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.

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.

Lots of Great Fishing Opportunity in Minnesota

Here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there’s tons of places to fish at, including Blackduck Lake!

whitebirchresort.net Call 218-835-4552 for the best deals!

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Explore Minnesota Weekly Fishing Update – June 6, 2019
Connor Schmidt’s 36-inch muskie / Dan Schmidt
 

June 7-9 is Take a Kid Fishing Weekend when Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing!

The bite is heating up as water temperatures rise. Walleye are moving deeper. Anglers are taking good numbers on jigs and rigs with minnows or leeches. Northern pike have become aggressive and are eager to bite!

Minnesota fishing opener dates for the 2019/2020 fishing season for most inland waters are as follows: walleye, sauger, northern pike, bass (catch-and-release) and lake trout, May 11; muskie, June 1. The fishing season for crappies, sunnies, perch and catfish is continuous. For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesota web page

 

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

Northeast Minnesota

International Falls – Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake water temperatures have been in the high 40sto mid-50s so walleye remain slightly behind in their traditional movements. Walleye are currently coming from the bays where water temperatures are slightly above that of the main lake, and the windblown shorelines and points have been the most productive. The best presentation has been a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a minnow or plastic. A slow delivery is very helpful. Some anglers report that spinner rigs are starting to turn fish. With warmer temperatures, fishing is expected to continually improve.

Smallmouth bass have yet to begin nesting due to the cold water temperatures. Most fish are being caught near their traditional spawning areas where they can be found staging at the windy points, large boulders and other significant structure. The best approach is to suspending a twitch bait, along with a long pause. As always, plastics and hair jigs are great go-to options.

Crappies are in the shallows, hitting minnows under a slip bobber in depths of 3 to 5 feet. The turns and points in the bull rushes, as well as on and around the sunken rocks have been great locations.

Northern pike have completed their spawn but remain near their shallow spawning areas. The bays that are  protected from larger bodies of water are a good place to start since the water is warmer. Spinner baits, spoons, and most significantly, suspended twitch baits have been the most productive. 800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Kabetogama

Area guides report another great week on Lake Kabetogama! Walleye are being taken during the day on 3/8 ounce jigs tipped with a minnow worked in 30 to 36 foot depths.  Most have been “keeper” size, but many nice catch-and-release fish have also been reported.  During low light hours, walleye are being pulled from depths of 6 to 12 feet on 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with a minnow. The best technique is to either slowly troll or fan-cast from the boat. Water temperature range from 58 degrees (main lake) to 64 degrees in some bays. Crank baits worked along the shorelines are turning lots of bass. Northern pike seem to be active throughout the lake. The bugs are hatching and the water is warming, so the fish are becoming more active. 800-524-9085; www.kabetogama.com

Ely Area Lakes and Rivers

Walleye fishing continues to be best for anglers fishing near shore or just off their docks or campsites. Areas around the creek mouths are no longer as productive now that the minnow spawn has ended, but walleye continue to be found in the shallows. The large shallow flats near shore have been the best area to fish.  Gold, blue and silver tinsel jigs tipped with minnow have been best. Anglers fishing from their docks or campsite are catching walleye on slip bobbers and leeches during evening hours and into the night. In fact, some real trophy-sized fish were caught this week by anglers using slip bobbers.

Crappies have started to spawn not that waters are consistently warmer. Anglers have been catching stingers full of crappies near the cattails and pencil reeds. Small slip bobbers and plain plastic tubes in pink, white, blue and chartreuse have been the top producers. Crappie minnows fished under a bobber are also turning crappies.

Lake trout fishing has been good for many anglers, but it has been challenging since some trout are coming from less than 10 feet of water on slip bobber rigs, yet others are coming from depths of more than 70 feet by anglers that are trolling. The most successful anglers are using deep-diving white crank baits over deep water. As water temperatures continue to rise, the lakers will move into deep waters and become easier for anglers to locate.

Stream trout fishing has been excellent for many anglers this last week. Rainbows are still being caught in the first 10 feet of the water column. Anglers are having success using cowbells, slip bobbers with baby crawlers, jigs with twisters, small streamers, and trolling small spoons or crank baits.

Smallmouth bass are still spawning so anglers have found them easy to locate, and some huge crappies have been taken. The most successful anglers are using pink, orange, chartreuse and white rigs and jigs. Wacky rigging has been the best way to trigger these fish to bite. Anglers have also been productive using suspended crank baits, and topwater baits such as poppers or flies.

