Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum of MN

Credit: Science Museum of MN

Are your kids off from school Monday?  Bring them to the Science Museum of MN for a behind the scenes day.  It’s a rare day when the Collections Vault will be open and activated by museum staff and volunteers giving the public access to objects not normally on display.  It takes place from noon to 4 and is included with the regular museum admission.

Monday, February 20th Highlights

  • See objects not on display, including the museum’s collections of archaeology, ethnology, paleontology, and biology
  • See a real “jackalope” that is part of the collection
  • Test your knowledge about lakes in Minnesota
  • Learn about the museum’s seed collection
  • Discover how animals are preserved for future study
  • Notice details on insects you have never observed before
  • Hear about new Science Museum archaeology projects
  • Develop theories on who made fossilized footprints
  • View objects that depict mythical creatures
  • And so much more!

Free Wednesdays at ASI in February

Have you ever been to the American Swedish Institute?  I was just there for the first time recently and it should be on everyone’s list as a must see.  First the architecture itself is something to notice, with the very well orchestrated blend of old and new.  I especially enjoyed, the Cows Can Dream exhibit that is currently on display.

Typically there’s an admission fee to go through the museum and exhibits, the next two Wednesdays you can get in free.

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2017 –10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017 –10:00am to 8:00pm

The American Swedish Institute is offering FREE admission on four Wednesdays throughout February from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., starting February 1 and continuing February 8, 15 and 22, 2017.  The ASI hopes to increase public and neighborhood access to its new 2017 Migration, Identity and Belonging exhibitions.

Among these is Where the Children Sleep, an exhibition of haunting photographs and stories of Syrian refugee children by award-winning Swedish photojournalist Magnus Wennman on view through March 5.

Other related exhibitions currently on display include Swede Hollow, an installation based on prize-winning author Ola Larsmo’s best-selling Swedish novel that imagines immigrant life at this St. Paul site; The Stories They Toldwhich animates the narrative of figure wood carving; and Green Card Voices, sharing contemporary Nordic immigrant stories. Cows Can Dream, the ASI’s new imaginative Youth and Family Gallery exhibition/installation inspired by Sam the cow in Maria Bajt and Jason Diakité’s children’s book, encourages creativity and discovery.

 

Franconia Valentine’s Sculpture Pour

The Franconia Sculpture Park located near Shafer MN is hosting a Valentine’s Sculpture Pour.  It takes place this coming Saturday, February 11th from noon to 5pm. There is no admission fee to attend.  A unique event, you’ll be able to witness the process of art taking shape.

Join Minnesota iron artists for a real fire and ice event for 2017! Each winter, Minnesota artists crawl out of hibernation and join Franconia for an outdoor iron pour. Bring your sweetheart, potential sweetheart, or the whole family for this free event. Warm yourself by the bonfire and witness the drama of experienced artists pouring molten iron into prepared molds. It’s the perfect antidote for the winter blahs!

Come to the park on February 11th with your loved ones and some hot cocoa for a special event totally worth braving the cold for. You can warm your hands by the fire or on your freshly poured sculpture! We will offer two behind the scenes tours so you can understand the process of casting iron on a deeper level as well as a Q & A booth with participating iron artists!

NEW this year– Nordic Waffles will be attending the event to serve up their delicious hot waffles, coffee, and hot chocolate! Keeping you warm and alert in addition to satisfying your sweet tooth! Follow this link to their website to see more nordicwaffles.com

 

Victorian Poetry Slam at the James J. Hill House

A Victorian Poetry Slam?  Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?  It takes place at the historic James J. Hill house next Tuesday, February 14th.  It begins at 7pm and you can purchase tickets on their website. Most of the events at the Hill house do fill up, so I suggest you make your reservations soon if you plan to attend.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day the old-fashioned way by enjoying classic 19th century poetry in the James J. Hill House drawing room. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson and Ann Daly, wearing 1890s eveningwear, will perform a wide range of humorous and stirring poems by Dickinson, Poe, Longfellow, Browning and more dealing with love, romance, temperance, sports and war—even poems about James J. Hill! Audience members are also invited to bring a short Victorian poem to read aloud throughout the evening.

 

Evenings at the Bakken

The upcoming Evenings @ the Bakken Museum event is for those 21 and over.  A time to try various experiments, and enjoy some food and beverages without the sounds of little feet and tiny voices around.  The theme for the event is Hot + Cold, for cool science and hot drinks.  It takes place this Thursday, February 9th from 5:30-9pm.  You can read more about this fabulous museum and also purchase tickets for the event on the website.

