Hackensack
Sweetheart Days
The ever-popular Sweetheart Days is filled with activities for kids of all ages. Festivities include the Fabulous Fireworks display, Kids’ Fishing Contest, children’s games, Sweetheart Days Parade, 4th Annual Sweetheart Days Dachshund Derby, Sacred Heart flea market, Test Your Trivia, Spaghetti Dinner, horse racing at the Hackensack American Legion, Josh Duffee and His Big Band, Cornhole Tournament, Sweetheart Days Car Show and much more. Downtown Hackensack. 218-675-6135

July 13, Bagley
Bagley Art in the Park
Bagley’s 32nd Annual Art in the Park includes a wide variety of items created by many local artists, as well as food vendors, live stage entertainment and art projects for children. Bagley City Park. 218-533-0120

July 18-20, Walker
Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam is a classic rock and roll music festival held annually on the 300-acre Moondance Fairgrounds. This event features open festival seating, camping, well-kept facilities, two indoor regional stages, excellent security and an organized staff so fans are treated to great music and camping in a clean, safe and friendly atmosphere. Headliners for the 2019 Moondance Jam include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Train, Rick Springfield, The Sweet, Skillet, Goo Goo Dolls, Gov’t Mule and Molly Hatchet! Moondance Fairgrounds. 218-836-1055

Northeast Minnesota

July 3-4, Nashwauk
Nashwauk 4th of July
No one does the 4th of July like a small town! Head to Nashwauk for live music by numerous bands, children’s activities, a flea market, rummage sales, craft fair, Grande Parade, Red Rock Run, races, car show and fireworks. 218-326-9607

July 4, Duluth
Fourth Fest 2019
Duluth’s annual Fourth Fest at Bayfront Festival Park is a free, family-friendly celebration of Independence Day. The evening will feature live music including headliner Junk FM, food, beverage and craft vendors, plus the spectacular fireworks display at 10:10 p.m. Bayfront Festival Park. 218-722-4011

July 4, Crane Lake
4th of July Parade & Fireworks
Celebrate Independence Day in Crane Lake with their famous parade at 7 p.m. beginning at Voyagaire Lodge. At dark, spectacular fireworks will be lit from a barge. Enjoy by boat or on shore at Voyagaire Lodge. 218-993-2901

July 4, Ely
July 4th Parade & Fireworks
The July 4th Parade is a true small town parade with a variety of floats, vehicles, music and more! Young Life will provide food and activities in the park, and there will be a flyover from the 148th Fighter Wing, live music during the afternoon at the Whiteside park band shell, and live music during the evening at the new Semers Park Picnic Pavilion. After sunset, join the town in celebrating July 4th with festive fireworks at Miners Lake. Venues throughout Ely. 218-365-6123

July 5 & 6, Chisholm & Side Lake/French Township
Northern Lights Music Festival: Girls Night Out & Music On The Beach
Don’t miss the Girl’s Night Out concert celebrating the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann at the Chisholm High School on July 5. And on July 6, enjoy Music On The Beach featuring fantastic choral and folk music concerts, as well as spectacular views on the beach at McCarthy Beach State Park. 218-780-2292

July 11-14, Two Harbors
Two Harbors Heritage Days 2019
Two Harbors Heritage Days is an annual 4 day event offering an arts and crafts show, stage entertainment, a street dance, two parades, medallion hunt, children’s activities, bungee jumper & slide, 5K run, car show, pancake breakfasts and more. Downtown Two Harbors. 218-834-6200

July 13, Duluth
Taste of Duluth
The 3rd Annual Taste of Duluth will be held at Bayfront Festival Park and features a wide array of amazing dishes, as well as live music, products and services, crafts, beer and many displays of interest. Taste of Duluth is taking on a new look and sound for 2019 with culture and cuisine at the forefront. Mainstage performers will reflect many of the ethnic origins that are a rich part of Duluth’s history, with plenty of ethnic and American food offerings, including sample sizes. Bayfront Festival Park. 218-727-1177

July 13, Grand Rapids
Grand Jam 2019!
Grand Jam 2019! is a music festival featuring We Ain’t Cowboys, Coyote Wild and country stars Little Texas! Camping passes are available. Itasca County Fairgrounds Midway. 218-327-5780

July 20, Duluth
Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival
The 14th Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival showcases internationally touring performers, along with ethnic foods, beverages and a variety of artisans displaying their wares. This celebration of world music whose artists spread the message of love, hope and equality for all people worldwide — bring your flag and wave it proudly! Bayfront Festival Park. 218-525-8099

Mpls. Park Board Commissioner looks to build taller in parks

Credit to Cathy Wurzer of MPR News: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/06/26/mpls-park-board-commissioner-looks-to-build-taller-in-parks

People walk and bike the trails of Lake Calhoun.People walk and bike the trails around Lake Calhoun, also known by its Dakota name Bde Maka Ska, meaning White Earth Lake, in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Evan Frost | MPR News

Affordable housing in the park? That’s one option Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Chris Meyer thinks should be on the table when rebuilding on the site of the Bde Maka Ska pavilion. The vintage 1930s building that used to house Lola on the Lake burned down last month, and was too damaged to be repaired.

“When we have a location so close to high quality public transit … it’s really a waste to build just a one story building,” Meyer said. “I put out housing as one option that we could consider. It’s certainly not the only one that we can consider.”

Meyer said he thinks a multi-level building on that site could house multiple restaurants, a coffee shop, or the sailing school that’s looking for space on the lake.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is an independent, elected body that runs the city’s vast park system. Typically they deal with things like recreation centers and bike trails, but Meyer says drawing revenue from housing and commercial space isn’t unprecedented for them.

“We have 99 year leases that we give to people who live on Nicollet Island. The superintendent of the park board also lives in a house in a park,” Meyer said.

The insurance money for the burned-down building isn’t enough to rebuild it exactly as it was, according to Meyer. If they did that, they would have to draw on funds that could be used for other things.

“If we were to add additional stories, that could help fund the entire project without diverting from other sources,” Meyer said, who added any addition revenue could be reinvested in other park projects.

The Bde Maka Ska location isn’t the only site Meyer is eyeing for future mixed-used development.

“All the attention went to Lola’s when I actually had brought up a different potentially much bigger project which would be at the Brian Coyle Rec Center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood,” Meyer said. “That is another building that we’re looking to reconstruct in the near future and that could potentially be a mixed use building.”

Meyer said he wouldn’t want to build on green space. Rather, he wants to look at building taller structures on sites already developed, like parking lots and rec centers.

Adventure & Relax on a Minnesota Camping Trip

Credit to Erica Wachker of ExploreMinnesota.com: https://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-ideas/reconnect-on-a-camping-trip/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Camping with dogs in Superior National ForestCamping in the Superior National Forest / Alyssa Hei

Relaxation, adventure, escape, and quality time with family and friends are among the many reasons why camping is a beloved Minnesota pastime. Whether you’re ready to take on the Boundary Waters or prefer the comforts of an RV, a Minnesota camping trip will surely be one to remember.

BOUNDARY WATERS & BACKPACKING

View from a boundary waters bluff

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness / Gary Hamer

 

Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a badge of honor. There are no roads, buildings, motorboats, and definitely no cell phone service. The only mode of transportation is via canoe, with more than 1,500 miles of waterways to explore. When it’s time to set up camp, simply paddle to an open campsite and pitch your tent. Every campsite is private, so you’ll have a little piece of the wilderness all to yourselves.