Northern pike fishing is starting to slow as water temperatures rise and the big pike start moving deep. Still, anglers fishing early in the morning or on the edge of shallow bays near deep water are reporting lots of action. Large, heavy suckers and dead smelt fished under a bobber continue to turn the majority of large pike. 800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Grand Rapids Area Lakes

The walleye bite has heated up with the warmer temperatures. Some of the lakes giving up lots of walleye include Winnibigoshish, Moose, Bowstring and Trout lakes. A moon-eye jig and shiner is working well, but rig and leech are also consistently turning fish. Anglers that prefer to troll are doing well with shad raps on Pokegama and Sugar lakes during evening hours. During the day, look for walleye off shore, especially at the near-shore sunken islands.

Crappie fishing has been very good in the shallows now that they are moving into their spawning grounds. Anglers are taking fish on slip bobbers and minnows fished in just 2 to 5 feet of water. Bass fishing has also improved dramatically over the last week. Smallmouth bass are starting to move into and occupy spawning areas. Bluegills are on their beds on several area lakes. Please remember to release the larger fish. 800-355-9740; www.visitgrandrapids.com

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Walleye fishing has been on fire on Lake of the Woods Fish are sliding a bit deeper, holding in 15 to 30 foot depths with the most activity in 25 to 26 feet of water. Anglers that are anchored and jigging minnows or frozen shiners are taking the most fish. Gold combined with other colors have been the most productive. Nice reports are coming in all along the south shore and around Knight and Bridges islands. Water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 50s.

On the Rainy River, walleye and sauger are being pulled from the holes, current breaks and sand riffs. Smallmouth bass and northern pike anglers are finding lots of nice-sized fish, but most anglers remain focused on the walleye. Some anglers are taking a mixed bag of fish when casting at the river mouths, bays and rocky areas. The sturgeon season opens July 1.

Up at the Northwest Angle, large walleye are being taken by anglers trolling crank baits in less than 15 feet of water — some have been more than 28 inches long! Most of the keeper-size walleye are coming from 18 to 22 foot depths on orange and parakeet-colored jigs tipped with a minnow. Sauger, northern pike, perch and bass are also being reported by walleye anglers. The smallmouth bass remain deep but should slide up into the bays very soon. Water temperatures range from 55 to 59 degrees in the shallower areas. 800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Bena – Lake Winnibigoshish

The water continues to warm on Lake Winnibigoshish so walleye action is also heating up. Anglers are now taking greater numbers of walleye, especially from the main lake bars and flats in 16 to 18 feet of water. During lowlight hours and on days with windy conditions, fish are being taken from the points and shoreline breaks. A jig tipped with a minnow or leech is working extremely well. Northern pike activity has also picked up at the emerging weed beds in 9 to 12 foot depths.  It’s time to fish Big Winnie! www.lakewinnie.net

Park Rapids Area Lakes

The crappie are on fire on lakes throughout the Park Rapids area. Crappies up to 16 inches in length have been caught this week. Anglers having the most success are using 1/16 ounce jigs tipped with a small white twister tail or a crappie minnow. The key has been to make a long cast and slowly swim the jig back to the boat in depths of 2 to 4 feet of water. Walleye action has also picked up nicely. Anglers trolling crank baits over the shallow sand weed flats in depths of 6 to 10 feet are doing well with the walleye. Shiner or perch patterns have been working best. The bass are spawning so they will hit almost anything thrown their way, but a senko worm rig has been extremely effective. Please remember to release the bass while they are spawning. 800-247-0054; www.parkrapids.com

Detroit Lakes Area Lakes

Water temperatures for Detroit Lakes area lakes are in the low to mid 60s and climbing. Some crappies are still on their shallow beds, and others have started to move to the weed flats and emerging bull rushes in depths of 7 to 9 feet of water. Trappers can no longer find shiners, but the shiner bite continues for walleye. Most walleye are coming from the emerging weedlines and shoreline breaks on Sallie, Melissa, Pelican and Big Detroit lakes. Anglers are having the most success in 12 to 17 feet of water when using jigs and minnows, but live bait rigs and leeches are also turning fish.

Northern pike have been very aggressive at the outside edge of the submerged weedlines. Bass are hitting small crank baits, spinner baits and jigs with plastics at the docks and shallow cover. Sunfish are in the shallow weeds, responding to small leeches, pieces of crawlers and waxworms on small jigs or hooks under bobbers. 800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region

