Children’s Theatre Company: The WIZ Discount Code and Ticket Giveaway!

Children's Theatre Company: The WIZ Discount Code and Ticket Giveaway

We are super excited. The WIZ is coming to Children’s Theatre Company! The WIZ is a joint venture between CTC and Penumbra Theatre.  If you aren’t familiar with The WIZ, I won’t spoil it for you, but can tell you it shares a strong resemblance to The Wizard of Oz.  Although it is similar, there’s so much that is different too.  I can tell you one thing for sure, The WIZ is full of excitement, music and fantastic energy.

I had the opportunity for a behind the scenes sneak peek of it and this is a production you don’t want to miss.  The one-of-a kind costumes are amazing.  On the tour of the costume shop, we saw glimpses of all the colorful, creative clothes and wigs coming to life.

Watching the cast rehearsing one of their songs was amazing.  By the smiles and laughter along with the energy in the room, I could tell they love this show and are excited to bring it to the stage.

Childrens Theatre Company Wiz Munchkin Costume


Discount Code:


The WIZ runs January 23rd- March 18th with a run time of about 2 hours.  Because we love to help you save you money, we have two deals for you.  First we have a giveaway contest for two tickets (to be used for weeknight performances T-F) at the bottom of the post.  We also have a 20% off discount code that can be used towards the purchase of tickets.

Minneapolis, Minn. – Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in partnership with Penumbra Theatre will present The Wiz, adapted from L. Frank Baum’s classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; directed by Lou Bellamy, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Penumbra Theatre Company, assistant directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris (Broadway credits as Choreographer for A Raisin in the Sun), with music direction by Sanford Moore (Musical Director at Penumbra Theatre). The extraordinary cast includes Paris Bennett (American Idol top five finalist 2006) as Dorothy, Dennis Spears (Ivey Award for Excellence in Acting, Member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame) as Tinman, CTC’s Performing Apprentice Dwight Leslie as Scarecrow, Aimee Bryant (CTC’s Akeelah and the Bee) as Addaperle, T. Mychael Rambo (Guthrie Theatre, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood) as The Wiz, Rudolph Searles III (Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Park Square Theatre) as Lion, Greta Oglesby (Guthrie Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, and more) as Aunt Em/Evillene, and Jamecia Bennett (Guthrie Theatre, Lab Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Capri Theatre) will take the stage as Glinda/Crow/Ensemble.

The production also includes scenic design by Vicki Smith (Bay Area Critics Award, Drama-Logue Award, Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award, Denver Critics Award), costume design by Mathew LeFebvre (Guthrie, Signature Theatre, Minnesota Opera and others), lighting design by Don Darnutzer (Broadway credits as Lighting Designer for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues) and sound design by Sten Severson (CTC, Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway, Public Theatre (Audelco Award).

“My concept for our production is rooted deeply in African American history & custom,” stated Director Lou Bellamy. “Dorothy’s journey from (in our production) Nicodemus, Kansas to the Wiz’s palace in Harlem, pays homage to the Great Migration made during Reconstruction by thousands of African Americans from rural environs to urban living.”

Children’s Theatre and Penumbra Theatre are excited to embark upon an historic partnership that will bring Minnesota audiences the best of what both companies offer. Long heralded as the leading theatre for young audiences in the country, CTC creates artistically excellent, sophisticated theatre for multigenerational audiences, while Penumbra Theatre, the leading African American theatre company in the nation, produces artistically excellent, socially responsible drama depicting authentic representations of black life and culture. Both companies bring a passion for advocacy for their often underserved audiences, and have pioneered educational programming that innovates within the field – CTC’s critical literacy work and Penumbra’s racial justice work will allow these two treasured companies to forge something together that neither could do alone. Leadership at both organizations is committed to forging a deep and equitable partnership that will indelibly impact both for the better.

Photo: Dan Norman

“It is a great thrill and honor to partner with Penumbra Theatre,” stated CTC Artistic Director Peter C. Brosius. “They are a major force in the national theatre world as well as a local treasure. The insights and experience they bring to this partnership have been extraordinary and we look forward to continuing to find ways to work together.”

“This relationship isn’t transactional,” stated Penumbra Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Bellamy.  “We are getting to a space of depth and real honesty with each other in terms of our conversations about equity, what our aesthetics are, how we can create a proactive, equitable, shared learning environment and that feels very unique.”

Ease on down the road with Dorothy and her friends with a dazzling mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. Embark on this Oz-some adventure through a magic land where you will meet funky monkeys, winkies, Addaperle and Evillene. You don’t need a wizard—just believe in yourself to find home and feel that brand-new day.

To learn more about this partnership between CTC and Penumbra Theatre, take a look at this video here.


Reader Giveaway:

One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win 2 Weeknight Tickets to Children’s Theatre Company The Wiz!! (2 tickets for any weeknight performance that isn’t already sold out – that’s any Tuesday through Friday performance.) To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 1/29/18. Good luck!!

Children’s Theatre Company The Wiz Ticket Giveaway

Family Day: To the Moon!

