Family Skating Party in St. Paul

Check the family calendar for January 19th.  The Hayden Heights Rec. Center is hosting a family skating party event.  It’s free and open to ages 3-99.  If you have your own skates bring them, as they will have limited skates available.  The party is from 6-7:30.  You can find more information here on their website and register in advance to let them know you’re coming.

  • Ice Skating
  • Play Board Games
  • Hot Cocoa and Cookies

If you can’t make it January 19th.  Check out the calendar, other locations in St. Paul will be hosting family skating parties on January 26th.  


Music Under Glass: Como Zoo Conservatory

Music Under Glass: Como Zoo Conservatory

The Music Under Glass series is back for another season at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.  Although it’s winter in MN, the conservatory is a fabulous place to escape and pretend you’ve escaped to a warmer destination.

You’ll find a nice variety of free music on select Sunday afternoons.   Take a look at the great line up of musicians on their website.  Concerts take place January 7th through March 11th.


Join Us For “Music Under Glass” Sunday Afternoons

Join us select Sundays beginning January 7th from 4:30pm – 6:30pm for live, local music.

Beat the winter weather blahs inside the comfy confines of the Conservatory.

Beer, wine, pop, and light snacks will be available to purchase. (Please, no outside food or beverages)

** There will be no concert on January 28 due to the the Winter Carnival Orchid Show, and on February 4 due to the Super Bowl

S.A.F.E. Sundays at Como Zoo

Each Sunday the Como Zoo hosts a special event.  S.A.F.E. Sundays at Como Zoo, is a chance to learn a little more about an endangered or threatened animal.  A different animal is featured each week.

This is a free event, although donations to Como Zoo are always appreciated to keep the Zoo a free attraction. Check the calendar for the upcoming feature.

Join Us For S.A.F.E. Sundays!

Chat with our Public Engagement Education Specialist about the Endangered or Threatened animals we have at Como and what people can do to help them thrive in the wild.  Each week will feature a different animal. S.A.F.E. Sundays occur every Sunday from 1:00-3:00PM.



Credit: Science Museum of MN

One of our favorite events starts this Friday.  The Omnifest, taking place at the Science Museum of Minnesota, begins January 5th-March-1st.  With five different films to choose from, there’s something for everyone.   You can purchase tickets in advance here on their website.

Omnifest—our popular film fest—is back in January with five giant films that will whisk you away to great adventures. Get a front-row seat to experience larger-than-life explorations—from the remote forests of Gombe National Park in Tanzania to the icy caves of Greenland to the deep river canyons and high mountain passes of the Canadian Rockies. With a diverse film line-up that appeals to all ages and interests, Omnifest 2018 is an ideal destination this winter.

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

Saint Paul Winter Carnival People’s Ice Palace

Although it’s not even January, there’s excitement in the air.  It was just announced that the Saint Paul Winter Carnival will have an Ice Palace. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival People’s Ice Palace will once again be located in Rice Park.  Something different this year, we all have the opportunity to contribute to the Palace.  By purchasing blocks of ice, we all can be part of this fun event.

This year’s carnival runs January 25th-February 10th, 17 days filled with fun activities and embracing our love for winter. More information about the events and schedule for the Winter Carnival will come out in the weeks ahead.  We will share it when it comes available.  If you’ve never been to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival (or if you HAVE been), mark it on your calendar and take part in fun activities for all ages.

We’re so excited that the Ice Palace will be back! Can’t wait to check it out! Check out all the details:

(SAINT PAUL, Minn.)  On the first day of winter, organizers of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival announced plans to build an ice palace in Rice Park as part of the 2018 Carnival, which has been extended an extra week to connect with Super Bowl activities.  The ice palace will officially open on January 25 and will be a free attraction.  It is expected to be approximately 70-feet tall and will be built on the south end of the park.  Ecolab has agreed to be the title sponsor, and volunteers have raised additional money and other support from businesses and individuals.  The public also will have the opportunity to help build the palace and be a part of the Winter Carnival preparations.

“We are excited to not only be able to announce plans for the People’s Ice Palace, but to be able to do it in a way that connects with the tremendous support and energy from across the community,” said Dan Stoltz, Spire Credit Union’s CEO and chairperson of the committee working on the palace.  “People and businesses have been reaching out to help us not only find the right plan for the palace, but to also donate time and money to help make it happen.  The Winter Carnival has been a way for the entire community to gather and celebrate winter for 132 years.  This ice palace will make the 2018 Carnival even more special.”

“Ecolab has a special connection to Saint Paul – our headquarters have been here since 1923,” said Doug Baker, chairman and CEO of Ecolab.  “The ice palace, which is free to the public, will bring people to our great city to celebrate the wonder of winter in a dramatic way.   We are honored to be a partner in creating this unique experience for those who live here, and the many visitors coming for the Super Bowl.”

“The Winter Carnival is one of our city’s oldest traditions,” said Saint Paul Mayor-elect Melvin Carter. “It perfectly showcases the strength and beauty of our snowy winters.  I am excited to host Saint Paul’s 37th ice palace and look forward to sharing this fun tradition with our city’s neighbors and visitors this winter.”

Carnival organizers have spent a great deal of time working on different ways to build and fund an ice palace to be part of the area’s Super Bowl events and activities.  Other locations were reviewed, including the State Capitol grounds, but ultimately the decision was made to build the ice palace in Rice Park.  The People’s Ice Palace will be built on the south side of the park and be connected to other ice structures and the ice carvings that are a traditional part of the annual Winter Carnival.