Adjacent to the Boundary Waters, the Superior National Forest has a wide range of camping options, from primitive “dispersed camping” sites up to drive-in sites complete with bathhouses and electric hookups. Also in this picturesque part of the state, the Superior Hiking Trail covers nearly 300 miles of rugged terrain above the North Shore of Lake Superior, with more than 90 campsites along the way.

Lake Maria State Park camping backpacking

Backpacking at Lake Maria State Park

Another backpacking hot spot is Crosby Manitou State Park on the North Shore near Silver Bay, where challenging trails are flanked with spectacular views of waterfalls and forests. The secluded campsites are for backpackers only (though you may have to share them with moose, deer and other wildlife).

Similar camping experiences can be found in the northwest part of the state, in the Chippewa National Forest and along the North Country National Scenic Trail, which travels 800 miles across the northern half of Minnesota with multiple segments that stretch from the North Dakota border all the way to the Superior Hiking Trail.

Backpacking opportunities even exist near the Minneapolis-St. Paul area at AftonLake Maria and St. Croix state parks. Several state parks also have “walk-in” (less than half a mile) sites, with carts available to haul your gear in some cases.

CAMPGROUNDS & RV PARKS

Airstream Mille Lacs Mali Mish

Airstream at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park / Mali Mish Family

If you’re looking for a more laid back and family-friendly camping experience, Minnesota has about 500 privately operated campgrounds, most of which are on a lake or river, with sites for RVs as well as tents. Many are at resorts that also rent cabins and other indoor lodging.

These campgrounds usually feature an array of amenities, such as pools, playgrounds, game rooms, entertainment, boat rentals, Wi-Fi, and on-site laundry, groceries and restaurants. Many offer family-friendly activities like bonfires and other fun that make them a great choice for groups of all ages.

Many of Minnesota’s most scenic spots have been preserved as state parks, and most of the 75 parks and recreation areas have campgrounds with tent and RV sites. The settings range from forest to prairie; scenic hiking trails and access to a lake or river are among the highlights at these popular parks.

Camper cabin at Afton State Park

Camper cabin at Afton State Park / Kirsten Alana

Several state parks and some private campgrounds also rent camper cabins, an appealing alternative for those who don’t want to sleep in a tent. The majority have electricity and heat and can sleep up to six people. But without their own restrooms or running water, you can still say that you’re roughing it.

City and county campgrounds are another good option; in-town campgrounds are usually near shops, restaurants and attractions. If you don’t have your own camping equipment, various outfitters offer rentals of everything from tents and pop-up campers to top-of-the-line motorhomes complete with kitchens and master suites.

How to Plan a Minnesota Family Reunion Vacation

There’s nothing like getting the family together again. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, and the whole rest of the extended family. Of course, getting everything organized can be a hassle, especially if you don’t know where the host the reunion at. So today let’s see how to set up a family reunion up here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, following these five steps:

Formulating the Family Reunion

Hosting a large gathering like a family reunion takes time, and you’ll want to be prepared. It’s good to make sure you’re not the only one planning this out, so be sure to communicate with the rest of your family in planning out a reunion. This means speaking to them in-person, over the phone, online, mail, etc, in order to notify them that you want to plan out a family reunion, and if they would be interested in attending. Even if some family members may not attend, it’s still important to send out an invite to them anyway so they don’t feel left out.

Allocating Duties

It’s important to delegate certain tasks to others when planning out a family reunion, otherwise it’s very easy to get overwhelmed as one person running the whole show. This means making sure you get the whole family to pitch in, with some of them being responsible for managing entertainment, finances, food, reservations, etc. Speaking of reservations, when booking a location to host a family reunion at, such as a resort, it’s important to have reservations up to a year in advance. In the northern Minnesota area, there’s plenty of resorts to book a family reunion at, such as White Birch Resort. Sometimes you can even get solid off-season deals at resorts!

Managing Time

When booking your family reunion, you’ll want to decide how long you want the reunion to last, be it a couple days or a couple weeks. Regardless, knowing what time frame you want to work under will help a lot in planning out the rest of the events you want to have at the reunion. For example, it’s recommended to have a longer stay at a resort you’re hosting a reunion at if your family is out-of-state, or even out-of-country. That way they can enjoy more experiences offered and get more value out of the time and money spent at the reunion.

Inclusive Activities

As said before, it’s crucial to try and send invitations to everyone you want to have attend so they don’t feel left out. But besides that, it’s also important that all the events and activities at the reunion are ones that a vast majority of your family will enjoy. If you have family that enjoy outside activities like hiking, fishing, swimming, and more, then booking a resort with tons of nature around it is a fantastic idea. Of course, it’s always good to mix up activities too, such as having movie nights, going bowling, visiting historical landmarks, etc. Knowing the location you’re going to be at during your family reunion will help a lot in planning out events, such as finding catering services and local businesses you want to visit. So be sure to factor in your family’s demographics to make sure it matches with the culture of the geographics your reunion will be at.

Linking-Up

Now once you actually get your family reunion situated after several months of coordinating, you’re going to want to meet and greet with everyone as they arrive. If your budget is big enough, you can even do things like give out welcome bags or t-shirts. It’s also best to show everyone a schedule of events to keep things organized for all the activities planned at your family reunion. Having a great start to your family reunion will help provide a solid foundation for setting the right atmosphere. Then with a nice base to start the family reunion on, all it takes it maintaining momentum and you’ll be able to create wonderful memories with your family at your next reunion.

Several Summer Events in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there’s always plenty to do, so here’s some great events going on to check out while you’re up here!

whitebirchresort.net Call: 218-835-4552

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Explore Minnesota Events Update – June 5, 2019
Downtown Excelsior, just blocks from Excelsior Art on the Lake at Excelsior Commons Park, June 8-9
Event highlights this week include:

June 6-9, Worthington
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA

June 7-8, Nisswa
Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival

June 7-15, Bemidji
Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

June 7-9, Grand Marais
Grand Marais Block Party

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

June 6-9, Mapleton
Mapleton Town & Country Days
This year’s Town & Country Days includes a wide array of entertainment including carnival rides, live music, a street dance, Kiddie and Grande parades, fireworks display, vendor fair, beer gardens, bingo, food stands, Demo Derby, Kids’ Pedal Pull, pancake breakfast, silent auction, Pie & Ice Cream fundraiser, petting zoo, walking tour, Make-N-Take model building class, and much more! Heritage Park. 507-524-3492

June 6-9, Worthington
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival
The annual Worthington Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival is considered by many to be the best windsurfing and music fest in the Midwest! If you enjoy windsurfing and/or live music, this event is a must. The Regatta strives to promote the windsurfing industry, racing and recreational sailing with participants from throughout the U.S. and beyond. Also enjoy live music by numerous bands and performers, as well as children’s art activities, great food and beverages. Admission is free. Complete schedule. Sailboard Beach on the shores of Lake Okabena. 507-372-2919

June 7-8, Albert Lea
Eddie Cochran Weekend
This annual tribute to Eddie Cochran includes Friday and Saturday Night Car Shows, a Car Cruise, Cruise-in Social, Swap Meet and 4 bands including the Whitesidewalls on Saturday! Downtown Historic Albert Lea. 507-373-2316

June 9-16, Montevideo
Fiesta Days Celebration
This festival celebrates city heritage. Just some of the highlights include a fly-in breakfast, block party, kiddie parade, ice cream social, Amazing Grace Revival Multicultural worship service, live music, Fiesta Speedway races, 3-person Golf Scramble, bean bag tournament, dinner and dance, and Fiesta car & motorcycle show. 320-269-9093

