Taste of the Trail in Southern Minnesota

Taste of the Trail in Southern Minnesota

Fall is approaching and that means some fabulous festivals and events are ramping up a bit. Some of them require a bit of planning for lodging or scheduling so we will post in advance.  The Taste of the Trail in Southern Minnesota, takes places on three different Saturdays.  September 12th, 19th, and the 26th.  Several small quaint towns are taking part in this great event: Lanesboro, Perterson, WhalanFountain, Harmony, Preston, Rushford, Rushford Village, and Houston.  In each of these towns you can savor the “Taste of the Trail” on the Root River Trail System.  Taste of the Trail in Southern Minnesota

Taste of the Trail is similar to many “Taste of …“events in many towns all over the Midwest. In this case, the towns along the trail system are focusing attention on food together over the three Saturdays in September.

Taste of the Trail is designed to show off the abundance of food and activities in Southeastern Minnesota. Each town along the trail will include its own growers, producers, restaurateurs and artisans, offering samples of their products and goods. The towns will participate according to this schedule:

September 12, 2015: Lanesboro, Perterson, Whalan
September 19, 2015: Fountain, Harmony, Preston
September 26, 2015: Rushford, Rushford Village, Houston

The hours on each Saturday are 10 am – 3 pm. Sampling will take place at participating businesses and/or at a central location in each town.

From lefse in Rushford, to homemade pie in Whalan, trail enthusiasts will find a diverse variety of delightful, palate-pleasing tastes. Local talent and entertainers will showcase how to have a good time in the Trail Towns.

Taste of the Trail in Southern Minnesota

Weisman Guided Tour on Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm

Weisman Guided Tour on Saturday and Sundays at 1 pmThe twin cities area is home to some really fabulous museums. The Weisman art Museum is one of them. One of the great things about the Wiesman Art Museum is that it is free, no admission to get in. If you have not heard of it, or want to learn more, perhaps a Weisman Guided Tour on Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm would be a great thing for you to check out? Topics range from current exhibitions to the building architecture.Weisman Guided Tour on Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm

Housed in a striking stainless steel and brick building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Weisman Art Museum offers an educational and friendly museum experience. The museum’s collection features early twentieth-century American artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Marsden Hartley, as well as a diverse selection of ceramics and contemporary art. A teaching museum for the University of Minnesota and the community, the Weisman provides a fresh, engaging arts experience through an array of programs and a changing schedule of exhibitions. There’s always something interesting to see and do at WAM.

 

 

Super Saturdays at MN Transportation Museum

Super Saturdays at MN Transportation Museum

Do you, or perhaps someone in your family love trains?  If the answer is YES then there is a great place to go today.  Head over to Super Saturdays at MN Transportation Museum, located in St. Paul. Lots of things going on today from 10-4pm:

Every Saturday, you’ll find real caboose rides out our back door, metalsmith demos in our blacksmith shop, and free vintage bus city tours! And on select saturdays, we have free kids entertainment (with museum admission), and food trucks! (the website says the food truck today will be Natedogs)

Super Saturdays at MN Transportation MuseumThere is an admission charge and you can find the hours and prices for the event here.  Price on Saturday includes a ride in either an historic train with caboose, or classic bus (weather permitting)

Super Saturdays at MN Transportation Museum

Animals of the Night Event at Jeffers Petroglyphs, August 29th

Animals of the Night Event at Jeffers Petroglyphs, August 29th

It’s always great when we can find events that have little bit of history, nature and curiosity all together.  Sort of a something for everyone type of deal.  The Animals of the night event is tomorrow night (August 29th) at Jeffers Petroglyphs and is near Comfrey. I learned about this place when our daughter came home from school and mentioned it.  We have yet to make it to see this amazing place, but it is on our bucket list for when we wander over that way.  The event tomorrow night is from 5:30-9:30. There is a small charge of $5-7 unless you are a member of the Minnesota Historical Society, in which case it is free.

