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.


The Smurfs Around Town – St. Paul and at Mall of America

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Not only is there a new Smurf movie coming out in April, Smurfs: The Lost Village, but they’ll also be in town this weekend.  Yes, the fun, lovable, memorable Smurfs! You have two opportunities to see Smurfette, Hefty, and Brainy. Tomorrow, January 28th they’ll be at the Winter Carnival in St. Paul and on Sunday, January 29th you’ll have a chance to see them at the Mall of America. 

Saturday, January 28  12pm-6pm

Meet Smurfette, Hefty and Brainy at St. Paul Winter Carnival’s Grand Day in the Park. Stop by the SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE booth between 12pm-6pm for your chance to meet the characters & win fun prizes.


Sunday, January 29  12pm-4pm

Join us as we prepare for the upcoming, thrilling journey through the Forbidden Forest with SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE themed crafts & activities! Smurfette, Brainy & Hefty, characters from the film, will be available for photos, plus there will be face painting, giveaways, and more!


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.




Newly Opened Can Can Wonderland: Cocktails and Mini-golf

Photo from Can Can Website

With names like State Fair, Squirrel Scrambler, Blue Toad and Gramma’s Living Room, how could mini golf not sound more fun? It sounds a bit like an indoor version of Alice in Wonderland mixed with Minnesota Landmarks and an artistic flair that everyone is sure to love.  The Newly Opened Can Can Wonderland: Cocktails and Mini-golf is located in the midway area of St. Paul, not too far from Hamline University. It just opened a couple of days ago and I am super excited to try it out!

Pricing, per round

$12 – 12 years of age and up

$9 – Under 12 years of age, 62 years of age and up, Veterans

Can Can Wonderland is a mini golf course. We didn’t design it though. We asked the mini golf enthusiasts of the world to do that. We sent out a call for artists asking “What is the mini golf hole you have always wanted to play?” We received over 200 proposals from all over the country and as far away as Australia. A jury of talented architects, visual artists, fabricators, and electrical engineers helped us select the 18 mini golf holes to be built for our course, and we believe they are spectacular!

What is Can Can Wonderland?

Located in St. Paul’s Hamline Midway neighborhood and the Creative Enterprise Zone, Can Can Wonderland combines art and play to create a one-of-a-kind arts immersive environment for people of all ages to enjoy.

We offer a truly unique, 18-hole artist designed, indoor mini golf course. But Can Can Wonderland isn’t just mini golf; it’s a wonderland full of arts-based fauna and flora for you to explore and delight in! Our boardwalk is full of attractions and amusements (created by/with artists). Our two stages offer a wide array of local and regional talents. We have a couple bars…we might have a secret bar! We have noshes! We even have a few unicorns.

Building History

The oldest part of our building dates back to 1889 with additions added multiple times through the 1970s. For many years, the American Can Company operated in this sprawling complex and manufactured metal food cans for Carnation, Campbell’s Soup, Del Monte, American National Can, and others. In 1999, they won Canmaker magazine’s “Can of the Year” award for their two-piece Spam can.

Our name is a nod to the history of the building as well as the French populist art movement, Can Can.




Half Price Tickets for Hard-Hitting Roller Derby: North Star Roller Girls

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If you’ve never watched the North Star Roller Girls, now is your chance.  The Roller Derby is a great action packed sport to watch. The energy when they’re all racing around, is so much fun.  Plus, when tickets are such a good deal, it’s even more reason to check it out if you haven’t. Or if you’re already a fan, grab these tickets and mark your calender. These great half price, $6.50 per person tickets can be purchased on-line here.  The event takes place February 11th at 7pm.

Cheer on your favorite team when the North Star Roller Girls hit the track in fast-paced bouts. Powered by their impressive athleticism and spirited attitudes, these skaters serve up hard-hitting, exciting roller derby. Featuring a full bar, concessions, photo booth fun, face painting, balloon animals and the mascot Gnarly the Narwhal, the whole family can get in on the action at Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds in the Minneapolis area.