June 12-16, Winona
Steamboat Days
Winona’s summer festival features a wide array of live entertainment, treasure hunt, concerts, plays, arts & crafts, parades, great food, beverage gardens and fireworks over the Mississippi River! Various sites throughout Winona. 507-452-0735

June 15-16, Mankato
Minnesota Air Spectacular
The Minnesota Air Spectacular is flying back to Mankato! The world-famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds return as headliner of the Minnesota Air Spectacular, to be held at the Mankato Regional Airport, 3030 North Airport Road. Various performers and static displays will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The high-flying, adrenaline-rushing show is sure to be fun for all ages. Mankato Regional Airport. 507-385-6660

June 21-22, Harmony
60-Mile Garage Sale
Nine towns along the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley State Bike Trails are teaming up to put on a garage sale that is over 60 miles along. Each town will have a listing on google maps of all of the houses and businesses with garage and sidewalk sales. Be sure to stop at the many unique restaurants and stores along the way. Participating towns include Harmony, Preston, Fountain, Lanesboro, Whalen, Peterson, Rushford, Rushford Village and Houston. Map of towns along the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley State Trails. 507-886-2469

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 17 – Oct. 27, Minneapolis
The Vikings Begin
This extraordinary new exhibition features dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum, which is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Viking and pre-Viking objects. The exhibition at ASI is the Midwest premiere of a collection that has never been outside of Scandinavia until this year, with many finds that are around 1400 years old. American Swedish Institute. 612-871-4907

May 21 – June 9, St. Paul
Museum of the Moon
The Bell Museum’s Year of Apollo celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing continues with a showcase Museum of the Moon, by UK artist Luke Jerram. This installation also coincides with the anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 10 mission that orbited the Moon May 18-26, 1969, the “dress rehearsal” for the first Moon landing. Bell Museum. 612-626-9660

May 25 – Sept. 2, Apple Valley
Llama Trek
You ‘herd’ right… Llamas are at the Minnesota Zoo! This summer, get a taste of South America right here in Minnesota. Llama Trek is an immersive outdoor experience that gives you the chance to walk freely among some of the coolest characters of the Andes Mountains. Get up close and wander, without barriers, among free-roaming llamas and some of their mountain dwelling neighbors. Located along the Northern Trail, Llama Trek also features guinea pigs, flightless birds known as rheas, and highlights conservation efforts being made to help endangered wild chinchillas. Llama Trek is included with general Zoo admission. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9200

May 31 – June 16, Anoka
A Raisin in the Sun
Sixty years after its premiere, A Raisin in the Sun — the first play by a woman of color to debut on Broadway — is widely considered to be one of the best and most important plays ever written. Set on Chicago’s South Side, the play revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a timeless document of hope and inspiration. Lyric Arts Main Street Stage. 763-422-1838

June 2 – Aug. 18, Minneapolis
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists 2019 Beadwork Show at MIA
Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs — from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino — display astonishing innovation and technical mastery. The New York Times calls this exhibition “much-anticipated” and ArtForum says it’s “groundbreaking.” Minneapolis Institute of Art. 612-870-3000

June 6-8, Chanhassen
The Fabulous Armadillos Present One-Hit Wonders
For a brief period of time their songs ruled the airwaves and everybody knew their name… then they disappeared. Through the years, there have been countless one-hit wonders — great songs everyone knows and loves, but the artist never seemed to achieve that huge chart success again. The Fabulous Armadillos have compiled a two-hour show of those great one-hit wonder memories, with their own Armadillo sense of humor thrown in, and spot-on recreations of your favorites through the decades. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

June 7, St.Paul
Paula Poundstone
Comedian Paula Poundstone returns to St. Paul for an unforgettable show at the Fitzgerald Theater! Paula is known for her smart, observational humor and spontaneous wit. She is an accomplished comedian, author, lecturer, host and actress. Her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, debuted at #1 on Amazon best sellers list within the first 10 days of its release, and its audio book, read by Paula, was one of five finalists for the 2018 Audio Book of the Year. Paula has won numerous comedy awards over the years, and was the first woman to perform standup comedy at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Fitzgerald Theater. 651-290-1200

June 8, St. Paul
St. Paul Summer Beer Festival
This is St. Paul’s favorite beer festival dedicated to craft beer! This outdoor craft beer festival will feature sampling from over 100 breweries in a commemorative tasting glass, live music, tasty food, educational seminars and a silent auction benefiting the YMCA of St. Paul. International Bazaar at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. 612-234-1430

June 8, Apple Valley
Minnesota Zoo’s Beastly Bash
During Beastly Bash, enjoy exclusive viewings of rare animals, an extraordinary live auction, signature cocktails, delicious food stations and an inspirational program hosted by KARE11’s Minnesota Bound co-host Laura Schara. Guests will also be treated to a special mini-concert by Prince’s former band, the New Power Generation, featuring songs by Minnesota’s beloved musical icon. The party will continue into the night with desserts and a dance party fit for the finest nocturnal revelers featuring music by award winning DJ Shannon Blowtorch. This premier outdoor summer event supports the Minnesota Zoo’s mission and access programs for children and families. Minnesota Zoo. 952-431-9500

June 8-9, Excelsior
Excelsior Art on the Lake
Art on the Lake is an engaging creative experience that connects the artist’s personal story with a vibrant lake community and showcases a wide array of high quality arts and crafts, both contemporary and traditional. In addition to the artwork of 140 artists in 13 different mediums, enjoy folk, bluegrass and acoustic rock music, local artisan food creations and a beer/wine tent. Excelsior Commons Park. 952-474-6461

June 9, Golden Valley
Golden Valley Pride Festival
The Golden Valley Pride Festival is a celebration of Golden Valley LGBTQ individuals, families and friends, presented by a group of volunteer Golden Valley residents. There are fun activities for the whole family, including bouncy houses, community booths, games, Giant Jenga and the Brookview Playground, along with awesome food trucks, fantastic music by multiple acts and a beer and wine garden. All are welcome! Brookview Park. 612-735-4251

June 14-15, Winsted
Winstock Country Music Festival
This is the Upper Midwest’s premier outdoor country music and camping festival organized entirely by volunteers with all proceeds used to help fund private education for students from Winsted and surrounding communities. Featured headliners include Jason Aldean and Old Dominion with special guests Kane Brown and Brett Young. Also enjoy the music of Midland, Diamond Rio, Ashley McBryde, Little Texas and more acts! Winstock Festival Grounds. 320-485-4287

June 14-16, Minneapolis
Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Kick off the summer at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival and enjoy fine artwork by more than 2090 artists, specialties served up by local food trucks, live music, Family Activities Area, Makers Market, Art of the Car Show, ice-cold beverages and more! Along the Mississippi Riverfront. 952-473-6422

June 12-16, St. Louis Park
St. Louis Park Parktacular
Enjoy five days of free and affordable fun for everyone! Events and activities include the Grande Day Parade, free admission to the St. Louis Park Aquatic Park, outdoor concerts, food trucks, a petting zoo, free pony rides, inflatables for ALL ages, Kidtacular Activities, Parktacular Expo, Father’s Day Waffle Brunch, Tommy’s Fishign Clinic, Pet-A-Palooza with lots of adoptable pets and so much more! Wolfe Park. 612-470-7822