Bring the whole family to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this Sunday (January 14th).  It’s Family Day: To the Moon!  A free event with lots of great activities, not on the moon but you can use your imagination.  The activities begin at 11am and go until 5pm.

Join us for Family Day, our FREE event for families, kids, and the young at heart, on the second Sunday of every month at Mia. Blast off through outer space at this Family Day! Paint a lunar landscape, construct an imagination-powered jet pack, and discover works of art that are out of this world.

Art-making: Moon Paintings
Paint a lunar landscape in this drop-in studio.

Art-making: Jet Packs
Construct an imagination-powered jet pack.

Storytelling: Celestial Stories
1, 2 and 3 PM
Hear starry stories from master storyteller, Carol McCormick.

Bell Museum Exploradome
Gaze at the night sky inside the Exploradome from the Bell Museum of Natural History

Gallery Hunt: Space Race
Discover works of art that are out of this world!

Tour :To the Moon!
2 & 3:30 PM
Explore the sun, sky, stars and moon in Mia’s collection with a special guided tour.

NOON Year’s Party at Como Zoo

Yes it’s almost 2018 and this bitterly cold weather seems to be hanging on. One of our favorite indoor New Year events is the NOON Year’s Party at Como Zoo.  A great event for the whole family.  The best part is that you have two options to choose from, December 31st or January 1st. Music, Crafts and fun for all ages.  Plus it’s free, so a great thrifty option.

It’s a party so fun, we’re doing it twice! On December 31 and January 1 from 10am – 1pm the Visitor Center at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory will be filled with family-friendly entertainment for a special Noon Year’s Party. Come for the games, dancing and music from the DJs of Kidsdance. There will be crafts, zookeeper talks, giveaways, contests and a countdown to NOON when hundreds of beach balls will be dropped from the ceiling at not one, but two locations! That’s right! We’ve added a special beach ball drop zone specifically for the wee little ones 5 and under.

Noon Year’s Celebration is free with activities from 10am-1pm on Sunday, December 31 and Monday, January 1st in Como Park Zoo & Conservatory’s Visitor Center.

10:00-1:00 – Visitor Center Activities

Make a Wolf Mask

Test your agility and learn about how we provide enrichment for our animals that you can do at home for yours!

Recycling drop off for Holiday Lights, cell phones and handheld electronics

Chat with our friends at Xcel Energy to learn more about how you can save on energy costs in the new year

December 31 & January 1 – 10:00-1:00 – Kidsdance! 11:59 – Countdown to Noon & Beach Ball Drop!

Other Fun!

10:30 Polar Bear Program 11:00 – Zookeeper talk about wolves 11:30 – Gorilla Program

Pre-New Year’s Eve Party at Edinborough Park

Although New Year’s Eve is typically more of an adult holiday, we found an early family friendly celebration, taking place on Friday, December 29th.  The Pre-New Year’s Eve Party at Edinborough Park is something that adults can enjoy with the kids. Not only will the park be closed to attendees only, admission will include special activities.

There’s an admission fee but the thrifty way is to save when we can. If you pre-register by tomorrow December 28th you save a $1. Also if you bring a new or gently used book to donate, you’ll get a coupon, good for $1 off a future visit.


Date: Friday, Dec. 29
Time: 5-8 pm

Get a jumpstart on 2018 and start a new family tradition! 
Our Pre-New year’s Eve Party replaces the annual party typically held on Dec. 31. Party admission includes dancing with a “kids style” D.J., photo booth, noise makers and hats for all the kiddos, and full access to Adventure Peak.Pre-register for the party by midnight Thursday, Dec. 28(online) or in-person at Edinborough Park by 9 p.m. on Dec. 28 for a special admission price of $10.50/child.
Evening of Party Registration Fee is $11.50/child.
Adults free with paid child admission. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as space will be limited on the evening of the party.
New this year…Bring a new or gently used children’s book to restock our lending library and receive a $1 off coupon to use on a return visit.
Playpark will only be open to party attendees on this evening.

PLAYspace in Monticello

With colder temps and winter weather here, many of us are searching for indoor activities for the kids.  The indoor PLAYspace in Monticello is a great option.  PLAYspace offers a warm indoor area, free of technology but a place to use imagination, science and art.  While not a free place, it’s reasonable and discounts offered for more than one child.  More information can be found on the business website.

PLAYSpace is a tech-free parent child activity center. We help families play to learn through sensory, science, building, dramatic play, art and imaginative play spaces and activities. PLAYSpace also offers programs for groups, home schools, daycares, preschools and elementary schools.

New Play area at Ridgedale Center

Although many of us had hopes for a warm winter, this week does not appear to be part of that.  If getting out of the house is at the top of your list, add the recently opened Ridgedale Center free play area to your list. The beautiful 6000 square area is a great place for the kids to have some fun.  Located on the upper level, the enclosed space is a place you need to put on your agenda for cold days, rainy days or just days when kids need to burn off some energy. The hours and address for Ridgedale can be found here.

