Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Upcoming The Abominables + Reader Ticket Giveaway!

Most of us will agree, we live in a hockey state. It’s one of, if not the most popular sport in Minnesota. The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s upcoming performance, The Abominables will bring the popular sport to the stage.  Just recently, we had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Abominables.  The Abominables will be a musical performance like nothing we’ve seen before.

The stage becomes an ice arena, taking on the appearance of many of the arenas around our state.  The wood beams look so much like real wood, you would be surprised to find out they aren’t.  The players will be skating during the performance, dressed in full hockey gear.  We had a tour of the prop shop, wig area as well as the costume area.  There are so many great things to see in this performance.  One actor will have at least four different roles, so we will see their hair magically change, to make this happen.  The suggested age for this performance is 8 and up, and I know I have a 13-year-old who is very excited to see it!

Minneapolis, Minn. – Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is proud to bring to the stage, the very first Minnesota hockey musical, The Abominables. Produced in association with New York City’s extraordinary theatre company The Civilians, the musical is written and directed by Steve Cosson with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and choreography by Joe Chvala. The musical was created over a four year period through CTC’s Threshold new play development program; the development of which included interviews with over 75 hockey players, coaches and family members across Minnesota at tournaments, games and practices. Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s performance of The Abominables runs from September 12 to October 15, 2017.

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win 4  tickets to Minneapolis Children’s Theatre’s upcoming performance, The Abominables. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm CT on 9/15/17. Good luck!

Children’s Theatre Company The Abominables Ticket Giveaway

Smurfs: The Lost Village Prize Pack Giveaway + See Them at the Twin Cities Color Run!

Good news for Smurfs fans! SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE is available on Vudu June 20th and on Blu-ray and DVD July 11th. To celebrate we are giving away a smurfy prize pack including a digital copy of the film, a lunchbox, and Little Bites! Also, be sure to catch the Smurfs at the Twin Cities Color Run Saturday, July 9!

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

While you enjoy watching SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE with your family at home, how about whipping up this yummy Smurfberry Pie Smoothie Recipe?  If you can’t get your hands on any smurfberries, feel free to substitute blueberries!


Make it a family movie night with the beloved blue creatures in the fully animated, all-new take on The Smurfs when Sony Pictures Animation’s SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE debuts on digital June 20 and on 4K Ultra HD™/Blu-ray™ + Digital, Blu-ray + Digital and DVD July 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Boasting an “A” CinemaScore with general audiences and a rare “A+” with those under the age of 18, SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE follows Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE features an all-star voice cast, including platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato (Camp Rock franchise) as Smurfette, Emmy®-nominated comic actor Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) as Gargamel, Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) as Hefty Smurf, Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) as Clumsy Smurf, Danny Pudi (”Community”) as Brainy Smurf, Michelle Rodriguez (The Fate of the Furious) as SmurfStorm, Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) as SmurfBlossom, Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) as SmurfLily, with Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”) as Papa Smurf and Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts (Best Actress, Erin Brockovich, 2000) as SmurfWillow.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE is bursting with bonus materials on the Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, DVD and digital releases. Along with filmmaker commentary, there are 10 fun and interactive featurettes, including Meghan Trainor’s “I’m A Lady” music video and “Lost Village Dance Along” where you can join in the Smurf dance party. Get ready to represent your Smurf style with “Smurfify Your Nails” and create a Lost Village inspired manicure, then go inside “Baker Smurf’s Mini Kitchen” to follow along and guess what’s cooking, plus get step-by-step tutorials on how to draw your favorite Smurfs with three “how to” videos. Fans can also go behind the scenes as Demi Lovato auditions for the film and goes through a pretty tough interview with Smurfette herself in “Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette.”

Making an animated movie is no easy task, but in “Kids At Heart! The Making of Smurfs: The Lost Village,” you’ll get a lighthearted look at how the film was made with both interviews from the cast and animators as well as silly re-enactments featuring adorable kid versions of the talented team. And “Making the Song ‘You Will Always Find Me in Your Heart’” goes into the studio with singer Shaley Smith, composer Christopher Lennertz and songwriter KT Tunstall as they record the film’s pivotal song, while in “The Sound of The Smurfs,” fans hear from composer Christopher Lennertz on how he created a magical score to accompany this colorful and exciting adventure. Lastly, don’t miss the sneak peek at Sony Pictures Animation’s highly anticipated film, The Emoji Movie.