Symphony Free Family Concert Tomorrow


If you or your kids love music, reserve your tickets for tomorrow’s concert at the Ordway.  A perfect indoor event on a cold winter day.  The Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra’s Symphony and Philharmonia East Orchestra will join together for an hour long free concert.  It takes place from 2-3, tomorrow January 7th at the Ordway in St. Paul.  You can call or go online to reserve the free tickets, 651.291.1144 or

GTCYS joins forces with the SPCO to present a FREE family concert in the Ordway Music Theater! Why do composers write what they do? Join the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra’s Symphony and Philharmonia East orchestras and actor Dylan Fresco as they journey together to explore musical inspirations and interpretations of several orchestral masterpieces. Listen as we explore the Russian folktale of “The Firebird” that led to Igor Stravinsky’s masterful Suite of the same name, and a new piece by contemporary composer Michael Abels that draws inspiration from all around the world!

Free tickets are available through The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s ticket office at 651.291.1144 or

Music Notes




Land O’Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show


Big dogs, little dogs, furry dogs, tall dogs, short dogs, yes it times for the Land O’Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show.  It takes place this coming weekend Jan 6-8th, at the St. Paul RiverCenter.   You can find the schedule, admission information as well as parking suggestions here.  Looks like a great event that the whole family can enjoy. Watch dogs compete for Best in Show.


See live demonstrations of fun activities for you and your dog at the Unleashed 1.0 Dog Expo.
Meet the Breeds!
Partners in Performance will feature seminars on service dogs, therapy dogs, and more.
Visit the Ringside Market for all kinds of goodies for your dog.
Behind-the-scenes tours of the show will be offered every hour from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, free with the price of admission.
Once again, Partners in Performance will feature owners of search and rescue dogs, police dogs and assist dogs who will give 30-minute demonstrations on what makes their dogs unique.


2016 Bartz Snow Sculpture GRAND Opening


A few years ago is when I first, learned about the giant snow sculptures created by the Bartz family.  Each year the boys come up with something so amazing, you think they can’t possibly top it next year.  Not only do they create some amazing sculptures each year, they also take donations for Snow Sculptures for a Cause.  This year the money goes towards clean water in Malawi, Africa. The grand opening for this years sculpture takes place Saturday (December 31st) beginning at 12pm.  Located in New Brighton, you can find the address here

Join us for the unveiling of our newest snow sculpture! We will be outside to answer any questions. You are welcome to take pictures by the sculpture! Lights will be illuminating the sculpture until 11pm. Invite your friends, it will be fun :). We will be taking donations for clean water in Malawi, Africa. Hope to see you there 🙂



New Year’s Eve Candlelight Walk at Fort Snelling State Park


Are you still trying to decide, what you will do to bring in the New Year?  Perhaps a new tradition, or are you looking for something family friendly?  How about the New Year’s Eve Candlelight Walk at Fort Snelling State Park?  It takes place from 4-8pm on the 31st. It’s free, aside from the State Park admission of $5, unless you have a park pass.

Event details

event location map
Fort Snelling State ParkDate
Dec. 31, 2016Time
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Post Rd. off State Hwy. 5, just west of MSP International Airport.

Grab your family, pack your hat and mittens, and throw on your long-johns for a fun family-friendly New Year?s celebration in the park. Hike miles of candle-lit trails, warm up at one of several roaring bonfires, toast marshmallows and more! This annual event draws nearly 2000 hearty people each year despite frigid temperatures and wind chills. Please join us for a fun and unique way to celebrate 2016 and ring in 2017!

SAVE TIME! Get your vehicle permit in advance. Visit, log in (or create an account), click on “entry permit,” select a duration of “one-day” ($5) or “year-round” ($25), and continue as directed. You’ll receive an email with a permit that can be printed and displayed in your vehicle during your visit.


Holiday Saturdays at the MN History Center


Are you searching for a place to escape the cold weather, some place indoors?  Head to the Minnesota History Center for their Holiday Saturday event.  There will be art activities as well as music performances.  With three dates to choose from, hopefully one will fit your schedule.  December 17th, 24th or 31st.  The event and activities are all included in the admission price for the History Center.

Every Saturday during the holiday season enjoy crafting holiday cards, community concerts and a wintery StoryWalk around the History Center based on the MNHS Press book “North Woods Girl.”

  • Art activities: Noon-3 pm
  • Basilica of Saint Mary Mundus Choir performances (Sacred music from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia): run 45 minutes and begin at 1 and 3 pm

Plus, do your holiday shopping at the museum stores for uniquely Minnesota gifts, visit Market House by D’Amico for coffee and snacks at breakfast and a full menu at lunch, and explore the History Center exhibits, including the special exhibit Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Sat., Dec 24, 2016, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sat., Dec 31, 2016, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm