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.

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.

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.

Physics Force Public Shows

The Physics Force Public Shows are free but advance reservations are required.  Some of the shows are specifically for school groups, however both events on January 13th are for the general public.  The shows take place at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Carlson Family Stage.  This is something you don’t want to miss.  You can register here on their website

Physics Force will perform two free public shows at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Carlson Family Stage. Tickets are free, but reservations are required. Join us to experience how physics is interesting, understandable and fun!


Free First Saturday: ¡Hola, Cuba!

Cuba is on my bucket list to visit someday.  For now it’s not quite in the budget.  This Saturday is the Walker Art Center’s; Free First Saturday: ¡Hola, Cuba!  A chance to learn and explore Cuba without actually being there.

The bonus is exploring the Walker for free, plus all the extra activities taking place.  Check your calendar, Saturday January 6th, the Walker Art Center is the place to be.

Warm up this winter by dancing to Latin inspired beats, listening to the sounds of everyday Cuba, and watching an award-winning Cuban film for kids. Stop by the Art Lab and make your own prints inspired by revolutionary posters found in Adios Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950.

Gallery admission is free for everyone on the first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 6 pm, with a variety of family activities scheduled from 10 am to 3 pm.

Music: DJ Don Cuco
10 am–3 pm
Dance to DJ Don Cuco’s Latin-inspired beats all day.

Performance: Bomba Umoya
11am and 1pm
Learn dance moves from members of Bomba Umoya, a Minneapolis-based Afro-Caribbean performance group.

Art Activity: Printmaking
10 am–3 pm
Learn basic relief printmaking techniques and create your own images inspired by the Cuban revolutionary posters of the 1950s and 60s.

Experience: Sounds from Cuba
10 am–3 pm
Listen to authentic sound recordings of daily life in Cuba. Brought to you by Minnesotan brothers Jesse and Jonah Marks, who founded The Touch of Sound in order to showcase the diversity of the the world in a unique and unexpected way.

Tours: Adios Utopia
12 noon & 2 pm: Spanish-language tour
1 pm: English-language tour
Learn about the exhibition from our expert educators.

Film: Viva Cuba
2 pm
An award-winning Cuban children’s film, Viva Cuba is the dramatic tale of two young friends who go on a runaway adventure across the country when their parents’ differences threaten to come between them. Directed by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti and Iraida Malberti Cabrera. 2005, Cuba, 80 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles, recommended for ages 9 and up.

Winter Open Streets at Holidazzle

Perhaps you’ve attended one of the open street events in the summer, well now there’s one in the winter.  The Winter Open Streets at Holidazzle takes place this Saturday, December 16th from 11am-5pm.  This time it will downtown Minneapolis. The route follows Nicollet from 5th St S to Grant St and Grant St from Nicollet to Holidazzle in Loring Park. In the heart of downtown, this event will be full of opportunities to explore all the best that downtown Minneapolis has to offer, including the new Nicollet.  A great day to enjoy winter and downtown Minneapolis.  

Open Streets is back with the first-ever Winter Open Streets at Holidazzle event! Connected with Holidazzle in Loring Park, Winter Open Streets will be a celebration of our streets and winter in Minneapolis along the newly reopened Nicollet.

With food, local businesses, and family fun all along the route bringing you to the Holidazzle, Winter Open Streets at Holidazzle is a unique experience that you won’t want to miss.

Winter Open Streets at Holidazzle is presented by Our Streets Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis, the ​mpls downtown council, and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Visit to download a free-ride pass from MetroTransit for December 16th. Beginning at noon, you can take the light rail to Nicollet Station to get off right at the beginning of Open Streets! The light rail will be down for maintenance until noon.

An “Eventually” Christmas: Holidays at the Mill

One of our favorite events is coming up at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.  The famous slogan “Eventually—Why Not Now?” comes to life during this holiday event.  We went to the event a few years and really enjoyed it, watching the story unfold during each scene as we rode the Flour Tower elevator ride. The event is recommended for ages 8 and up.  You have four different dates and several time slots to choose from.  Advance tickets can be purchased here on the Minnesota Historical Society Website.

Join the Ghost of Mill City Past for an intimate look at the 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party in this unique play set in the museum’s Flour Tower elevator ride. Scenes unfold on different floors where the audience meets characters drawn from the pages of the company’s employee newspaper, the Eventually News.

Witness the rocky romance of Celia and Otto; meet marketing mastermind Benjamin S. Bull; experience the awesome sweeping power of Bill Smith and learn the secret origin of the Washburn Crosby marketing slogan, “Eventually—Why Not Now?”  Performances are at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Ticket includes museum admission and refreshments after the play.



CSE Winter Light Show

We’ve attended the CSE Winter Light Show the last two years in a row.  The College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota puts on a great show.  The knowledge and talent of the students is none other than amazing to watch and listen to.  The show is outdoors and lasts about 20 minutes.  They will be hosting shows on Dec 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9th.  More information can be found below or on the website page here.

The CSE Winter Light Show is a student-designed 3D outdoor experience featuring more than 250,000 LED lights set to music. All of the light features and much of the music is designed, sequenced, composed, and performed by University of Minnesota students. Now in its seventh year, the CSE Winter Light Show has become an annual campus tradition.

A Premiere Party is Friday, Dec. 1, 5-6:30 p.m. at Rapson Hall, HGA Goldstein Gallery. See other projects from Tesla Works. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be provided by the University of Minnesota Parent Program while supplies last.

There will be shows at 5:30, 6, and 6:30 p.m. and each show will last about 20 minutes. All shows are free and open to the public.

There will also be shows on Dec. 2, 7, 8, and 9.

The show is presented by the Tesla Works student group and sponsored by the College of Science and Engineering.

Running and Skating inside the U.S. Bank Stadium

As our weather turns colder, we have to get creative when and how we exercise.   We can choose to bundle up or we can find alternative locations.  Up until January, the U.S. Bank Stadium is offering an opportunity to skate or run inside it’s walls.

The U.S. Bank skating or running will only be offered on specific dates:

  • November  21, 27
  • December 6, 11, 12, 20, 21, 27, 28
  • Additional dates could be added after January

* There’s a $3 fee for running, skating is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ( NO equipment provided).  More specifics on the hours and admission for running can be found here.  If you would like to skate you can more info on that here.