Exclusive to the Blu-ray are deleted scenes as well as “The Lost Auditions,” where the superstar cast, each one already perfect for their roles, explore other ideas about which role they should play. And fans of all ages will enjoy going behind-the-scenes with Meghan Trainor as she films the videoto her hit “I’m A Lady,” available exclusively on the digital release of SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE at iTunes, Vudu and Xfinity.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE is also available on July 11 in THE SMURFS 3-MOVIE BLU-RAY COLLECTION, which includes The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2.

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win a a smurfy prize pack including a digital copy of the film, a lunchbox, and Little Bites. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 7/3/16. Good luck!

Smurfs: The Lost Village Prize Pack Giveaway

Children’s Theatre Company – A Year with Frog and Toad – Discount Tickets

Update: While they last, you can get discount tickets for A Year with Frog and Toad HERE.

“A Year with  Frog and Toad” was at the Children’s Theatre about 10 years ago and, if you were lucky enough to see it then, you know why it’s back.  We loved it so much that we hope to go again. I remember the books when I was a kid, and when our girls discovered the books it was a perfect opportunity to take them to the play.  “A Year with Frog and ToadA Year with Frog and Toad” is for all ages and a perfect introduction to theatre for the younger kids who may have not been to a performance yet. It’s also a great performance for the older kids who have been to several plays.  It’s a story about two best friends and all of the regular, as well as the not so regular, day to day things that best friends go through.  Everyone is sure to take away some valuable lessons from Frog and Toad.

Waking from hibernation in the spring, the perky Frog and the worrywart Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons through four, fun-filled seasons. The amphibian odd couple celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them the best-est of friends while joined by a colorful cast of birds, mice, turtles, and that slo-o-ow snail with the mail. Nominated for three Tony® Awards including Best Musical, this unforgettable and tuneful musical is back on our stage after almost a decade! Don’t miss this exuberant story based on the treasured books by Arnold Lobel in a musical that soars like a kite and blossoms like spring.
A Year with Frog and Toad runs April 18 through June 18, 2017 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage and is recommended for all ages. Tickets are on sale nowon sale now starting at $15.
Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota Reader will win 4 tickets to see A Year with Frog and ToadA Year with Frog and Toad. To enter, complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 5/16/17. Good luck!

Children’s Theatre Company A Year with Frog and Toad Ticket Giveaway

Create Your Dream Ice Cream Flavor – Kemps Locally Crafted Sweepstakes!

cbias disclosure#KempsLocallyCrafted #cbias

I think that most all of us who grew up here in Minnesota also grew up with Kemps Ice Cream! I remember always having at least two cartons in our freezer. One of vanilla for topping pies and making shakes (my dad made the BEST shakes with fresh raspberries) and another carton of a fun flavor – toasted almond fudge and mint chocolate chip were always favorites. While those flavors are still delicious, there are lots of newer flavors that we never even would have dreamed of as kids – flavors like Moose Tracks, Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll and Caribou Coffee Java Chunk.

In our family today, we have a big gender divide when it comes to ice cream flavors. The boys are what us girls like to call “boring” and only like to eat plain vanilla. We girls however, like to have “stuff” in our ice cream and the more imaginative the flavor the better! We had a fun family day on Saturday and to prep the snacks I headed to Target for ice cream. I got Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla for the boys and Double Fudge Moose Tracks for the girls – so good!

If you could create any Kemps Ice Cream flavor imaginable, what would it be? I can think of lots of individual ingredients I would love in my ice cream, but finding the correct combination is the tricky part! Candy pieces, cookie chunks and nuts are usually my favorites and I really love a sweet and salty combination.

Kemps is always on the lookout for new flavors and now they are asking YOU to create your own new Kemps ice cream flavor in the Kemps Locally Crafted Sweepstakes! By submitting your flavor idea you have a chance to win a year’s supply of Kemps ice cream! They are even ready to help you create your flavor by letting you know all of the base flavors you can start with and then all the swirls, and mix-in toppings that you can include.

My idea for a delicious flavor is Salty Snack Bowl. It would start with a salted caramel base with a peanut butter swirl and then have chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered peanuts mixed in. YUM! Use the widget below to enter your own flavor idea. Kemps will select the best flavors from this Sweepstakes and produce for purchase later this year. Plus, once you submit your flavor idea you can download a $.50 off coupon for Kemps ice cream products!

For more info, follow Kemps on Facebook and Twitter.

