Winter Trails Day 2017 @ Fort Snelling State Park

With warm spring like temps lined up for the weekend, it’s a great time to enjoy the Winter Trails Day 2017 @ Fort Snelling State Park.  Taking place on Saturday January 21st from 11-4pm.

Join us for Winter Trails Day 2017! This annual tradition is a day of fun, free winter activities. Partners from the National Park Service, REI, Minnesota DNR, U.S. Forest Service, and others will come together to provide a range of activities to help you make the most of the season. Try ice-fishing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, quinzee building, and much more!

This event is free and open to everyone, however Minnesota State Parks require a vehicle permit – $5 for the day or $25 for the year.

2017 Minneapolis Boat Show Ticket Giveaway

With the slight warm-up in the weather this week, it’s the perfect time to start dreaming about spring and attend the Minneapolis Boat Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center January 19-22.

As always, the event is full of education and family-friendly events including:

  • NEW! Cruising the Water with Wings Financial Credit Union, an immersive experience featuring the Minnesota Wine Experience with wine tastings from three top Minnesota cold-climate wineries and Cruisin’ Cuisine with boat cooking demonstrations from three of the Twin Cities’ most popular chefs (1/20 and 1/21).
  • Free daily seminars on a variety of topics that will help you stay safe and make the most of your time on the water, including the popular Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center for DIYers looking to learn how to repair and maintain their boats.
  • Antique Boat & Classic Boat Display, a fan favorite returning this year with an impressive display of antique and classic boats from old wooden beauties to quirky crafts from days gone by.
  • Boating Skills Virtual Trainer, which allows you to take the helm of a virtual boat and sharpen your driving, docking and other important skills.
  • Contests and giveaways each day of the show, including a chance to win a new Sea-Doo Spark!

2017 Minneapolis Boat Show Info:

When: Thursday, January 19, 2pm–9pm
Friday, January 20, 12pm–9pm
Saturday, January 21, 10am–9pm
Sunday, January 22, 10am–5pm

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tickets: Tickets are regularly priced at $14 for adults and free for children 15 and under with paid adult. Active military are free with ID. Senior Day is Thursday, January 19, where 62+ ticket price is $11. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or onsite the day of the show.

For more information about the Progressive Insurance 2017 Minneapolis Boat Show, visit You can also follow the show on Twitter, Facebook andInstagram. Look for the hashtag #MPLSBoatShow!

Minneapolis Boat Show 2015

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win four (4) tickets to the 2017 Minneapolis Boat Show. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 1/19/17. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dive-In Movie Night – Shoreview Community Center

Dive-In Movie Night - Shoreview Community Center

It’s almost time to find your swimsuit and head to the Shoreview Community Center for their Dive-In Movie Night.  It takes place this Friday January 20th from 7-9pm.

Join your friends and family at the Tropics Indoor Waterpark for a Dive-In Movie Night! Guests can relax on giant sea creatures or lounge on pool-side chairs while watching a family-friendly movie. No need to register; the purchase of a daily pass the day of the movie is your ticket. Free for members! Due to licensing restrictions, we are unable to advertise the movie title on our Facebook page; please call 651.490.4750 for movie title. Join us for our next Dive-In Movie on March 3, 2017!

Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Ralph Reeder food shelf and receive one free glow stick per family member*! (*While supplies last, limit one per person)

Daily Pass Rates:
$10 per adult (18+)
$9.25 per youth (1-17)
Additional rates online:

Please note: Pool capacity is limited to 300 guests.


Winterfest at River Bend Nature Center

River Bend Nature Center

It’s time to celebrate Winter!  Winterfest takes place at the River Bend Nature Center near Faribault, Saturday January 21st.  Hours are from 1-4.  Activities include:  live animal shows, crafts, games, an opportunity to try out kicksleds or snowshoes and more. There is a small admission of $7 (max of $27 per family).  Lot’s of fun to be found for all ages.

River Bend Nature Center

Join us as we celebrate the winter season at River Bend Nature Center. Try out snowshoes, kicksleds, enjoy the St. Olaf College Carolers, live animal shows, games, crafts, s’mores, popcorn, and cocoa and more! $7 a person; max $25/family. RBNC members: $5 a person or max $20/family.






Honoring the Life of Martin Luther King Jr. Tomorrow.


Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  There are several events taking place, we will highlight just a few that are open to all and no pre-registration needed.

One of the events “Guide My Feet”, held at Luther Seminary in St. Paul begins at 8:30am.  It includes several keynote speakers, a worship service as well as a community lunch.  You can find more specifics here about the free event.