Brainerd Area Lakes

The water temperatures are finally in the 60s, and the fish are loving it. Walleye are active at the thick cabbage beds throughout Gull Lake. Jigs with shiners and slip bobbers with leeches have produced the most fish recently. Anglers continue to enjoy a great night bite. For the most action, cast jigging raps and suspending jerk baits. North Long Lake is also kicking out some nice walleye for anglers using leeches in 14 to 24 foot depths. The walleye bite on the smaller are lakes has improved dramatically with the stable weather.  Bass are very active in the shallows. The bluegills are staging for their spawn. 800-450-7247; www.visitbrainerd.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers are having a blast on Lake Mille Lacs, with lots of walleye, smallmouth bass and large muskie being reported. The water temperature in the bays is 66 to 69 degrees, and the main lake is running 62 to 64 degrees depending on what side of the lake you are on. Most bass are on their beds all over the lake. The walleye bite is strong, with fish coming from the mud flats, sand and rock areas. Over the week, more walleye seem to be moving out to the mud flats and the deeper gravel/rocks in 24 to 30 feet of water. This time of year, jigs, rigs and jigging raps are best. Check out the Lake Mille Lacs webcams for great views of the lake. 888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Willmar Area Lakes

Fish are biting throughout the Willmar Lakes Area. Anglers are taking lots of nice walleye when trolling with bottom bouncers and leeches on Long Lake. Panfish are still active under the bridge and in the bays of Nest Lake. The Green Lake weeds are giving up crappies in roughly 25 feet of water. Diamond Lake is producing walleye, crappies and northern pike. For those that like to shore fish, look for active crappies and walleye on Foot, Ringo and Florida lakes. 800-845-8747; www.willmarlakesarea.com

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Stillwater – St. Croix River

St. Croix River walleye are transitioning to their summer haunts. Walleye anglers are having lots of success with both eating-size walleye, as well as large walleye.

Anglers are also having fun with the amazing freshwater drum, a.k.a. sheephead, action.  The only problem is that when the drum are this aggressive, the other fish usually can’t get to the bait.

Smallmouth have been especially fun to catch right now since they are very willing to bite. Live bait has worked extremely well in depths of 11 to 14 feet, and in 22 foot depths in areas with a good flow. Pool 3 is giving up lots of fish at the current seams. 651/351-1717; www.discoverstillwater.com

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country Rivers and Streams

As of Thursday, May 30, Lanesboro Fisheries Staff reported that 2.5 to 4 inches of rain had fallen last weekend, but stream conditions were improving rapidly and were expected to continually improve. Check out the DNR’s Stream Flow Report for the most current conditions. Before you go, check out the “Area Highlights” section of the Lanesboro Area Fisheries web page for stream maps. 800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

 

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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.

Cold?…Here’s 5 Hot Drinks for Winter Weather!

Hot Cocoa - Photo by Angelica King
Photo by Angelica King

After hitting the slopes, riding the trails or attending an outdoor festival in Minnesota this winter, sipping something warm will taste twice as delicious. Minnesotans are no strangers to creative hot beverages, and there are generally some tempting options to wrap your hands around no matter what part of the state you’re in. Here are five hot drinks to keep you warm this winter:

BOMBAY COCOA FROM GOLDEN FIG FINE FOODS, ST. PAUL

There’s nothing quite like a mug of hot cocoa when the mercury dips below freezing. And while the old-fashioned standard is a comforting favorite, there are shops around Minnesota playing with the beverage, updating it and tricking it out with some new features. Take, for example, St. Paul’s Golden Fig local foods store, where one of the house blends includes cinnamon, ginger, cardamom,and a host of other spices; it’s known as “Bombay Cocoa,” and it evokes chai tea with a chocolatey kick. A percentage of every bag sold goes to organizations that support women coffee growers in their country of origin, and the company sources its beans from female growers whenever possible.

CITY GIRL COFFEE FROM ALAKEF, DULUTH

Coffee is not merely coffee. Good coffees are often the product of great stories, like the one behind City Girl Coffee from Alakef. After taking over her family’s 25-year-old Duluth-based roasting company, Alakef owner Alyza Bohbot created City Girl as a sustainable coffee company dedicated to empowering women in the coffee industry. A percentage of every bag sold goes to organizations that support women coffee growers in their country of origin, and the company sources its beans from female growers whenever possible.

TOM AND JERRY, STATEWIDE

If you grew up drinking the hot cocktail known as a Tom and Jerry, you have some sense of why it’s a such a good friend to those of us living in northern states. And if you didn’t, it’s time to get acquainted with this slice of Upper Midwestern beverage culture. According to the Dictionary of International Food and Cooking Terms (Myra Waldo, 1967), a Tom and Jerry is “a hot frothy alcoholic drink made with beaten egg yolks, stiffly beaten egg whites, rum, sugar, boiling water, bourbon and spices, served in mugs with a sprinkling of nutmeg.” As per an authoritative story about the cocktail, “most modern aficionados replace the water with milk and the bourbon with brandy.”

You can buy Tom and Jerry mix at stores, but if you can’t find it, there’s a great recipe for the cocktail online.