What better way to stay warm in these cold winter months than with good friends, cool science, and warm drinks! Join us for “Hot + Cold” on Thursday, February 9th as we explore what makes our hearts warm up or our heads cool off in this season of love and chills.

  • Get your blood moving as you use BEAP to make music with your body
  • Make interactive Thermochromic art
  • Uncover the beautiful unique details in snowflakes under a microscope, and see some early history of the micro world from The Bakken’s vault
  • Try your luck with the Crackle Box Love Meter
  • Create your own batik wax heart with Becka Rahn
  • Bust a move with Oscar the Robot
  • Chill out with some dry ice experiments

With Pizza by the Slice from Hello Pizza, lovely sweets from Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe, and a selection of beer, wine, or a signature warm cocktail, you won’t want to miss this event!

 

Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake

Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake Minnesota

One of my favorite winter events begins this weekend, the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake.  Apparently it’s been happening for several years.  Our girls and I decided to check it out last year, to see just what “Art Shanty” actually meant.  What we discovered is something that’s hard to explain in just a few sentences.  We found art, music, adventures, exercise, fun, and laughter all on the ice of White Bear Lake.  There were several art shanties, each one truly had an identity all it’s own, and each one welcomed us with a very individual style.  We played music on the ice, we tasted some very unique MN tea, we created art, we listened to stories, we rode in a giant bear with at least 10 other people and much much more.  We had a magical day on the ice and I hope all of you can check out the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake.   It begins this weekend and as long as the weather cooperates it will take place every Saturday and Sunday, February 4-26, 10am-4pm.

A few tips if you decide to visit the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake:

  1. Dress warm, layers if possible.  You’ll be on a lake and sometimes the wind is very different than what you think it will be.
  2. Wear comfortable but yet warm boots.  Again you will be on the ice, but also walking around.  This is MN, this is winter. 🙂
  3. There was a food truck last year, but I suggest also having some snacks with just in case there is a line.  Or if you are like us,   we sort of lost track of time going in and out of the Shanty’s so the snacks came in handy.
  4. Be prepared to wait for parking, there’s is a large parking lot but it still might take a bit.
  5. Keep an open mind.  There’s a list of the Shanty’s and it gives a description for each one.  We decided to be surprised with some of them and did not read anything, just walked up and opened the door.  Sort of like “What’s behind door #1”.
  6. GO and HAVE FUN.  It really is something everyone in MN needs to experience.

2017 ON-ICE PROGRAM

The 2017 On-Ice Program will once again be located in White Bear Lake, MN, where the frozen surface acts as host and backdrop to a wide range of actions, interventions, happenings, stories, songs, games and more. Shanty village is free and open to the public every Saturday and Sunday, February 4-26, 10am-4pm. Explore shanties, interact with performing artists, and complete the scene as Art Shanty Projects repurposes the area’s best amenity to reimagines traditional cultural practices to transform the landscape in expansive and exciting ways.

Hudson Hot Air Affair

Near the top of my bucket list is riding in a hot air balloon.  It will remain on my list for a while, it’s just in not quite in my budget. However, watching them is almost just as fun right?  Floating so carefree in the sky, especially when there’s a whole bunch of them at the same time. The Hudson Hot Air Affair, just on the Minnesota border, is an event where we can all enjoy watching hot air balloons.  The event takes place this weekend, February 3-5th.   You can find the complete schedule here on their website.

Hudson Hot Air Affair “Gone with the Windz”

Mark your calendar for the 28th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair on February 3-5. This year, with a bow to mother nature, we will celebrate the theme of “Gone with the Windz.” Hot air ballooning is dependent on favorable weather conditions and Mother Nature calls the shots, deciding if the balloons can go up in the air or they stay on the ground.

“Gone with the Windz” also brings to mind Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara against the backdrop of the American Civil War. This era shares rich history of early aviation with gas balloons, a predecessor to hot air balloons.

Hot Air Affair could not happen without the support of its eight year corporate sponsor WESTconsin Credit Union, as well as over 100 local balloon and event sponsors. For a complete listing of sponsors, please visit www.hudsonhotairaffair.com.

Hot Air Affair is the premier hot air balloon rally and winter festival in the Midwest and while the balloon launches are the main feature, there are many activities offered throughout the weekend, as well as several fun pre-events.