“Buy a Block” Community’s chance to be part of the Ice Palace

Carnival organizers today also announced a way for the community to be part of the ice palace by participating in “Buy a Block.” Buy a Block is a crowd-funding program that will allow people to sponsor individual blocks of ice that will be used to build the structure.  Prices start at $25 and will give people the chance to help build the palace and share their own connections to the Winter Carnival.  Carnival organizers decided to offer this opportunity in response to grassroots and community support for the palace throughout the planning process. To sponsor a block of ice, please visit

“This is a way for anyone who has a connection to the Winter Carnival to literally be the foundation of a lasting Minnesota tradition,” said Jennifer Tamburo, chairperson of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. “We think that sponsoring ice blocks will create new memories for people and generate a lot of excitement for the ice palace.  We also know there are people across the country with Saint Paul connections who now also have a chance to be part of this year’s Carnival.  We need the community’s help to achieve our vision and create a dramatic way for Saint Paul to play a spectacular role on the world stage.”

About the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Ecolab Ice Palace

The Cunningham Group has designed the palace that will have several towers.  People will not be able to go inside the structure and the final height of the palace will be determined based on working Construction crews will use ice from Green Lake in Spicer, Minn. to build the palace along with other ice features and a wall that will extend through the park.

Crews are expected to start construction in early January.  Ice will be cut from Green Lake in Spicer starting January 3rd and take about three days to cut all the blocks.  Work to build a foundation to prepare Rice Park will start the first week of January with the first ice blocks are expected to arrive around January 10th. Carnival officials estimate it will take about two weeks to build the structure.

In addition to being a traditional focal point for the Winter Carnival, Rice Park was selected for the location because a key part of the public park will be rebuilt by the City of Saint Paul to improve utilities and infrastructure later in 2018, making it possible for the carnival to use it for the palace.

About the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival

The 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival will be extended an extra week to run from January 25 through February 10 to connect with the Super Bowl LII events.  The 17-day carnival will have more than four

dozen events and several new attractions beyond the ice palace. Most events are FREE, open to the public, and will take place in downtown Saint Paul, near Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Victorian Christmas Carols at the James J. Hill House

It’s that time of year, time for Christmas Carols.  We might not all be lucky enough to have Carolers come to our door but we can enjoy the music at the James J. Hill House.  There are a couple dates to choose from with different times available. You can find more specifics and also purchase tickets on the website here.

A lively concert by costumed singers explores the rise in popularity of Christmas carols during the 19th century. Hear familiar favorites and discover new gems!

The one-hour concert in the Hill House art gallery includes light refreshments and tours, included with admission, following the performance.

North St. Paul Holiday Hop

Another great winter event, the North St. Paul Holiday Hop takes place this Saturday from 9am-6pm.  A free event with lot’s of great activities for all ages.  Just look for the fun happening along 7th Avenue in downtown North St. Paul.  More specifics and updates can be found on the event page here

Celebrate community at the annual Holiday Hop along 7th Avenue in downtown North St. Paul. Enjoy complimentary carriage rides, live music, drawings, crafts including vintage ornament making, gingerbread decorating, free holiday hair flocking and chocolate. Visit with Santa and the Snowman, enjoy story time with famous local author Tony Ducklow and much more. Carriage rides are made possible by Sandberg Funeral & Cremation and Berwald Roofing.

Rondo Library Reopens

One of the busiest libraries in St. Paul was closed this past summer, for remodeling.  This Saturday, November 18th is the grand reopening celebration for the Rondo Library.  The celebration event takes place from 1-4.

Join us in celebration for Rondo Community Library’s grand reopening on Saturday, November 18, 1-4 p.m.

Enjoy music by DJ Michel.Be and sweet potato pie and cider. Make handmade paper with Mary Hark, enjoy demos of new library equipment (including a 3D printer!), and play bingo for prizes. Every Body’s In, a community partner organization, joins us to celebrate community mentors. Find out how you can share your skills and passions to support our local youth!

The library will open at 1:00 p.m. for the grand reveal by Mayor Chris Coleman. After 2 p.m., overflow parking will be available in the Saint James AME lot at Dale Street and Central Avenue.


Rice Park Tree Lighting

With the snowflakes falling last night I can finally say, the holidays are around the corner.  Prior to that, I was really hoping winter wasn’t quite here and the holidays were months away.  Yes indeed, sooner than later.  It also means, mark the calendars for upcoming holiday and winter events.

Next Saturday, November 18th, is the Rice Park Tree Lighting event.  The lights will stay lit until mid March, which means plenty of opportunity to see and enjoy the beautiful scene.

Date: Saturday, November 18 2017

Saint Paul will officially kick off the holiday season with the grand opening of Wells Fargo WinterSkate and Rice Park powered by Xcel Energy.

Location: Rice Park

Time: 3:30 PM to 10:00 PM

109 W 4th Street , Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102Those who attend the free grand opening event will be the first to skate on the free, outdoor, artificially-chilled ice rink in downtown Saint Paul as well as view the 11th annual lighting of Rice Park and the city’s holiday tree will be lit with 15,000 LED lights. There will be musical performances, photo opportunities, fireworks and more.

  • Wells Fargo WinterSkate Rink open November 18 – February 4, 201
  • Grand Opening – Saturday, November 18, 2017
  • Festivities begin at 3:30pm
  • Photo Opportunity with Live Reindeer and Sleigh
  • Teddy Bear Band
  • Skating Performances
  • Fireworks in Rice Park at 6:30pm
  • Ribbon Cutting at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate Rink at 7:00pm
  • Rink opens for Skating at 7:15pm