CARDAMOM LATTE FROM ANELACE COFFEE, MINNEAPOLIS

Anelace Latte_Becca Dilley
Photo by Becca Dilley

There’s nothing like a finely crafted coffee drink, particularly when the weather goes polar on you. Anelace Coffee, on Central Avenue in Minneapolis, makes some of the most beautifully balanced and smooth coffee drinks in the state. The use of a bit of cardamom syrup gives this latte a Nordic-inspired wintry flavor that is incomparable when the snow starts to fly.

HOT CIDER, STATEWIDE

Minnesota is a great state for apples: The climate and soil are friendly to the fruit, and the University of Minnesota has done a great deal to ensure new and delicious varietals keep popping up in markets around the country. Most cafes will offer hot cider of some sort, particularly in the autumn through early winter months. And if you’re interested in something a bit stronger that still packs an apple punch, you can find ambitious artisan hard ciders from makers all over the state, including Milk and Honey Ciders (Cold Spring), Keepsake Cidery (Dundas) and Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery (Spring Valley).

Find Minnesota coffee shops and other places to sip in our Drink & Eat directory.

The Northern Lights of Bentleyville!

Bentleyville Tour of Lights, Duluth

Each winter, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights transforms the Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth into an illuminated winter wonderland with colorful displays and holiday music. Dubbed “America’s Largest Free Walk-Through Lighting Display,” Bentleyville’s festive display features more than 4 million lights. The 2017 event will also feature the #OnlyinMN monument.  http://whitebirchresort.net

Bentleyville’s 12-story Christmas tree is more than twice the height of the one in Rockefeller Center and is covered with 100,000 LED lights that dance to holiday music. Using more than 5.5 miles of rope light, festive displays include Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys, Minnesota icons such as Split Rock Lighthouse, Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge, Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox and more.

Bentleyville Christmas Tree

As you stroll through the festive display, visitors can sip on hot cocoa, munch on popcorn or roast marshmallows over a campfire. Children have the opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus every night.

The spectacle runs from Nov. 18 through Dec. 26, 2017. The show is free, but monetary donations are appreciated. Guests are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army.

Parking is available in front of Bayfront Festival Park. Visitors are encouraged to use the free Jingle Bus shuttle service that is available at multiple locations throughout the city or board the festive Bentleyville Train that arrives from the Edgewater Hotel & Water Park.

Nearby family attractions include the Great Lakes AquariumLake Superior ZooSpirit Mountain Ski and Recreation Area, and numerous restaurants and hotels.

7-Northern Minnesota Snow-Filled Fun Activities!

There’s no escape from winter, but a winter escape is fun and easy. From skiing to snowmobiling and urban adventures, options for snowy recreation are practically endless in Minnesota. So, take advantage of nature’s gift to the north. The snow will be gone before you know it.  For more information contact us at  http://whitebirchresort.net

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Cross Country Ski Trail 440x440Minnesota is known for its great cross-country skiing, with more than 2,000 miles of dedicated trails to explore. In addition to day trips, cross-country ski resorts offer great meals, comfortable lodging, saunas and spas to round out the experience. Trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, near Ely and along the Gunflint Trail, are among the state’s top destinations for serious skiers.

Snow is most reliable in the northern half of the state, but good cross-country skiing can be found everywhere. In fact, snow-making machines are employed at several Minneapolis-St. Paul area trails to ensure quality conditions. More than two dozen Minnesota state parks provide groomed trails, and some rent skis.

DOWNHILL SKIING

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn learned to ski in Minnesota, but even novices can take advantage of the state’s 16 downhill ski areas. In addition to big hills, many areas also feature terrain parks for ski and snowboard tricks, as well as cross-country ski trails.

Northeast Minnesota is home to the Midwest’s largest, longest and highest hills. Long runs and scenic vistas are memory makers. Ski areas in central and southern Minnesota also offer picturesque, high-quality experiences. Many are gracefully carved into towering river bluffs and broad forested valleys.

Minneapolis-St. Paul area visitors have several downhill ski areas within a 90-minute drive. Visitors to other parts of the state have plenty of choices, too. Equipment rentals and lessons are available at most ski destinations.

SNOWMOBILING

Snowmobilers 399 x 600Minnesota has nearly as many miles of snowmobile trails(roughly 22,000) as it does highways. These trails, many of which are maintained by local snowmobile clubs, extend to all corners of the state. Many trails run through picturesque federal, state and county forests, and can take riders to restaurants, lodging, and other popular amenities. Weekly trail condition updates are available by email.

ICE FISHING

Minnesota’s panfish season never closes, and walleye, northern pike and other seasons extend deep into winter. As a result, fishing continues to be one of Minnesota’s most popular outdoor activities long after waves have turned to ice.

Ice fishing’s ongoing allure, in part, stems from ice house improvements. Safe and reliable heaters, grills and comfortable beds are all part of the modern ice fishing experience. Warm, lifelong memories are often forged from nature’s northern lights, stunning sunsets and the hushed silence of winter.