The pre-events include a photo contest throughout Hot Air Affair. On Jan. 21st there is a breakfast and kids crafts at Dicks Bar, and a countdown event at Family Fresh Market. On Jan. 23rd join the hot air balloon canvas party painting class at Belle Vinez (pre-register at birchbarkcreations@hotmail.com). County Market will celebrate Hot Air Affair on Jan. 28th with a pre-event, and on Jan. 29th Hot Air Affair will be at the Ice Castles in Stillwater, MN.

Hot Air Affair will kick-off with the “Gone with the Windz” Torchlight Parade at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3rd, which will be followed by a fireworks display at Lakefront Park sponsored by Andersen Windows. Friday also begins the Super Sale and Button instant prizes at participating Hudson businesses; geocaching; and live music at Urban Olive & Vine, Smilin’ Moose, Plaza Lounge, Plaza 94 and Dick’s Bar & Grill.

Saturday Feb. 4th events include: a 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. balloon launch (weather permitting); a pancake breakfast at the Masonic Temple; the Marketplace and Craft Fair; a geocaching demonstration; Up, Up and Away 5K Fun Run/Walk; the Science of Weather presentation; Octagon House Museum tours; crafts for kids with Veggie Races; smoosh boarding competition; and a pet costume contest at Angel’s Pet World. In the evening there is a Balloon Moon Glow or Field of Fire; a Hudson Boosters bingo fundraiser; Taste of Hot Air Affair “Gone with the Windz” fundraiser for Operation Help; live music; and more.

Sunday, Feb. 5th begins with a 7:30 balloon launch; at 1 p.m. Carpenter Nature Center presents “Soaring with the Windz;” and from 2-4 p.m. the Hudson Rod, Gun & Archery Club and St. Croix County Sportsmans Alliance will hold a free kids ice fishing derby on Lake Mallalieu.

All Hot Air Affair spectator events are free to attend. Some participation events require admission fees, tickets or pre-registration. For event details visit www.hudsonhotairaffair.com. For lodging or questions please contact the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau at 715-386-8411or visit www.DiscoverHudsonWI.com. Hudson Hot Air Affair is also on Facebook.

 

Laura’s 150th Birthday Celebration

Laura Ingalls Wilder would be 150 years old this year, and the museum in Pepin Wisconsin is hosting a birthday celebration.   Typically the museum is closed during the winter months, however it will open for a few hours on Saturday February 4th to host the event. As long as the weather cooperates it will take place from 12-4pm.   It’s suggested you check the facebook event page before going, just to make sure the weather doesn’t postpone it.

The museum will be open noon – 4pm, with food, birthday cake, and a performance on our reed organ. At the Little House Wayside, join us at 1pm for Laura’s traditional gingerbread and activities in the cabin.

 

 

Free Fun at the St. Paul Winter Carnival

There’s a ton of free fun at the 2017 St. Paul Winter Carnival, not only this weekend but into next week as well.   The great thing is, so far the weather is cooperating.  It’s not -30 below, so minimal layers will be needed to enjoy the fun.  My top picks focus on the family friendly events but there’s also things for those 21 and up.  You can find the full schedule here.

Parades: We usually go to at least one if not two of the parades.  It’s been a fun family tradition to bundle up and watch the winter fun pass by.  With three different parades, there’s sure to be one that fits your schedule.  It’s a toss up to say if we like the Grand Day Parade or the Torchlight better, both have their own fun.

Ice Carving Displays:  The Ice Carving Displays take place in Rice Park.  The talent that is shown each year is simply astounding. We try to see them at night when they are all lit up and take on a magic all their own.

Music:  There is a ton of music that takes places during the winter carnival.  Last year we didn’t check the schedule, but enjoyed some great music while we wandered Rice Park looking at the Ice Carvings.  You can find the Rice Park music entertainment schedule here.

Frozen Family Fun Night:  Next Tuesday January 31st is the Frozen Family Night.  From 5-8pm it’s all about the kids, with tons of fun to be had.

This is just a small glimpse of the fun to be had at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.  Check out the full calendar for all the fun to be had. Then find the things that work for your schedule.

 

 

 

Minnesota Children’s Museum MOA Pop-Up FREE Admission Sunday

Minnesota Children's Museum MOA Free Sunday

Have you visited the Minnesota Children’s Museum Pop-Up Museum at Mall of America yet? If not, you can visit tomorrow, free of charge! Thanks to the generosity of Target Corporation, admission is free every third Sunday of each month, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Minnesota Children’s Museum MOA Pop-Up Museum.

Due to the number of visitors on Target Free 3rd Sundays, they suggest leaving strollers at home or in the car. It’s more fun for everyone when there is more room to move around! For more tips on visiting the Museum on Target Free 3rd Sunday, visit their website.