Rigedale’s family-friendly spaces just got an upgrade and the enhanced, quality play area is now open on the Upper Level, Nordstrom Lane! This 6,000-square-foot play area has something for everyone. Children ages 0-12, up to 52″ in height, can enjoy an immersive play experience featuring seven unique exhibits designed to promote learning, discovery and expression within each age group:

Happy Apple Tree – Centering the play space, this giant tree releases apple balls that children can redistribute through the tree. Platforms inside the tree allow children to climb to new heights while exploring the canopy.

Choo Choo Island – This 12 foot train table features a mixture of fixed tracks and removable railroad pieces, and special sound effects. Children can create their own path, or drive their train along the preexisting rail.

Baby Oasis – Children between the ages of 0-2 can play at the interactive miniature Happy Apple Tree, get some tummy time on the designated mats, or discover new textures on the sensory wall.

Gone Fishin’ – Wooden fishing poles mounted to the side of the lake encourage development of hand/eye coordination as children fish for the catch of the day!

Light & Shadow Jungle – A maze of pool noodles anchors this exhibit, but the real fun begins at the end of the maze. A disco ball dance party awaits children at the back of the maze where light and shadow meet.

Big Build City – This skyscraper city is filled with stackable building blocks. Children can play with the blocks to create something of their own imagination, or build within the modular unit.

Bug Mobile – This giant beetle shaped vehicle is equipped with multiple pretend play driving wheels, and buttons that light up.

Dwell Lounge – Parents or caretakers can take a seat, grab a snack or beverage from the new Hello Goodness and Starbucks vending concept, and charge their phones while  children play within sight.

Party Room/Workshop – A 500 square foot – enclosed room is available for private events and birthday parties. This space will also be used for a variety of classes starting in January. (For more information on renting the party room, contact the party facilitator, InnerActive Playground, at 612-567-1004.)

Family New Year’s Eve at Lebanon Hills

Still undecided what to do to celebrate New Year’s Eve?  There’s a great Family New Year’s Eve event at Lebanon Hills in Eagan.  Reasonably priced, with lots of activities both indoor and outdoor.  The admission is $10 per person for age 5 and up.  No registration required, pay at the door.

Celebrate all things winter with candlelight ice skating, hiking and snowshoeing; slide on our lit sledding hill; and warm up at a roaring bonfire; or head inside for a magician, live animals and storytelling. Stay for the countdown and ball drop at 7:59 PM. Bring your own sleds and ice skates. Snowshoe rental available. Hot food available for purchase from Kabomelette Food Truck & Bacon-Me-Crazy Food Truck.

Ages: All Ages

Fee: $10/person at the door. Ages 5 and under free.
Tickets at the door only. No pre-registration available

Newly Opened Backyard Indoor Playground

With below zero temps in the forecast, it’s time to look for indoor options for the kids.  The snow is fun too, however there are days we need warm fun.  We recently discovered a new indoor play area called Backyard Indoor Playground.

Located in Golden Valley and geared for kids up to age 12.  My favorite part is that there are areas for the younger crowd as well as the older kids.  Of course the fact that it’s reasonably priced is a huge bonus as well.

The west metro’s newest indoor playground is a 3,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled creative play space with areas for kids ages 2–5 and 6–12. It rises three stories high with slides, cargo climbs, and interconnecting tunnels children can explore for hours.

Go on a safari, or to outer space, or on a pirate cruise in search of treasure—the only limitation is your imagination. Try out their super slides, twisty tubes, cargo climbs, bumper balls, log rollers, cave crawls, and more!

Backyard Indoor Playground is open Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 8 pm and on Sundays from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Family Arts Day in Bloomington

Check your calendar and plan to get the family together.  Saturday, December 16th is Family Arts Day at the Bloomington Arts Center. A day to enjoy free interactive art activities, theater games, artist demos, and get an inside look at the studios and theaters.  You can find the schedule for the day here on their website

Saturday, December 16
10:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Bloomington Center for the Arts

Bring your entire family to our special day for all generations at Artistry. Enjoy free interactive art activities, theater games, artist demos, and inside looks at the studios and theaters. Plus: treats, take home projects, a summer camp raffle, and more! While you’re here, stop by the Inez Greenberg Gallery to find unique, handcrafted treasures at the Gifts in the Gallery sale and finish up your holiday shopping. Did we mention you get a special Gifts in the Gallery discount for participating in the family art activities? All ages will enjoy celebrating the arts on this festive, fun-filled day!

Candy Cane Hunt at Silverwood Park

What could be more fun in the winter than a Candy Cane Hunt?  Silverwood Park in St. Anthony is hosting a Candy Cane Hunt this coming Saturday, December 16th.  This is a great event for the kids.  You can register in advance here on the park website.

Search for candy canes hidden by Santa’s elves, find 3 and get a prize. Look for canes with golden ribbons for larger prizes. Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride, warm treats, arts, winter games, and photos with Santa. Hunts for children ages 0-4 begin at 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM; hunts for children ages 5+ begin at 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. $6/person.

Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.