June 18-23, Chaska
2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
The Championship, which will be broadcast in partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, provides a purse among the highest in women’s golf. This will be the first time the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is at Hazeltine National and only the second time a women’s major championship is played in the state of Minnesota. The Championship focuses on the development, advancement and empowerment of women on and off the golf course. Hazeltine National Golf Club. 612-337-1961

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include:
Rob Thomas at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, June 8
Jamm Dance Companie Presents Recital 2019 at Ames Center in Burnsville, June 8-9
Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride Tour at the Armory in Minneapolis, June 9
New Kids on the Block at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, June 11
Hannah Gadsby-Douglas at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, June 12
Bat Out of Hell – The Musical at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, June 12-23
Middleditch & Schwartz at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, June 13
Father John Misty, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at The Armory, June 14
50 Cent, Ice-T, Too Short, Slick Rick, Biz Markie & Guests at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, June 15
Coheed & Cambria at The Armory, June 15
David Grey at the Historic State Theatre, June 15
Hillsong United – The People Tour at Excel Energy Center, June 20
Summer Skolstice: Rick Springfield at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, June 20
Summer Skolstice: Elle King and Joss Stone at TCO Performance Center, June 21
Summer Skolstice: St. Paul and the Broken Bones at TCO Performance Center, June 20-22
Shawn Mendes at the Xcel Energy Center, June 21
Carrie Underwood with Maddie & Tae at the Target Center in Minneapolis, June 21
Hugh Jackman at the Xcel Energy Center, June 22
Pentatonix at the Xcel Energy Center, June 25
The Try Guys at the Historic State Theatre, June 26
Latin History for Morons (Touring) at the Historic State Theatre, June 27
Chris Young at the Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake, June 28
George Lopez, Cedric The Entertainer & D.I. Hughley at the Historic State Theatre, June 28
Jennifer Lopez at the Xcel Energy Center, June 28
Seth Meyers at the Pantages Theatre, June 28
Jeremy Piven at the Pantages Theatre, June 30
Rhett & Link: Live in Concert at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, June 30
The Roots at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, June 30
3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, July 2-7
Kidz Bop World Tour 2019 & Fireworks at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 3
Carly Rae Jepsen at the Historic State Theatre, July 5
Billy Idol at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, July 6
Ozzy Osbourne at the Xcel Energy Center, July 6
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

June 7, St. Cloud
Downtown Art Crawl
Celebrate and experience the work of talented Central Minnesota artists while enjoying the warmth and charm of locally-owned shops, businesses and eateries in Historic Downtown St. Cloud! 320-251-4170

June 7-8, Kandiyohi
Kandi is Dandy Days
Join the town of Kandiyohi as they celebrate their annual festival. Activities include live music, a kiddie parade, street dance, antique tractor pull, pancake breakfast, children’s games, button drawings, grand parade, tractor pull and much more! Downtown Kandiyohi. 320-212-2978

June 7-8, Nisswa
Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival
Nisswa Stamman Scandinavian folk music and dance festival will celebrate its 20th year at the Nisswa Pioneer Village. This ever-growing event offers a celebration of Scandinavian and Scandinavian/American folk music in the northwoods. Performers travel from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland as well as various parts of the United States and the local area, to play at this festival on several stages. The event also offers singing and dancing workshops, a children’s activity area and Scandinavian foods. On Saturday, June 8th a fiddler’s parade on the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Nisswa kicks off the all-day folk music festival, which culminates with a smorgasbord feast. Don’t miss this annual gathering of fiddlers, nyckelharpers, hardingfele players, accordionists, guitarists, vocalists, dancers and general aficionados of Scandinavian folk music! Pioneer Village. 218-764-2994

June 10-16, Hutchinson
Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival
Started in 1942, Water Carnival has grown into a large celebration filled with a wide array of events including the Medallion Hunt, Music in the Park, Teddy Bear Band concert, Miss Hutchinson pageant, fireworks display, Run by the River runs & races, Kiddie and Grande Day parades, a car show, canoe races, paintball, Kids’ Day with inflatables and games, and lots of great food! Venues throughout Hutchinson. 320-587-5252

June 14-16, Onamia
Onamia Days
Onamia Days features a variety of activities and highlights such as Family Fun Show carnival rides and games, arts and craft vendors, live music, street dances, turtle races, Kid’s Float and Bike Parade, 5K Fun Run/Walk, food vendors, beer and brat tents, Grande Parade, Classic Car Show and much more. Herington Park and other locations. 320-532-3202

June 21-22, Milaca
Milaca’s Gateway to the Northland Festival
Gateway to the Northland Festival includes multiple events sure to please the entire family. Highlights include “Ninja Anywhere,” children’s games and vendor, Milaca’s Totally Amazing Race, food trucks, Floatilla Down the Rum River, Movie in the Park, and a performance by “The Groove!” Recreation Park. 320-983-3141

Northwest Minnesota

April 12 – June 9, Moorhead
The FMVA BIG Art Show
For two months each spring, the artwork of the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA) fills the 4th Floor Gallery at the Hjemkomst Center. Pieces from art educators, emerging artists and established artists make this one of the largest and most comprehensive local art shows in the region. Each piece is complemented with artist statements describing the creation’s influences, mediums used and process. Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5511

June 1-8, Hawley
Hawley Rodeo Fest
Take part in a full week of events, starting with Breakfast on the Farm at Kasin Farms. Rodeo Fest concludes with two nights of Rodeo performances, June 7 & 8. Other events throughout the week include a Country Cowboy Church Service, Variety Show, Miss Hawley Pageant, Health Fair, Space Cowboys, John Deere Day of Play for kids, Street Fair, car and tractor show, vendors and more. Hawley Rodeo Grounds on Hwy 10 between Detroit Lakes and Moorhead. 218-483-3331

June 7-15, Bemidji
Smokey Joe’s Café – The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
Virtually the inventors of rock ‘n’ roll, Leiber and Stoller’s songs provide the basis for this electrifying production that highlights the golden age of America in the 50s. The classic themes of love won, lost and imagined, blend with slice-of-life emotions in this idealized 50s environment. Featuring nearly 40 songs, Smokey Joe’s Café isn’t just great pop music – it’s compelling musical theater. Paul Bunyan Playhouse at the Historic Chief Theater. 218-751-7270

June 8, Cass Lake
Chippewa Triathlon 2019
This triathlon is a unique event that combines canoeing, biking, and running all through the Chippewa National Chippewa National Forest. The course follows the centuries-old Pike Bay connection. The Chippewa Triathlon is not solely a competitive event–organizers emphasize its value as a personal challenge and an opportunity to improve one’s fitness level through preparatory training. Approximate distances: 15-mile canoe, 29-mile mountain bike, 5-mile trail run. 218-335-2689

June 15, Longville
Community Garage Sale, Firemen’s Sandwich Day, Pie Social and Book Sale
Head to Longville on Saturday, June 15 for a great day of treasure hunting during the Community Garage Sale. Also enjoy art activities for children on the waterfront, firefighters’ famous BBQ sandwiches, a Pie Social and Sale, and Book & Bake Sale. 218-363-2630

June 15, Park Rapids
Author Fest – Celebrating Writers in Minnesota
Author Fest is an annual celebration of Minnesota writers. Meet and chat with more than 20 Minnesota authors, listen to readings throughout the day and discover new books. Hosted by independent bookstore, Beagle & Wolf Books & Bindery. Park Rapids American Legion. 218-237-2665