#KempsLocallyCrafted #Sweepstakes (5/1 to 5/31)

 Create Your Dream Ice Cream Flavor in the Kemps Locally Crafted Sweepstakes! #KempsLocallyCrafted #ad

5 Ways to Save Money on Gas + HyVee Gift Card Offer + #HYVsave10 Reader Giveaway

Disclosure Compensation5 Ways to Save Money on Gas

When we’re looking at a monthly budget, one item that can always make a big dent is gas for our cars! Living without a car can be difficult for most of us, so the only option is to keep that expenditure in control. You can get a good start with these ideas for 5 ways to save money on gas:

5 Ways to Save Money on Gas


  1. Drive Less – Yes, most of us need our cars, but do we really need to make as many trips? Try to combine errands into one big trip or do them on the way home from work or school. Carpooling is a way to drive a lot less!
  2. Watch Your Brakes – Excessively braking not only causes your brake pads to wear out quickly, but it also wastes gas! Stop with plenty of time and you’ll improve your car’s efficiency
  3. Check Your Tire Pressure – If your tires are under-inflated, they will wear out faster AND waste gas. Proper inflation reduces tire friction and gives you better gas mileage.
  4. Don’t Leave the Engine Running – If you’re waiting to pick someone up or eating that food you just picked up at the drive through, turn off your engine and save gas.
  5. Look for Discounts on Gas Purchases – You can pay a lot less for gallon if you get a discount on every gallon you purchase. Use a loyalty program like the one at Hy-Vee and save even more with the current offer running right now! Check out the details below!


If you visit your local Hy-Vee store now through April 18, 2017, you can score a great gas deal and earn 10 cents off per gallon with every $25 purchase of select gift cards or earn 20 cents off per gallon with every $50 purchase of select gift cards. Here’s how it works:

  • Find a Hy-Vee Store near you
  • Purchase select gift cards and save 10¢ cents on gas for every $25 purchased in gift cards or 20¢ cents every $50purchased
  • Participating Gift Cards include: Nike, Xbox, AMC Theaters, Fandango, American Express, Game Stop, Ruby Tuesday, Lane Bryant, Chili’s, Applebees, Michaels, iTunes, Petsmart, Groupon, Carnival
  • Take advantage of this offer before it ends on 4/18/2017.

You can make this offer an even better deal by using your favorite rewards credit or debit card to purchase. That way you can earn points, miles or a percentage back on your purchase on top of the great gas savings offer. Depending on the type of gift cards you choose, you can even use them to buy gasoline, making your savings come full circle!

Reader Giveaway: We have teamed up with several other great blogs to bring you this reader giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card! For your chance to win, just leave us a comment and complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 4/17/17. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smurfs: The Lost Village Advance Screening Ticket Giveaway!

Disclosure Affiliate

It’s time for Smurfs fans to get ready for an all new adventure, Smurfs: The Lost Village, headed to theaters on April 7th!

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!


Reader Giveaway:
Ten (10) lucky Thrifty Minnesota readers will each receive a family 4-pack of tickets to an advanced screening of Smurfs: The Lost Village at Showplace ICON in St. Louis Park on Saturday April 1 at 11am. To enter, head on over to our Facebook page!

The Works Museum Robot Day for Kids and Families + Reader Giveaway

It’s almost time for The Works Museum annual Robot Day family event on Saturday, April 8th! Gather your kids, friends, and family of all ages and head on over experience a hands-on celebration of National Robotics Week. You can see demos from robotics experts, interact with robots used in industry, and meet student robotics teams showcasing their competition robots. Plus, if you register ahead of time you can save $2! (See details below.)

“With robotics of all shapes and sizes, Robot Day is just one way The Works Museum inspires kids to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). But kids just know they’re having fun,” says Kit Wilhite, Director of Education.

Highlights of Robot Day 2017 will include the chance to drive a law enforcement robot, see a 3D printer that replicates human organs for surgeons to practice, and an opportunity to build and program your own LEGO robotics.

When: Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: The Works Museum, 9740 Grand Ave S., Bloomington, MN, 55420

Cost: $8 pre-registered through Thursday, April 6/$10 at the door. Free for members.

More: Visit www.theworks.org for more details or call 952-888-4262.

ABOUT THE WORKS MUSEUM. The Works Museum is all about hands-on engineering for kids.  We serve more than 70,000 children, families, and educators annually, inspiring the next generation of innovators, engineers, and creative problem-solvers. For regular hours and admission, membership, and camp information, visit theworks.org.

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win a family four pack of tickets to the event. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 4/6/17. Good luck!

