Science Museum of Minnesota: Free Admission for Federal Employees During the Government Shutdown

If you’re a federal employee on furlough due to the government shutdown, right now you can get free admission to the Science Museum of Minnesota – just show your valid government ID at the Box Office.

The 2019 federal government shutdown is entering its 25th day. It’s the longest shutdown in United States history, and it’s impacting close to 800,000 federal employees.

The Science Museum of Minnesota recognizes the pressure that the shutdown is causing to individuals and families in our community and wants to play a role in easing that pressure, even briefly. Beginning Tuesday, January 15, furloughed federal employees will receive free combination exhibit gallery and Omnitheater admission for themselves and up to three guests.

Not a federal employee? Don’t forget that kids get free admission with full-priced adult admission as part of Science Fusion on Saturdays through February 2nd!

Dunn Brothers Coffee – 50% Off Lavender Beverages

Treat yourself to a new lavender beverage at Dunn Brothers and you’ll save 50%! Choose from any size Lavender Vanilla Latte or Lavender London Fog. Just present this coupon (offer code 10208) to the barista now through Thursday (1/15 – 1/17/19). Find a Dunn Brothers Coffee near you.

And if you don’t already have the Dunn Brothers Coffee Rewards App, sign up here to get a $2 credit when you first download the app.

The Big Chill Winter Party in Chaska

It might be a warmer than normal January but we can still have some winter fun!  The Big Chill Winter Party in Chaska takes place this Friday, January 18th from 6-7:30.  A family friendly event for all ages, with all the fun taking place at Fireman’s Park.  No Registration needed.  Some of the fun includes:

  • Free S’mores over the bonfire
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Glow in the dark bowling
  • Bring your Ice Skates and Skate to the DJ Music from KIDSDANCE



2019 Minneapolis Boat Show BOGO Coupon Code + Ticket Giveaway

2019 Minneapolis Boat Show Discount Code

It’s never too early to start dreaming about spring! One popular event that happens every year to turn our minds to spring is the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center, this year from January 24 – 27.

As always, the event is full of education and family-friendly events including:

  • NEW! Twin Cities Beach Bash, featuring a display of past winners of the Milk Carton Boat Race and an all-new, marine-themed Sandcastle. Children are invited to make their own milk carton boats or help with creating the sand sculpture.
  • NEW! Discover-A-Boat scavenger hunt, in which little skippers are invited to explore the show floor, navigating the Discover-A-Boat map to find recreational boats of all kinds. Participants can hand in their completed maps for prizes, while supplies last.
  • Boating Skills Virtual Trainer, which allows you to take the helm of a virtual boat and sharpen your driving, docking, and other important skills.
  • Antique & 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.
  • Island Lifestyle Experience, delivering a tropical oasis for attendees to put up their feet and relax, enjoy refreshments and listen to live music.
  • Contests and giveaways each day of the show, including a chance to win a new Sea-Doo Spark!

2019 Minneapolis Boat Show Info:

Thursday, January 24, 2 – 9 pm
Friday, January 25, 12 – 9 pm
Saturday, January 26, 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday, January 27, 10 am – 5 pm

Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota



Tickets are regularly priced at $14 for adults and free for children 12 and under with paid adult. Active military are free with ID. Senior Day is Thursday, January 24, where 62+ ticket price is $11. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or onsite the day of the show.

Coupon Code:
Purchase in advance online and save! Use the coupon code BOATGO to get your tickets buy one, get one free through midnight January 24.

For more information about the 2019 Minneapolis Boat Show, visit You can also follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Look for the hashtag #MPLSBoatShow!

Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Minnesota reader will win four (4) tickets to the 2019 Minneapolis Boat Show. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59 pm ET on 1/21/19. Good luck!

2019 Minneapolis Boat Show 4-Pack Tickets Giveaway

Hyland Hills Ski Area Discount Lift Tickets – As Low As $27.25/Person

You live in Minnesota…why not embrace the winter weather? Hit the slopes at Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington and save up to 28% when you purchase discount lift tickets through Groupon!

Options include:

  • $30 for one person
  • $59 for two people ($29.50/person)
  • $109 for four people ($27.25/person)

Hyland Hills Ski Area is open Monday – Friday 9:30 am to 9 pm and Saturday – Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. Daily lift tickets are normally priced at $35.34/adult and $31.62/child ages 5-11, not including tax, so you’re definitely saving with this offer. Equipment rental is not included.

Please note: The Groupon expires 3/10/19 and is final sale; refundable only on the day of purchase. You must purchase at least 24 hours in advance of when you plan to use it. It also is NOT valid on Monday, January 21st and Monday, February 18th. There is a limit of 1 per person.

Located in Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington, Hyland Hills invites winter sports enthusiasts for downhill skiing and snowboarding in the Twin Cities metro area. The terrain park has many progressive and innovative features and Hyland Hills is known for snowmaking and grooming in the Midwest. For those who have never hit the slopes or want to freshen up their skills, Three Rivers also offers lessons through the SnowSports Academy.

Hyland Hills Ski Area Discounts

Other ways to save at Hyland Hills:

Visit after 3 pm for slightly discounted rates: $32.55/adult and $28.83/child ages 5-11, not including tax.

Go at night and pay $18.60 per lift ticket. Offer is valid Monday – Friday 7 – 9 pm, Saturday – Sunday 6 – 9 pm.