June 21-22, Moorhead
Scandinavian Hjemkomst & Midwest Viking Festival
The Midwest Viking Festival and the 42nd Annual Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival are joining forces again to present a celebration of Nordic culture from ancient times to today. This authentic Scandinavian event will feature dancing, a Nordic Marketplace, storytellers, fiddlers, Viking-era crafts, great food at Tastes of Scandinavia, Viking-themed drinks, and demonstrations, seminars and other activities at Viking Village. Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5452

Northeast Minnesota

June 7-9, Grand Marais
Grand Marais Block Party
There are so many events happening this weekend! Spend your weekend with Voyageur Brewing at their Voyage North 5 & 10K, party down with all of our retail and dining friends in Grand Marais at the Grand Marais Block Party, or head up the Gunflint Trail to the Boundary Waters Expo for demonstrations, expert instruction, amazing scenery and the latest in wilderness travel. Throughout the weekend, check out vendor booths and tents on 1st Avenue, and enjoy activities, live music, performances and lots of great food. Downtown Grand Marais. 218-387-2524

June 8, Grand Rapids
Wizard of Oz Festival
The Wizard of Oz Festival includes special activities and games for children and their families, including a youth stage performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Reif Center, a reading of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” Commemorative Pop Up Book by the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion at the Grand Rapids Public Library, a showing of the classic 1939 “Wizard of Oz” film (bring a blanket!), and an Emerald City Festival with a chance to meet and photograph characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” and take part in scavenger hunts, art exploration and tornado tubes! Judy Garland Museum & Children’s Discovery Museum. 218-327-9276

June 8, Two Harbors
Children’s Day
Children’s Day is a day of tours and activities geared toward children with free admission for ages 17 and under. Families will learn about the children who lived at the light station while enjoying special games, crafts and activities. Split Rock Lighthouse. 218-226-6372

June 15, Grand Rapids
Be a Lumberjack Family Day
Kids are invited to be a lumberjack for a day. At the logging camp, children can help saw wood, count beans, mix cookie dough, stamp a log, cross haul a sled and race “gray-backs.” Then it’s time for extra fun with games like “prune on a spoon” racing, musical stumps, raisin spitting and craft projects that bring out creativity. Forest History Center. 218-327-4482

June 15, Sandstone
50th Anniversary Open House
This 50th Anniversary Open House includes many free, family-friendly activities including a high ropes course, canoeing, archery, climbing wall, campus tours, forest hikes, and mores. Lunch is available for purchase. That evening, enjoy a special 50th Anniversary Dinner and presentation — reservations required. Come back Sunday, June 16 for additional activities. Audubon Center of the North Woods. 320-245-2648

June 15-16, Virginia
Northern Minnesota Craft and Vendor Expo
Don’t miss this indoor craft and vendor show featuring over 130 exhibitors! Free parking and free admission. Miners Memorial Building. 218-749-4056

June 22, Duluth
Grandma’s Marathon
Since the initial race in 1977, Grandma’s Marathon has grown larger than just a 26.2 mile race along the scenic North Shore of Minnesota. This is a time for runners of all calibers to come together and celebrate the vigor of the human spirit. Runners and visitors will enjoy lots of weekend festivities including the free Essentia Health & Fitness Expo, virtual racecourse tours, Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, Whipper Snapper Races for kids, demonstrations of the Lightspeed Lift, live entertainment under the Big Top Tent in Canal Park and the Awards Ceremony.

Be sure to visit the Deals section of ExploreMinnesota.com to learn of the latest discounts and specials!

Minnesota Spring Events

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Explore Minnesota Events Update – May 1, 2019

Festival of Nations at St. Paul RiverCentre, May 2-5; photo by Lucy Hawthorne

Event highlights this week include:

May 2-5, Winona
100 Mile Garage Sale

May 4, St. Paul
Cinco de Mayo – West Side Saint Paul

May 4, Nisswa
KFAN Golf Opener Tent Party: Live Music by Rock Godz

April 25 – May 18, Moorhead
Theatre B Presents “Cry It Out”

May 3-5, Sandstone
Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend & Kettle River Paddle Festival

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central]
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Area] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

April 5 – May 25, Lanesboro
Holmes and Watson
Don’t miss this twisting, tantalizing mystery! Sherlock Holmes has been dead three years when Dr. Watson receives a message from a mental asylum: three patients are claiming to be Sherlock Holmes. Did the world’s greatest sleuth fake his own death? Who’s the real detective and who are the impostors? Find out in this gripping, witty, intelligent thriller. Commonweal Theatre Company. 507-467-2525

May 2-5, Winona
100 Mile Garage Sale
Residents and stores clean out their attics, garages and basements to create the most spectacular garage sale imaginable! A trail of distinctive colored ribbons will identify participating garage sales along Hwy 61 from Red Wing to Winona. Numerous cities along the Mississippi River. 507-452-0735

May 3-4, Winona
Mid West Music Fest
Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) is an all-ages, multi-venue, multi-genre and multi-day music festival. The festival features an exciting line-up of over 100 bands and musicians in 11 venues across downtown Winona. Headliners include Charlie Parr, Frankie Lee, Chastity Brown, Communist Daughter, Lucy Michelle, Black-Eyed Snakes, Black Market Brass and many more. Other highlights include a chance for children of all ages to try out instruments, and the Sounds Like School stage where young talent can collaborate with seasoned headliners. Various venues in Winona. 507-452-0735

May 4, Faribault
Big Hats & Big Hearts – Derby Party for the Arts
Don’t miss this annual spring tradition featuring live music, hat contests, Derby-themed games, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and Derby-themed beverages, live and silent auctions, door prizes and the greatest two minutes in sports on a big screen. Celebrate and support the arts through this great evening of fashion, fun and friends! Paradise Center for the Arts. 507-332-7372

May 10-12, Rochester
Gold Rush
The original Gold Rush is now in its 47th year. This is one of the largest shows in the Midwest, covering the entire 52-acre fairgrounds with indoor and outdoor spaces. Roughly 1200 dealers from all over the country will be displaying their wares including antique furniture, primitives, glassware, pottery, jewelry, clocks, watches, lamps, coins, art, toys, advertising, farm & car collectibles, hunting & fishing items, and Funky Junque. Olmsted County Fairgrounds at Hwy 63 S & 16th St SE. 507-269-1473

May 10-12, Lake City
Spring Warbler Weekend
Join experienced birders who will help you find and identify warblers, owls, orioles, and many other birds. Groups will take trails or travel by car in Hok-Si-La and nearby parks on the Mississippi River. Also enjoy gathering, socializing, eating and recording at Hok-Si-La Park. 651-340-3487

May 17-19, Spring Grove
Spring Grove Syttende Mai
Celebrate Norwegian Independence and Norwegian ancestry during Syttende Mai in Spring Grove. Don’t miss the Blast Off Banquet & Social Hour, Running with My Gnomies, Musikk Fest, grand parade, Nordic dancers, kids’ pedal pull, corn hole tournament, daily garage sales, games in the park, walks on the Norwegian Ridge Birding & Nature Trail and much more. Viking Memorial Park. 507-458-7793

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

March 1 – Sept. 28, Chanhassen
Mamma Mia!
One mom. One daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. 952-934-1525

May 2-5, St. Paul
Festival of Nations
Festival of Nations, the largest multi-cultural event in Minnesota, brings together people from a vast array of backgrounds to celebrate their ethnic heritage. Through world-class entertainment, daily performances, exhibits, food, music, dance and personal connections, this family-friendly festival provides a look into the traditions, history and journey of over 90 ethnic groups, and sheds light on how each one contributes to the American cultural landscape. St. Paul RiverCentre. 651-647-0191