Popular lakes for ice fishing include Leech, Gull, Mille Lacs, Lake of the Woods and more. Ice fishing festivals on these and other lakes are tons of fun, even if you’re not fishing.

FAT BIKING

Cuyuna-Fat-Biking-1The skinny on fat tire mountain biking is that Minnesota offers outstanding options. One of the most notable is the rugged and hilly Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, where winter trails slice and curve through forests and lake country. In many ways, Cuyuna isn’t a trail; it’s an experience.

Several state parks now offer winter mountain biking opportunities thanks to the sport’s increasing popularity. So do park systems in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth and Winona areas, with more opening up every year.

DOG SLEDDING

Dog sledding is one of the most fun and unusual ways to experience winter. People of all ages and physical abilities can do it, and trips can be tailored to your comfort level. Short trips, day trips, overnight trips, and trips that include ice fishing are among the many iterations available.

Lodging options also vary. You can spend the night in a cozy cabin or in a yurt—an insulated tent-like shelter.

The primary destination for this sport is the Boundary Waters, but outfitters can also be found in Duluth, along the North Shore, and even in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

SNOWSHOEING

Instructor teaching people how to walk in snowshoesFor those who want to enjoy the snow with something other than skis on their feet, snowshoeing is a great, low-impact activity. Snowshoe rentals and trails are common in state and local park systems, including those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Many nature centers provide snowshoe rentals and trails, too.

Minnesota weekend activities.

Check out the great Minnesota resort deals and activities at White Birch Resort. www.whitebirchresort.net

Bentleyville Tour of Lights fireworks display; photo by Ronny Purba

Event highlights this week include:

Nov. 18, Harmony
Holiday Fest Art, Craft and Gift Expo

Nov. 17-19, Blaine
Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo

Nov. 24 – Dec. 3, Little Falls
Little Falls Christmas Tours

Nov. 18, Moorhead
Pangea – Cultivate Our Cultures

Nov. 15 – Dec. 26, Duluth
Bentleyville “Tour of Lights”

And with more than 440 theaters throughout Minnesota, there is a performance for every taste — learn more through the Explore MN Theater promotion!

 

[Northeast] [Northwest] [Central] [Twin Cities] [Southern]

Southern Minnesota

Nov. 11 – Dec. 17 (Thursdays through Sundays), Rochester
Mayowood Mansion Christmas Tours
Tours will begin at the History Center with light refreshments and a film about Mayowood and the Mayo family. Visitors will then ride a trolley up to the mansion and receive a guided tour lasting about one hour. Reservations are required. Historic Mayowood Mansion. 507-282-9447

Nov. 17, Redwood Falls
Christmas by Candlelight & Lights Parade
Kick Off the holiday season in the Redwood Falls area with Christmas by Candlelight and enjoy an Open House at Scenic City Reality, the opening of the new Backdoor Art Gallery, a High School Student Art Show, Tree of Lights Ceremony, and the annual Holiday Parade of Lights. Also check out Beneath the Village Wreath in nearby Morton, Nov. 17-19507-637-2828507-697-6912

Nov. 18, Harmony
Holiday Fest Art, Craft and Gift Expo
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at the Holiday Fest Art, Craft and Gift Expo featuring a variety of handcrafted and brand name goods buy more than 50 vendors in 2 gyms, along with performances and a fashion show. Fillmore Central School. 507-886-2469

Nov. 18, Austin
Hormel Historic Holiday Open House Soup with Santa and Holiday Open House Soup & Spirits
This fun family event features a tour of the elegant home of the George A. Hormel family stylishly decorated for Christmas, and the opportunity to enjoy soup with Santa. That evening, tour the 1871 home all decorated for the season, and enjoy soup and appetizers. Cash bar will be available. Hormel Historic Home. 507-433-4243

Nov. 24, New Ulm
Parade of Lights
New Ulm welcomes Santa to town during the 29th Annual Parade of Lights. Featured are over 60 brightly lit units with thousands of twinkling lights traveling through historic downtown New Ulm all decked out with Christmas trees and garland. Children of all ages will delight in this event! While in New Ulm, check out all of the sales and specials offered by downtown merchants. 507-233-4300

Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, Mankato 
Kiwanis Holiday Lights
This year’s attractions include a display of over 1.5 million LED lights, animated light displays, skating rink and warming house, horse-drawn wagon rides, Santa Claus, live reindeer, ice sculptures and more at Sibley Park. And don’t miss the Kiwanis Holiday Lights Opening Parade on Friday, Nov. 24 beginning with a brief lighting ceremony. Mound Ave. to Rogers St. to Sibley Park. 507-385-9129

Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, Owatonna
Hometown Holiday Weekend
Start the holiday season with the Hometown Holiday Weekend and enjoy a weekend filled with events and activities for the entire family! Highlights include Christmas in the Village at the History Center and Village of Yesteryear, and Historical Holiday House Tours with live music and cookie decorating. 507-451-7970

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Oct. 28 – Dec. 30, Minneapolis
The Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Show
The Dinner Detective is a unique, high-energy interactive murder mystery dinner theater experience that combines an engaging modern-day whodunit with a full four course meal. Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown. 866-496-0535

Nov. 4-18, Minneapolis
Healthy Life Expo
This is the largest health, wellness and fitness show in the Upper Midwest with nearly 200 local and national exhibitors showcasing everything to help you look and feel your best. Visitors will also enjoy the many speakers, seminars and demonstrations on three stages. Minneapolis Convention Center. 952-238-1700

Nov. 17, Prior Lake
Jeff Foxworthy
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy brings his all-American humor to the Mystic Showroom. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. 952-496-6563

Nov. 17-19, Chanhassen
Rainy Days & Mondays: The Music of the Carpenters
Don’t miss this stellar tribute to The Carpenters, the biggest selling soft-rock group of the ’70s. Aimee Lee, the quintessential “Karen,” is backed by 12 musicians and back-up singers who perfectly re-create the classic Carpenters sound. Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. 952-934-1525

Nov. 17-19, Blaine
Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo
If you’re itching to start the ice fishing season, attend the Hard Water Fishing Expo at the National Sports Center in Blaine where exhibitors will showcase the latest ice fishing gear including rods, reels, tackle, shelters, wheelhouses, sleds and more. Also enjoy seminars from your favorite Clam Ice Team pros. National Sports Center. 763-785-5601

Nov. 17-19, Stillwater
Christmas at the Courthouse Gala & Bazaar
Experience the splendor of the holiday season at the 25th Annual Christmas at the Courthouse! Indulge the senses at the Friday evening Gala Preview event and sample wine, beer, and light hors d’oeuvres from local vendors while getting a sneak peek at the holiday bazaar. Bring the family on Saturday and Sunday to shop for the perfect gift at the Holiday Bazaar, purchase locally made treats at the Holiday Bake Shop, listen to live music, and take free photos with Santa in his workshop. Washington County Historic Courthouse. 651-275-7075

Nov. 17-19, Minneapolis
Harvest Jam Acoustic Music Experience
This indoor music festival features numerous groups performing bluegrass, old-time stringband and related forms of acoustic music. Enjoy nightly stage shows, a Saturday afternoon band contest, Saturday banquet dinner, Saturday band development workshops, open mic in Kips Irish Pub, Sunday morning gospel show, and jams sessions throughout! Marriott Minneapolis West in Golden Valley. 800-635-3037

Nov. 22 – Dec. 30, Waconia
Spirit of Winter Solar Powered Holiday Light Show
The Spirit of Winter is a fabulous light show with synchronized music and animated displays. All ages are welcome to attend and stroll through our grounds and 12 attractions. The Winery at Sovereign Estate. 952-446-9957

Nov. 22 – Dec. 31, St. Paul
Christmas Traditions Guided House Tour
Discover holiday celebrations of the past through the stories of those who lived and worked on Summit Avenue, including excerpts from Hill family letters and journals and rare historic photographs of the neighborhood. James J. Hill House. 651-297-2555

Nov. 24-26, St. Paul
Hmong New Year
This annual three-day celebration of the Hmong culture includes great food, dance, live entertainment, a beauty pageant, awards ceremony, special guests and fun community interaction. St. Paul RiverCentre. 651-265-4800

Nov. 24 – Dec. 23 (Thursdays through Sundays), Minneapolis
Holidazzle
Highlights include Holidazzle Fireworks Displays, Holidazzle Movie Nights, Kid Zone, visits with Santa Claus, skating, interactive and illuminated Art Wolf and Moose installations, daily entertainment on the Holidazzle Stage, and great food, drink and merchandise vendors. Loring Park. 612-376-7669

