Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival

This Saturday is the 17th Annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival.  It takes place on the north end of the lake from noon-4.  You can choose to participate or just observe all the fun kites flying above.

The 17th Annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival will take place on the north end of Lake Harriet near the Lake Harriet Band Shell. Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet.

Minnesota Kite Society experts will demonstrate their skills maneuvering spectacular kites throughout the day, and offer their expertise to kite flying enthusiasts and to those who are new to the pastime. Bring your own kite, or buy an inexpensive one at the lake.

Tips Outdoors will teach kids ice fishing skills and safety tips. Equipment and permits for children will be provided.

2018 Hudson Hot Air Affair

Even though I’ve yet to actually ride in a hot air balloon, I love to watch them.  The 2018 Hudson Hot Air Affair takes place this coming weekend ( Jan 26-28).  A chance to see countless balloons all in one area.

The complete schedule of events can be found here on their website.  The weather can and many times does affect the schedule for balloons so make sure to check their website for updates.

2018 Hudson Hot Air Affair :: Touchdown Hudson XXIX

Join us in Hudson, Wisconsin along the beautiful St. Croix River for Hudson Hot Air Affair, the premier winter ballooning event and winter festival in the Midwest.  This family friendly event includes activities such as an evening Torchlight parade, hot air balloon launches, geocaching, marketplace and craft fair, smoosh boarding, 5K fun run, bingo, balloon moon glow or field of fire, just to name a few.

Please note due to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, the Hot Air Affair will be moved forward one week to January 26-28, 2018.

Join us for all the great fun to be had in  Hudson, Wisconsin.  Please view the 2018 schedule for a complete list of events and activities.



Minneapolis Public Art Tour

Public Art Tour Minneapolis

The Minneapolis area has a wide range of public art all around the city. Some, we walk by each and every day and don’t notice.  Other pieces are a bit more famous.  I bet you didn’t know there are approximately 300 individual pieces of public art to visit in Minneapolis!  Yes 300 just in Minneapolis, then if you add on the surrounding suburbs plus St. Paul that number jumps even more.

It doesn’t matter if you’re from here or just visiting, walking around the neighborhoods can be a great way to learn something new.  The City, and Park Board recently launched interactive maps for self-guided public art tours.  There are six different, self-guided tours to check out.  The best part is, it doesn’t cost anything to walk around.

You can pick any of the six tours here on their website, then follow the map and learn a little about the art around Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Public Art Tour

The City of Minneapolis has teamed up with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on six self-guided, interactive tours exploring public art. There are approximately 300 individual pieces of public art to visit in Minneapolis.

The interactive maps feature detailed information about each artwork and directions to the pieces. The maps also provide information on how long each tour will take for those who choose to bike, walk or drive.

To find out the number of artworks, featured artists and more, visit the Minneapolis Public Art Tour interactive website. Tour goers are encouraged to share their adventures using the hashtag #TourMplsArt.

2018 Art Shanty Projects

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Art Shanty Projects or maybe not.  The Art Shanty Projects have been happening for several years and have been on White Bear Lake.  This year for the first time, the Art Shanty Projects have taken up residence on Lake Harriet.  The Shanty Projects will be open for three weekends with January 20-21 being the first one and continuing the following two weekends (Jan 27-28 and Feb 3-4).  If you like to plan check out the schedule for each day here.

We’ve been to the Art Shanty Projects the last three years and each time loved it.  It’s a free event, which of course is a huge bonus.  The temporary village on the ice is really something you just need to experience first hand.   Each individual Shanty has it’s own story, brought to life in an interactive artistic form.

A few tips if you decide to visit the Art Shanty Projects:

  • 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.
  • Wear comfortable but yet warm boots.  Again you will be on the ice, but also walking around.  This is MN, this is winter.
  • Occasionally they have food truck options, but I suggest bringing some snacks with just in case.  Or like us last year, we sort of lost track of time going in and out of the Shanty’s so the snacks came in handy.
  • Plan ahead for parking, there’s also a free bus option if you go opening weekend.
  • 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”.
  • GO and HAVE FUN.  It really is something everyone in MN needs to experience.

Art Shanty Projects transforms a frozen lake surface into a creative community space that is part art gallery, part art residency and part social experiment. Thousands of people are drawn to our outdoor event during a time of year when weather often keeps residents isolated. The unpredictable wind-swept, snow-covered location challenges artists to generate platforms for unique experiences while contending with natural and human elements.