May 2-4 & 9-11, Isanti/Cambridge
Spring Unique Boutique & Antiques Tour
The Spring Unique Boutique & Antiques Tour is a self-guided tour of 11 unique shops filled with antiques, collectibles, vintage, repurposed, enhanced and one-of-a-kind items and treasures. A great way to kick-off your summer. Various locations in the communities of Isanti, Cambridge, Bradford and St. Francis. 763-267-1770

May 3-5, Stillwater
St. Croix Valley Art Opener Studio Tour
The annual Art Opener Studio Tour provides an outstanding opportunity to visit an eclectic mix of artists in studios nestled in the scenic St. Croix Valley. The tour features the artwork off 22 artists and 10 locations, as well as fiber and clay demonstrations throughout the weekend. Studios in downtown Stillwater and nearby towns. 651-351-1717

May 4, St. Paul
Cinco de Mayo – West Side Saint Paul
This award-winning, family-friendly experience features over six blocks of food, music, dancing and children’s activities, as well as a lowrider car show, colorful parade and a “People’s Choice” salsa tasting contest. Embrace the colorful history and rich traditions of Hispanic/Latino culture! Cesar Chavez Street – District del Sol. 651-223-7400

May 4-5, St. Paul
Grillfest 2019
Join Minnesota Monthly in celebrating its 8th Annual Grillfest, a two-day summer kickoff event full of food, fun and most importantly, grilling! This year’s event will feature food, beer and wine sampling from many great vendors, special pricing on grills and products, and grilling tips that are guaranteed to make you the envy of your neighbors. CHS Field. 612-371-5834

May 4-5, Excelsior
Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour
The Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour features the artwork of 34 artists in 14 home studios in the lake communities of Deephaven, Excelsior and Minnetonka. A large variety of media and styles will be for sale, with some artists offering demonstrations of works in progress. 952-475-1491

May 5, Minneapolis
MayDay Celebration
Join more than 50,000 people from near and far as they fill the streets both as participants and spectators for this day of celebration and community. Enjoy a spectacular parade, live music, dancing, performances, poetry, canoe rides, wide array of foods and information tables. Don’t miss the MayDay Tree of Life Ceremony where children and adult dancers, puppeteers, a live orchestra and four giant serene puppets representing the Prairie, Sky, River and Woods awake the Tree of Life. The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s annual MayDay parade, ceremony and festival has been a vibrant example of art’s roles in community building for 45 years. Powderhorn Park. 612-721-2535

May 10-12, Lake Elmo
Shepherd’s Harvest Festival
The 22nd Shepherd’s Harvest Festival is Minnesota’s largest sheep and wool festival. Events include Minnesota’s largest fleece competition, sheep shearing, fleece skirting demos, book-signings and more. Families always enjoy the sheep and goats in the barn and this year there will be a new Farm Work Stock Dog Trial! The fairgrounds are filled with music, food, artisans and animals. Washington County Fairgrounds. 612-961-9625; 763-242-2488

May 10-12, Harris
St. Croix Valley Potters Tour
This free spring studio tour of potteries along the St. Croix River Valley celebrates the hand-made pottery. Seven studios will be showing and selling great handmade pottery from over 54 regional, national and international potters. Studios from Harris to Shafer. 651-674-4656

May 11, Minneapolis
Ira Glass
Ira Glass, the beloved host and creator of NPR’s hit weekly radio show This American Life, invites us into his creative process, mixing audio clips, music and video to tell captivating stories live onstage, and sharing lessons and insights gathered over his career. This American Life is heard each week by over 2.2 million listeners on more than 500 public radio stations, with another 2.5 million downloading each podcast. Historic State Theatre. 612-339-7007

May 11, Waconia
Sister Saturday
This girls day out in Waconia features free swag bags for the first 50 women at 2 locations, a fashion show, and shopping and dining deals at participating shops and restaurants throughout Waconia. Bring your sisters, mothers and friends! 952-442-5812

May 11-12, Minneapolis
The Loft’s Wordplay
The Loft’s Wordplay aims to be the biggest party for words Minnesota has ever seen. Imagine a weekend full of famous authors (Stephen King!) and celebrated books, readings, conversations, workshops, kids’ activities, demonstrations, one-of-a-kind happenings on outdoor stages, book signings, quiet reading corners, boisterous parties, food trucks, beer tents and books, books, books! Also enjoy a Friday night author concert with the Rock Bottom Remainders at First Avenue. The Loft Literary Center. 612-215-2575

May 17, Minneapolis
Art Girls For Questscope
Art Girls for Questscope will bring together art enthusiasts and philanthropists across the Twin Cities in support of refugee and marginalized youth. Hosted by The Art Girls, a local arts organization, four Minnesota artists will have beautiful works of art for sale to benefit Questscope. Le Meridien Chambers. 612-607-6476

May 18, Chaska
A Day of Birding Walks and Workshops
Join birding enthusiasts and experts from around the region and celebrate the spring migration amidst spring flowers. The day is packed with featured presenters, workshops, classes, organization booths and guided walks. All must pre-register. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. 952-443-1400

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances include: 
Double Dare Live! at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, May 1
Jessie James Decker at the Historic State Theatre, May 2
Overkill at Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis, May 3
Stars on Ice at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, May 3
Garth Brooks at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, May 3-4
ABBA – The Concert at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, May 4
P!NK: Beautiful Trauma Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, May 5
The 1975 at The Armory in Minneapolis, May 7
The Play That Goes Wrong at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, May 7-12
Autonomy: A Theatrical Thrill Ride at the St. Paul RiverCentre, May 9-12
An Evening with 98 Degrees at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, May 10
RBRM: Ronnie, Bobby, Rocky & Mike at The Armory, May 10
David Crosby at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, May 10
The Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota: Narnia at Ames Center in Burnsville, May 10-12
Chicago at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, May 11
Ira Glass – Seven Things I’ve Learned at the Historic State Theatre, May 11
Griz at the Armory, May 17
Sammy Hagar & The Circle at the Mystic Lake Ampitheater, May 17
Celtic Woman – Ancient Land
Cher: Here We Go Again Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, May 18
Jim Jefferies at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, May 18
Marianas Trench at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, May 25
Foreigner at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, May 26
Dear Evan Hansen – The Tony Award-Winning Best Musical at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, May 28 – June 29
Adam Sandler at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, May 31
John Prine at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, May 31
Eddie Izzard at the Historic State Theatre, June 1
Juice WRLD at the Armory, June 1
Todd Rundgren at Ames Center in Burnsville, June 3
Tickets are available through Hennepin Theatre Trust and Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

May 3, St. Cloud
Church of CASH – The Johnny Cash Show
Whether you are an old-timer that grew up listening to Mr. Cash or someone who loves the classics, the Church of Cash will deliver the music of Johnny Cash with style and energy. Church of CASH is loyal to Johnny’s song and the message, and performs his music with a youthful spirit that engages all audiences. Pioneer Place on Fifth. 320-203-0331

May 4, Nisswa
KFAN Golf Opener Tent Party: Live Music by Rock Godz
Attend the annual KFAN Golf Opener Tent Party and enjoy great food, beer and live music outside, under a large tent. Grand View Lodge Spa & Golf Course. 218-963-2234

May 4, Onamia
Loom Beading Workshop
Learn the art of loom beading through hands-on experience. Create a design, transfer it to a loom and learn how to adhere the loom work to leather or cloth for a finished piece. Online registration is required at least three days prior to workshop. Mille Lacs Indian Museum. 320-532-3632