The Works Museum Robot Day Giveaway

NEWSIES The Broadway Musical on the Big Screen – Reader Giveaway

It’s not so easy to get to a Broadway show here in Minnesota, especially with the original Broadway cast members, but Fathom Events and Disney Theatrical Productions are teaming up to make that a bit easier! They are bringing the Tony Award-winning musical NEWSIES to theaters throughout the country on Feb. 16, 18, and 22! This family friendly show is no longer on Broadway or touring, so this will be the last chance to see NEWSIES, and many original Broadway cast members are returning for this performance! Order tickets HERE.

Filmed live on stage at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA, this not-to-be-missed high energy show stars Original Broadway cast members Jeremy Jordan as “Jack Kelly,” Kara Lindsay as “Katherine,” Ben Fankhauser as “Davey” and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as “Crutchie”. They’re joined by North American Tour stars Steve Blanchard as “Joseph Pulitzer,” and Aisha de Haas as “Medda Larkin,” and Ethan Steiner as “Les” along with members of both the Broadway and North American Tour ensembles, filling the stage with more “newsies” and more dancing than ever before.



Set in New York City at the turn of the century and based on a true story, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike and take a stand for what’s right.

Reader Giveaway: Two (2) lucky Thrifty Minnesota readers will each win a family four-pack of tickets to see NEWSIES at AMC Coon Rapids on Saturday, February 18! To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 2/14/17. Good luck!

Fathom Events NEWSIES The Broadway Musical Tickets

Have You Seen this DAVANNI’S Remodel? + Reader Gift Card Giveaway

DAVANNI’S has been part of the Twin Cities for over 40 years. While I’m happy that many of the things I loved about DAVANNI’S in my youth are still the same, it is great to see them continuing to make changes and improvements every year. Some of the recent changes have been to remodel several locations. Last week we took a visit to the recently remodeled Minnetonka store to take a look and, of course, eat some of our DAVANNI’S favorites AND something new.

To give you an idea of the OLD look of the Minnetonka location, this is a glimpse of what it looked like before the remodeling job was started. (I have to say I’m not a fan of that crazy print on the fabric covering the booth seats.)

The DAVANNI’S Minnetonka “facelift” created a brighter and airier interior. A bar serving wine, and tap and bottled beer, including several kinds of locally brewed craft beers, was added, complete with bar seating. The store’s party room was also remodeled.

Several other DAVANNI’S locations have also been remodeled including Edina and Eagan, with bars/beer taps added to the Chanhassen, Cleaveland and Grand and Uptown locations. The Eden Prairie location will also be adding a bar and updating soon. Additional bar tap installs will be found in Arden Hills, Bloomington, Woodbury an Plymouth.

Once we took a look at the remodeling results, it was time to eat! For lunch we mixed things up and had a few things that we tend to order on almost every visit, but also tried a couple of new things. For the kid, pizza was a must!

My all-time DAVANNI’S favorite is the Garlic Cheese Bread. I seriously don’t know anyone else who can make a garlic cheese bread as good as DAVANNI’S!

For something new we tried the Chicken Cobb Salad. It’s made with Sliced Chicken, Hard Boiled Egg, Crumbled Bacon, Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, Red Onion, Tomato and Dressing of Choice. It’s very good and very filling!

A must when I visit DAVANNI’S with my sister is sharing an Assorted Hot Hoagie on grain bread. That has been our go-to sandwich for close to two decades. It’s made with an assortment of three meats (thus the name Assorted) — Ham, Smoked Ham, and Salami and topped with garlic butter and mozzarella cheese, then broiled. It’s dressed with tomatoes, lettuce, mayo (which we get on the side), onions, and DAVANNI’S own secret dressing. It’s so delicious that I am going to have to head to DAVANNI’S to get one for lunch when I finish writing this.

We topped off our meal with cookies – Chocolate Chip for the kid and the NEW Sea Salt Caramel Cookies for the grown-ups. These new cookies are DELICIOUS and were developed by Davanni’s own in house Oven Hearth bakers and are made and baked fresh at their totally company-owned bakery in Saint Paul. The Sea Salt Caramel Cookies are only in “test” right now. So, the more you buy, the more likely they will be added to the permanent menu. So everybody PLEASE buy these cookies because I want them to stay on the menu!!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will receive a $25 DAVANNI’S gift card. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 2/16/17. Good luck!

$25 Davanni’s Gift Card Giveaway

Davannis Pizza and Hot Hoagies

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 www.MinneapolisBoatShow.com or onsite the day of the show.

For more information about the Progressive Insurance 2017 Minneapolis Boat Show, visit MinneapolisBoatShow.com. 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