Past shanty artists have elicited public interactions around such varied activities and inspirations as stress-relieving practices in a geodesic dome, curling competitions, lively debate forums and soap-box proclamations, kinetsthetic pedal-powered polar bear puppet rides, a life-sized music box, a giant zoetrope, and an imaginative elevator ride. Artist-audience interactions have become integral to our mission.

In addition to the interactive multidisciplinary component of the shanties, programs of performance art happen throughout the four weekends of the festival. This work takes the form of multiple, smaller performances and interactions that are not necessarily tied to a particular shanty, sometimes take place withing a structure, and sometimes happen in and among the visitors walking on ice. Past programming has included creation of a living snow globe, ‘snowga’ (yoga in snowsuits), spontaneous a cappella singing on the ice and art car parades.

Winter Frolic – North West Company Fur Post

North West Company Fur Post Winter Frolic

This Saturday (January 20th) would be a great time to head to the North West Company Fur Post, located near Pine City.  The Fur Post is part of the Minnesota Historical Society.  The Winter Frolic event takes place from 12-4.  It’s supposed to be a bit warmer, so only minimal layers will be needed.  If you have a Historical Society membership, you can save 20% on admission to the event.

North West Company Fur Post Winter Frolic

Shake off the winter blues by heading outdoors at the fur post. Learn about winter travel during the fur trade and join in activities like throwing a curling stone, playing a round of Ojibwe snow snake, or snowshoeing along two miles of trails.

Guests can also relax indoors, enjoy a cup of cocoa before a blazing fire; watch the outdoors festivities from the visitor center and play period parlor games.


Winter Fete in Bloomington

It’s time for the the 14th annual Bloomington Winter Fete.  A family friendly winter celebration filled with a variety of activities.   It begins January 20 and goes through the 28th.

  • Skiing activities
  • Biking events
  • Ice Skating
  • Winter Kite Festival
  • History Festival

Check out the website for all the details.


GRAND Opening: Bartz Snow Sculpture

Mother Nature and a crazy amount of creativity make a great team in New Brighton. The Bartz family has been creating large snow sculptures in their front yard since 2012. These sculptures aren’t just large, they are gigantic.

The GRAND Opening: Bartz Snow Sculpture event takes place tomorrow January 16th.   This year’s sculpture will be a giant lobster. They’ve been asking for name suggestions on their FB page.  There’s no admission to view the sculpture, however the family appreciates donations. Each year the money raised goes towards clean water through the organization One Day’s Wages.

JOIN us for the unveiling of our newest snow sculpture on! A giant Snow Lobster! We will be outside to answer any questions! Lights will be illuminating the sculpture until 11 pm. Once again, we will be raising money for clean water through the organization One Day’s Wages. We would love to see you!!

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Free Admission Day

Tomorrow, January 15th is a Free Admission Day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  If you can’t make it tomorrow, mark your calendar, each third Monday of the month is a free admission day.

And, actually, ANY day this month is a great time to visit because they are offering Buy One, Get One Free Admission every day during January 2018 for non-members!

Located near Chanhassen, the Arboretum is a place to embrace each and every season.  The Arboretum offers a wide range of activities and classes for all ages, take a look at what they offer on their website.


Minnesota Landscape Arboretum History and Mission

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, a top visitor attraction, is more than 1,200 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie and woods and miles of trails. As a premier northern garden, the Arboretum was borne out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and established in 1958, with the Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, Minnesota State Horticultural Society and other community supporters creating the Arboretum as a gift to the University of Minnesota.

Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous

The 24th Annual Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous is coming up in Pequot Lakes.  The Rendezvous takes place January 18-20.  If you have an old sled, this is a great opportunity to join the fun. The event is free for spectators and more information can be found on the event website.

Central Park Ice Skating Loop: Maple Grove

Maple Grove Central Park Ice Skating Loop

One of our favorite things to do in the winter is ice skating.  We enjoy exploring different ponds and skating rinks.  It can be a great thrifty sport, especially if you own your own skates.  Skates can be found at thrift stores or check with friends and neighbors to see if they have skates collecting dust.

Some friends of ours recently moved to Maple Grove and told us about the Central Park Ice Skating Loop.  We’ve visited the park in the summer and loved it.  It’s now on our list to try the loop for skating in the winter. You can find more information here, on their website.

Do you have a favorite ice skating spot that we can try out?  We love to explore new places!