May 11, Brainerd
Spring Arts and Craft Show
This is your chance to check out quality handmade items by more than 150 artists and craftspeople. Admission is free. Brainerd High School. 218-454-6926

May 11, Waite Park
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story & Dinner
This is the true story of Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll Be The Day” hit the airwaves until his tragic death less than two years later on “The Day The Music Died.” This rocking musical features over twenty of Buddy’s greatest hits, including “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy,” and “Rave On,” plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” The show lasts roughly 2 hours, plus 60 minutes for dinner. Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre. 320-258-2787

May 11-12, Brainerd
Cuyuna Rock, Gem & Mineral Society Rock Show
The Cuyuna Rock, Gem & Mineral Society will host roughly 70 indoor and outdoor vendors, as well as the Wheel of Rock Fortune, rock cutting, “rocky answers” by the Rock Wizard, speakers and presenters, a Kids’ Corner and great concessions. Buy, sell and trade! Crow Wing County Fairgrounds Curling Club Building. 218-829-4992

May 19, Sunburg
Syttende Mai Celebration
Attend the 15th Annual Syttende Mai Celebration filled with full, family events. Enjoy a Grand Day Parade at 3:30 p.m., along with a pedal tractor pull, quilt raffle, Sunburg Lakers Baseball Game, petting zoo, open mic at the Kultur Hus, non-denominational church service and more. Downtown Sunburg. 320-235-3552

Northwest Minnesota

April 12 – June 9, Moorhead
The FMVA BIG Art Show
For two months each spring, the artwork of the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA) fills the 4th Floor Gallery at the Hjemkomst Center. Pieces from art educators, emerging artists and established artists make this one of the largest and most comprehensive local art shows in the region. Each piece is complemented with artist statements describing the creation’s influences, mediums used and process. Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5511

April 25 – May 18, Moorhead
Theatre B Presents “Cry It Out”
Three new moms from different backgrounds bond over parenting babies. Seem simple? Well, friendship, marriage and careers are anything but simple in Cry It Out, a comedy with dark edges. Cry It Out takes an honest look at the absurdities of navigating women’s choices, family life and job security in modern day America. Theatre B. 701-729-8880

May 3, Detroit Lakes
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy blends a vibrant fusion of classic American jazz, swing and Dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture. After 25 years together and countless appearances on film and TV, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will show you that it’s still cool to swing! Historic Holmes Theatre. 218-844-7469

May 11, Bemidji
Northern Minnesota’s Largest Women’s Expo
The Sanford Center and Sanford Health are proud to present the 2nd Annual Northern Minnesota’s Largest Women’s Expo where women can relax and be pampered while they are inspired and empowered. Highlights include many special presentations, more than 50 craft and vendor booths, make-and-take tables, spirits tastings, entertainment on the patio, food trucks and more. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local nonprofit organizations that support women and women’s initiatives including the United Way of Bemidji and Hands of Action International. Sanford Center, George W. Neilson Convention Center. 218-441-4000

May 11-18, Thief River Falls
Norwegian Heritage Week
Don’t miss out on the fun, daily events taking place during this week-long celebration of Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day. Just some of the many highlights include: Uff Da Day at Pioneer Village with Viking re-enactors, Scandinavian crafts, Lefse demonstrations, Norwegian songs, rommegrot, coffee and other Scandinavian treats; “Tomte and the Troll” at the United Methodist Church with a high-energy, interactive performance of this Nordic cultural fairy tale; Uff Da Challenge at Hartz Park, an adventure race for beginners and seasoned pros in the obstacle race world; and Bric-A-Brac Market honoring a long-standing Scandinavian tradition of flea markets with a wide variety of vendors sharing their vintage, junk, thrifted and handmade creations. Various locations throughout Thief River Falls. 218-686-0205

May 15-18, Detroit Lakes
Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds
Observe up to 275 species of birds during the 22nd Annual Festival of Birds! Witness the spring bird migration in a unique transition zone of tall-grass prairie, northern hardwood and conifer forests and wetlands in the Detroit Lakes area. The festival kicks off with “The Return of the Peregrine Falcon” by Carrol Henderson at Maplelag Resort, followed by weekend bird tours, a bazaar, exhibitors and presentations. 218-847-9202

Northeast Minnesota

April 26 – May 4, Duluth
Renegade Theater Presents: Birds of a Feather
Birds of a Feather recounts the story of Roy and Silo, the two Central Park Zoo chinstrap penguins who partnered, adopted an egg, hatched and raised a chick together. Roy and Silo are no strangers to the spotlight. In 2005, they were the subject of a widely contested children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. The book, temporarily pulled from school bookshelves in Loudoun County, became one of the most banned books in America. Zeitgeist Teatro Zuccone. 218-336-1417

May 3-5, Sandstone
Women’s Wellness & Adventure Weekend
Located on the shores of Grindstone Lake, the Audubon Center of the North Woods’ 535 acres of beautifully varied landscapes provide the perfect setting for this complete holistic adventure. Spend this weekend with your friends or take the opportunity to get away by yourself, meet new people, and learn new skills. Choose from a variety of mind, body & spirit activities, enjoy a massage, schedule a private reading or healing touch session, or just relax and take in nature. Audubon Center of the North Woods. 320-245-2648

May 3-5, Sandstone
Kettle River Paddle Festival
This paddling festival on the Kettle River brings together whitewater and flat water paddlers for a weekend of paddling fun. Participants and onlookers will enjoy river races, Whitewater Rodeo stunts and tricks, and Paddlers’ Party dinner and social. Bring your 14-foot raft, stand-up board, kayaks, canoes and dories, and join in the fun. All are welcome! Robinson Park on the Kettle River. 651-302-1774

May 11, Grand Rapids
Itasca Orchestra May Concert with the New Standards
The Twin Cities based Big Band Trio will be bringing their eclectic mix of music to perform with the Itasca Orchestra. Some of the musical selections include songs performed by Prince, Elvis Costello and the Clash. They are creating a worldwide following as they reinvent music performed by pop, funk and jazz musicians. Their exceptional musicianship and engaging performance will make this a show you won’t want to miss. Myles Reif Performing Arts Center. 218-327-5780

May 11, Two Harbors
Free Open House at Split Rock Lighthouse
Enjoy the beauty and history of Minnesota’s North Shore during a free open house day at Split Rock Lighthouse. Tour the light station and fog signal building. Stop by the visitor center to see exhibits on the North Shore’s tourism and commercial fishing industries and view a film about the early shipping industry on Lake Superior. 218-226-6372

May 11-26, Duluth
Winnie the Pooh
This honey-filled delight is as sweet as it is fun, based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne. Winnie the Pooh is once again in search of honey. Along the way, he meets his pals, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Owl, but soon discovers that Christopher Robin has been captured by the mysterious Backson! As they prepare for a rescue operation, the animals learn about teamwork, friendship and, of course, sharing snacks. Duluth Playhouse. 218-733-7555

May 18, Ely 
Ely’s Annual Citywide Rummage Sale and Business Crazy Day
Ely’s Citywide Rummage Sale and Business Crazy Day offers something for everyone with over 60 sales. You’ll find a variety of rummage sales around town and numerous unique shops and restaurants downtown will offer amazing deals! Throughout the city of Ely. 218-365-6123

May 19-26, Duluth
Duluth Dylan Fest
The 2019 Duluth Dylan Fest will include the Armory Arts & Music Center benefit concert, a Dylan-themed art show, poetry reading, a singer/songwriter contest, lectures by “Dylanologsts,” concerts and more. May 24, 2019 marks the 78th birthday of Duluth’s native son, Bob Dylan, 2016 Nobel Prize recipient. Venues throughout the city of Duluth. 218-391-6299

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Minnesota Holiday Spirit: Tis the Season!