Upcoming Twin Cities’ concerts and performances:
Jeff Foxworthy at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Nov. 17
PJ Masks Live: Time to Be a Hero at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Nov. 17
REO Speedwagon at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Nov. 17
Trevor Noah at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Nov. 17
Halsey: Hopeless Fountain Kingdom at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Nov. 18
Kansas – The Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour at the Historic State Theatre, Nov. 18
Lee Brice at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Nov. 18
A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage at the Ames Center, Nov. 19
The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Historic State Theatre, Nov. 21-22
Waitress at the Orpheum Theatre, Nov. 21-26
A Perfect Circle at the Xcel Energy Center, Nov. 25
Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Touring) at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Nov. 25 – Dec. 3
Katy Perry – Witness the Tour at the Xcel Energy Center, Dec. 1
The New Standards at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Dec. 1
Monster Jam at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Dec. 2
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Dec. 2
Brain Candy Live with Adam Savage & Michael Stevens at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Dec. 3
KDWB’s Jingle Ball: Fall Out Boy & Guests at the Xcel Energy Center, Dec. 4
Evanescence – Synthesis Live with Orchestra at the Historic State Theatre, Dec. 5
Lindsey Stirling – Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Dec. 7
Marvel Universe Live – Age of Heroes at the Xcel Energy Center, Dec. 7-10
Loverboy and Night Ranger at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Dec. 8
NEEDTOBREATHE – All The Feels Tour (Acoustic) at the Historic State Theatre, Dec. 8
The Blenders 2017 Holiday Soul Tour at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, Dec. 8-10
Celtic Thunder – 2017 Symphony Tour at the Historic State Theatre, Dec. 9
Joe Biden’s American Promise Tour at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Dec. 9
Tonic Sol-Fa: I Still Believe Tour at the Ames Center, Dec. 12
The Phantom of the Opera at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, Dec. 13-31
The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Dec. 15
Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy at the Historic State Theatre, Dec. 15-23
Terry Fator at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Dec. 16
Tickets available through Eventful or Ticketmaster

Central Minnesota

Nov. 18, Little Falls
The Marketplace
The Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace is an indoor, year-round market that connects local food vendors and artists with residents and tourists. This month’s Marketplace will spotlight the Latino culture with growers, makers, artists and performers. Crestliner Building. 320-412-3081

Nov. 18, St. Cloud
Made in Minnesota Expo
Discover all the great featured businesses who are based out of Minnesota or who produce their products right here in Minnesota. This is also a great holiday shopping opportunity as many of the businesses will have products for sale. Get a free photo souvenir from the Social Expressions Selfies photo booth, sample items from various vendors such as beer and hot dish! River’s Edge Convention Center. 320-257-7224

Nov. 18-19, Onamia
Ojibwe Mitten 2-Day Workshop
Learn techniques of working with leather to make a pair of Ojibwe-style mittens during this two-day workshop. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided both days. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. 320-532-3632

Nov. 24 – Dec. 3, Little Falls
Little Falls Christmas Tours
Start your holiday season in Little Falls with 4 fabulous Christmas tours. Check out the Linden Hill Mansion with a “Let there be Peace on Earth” theme, the Rosenmeier Home with a “Nutcracker” theme, and self-guided tours of the Musser and Weyerhauser mansions. Step back in time with a costumed interpreter and experience the holidays of 100 years ago at the Charles A. Lindbergh House, and don’t miss over 30 decorated trees and holiday displays at the Minnesota Fishing Museum. 320-616-4959

Nov. 25, Wadena 
Christmas Festival
This one day Christmas Festival features roughly 100 crafters and vendors, live music, great food, a special visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus, and carriage rides. Wadena Elementary School Gymnasium. 218-632-7704

Dec. 2-3, Onamia
Sweetgrass Basket 2-Day Workshop
Learn the art of making a coil sweetgrass basket in this two-day workshop. Sweetgrass is a fragrant sacred herb used in ceremonies and artwork by the Ojibwe. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided on both days. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. 320-532-3632

Northwest Minnesota

Nov. 15 – Jan. 28, Bemidji
Fur Trade in Minnesota
Hundreds of years ago, Minnesota played a key role in the fur trade, which stretched across five continents. This traveling exhibit, rich with activities and objects, shows how plentiful furbearers brought together native people, explorers and international trade. Visitors to the exhibit can lift a 45-pound Voyageur’s pack, learn how the fur trade shaped Ojibwe art and discover how beaver pelts could be transformed into sleek, stately hats that were all the rage among wealthy Europeans. Beltrami County Historical Society. 218-444-3376

Nov. 17, Detroit Lakes
Minnesota Music Coalition- The Belfast Cowboys, Jadyn James and Big Wave Dave & the Ripples
Hear some of Minnesota’s best up-and-coming artists through the Minnesota Music Coalition music series, Caravan du Nord. Historic Holmes Theatre. 218-844-7469

Nov. 18, Moorhead
Pangea – Cultivate Our Cultures
The 23rd Annual Pangea – Cultivate Our Cultures event embraces the diverse cultures of the area through a wide variety of cultural performances, samples of delicious foods, and information about friends’ and families’ backgrounds. In between, visit vendors selling world goods, explore our museum exhibitions, and get to know the fantastic diversity of the community. The Hjemkomst Center. 218-299-5511

Nov. 24-25, Walker
Festival of Lights Parade and Reindeer Ramble
During the Festival of Lights enjoy a parade, the lighting of the city, Reindeer Ramble run, children’s party, horse and wagon rides, Holiday Pow Wow, and more in downtown Walker. 218-547-1313