Take a guided tour of the carvings when they are best seen, as the sun begins to set at 6 pm. After the tour head to the Visitor Center for a 7:15 pm presentation about nocturnal animals and how they survive at night. The presentation will include a variety of hands-on activities. Following the presentation, guests can go on a twilight hike of the prairie (bring a flashlight!).

If you can’t go to the event tomorrow night, like our other fabulous parks in MN, this one has other events and regular hours for you to check it out.  Perhaps a guided tour is something of interest, and those are offered at various times as well.

Animals of the Night Event at Jeffers Petroglyphs, August 29th

One of the world’s most extraordinary collections of petroglyphs, made by the ancestors of today’s American Indians, is found in southwestern Minnesota on a rock outcropping surrounded by restored and native prairie. These rock carvings include images and symbols of humans, deer, elk, buffalo, turtles, thunderbirds, atlatls, and arrows. More than 5,000 individual petroglyphs have been inventoried, and they tell a story that spans more than 7,000 years.

Animals of the Night Event at Jeffers Petroglyphs, August 29th

Steamboat Minnehaha

Steamboat Minnehaha

I have always enjoyed old vehicles, the really old kind… the pre-1960 kind.  I didn’t grow up near a lake so I am not as familiar with boats,but recently I saw a picture of this boat, and I think it was the color that made me look twice. The fun bright yellow! It is called Steamboat Minnehaha and it travels on Lake Minnetonka  You can find the schedule and ticket prices here. Steamboat Minnehaha

Debuting in 1906 as an extension of the Twin Cities’ streetcar system, the Minnehaha provided fast and reliable transportation for the tourists and residents of Lake Minnetonka for nearly twenty years.

Rising popularity in automobiles caused for her scuttling in 1926, though, and for more than five subsequent decades, the Minnehaha lay forgotten at the bottom of the Lake.

That changed, however, in 1980, when a salvage team discovered her and raised her back to the surface.

Finally, after a complete restoration, the Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and has operated on Lake Minnetonka every season since.

The Minnehaha is currently owned, maintained and operated by the Museum of Lake Minnetonka, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization based in Excelsior, Minnesota. You can now sail aboard her on weekends and holidays throughout the summer and autumn seasons.

Steamboat Minnehaha

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Granparent’s Day Brunch

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Granparent's Day Brunch

This looks like it will be a fun event for grandparents and grandkids to enjoy together! Celebrate National Grandparent’s Day with a Hotel Transylvania 2 inspired Brunch at Firelake Grill in the Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis on Sunday, September 13th.

The special event will feature a Hotel Transylvania themed menu, crafting table and viewing of the first Hotel Transylvania movie! That way, if the grandparents happened to have missed the first movie, they will be all caught up to catch Hotel Transylvania 2 in theatres with the grandkids when it hits theaters September 25. We LOVED the first edition and can’t wait to see the new one next month!

Visit the Facebook event page for information. More details are on their way. Call (612) 216-3473 to make your reservations now!

Hotel-Transylvania-Photo-Bomb

Blue Groove Bluegrass Band tonight at Como Park Lakeside Pavilion

Blue Groove Bluegrass Band tonight at Como Park Lakeside PavilionThe weather is beautiful today, not too hot and not raining.  Would be a great night to get out and enjoy some music.  Perhaps the Blue Groove Bluegrass Band tonight (August 26th) at Como Park Lakeside Pavilion? It begins at 7pm and is FREE. If you can’t make it tonight the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion will be having events the next several nights. Check out the schedule here.

Blue Groove Bluegrass Band tonight at Como Park Lakeside Pavilion

Blue Groove is a bluegrass band that is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The band draws material from a number of past and current bluegrass artists. The Blue Groove sound leans towards a more contemporary vibe (Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent), while maintaining ties to traditional bluegrass and all of its drive, improvisation and harmony singing!

The band is made up of experienced veteran players and singers, as well as some new faces in the local bluegrass scene. The band members are Adelle Hyrkas, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Jim Krans, bass and vocals; David Smith, banjo and vocals; Michael Keyes, lead guitar, harmonica, and vocals; and Brent Fuqua, mandolin and vocals.