Visit before 3 pm Monday – Thursday between 9:30 am – 3 pm and pay $23.30 per lift ticket for all ages, or add on ski/snowboard rental and pay $37.28. (Not valid January 21st or February 18th.)

If you have an Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area season pass, you’ll receive a daily rate of $10 at Hyland Hills.

Don’t forget that Minnesota 4th graders can ski for free with the 4th Grade Passport Program!

Get your Groupon HERE.

Ice Harvesting Day at Richardson Nature Center

Are you interested in how things used to be done?  Ice Harvesting isn’t something we hear much about these days, but it used to be very important.  The Annual Ice Harvesting event takes place Saturday, January 26th at the Richardson Nature Center,  A great opportunity to see just how things used to be done. There’s a small fee for all of the activities, only $5 a person which is still a bargain.

Experience the adventures of Minnesota’s hardy ice harvesters. Cut blocks of ice out of the pond with a vintage ice saw and pull an antique ice plow. Weigh blocks of ice, use chipping tools, and make ice cubes. Discover food preservation techniques with costumed interpreters from The Landing and hear stories from ice harvesting historian, Tim Graf. Try a kicksled, determine water quality, and watch ice rescue demonstrations by Bloomington Fire and Rescue. Explore Phase Two, a dynamic public artwork made of melting ice representing the effects of climate change in sculptural form. Keep warm by a campfire outside or enjoy hot cocoa and a film of early-1900s ice harvesting inside. Drop in anytime.

Full Moon Walk at Pine Point Regional Park

So far we’ve had a pretty mild winter, that just means an evening walk is a little easier.  Seeing the beautiful moon makes it worth it, even if is winter and you can see your breath.

The Full Moon Walk at Pine Point Regional Park takes place January 22nd from 7-8pm.  It’s a guided hike and you are welcome to bring snowshoes or just walk along the trail.  No reservations needed and it’s free with a vehicle permit for Washington County Parks.


Urban Expedition at Landmark Center in St. Paul – Learn About the World!

Kids and adults can learn about the world this Sunday (and four other Sundays this winter and spring) with Landmark Center’s Urban Expedition program! This is the 15th year of this popular program in St. Paul which provides authentic cultural experiences that include music, dance, crafts and traditions from different destination countries.

This year’s series will highlight the following countries on these dates:

Puerto Rico: Sunday, January 13

Palestine: Sunday, February 10

Romania: Sunday, March 3

Great Britain: Sunday, March 31

Vietnam: Sunday, April 14

These programs run from 1 – 3 pm on each of these days and are FREE and open to the public. Children and adults will receive a travel “passport” that will be stamped for each country in the series.

Landmark Center is located at 75 West 5th Street facing Rice Park and next to the Ordway and The Saint Paul Hotel. Parking is available on the street as well as in nearby Lawson, Science Museum and RiverCentre Ramps.

Winter Open House at White Bear Lake Center for the Arts

Are you looking for some winter fun?  The Winter Open House at White Bear Lake Center for the Arts is a chance to have outdoor and indoor fun for the whole family.  This FREE event takes place Saturday, January 19th from 1-3pm.  Some of the fun activities include:

  • Ice Sculpting
  • Sled Dogs
  • Art Demonstrations
  • Art Activities
  • Clay Experimentation
  • Explore the Gallery


Save on Admission to Ice Castles MN in Excelsior – 15% Off Coupon Code!

Ice Castles MN Discount Code

Fulfill your kiddos’ Frozen fantasies with a visit to the Ice Castles in MN – Excelsior, to be exact. It opens Saturday the 12th, so we wanted to be sure you knew of the discounted admission opportunities currently available!

Regular admission prices are as follows:

  • General Admission (ages 12+): $10.95/weekday, $15.95/weekend
  • Child Admission (ages 4-11): $7.95/weekday, $9.95/weekend
  • Ages 0-3: FREE

Plus, there is a $2.50 service fee per type of ticket purchased. So if you were purchasing two child admissions and two general admissions, your service fee would be $5 ($2.50 + $2.50). Make sense? You’ll also be charged 7.5% sales tax.


Ice Castles MN Coupon Code

Order online and save 15% when you use the discount coupon code ThriftyMN which is valid for any day/time this season! With the discount, you’ll pay as low as $9.31 for general admission or as low as $6.76 for child admission. Don’t forget that kids 3 and under are always FREE. 🙂

Ice Castles hours are as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday, 4-9 pm (closed Tuesdays)
  • Friday, 4 – 9:30 pm
  • Saturday, 12 – 9:30 pm
  • Sunday, 12 – 8 pm

When you buy a ticket, you are buying an arrival window. For example, if you buy a ticket from 7 – 7:30 pm and get there early, you will need to wait until 7 pm to enter. If you arrive after 7:30 pm, you will need to wait and may lose your ticket. Once you’re inside, you may stay as long as you like (although I think they’ll kick you out eventually). 😉


Ice Castles Tips

Never been to the Ice Castles? Their website has a t-o-n of information and tips for your visit, including dates and times that the Enchanted Frozen Sisters (a.k.a. Elsa and Anna) will be there as well as the dates and times for the Fire Performances. You can also read Kristi’s review of Ice Castles when it was in Eden Prairie.

Get your tickets to Ice Castles MN HERE!