Nov. 25, East Grand Forks
North Country Fiddle & Dance Fall 2017 Series
The North Country Fiddle and Dance Community Dance Series presents The O’Neils with reels, jigs, circles and squares, all taught to live music. East Grand Forks Eagles Club. 218-45-9111

Dec. 2, Ulen
Sinatra & Company: “That Holiday Feeling”
“That Holiday Feeling” by Sinatra & Company is a fun-filled variety holiday show featuring the talents of award-winning vocalist Tim Patrick, accomplished singer and producer Colleen Raye, and top-notch big-band vocalist Debbie O’Keefe. Each brings their own brand of talent and charisma to the stage. You’ll hear wonderful renditions of your holiday favorites put to music by musical director Todd Matheson and the 10-piece Blue Eyes Band. Ulen-Hitterdal School. 218-596-8853

Northeast Minnesota

Nov. 15 – Dec. 26, Duluth
Bentleyville “Tour of Lights”
Come see Bayfront Festival Park on the shores of Lake Superior as it has been transformed into America’s largest free walk through light show! Visitors will be amazed at the magical atmosphere of lights and holiday music floating through the air. One of the main attractions is the animated 12-story steel Christmas tree and ball which is covered with over 150,000 sparkling LED lights! Also enjoy free admission, free visits with Santa Claus, cookies, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and popcorn! Bayfront Festival Park. 218-740-3535

Nov. 17-19, Grand Marais
Winterer’s Gathering & Arctic Film Festival
Celebrate the crafts, customs, landscape, history and stories of winter travel and traditional life ways in the North with more than a dozen winter courses, artic films, winter tent camp, gear swap, dancing, speakers, Coldsnap Poetry Slam, Deep Freeze Chili Feed, Snowshoe Shuffle, and more! North House Folk School. 218-387-9762

Nov. 18, Chisholm
Artisan Market: Crafts to Crops
A variety of local artisans will be selling home decor, candles, knitted items, kitchen towels, photography, and much more during Artisan Market: Crafts to Crops. Free admission with a non-perishable food item. Minnesota Discovery Center. 218-254-7959

Nov. 18 – Jan. 7, Duluth
A Glensheen Christmas
A Glensheen Christmas Classic Tour is your chance to explore the mansion decked out for the holidays with more than 25 Christmas trees and hundreds of feet of garland. Start your experience in the Carriage House before making your way to the mansion where the tallest of Glensheen’s Christmas trees proudly towers beyond the first floor. Challenge yourself to find all the hidden elves while Christmas music envelops the living room. In the kitchen, sample a Christmas cookie recreated from Clara’s very own recipe. Finish your tour by exploring the grounds of Glensheen. On Dec. 2-3, also enjoy Duluth Winter Village with more than 30 local businesses set up in wooden cabins lining the grounds of Glensheen, along with local food, beer, music, live animals and children’s activities, fire pits and s’mores! Glensheen Mansion. 218-726-8910

Nov. 23 & 25, Ely
Northwoods Partners Festival of Trees & Small Town Christmas & Ely’s Holiday Parade
The 15th Annual Festival of Trees transforms the lobby of the Grand Ely Lodge into a winter wonderland. The Festival of Trees opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening with the Lighting Ceremony, refreshments & entertainment. The festival also includes a Christmas Boutique with a wonderful selection of handmade gift items, Memorial Balls, and a silent auction for decorated trees and wreaths. While in Ely on Nov. 25, kick-off the holiday season with a parade, City Tree Lighting, hot cocoa or cider, cookies, carolers and activities in Whiteside Park. 218-365-6565, 218-365-6123

Nov. 25, Duluth
Native American Heritage Day at the Depot
November is Native American Heritage Month. Check out the exhibit Why Treaties Matter, and enjoy children’s activities such as loom beading and basket construction, speakers, fry bread, and a performance by the Cedar Creek Drum Group out of Fond du Lac. Great Hall at the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center & Depot. 218-733-7583

Dec. 2, Grand Rapids
Christmas in the Logging Camp & Winterglo Festival
The Forest History Center’s recreated 1900s logging camp comes to life under a blanket of snow during this annual event. Join the camp crew as they prepare for Christmas with choral singers, storytellers, sleigh rides, hot chocolate, cider and more. Bring your camera to get your picture taken with Santa. And don’t miss Grand Rapids Winterglo Festival held Dec. 2-3 in downtown Grand Rapids. Festivities include Breakfast with Santa, Bethany Lutheran Church Holiday Bazaar, Granny’s Attic, Christmas Craft Marketplace, bingo, live music, and much more! 218-327-4482, 218-326-9607

 

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