 

Tour the Faribault Woolen Mill

Factory Tours are something I have enjoyed doing ever since I was in college.  My first one was Celestial Teas in Colorado.  Since then we have toured an Ice Cream Factory, Candy companies, Beer Breweries, Dr. Pepper, Jelly Belly and even an Orange Juice company.  Some of the factory tours have been quite fascinating. While others I would say to go to only if you are close by, but not to make a special trip. Factory Tours can give a great glimpse of how they make their products and the behind the scenes of the company. Recently I discovered we can tour the Faribault Woolen Mill, located in the city limits of Faribault.  Faribault Woolen Mill has a long history as a MN company, and recently celebrated 150 years.

Tours of the Mill are available on Thursdays for small groups at 11:00am and 1:00pm. They fill up fast so in order to reserve a spot email info@faribaultmill.com or call 507-412-5534, at least two weeks in advance. Confirmation of reservation from us is required.

Tour the Faribault Woolen Mill

Are there any other factory tours in Minnesota that you can tell us about?  Would love to know about them, and perhaps highlight them on the thriftyminnesota website and Facebook page.

 

Orphanage Museum, Owatonna

Orphanage Museum, Owatonna

Our family stumbled upon this museum a few years ago when we were in Owatonna. The four of us learned some valuable history. The Orphanage Museum on the former grounds of Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children, located in Owatonna and is open for tours.  You can do an individual tour on your own at various times, or if you time it right, a volunteer will walk groups through Cottage 11. You can find the hours and dates the Museum is open here. Occasionally there are special events as well, authors, music etc. The next special event is September 12th, the Annual Lighting the Path Fundraiser.  There is no admission, but a suggested donation of $2 per person is appreciated. 

Orphanage Museum, Owatonna

There were 10,635 of them between 1886 and 1945. Kids orphaned or abandoned or abused and sent to Owatonna, Minnesota, home of the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children.

For some, it was a circle of hell; for others, a safe haven.

As the only known Orphanage Museum in the nation, the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum was founded to “Remember the Children.” Visit us to learn about the unique history of the school. Explore the Museum, historic Cottage 11, the Children’s Cemetery, and interactive campus to get a glimpse of what life was like for the children who called the orphanage their home.

Whether you schedule a guided group tour or choose a self-guided visit, you will find unforgettable history awaiting you in Owatonna.

 

Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, Today August 23rd

Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, Today August 23rd

I have not attended this event, however the pictures I have seen look absolutely stunning.  The event is the Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, today August 23rd, and the hours are from 3-9pm.  The full schedule of the event is located here.  There is a small admission charge: $5.00 per adult (13+), $3.00 per child (ages 3-12) and Seniors (ages 65+), free for children under 3.  Because of the large crowd expected for the event there is a free shuttle bus service available from a staffed off-site parking lot at the District Service Center located at 1930 Como Ave.

Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, Today August 23rd

– 3:00 Gates & Exhibits Open
– 3:30 Performances Begin
– 7:30 Bon Odori
– 8:00 Exhibits Close
– 8:15 Lantern Lighting
– 10:00 Last Shuttle Departs from Como Park

The Lantern Lighting Festival, the largest Japan-related festival in Minnesota, takes place in Como Park every August. Modeled after summer festivals held across Japan, it features stage performances, cultural demonstrations, activities, and, of course, Japanese food. The event is reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, an important cultural and family event. During this holiday it is said that ancestral spirits revisit their families for three days. Many people will return home to pay their respects at grave-sites, and often small paper lanterns are lit and floated down the river to guide ancestor’s spirits. The Obon Festival also features the Bon Odori, or folk dance, in which all are invited to join in the circle and dance.

The Como Park Lantern Lighting Festival incorporates traditions such as the Bon Odori with Minnesota culture to create new traditions. The festival is a collaborative effort between the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee (SPNSCC), the Japan America Society of Minnesota (JASM), and Como Park. By creating a fun event for all ages, we hope to share the experience with people who fondly remember festivals in Japan, and those who wish to experience one for the first time.