Winter in Minnesota is the perfect time of year to get together with loved ones, embrace old traditions, or even start some new ones. Here are just five of the many ways to make the most of this special season.

GET IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights, Duluth

A hallmark of the holiday season in Germany and Austria, holiday markets—called Christkindlmarkts—have made their way to Minnesota. Holidazzle will take place in Loring Park again this year and will feature more than 40 vendors selling ornaments, candles and other handcrafted gifts, as well as mulled wine and brats. Other highlights include fireworks, Santa visits, holiday movie screenings and free ice skating. The destination is open Thursdays-Sundays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 23 and is free to attend.

Holiday plays and performances are a tradition for many families this time of year. Festive favorites include “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and the Rochester Civic Theatre, a dozen iterations of “The Nutcracker,” from classic to hip-hop, and Christmas concerts by artists including Kat Perkins, Blind Boys of Alabama, Lorie Line and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

For light shows worth a drive, don’t miss Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights, the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato and the Trester Trolley Light Tours in Winona. New in 2016, “Bruce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum” is the first large-scale outdoor light display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.

EXPLORE A NATURE CENTER

Great gray owl in Duluth; photo by Amanda Burcar-Annis

Photo by Amanda Burcar Annis

Many of Minnesota’s nature centers are open year-round, offering opportunities to interact with wildlife and the winter landscape. Owls are a big draw at the Agassiz Audubon Center near Thief River Falls, which documented dozens of snowy owl sightings last year in the surrounding Red River Valley.

At the International Owl Center in southeastern Minnesota, Alice the resident great horned owl is so popular that the International Festival of Owls in early March is held in conjunction with her hatch day.

Since nature centers are often surrounded by trails, they make a great starting point for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. Options include the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault (skiing and snowmobiling), Maplewood Nature Center (snowshoeing) and Hartley Nature Center in Duluth (skiing).

CHECK OUT A MUSEUM

At the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul, “Mindbender Mansion” makes critical thinking and problem solving fun, and “A Beautiful Planet” is featured in the Omnitheater. Open until mid-January, the “Gridiron Glory” exhibit at the Minnesota History Center features the Vince Lombardi trophy and other artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While you’re downtown, be sure to stop by Rice Park to see the ice sculptures and live entertainment as part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Other museums worth a winter visit include the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, the recently reopened Spam Museum in Austin, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which recently debuted a new entrance and restaurant as part of its major renovation project.

WARM UP AT A WATER PARK

Family Cascade Bay Water Park 440x440.jpgWaterslides, lazy rivers and splash pads aren’t just for the summer months. Several Minnesota water parks can be found indoors, offering a tropical escape no matter the weather.

Paul Bunyan Water Park, inside Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter, features tube and body slides, a treehouse equipped with water cannons and an indoor/outdoor hot tub. At the Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark in Duluth, a vortex pool allows guests to swim with or against a fast-moving current.

There’s even a waterpark right by Mall of America, so you can take a dip after completing all your holiday shopping. Find more options, from Bloomington to Alexandria to Thief River Falls, on the water parks page.

GO MAPLE SYRUPING

A sure sign that spring is coming, maple syrup demonstrations and festivals start cropping up in March. On Maple Syrup Day, the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone hosts a pancake brunch as part of its syrup celebration. Or see how the sap is gathered and turned into syrup, and get a taste of the end result, at the Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes.

Many Minnesota state parks, including Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Whitewater near St. Charles and Lake Maria near Monticello, offer maple syrup programs. Nature centers and other parks, like the Three Rivers Park District in the metro area, also get in on the fun.

Northern Minnesota Early Ice Fishing: Early ice is not safe, wear life jackets!

November 30, 2017

thin ice sign

With daytime temperatures still climbing above freezing even in the northern parts of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding outdoor enthusiasts to stay clear of early ice and use extreme caution when recreating on dangerously cold water. 

Although some locations in the northern and western regions of the state were reporting ice formation at the end of November, the recent fluctuations in weather have led to degraded ice conditions and warnings from public safety officials to stay off the ice until at least 4 inches of new, clear ice is present.

“No fish is worth the risk of going through thin ice,” said DNR conservation officer Lt. Adam Block. “At this point, it is going to take several consecutive days of below-freezing temperatures before enough solid ice has formed to support foot traffic, and even longer before ATVs  and snowmobiles should be on the ice.”

A recent tragedy occurred in northern Minnesota when two anglers lost their lives after breaking through thin ice on their ATV. Several emergency ice rescues have also taken place over the last few weeks. Last winter, two people died after breaking through the ice.

Block stressed that once ice formation picks up again, it will be important to stay vigilant about safety on the ice, since conditions can be unpredictable and vary greatly even on the same body of water.

“In addition to checking conditions locally and being prepared with an ice safety kit, anyone recreating on hard water should be wearing a life jacket,” Block said. “A life jacket is the one piece of equipment that exponentially increases your odds of not drowning from cold water shock, hypothermia or exhaustion should you fall through the ice.”

General ice safety guidelines:

No ice can ever be considered “safe ice,” but following these guidelines can help minimize the risk:

  • Carry ice picks, rope, an ice chisel and tape measure
  • Check ice thickness at regular intervals – conditions can change  quickly.
  • Bring a cell phone or personal locator beacon.
  • Don’t go out alone; let someone know the plan and expected return time.
  • Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle).
  • Before heading out, inquire about conditions and known hazards with local experts.

The minimum ice thickness guidelines for new, clear ice are:

  • 4 inches for ice fishing or other activities on foot.
  • 5-7 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle.
  • 8-12 inches for a car or small pickup.
  • 12-15 inches for a medium truck.
  • Double these minimums for white or snow-covered ice.

Open water danger
The lack of ice cover means many bodies of water in the state still have open water accessible to boaters. However, late season anglers, boaters and paddlers are cautioned that a life jacket is an absolute must on cold water.

“A fall into extremely cold water can incapacitate you within seconds,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator. “Air temperatures have been relatively mild, but don’t let that deceive you. Water temperatures are dangerously cold across the entire state, which means it’s more important than ever to wear that life jacket.”

State statistics show that one-third of boating fatalities typically occur during the “cold water season,” and that in the vast majority of cases the cause of death is drowning due to not wearing a life jacket.

So far in 2017, three boaters have died on cold water, and 12 total boating fatalities have been reported.

“The last three years boaters have enjoyed extended seasons with mild fall temperatures and early ice out in the spring,” Dugan said. “With increased days on the water came higher fatality numbers and a dangerous trend, which should not be ignored. Ten of the 12 deaths involved male boaters who sadly drowned while not wearing a life jacket. This is a continuing and troubling trend that will only plateau or reverse if boaters in that high-risk demographic choose to put safety first by putting on their life jacket.”

For more information, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety and mndnr.gov/boatingsafety.

Contact White Birch Resort for Your Next Minnesota Vacation Experience
218-835-4552

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WHITE BIRCH RESORT

Bemidji Region - Minnesota
18882 North Blackduck Lake RD NE Hines, MN 56630 Office 218-835-4552 Cell 218-553-0210
Email - vacation@whitebirchresort.net