An evening event in Minneapolis begins at 7:30.  World premiere of “The Man Behind the Dream,” a music and spoken-word piece that celebrates the work of gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, a mentor to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. By One Voice Mixed Chorus and featuring T. Mychael Rambo and Aimee K. Bryant. 7:30 p.m. at South High School, 3131 S. 19th Ave., Minneapolis. Free.

If you live in other areas of MN or unable to get to any of the public events, there’s an on-line, live streaming event as well. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast, an event that includes several keynote speakers and authors will broadcast on starting at 8am.




Snowman Making Contest and Concert


With a lot of kids out of school on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. day, you might be looking for something for them to do? The Snowman Making Contest & Concert at the Silverwood Park, located in St. Anthony sure sounds like a fun idea.   Think of all the fun creative types of snowmen, snow-women, perhaps even an animal or monster that they could make!  The bonus is, it’s a free event.  Just need some creativity and whatever tools you need to bring that creativity to life!

Creatively build a snowman, snow-woman, or snow monster. Bring shovels, props, and natural materials to accessorize. Enter as a team or individual. Judging at 3:00 PM; certificates and trophies awarded at 3:30 PM. Enjoy marshmallow roasting and an indoor concert with Bunny Clogs after. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.


January Adult Night Out at the Zoo

Adult Night Out at the Zoo

A night out with the animals?  Without the sound of kids?  Almost unheard of, however occasionally the the MN Zoo hosts an adult night out.  The January event is coming up on the 21st.  It takes place from 4:30-7pm.  A great date night idea, or perhaps just quiet time to wander the zoo.  If photography is your thing, this would be a great time to get some shots of all those critters.  You can purchase $10 tickets here (free for zoo members).


Saturday, January 21, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
18+ to attend, 21+ to drink (no exceptions)

Explore a grown-up, kid-free version of the Minnesota Zoo after hours and enjoy cocktails and keeper talks.  Discovery Bay and the Tropics Trail will be open along with Animal Encounters at 5:00 & 6:00 p.m.

$10 admission (free for members); food and beverage available for purchase.



Whistler Soda Launch Party!


We first wrote about Minnesota made Whistler Soda, about a year ago when they had an open house in Forest Lake.  Whistler Soda now has a new home, located in Spring Lake Park, at the Blue Sun Soda Shop.  To celebrate the move, they are hosting a Whistler Soda Launch Party.  It takes place this Saturday, January 14th from 10-8pm.

Come Celebrate Whistler Sodas new home!
See a 1952 Dixie Bottling machine in action making Minnesota’s ONLY returnable bottle soda!
All Day long we will have:
– Free Whistler Soda Tastings. 40 Flavors!
– Tour the OPERATING Bottling Line and learn about making soda.
– Free Pinball
– Free Popcorn
– Bottle for a Buck! Whistler Soda discounted to just 99 cents a bottle Saturday ONLY. No limit on how many you can grab. (Deposit on bottle still applies)
– AND Only $20 a full case!(24 bottles) Mix and match all the flavors you want!
– Billy The Soda Jerk will be here

Saturday at the Soda Factory


National Skating Month Free Skating Event


January is National Ice Skating Month.  What better way to celebrate, then to go Ice Skating.  The Burnsville Ice Center is hosting a celebration tomorrow, January 8th from Noon-1:30.  Free admission, discounts on skate rental, and activities for the whole family.

Sunday, January 8

Come celebrate National Skating Month at the Burnsville Ice Center on Sunday, January 8, from Noon – 1:30pm. Besides FREE admission and discounted skate rental, we will also offer free mini private lessons for new skaters on a first come first served basis. Also, the Burnsville MN Valley Figure Skating Club will be here and will host a small exhibition that will highlight some of their skaters and Synchro teams at the beginning of the event!

Ice Skates

Free Advance Screening: 20th Century Women

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How about fighting this cold by escaping to a great movie?? You have the opportunity to see the movie 20th Century Women, staring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning.  The movie comes out on January 13th, but there will be a preview showing on Thursday January 12th, at the Landmark Lagoon Theatre. You can download passes here (while supplies last).  Be aware that you should arrive a little early as these events tend to fill up and it’s first come first serve seating.


With 20th Century Women, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills (the Academy Award®- winning Beginners) brings us a richly multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time, and the connections we search for our whole lives. Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor. 20th Century Women is a poignant love letter to the people who raise us – and the times that form us – as this makeshift family forges fragile connections that will mystify and inspire them through their lives.