Free Film Screening of THE PUBLIC and Q&A with Emilio Estevez Tomorrow

Join Minneapolis Central Library for a special (free) movie screening of THE PUBLIC, a new film written, produced, and directed by Emilio Estevez. The screening takes place tomorrow (Sunday, March 17th) starting at 2 pm. Minneapolis Central Library is located at 300 Nicollet Mall.

It’s appropriate that this is taking place in a library as this film is about downtown Cincinnati librarians Stuart Goodson (played by Emilio Estevez) and Myra (played by Jena Malone) who see their regular winter day shaken up when homeless patrons decide to take shelter in their library for the night. What starts as a peaceful sit-in quickly escalates into a face-off with the police and the media.



After the screening, there will be a brief Q&A with Emilio Estevez. Doors open at 1:15 pm and seating is very limited and will be given on a first-come, first served basis. There is no overflow seating available. The film has a PG-13 rating and opens in theaters on Friday, April 5th.

More details HERE.

Minneapolis Convention Center Parking Discount

minneapolis convention center parking discount

There are so many amazing events that happen downtown in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but I’m a suburb girl and I get squeamish when I think about traffic and parking. Whenever I venture downtown, I try to figure out parking in advance so that’s one less hassle to deal with. Can anyone relate?

Right now you can get a Minneapolis Convention Center Parking Discount when you find your parking ahead of time through Groupon. It uses ParkWhiz so you can reserve your spot in advance and know you at least have that covered.

To get started, visit Groupon and select your date and entry/exit times. The website will show the available parking facilities along with the distance from the Minneapolis Convention Center and any available ratings. When I booked my reservation, they automatically gave me additional hours since they wouldn’t cost any extra!

Once you’ve made your purchase, you’ll just need to scan your parking pass at the entry gate, park in any space not marked “reserved,” and scan your parking pass again at the exit gate when you leave. Easy peasy!

Upcoming events at the Minneapolis Convention Center include:

Como Planetarium

With Spring Break here or approaching soon, you might be looking for stay-cation ideas?   The Como Planetarium is a great idea, it’s located in St. Paul and offers some great shows, the kind that are educational but disguised as fun!

The Planetarium offers shows to the public each Tuesday evening during the school year.  It’s strongly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance, as each show only seats 55 people.  Plus at $5 per ticket for the 45 minute show, it’s an awesome thrifty price!  *They occasionally offer special events that are priced a little higher.

Dates of shows for March and April are:  Mar 19, Mar 26, Apr 2, Apr 9, Apr 16 & Apr 23,  You can also check their schedule here. 

A little more about the Planetarium:

Como Planetarium is a 55-seat planetarium that specializes in educational experiences. We have been in operation since 1975 and we operate both our ‘classic’ star ball and an updated system. We are located in Como Elementary School (we are not located in Como Park…nearby…but not in). Our state-of-the-art system provides the opportunity for visitors to take virtual trips though the solar system, as well as enjoy quality film productions on our 30 ft. diameter screen.

Astronomy is fascinating-at every age! We support learning through public educational presentations and telescope events. Attend a Tuesday evening public show during the school year $5 per ticket (free parking).

5:30 pm for Preschool age and 7:00 pm General Audiences

Hop Into Spring Weekend at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Hop Into Spring Weekend

Spring is almost here…can you feel it in the air? Show your excitement by jumping up and down…or how about hopping? This Saturday and Sunday we can celebrate spring with Hop Into Spring Weekend at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.

On Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th from 10 am – 4 pm each day, Como will be celebrating the wonders of frogs and toads during this special family-friendly environmental education weekend presented by Xcel Energy.

Hop Into Spring Weekend

Visitors will be able to create their own fun frog craft, partake in a music station for mimicking Minnesota’s amphibian chorus, experience free play for the younger ones on our pond rugs & tree log, enjoy our Noon Story Time featuring the story A Frog In The Bog and check out some interesting, rarely seen frog & toad species at our Amphibian Station. Our friends at Xcel Energy will also be on hand to teach visitors how to save themselves some “green” on their energy bills!

March 16 also marks the opening of the Spring Flower Show in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s Sunken Garden. This year’s Spring Flower Show will showcase red and yellow tulips, yellow daffodils yellow crocus white hydrangeas, hyacinth, asiatic and calla lilies giving this show a unique aesthetic andwill provide some color therapy to Minnesotans weary of winter.

Daily Schedule
10:30 am – Polar Bear Program at Polar Bear Odyssey
11 am – Zookeeper Talk at Visitor Center Lobby
11:30 am – Gorilla Program at Primate Building
12 pm – Story Time: Frog in a Bog at Visitor Center Lobby
12:30 pm – Snow Leopard Program at Large Cats Building
1 pm – Gardener Talk at Conservatory
2 pm – Gorilla Program at Gorilla Forest
2:30 pm – Polar Bear Program at Polar Bear Odyssey

Como Camera Challenge – look for signs of spring in the Zoo Grounds & Conservatory that show the start of spring – such as buds on the trees, birds singing, bulbs blooming (conservatory), animals shedding, etc – take a picture with your phone or camera – show your love for Spring & Como by posting your photos to Instagram, Twitter & Facebook tagged with #SpringatComo and #MyMMC

Admission is always free at Como Zoo & Conservatory, with a suggested donation of $3 per adult and $2 per child.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the Twin Cities on Saturday, March 16th

Both St. Paul and Minneapolis have St. Patrick’s Day parades on Saturday, March 16th. (Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, both parades are being held on Saturday instead.)

In St. Paul, the Saint Patrick’s Association is hosting the 53rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at noon. The Parade travels east to west along 5th Street beginning at Wacouta Street. It will wrap around Rice Park, turning south on Washington and east on 4th Street.

In Minneapolis, the 51st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held along Nicollet Mall beginning at 6:30 pm. The parade route begins at 5th Street and ends on 12th Street.

free Metro Transit rides

Free Metro Transit Rides

And just so you know, you can get free rides on Metro Transit from 6 pm – 3 am on Saturday, March 16th. Simply hop on and take a seat for free! This is a worry-free and safe alternative to driving while celebrating, or driving alongside those who are celebrating.

HardsMalta Festival & Pond Skim

Have you heard of the word Härdsmälta? It’s Swedish for meltdown!  On the fun side of this crazy weather and melting snow, there has to be some fun right?  The Härdsmälta takes place at the Hyland Ski Area in Bloomington from 1-3 on tomorrow (March 16).  It’s a free event but they do ask that you bring two 2 non-perishable food items for the food-shelf. 

A little bit more information about this event:  

We are expanding our annual pond skim to have more of everything this year! More food, more demos, beer, a bigger pond, and more prizes!
-Live DJ
-Fire Pits
-Costume Contest
-Hyland Hills Swag

It’s a free event, as long as you bring 2 non-perishable food items to donate to our local food shelf.



Star Party at Bell Museum – Friday, March 15th

To infinity and beyond! Explore the sky with the Bell Museum at their free March Star Party taking place this Friday, March 15th from 8 – 9:30 pm. (Doors open at 7:45 pm and they do recommend getting there early.)

These telescope observing nights take place monthly during the U of M’s fall and spring semesters on the Bell’s rooftop observation deck. They are family-friendly but are recommended for ages 7+.

Each evening starts with an introduction to the Minnesota night sky in the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium, including helpful observing tips. After this brief introduction, the evening continues with telescope observation on the Ruth & John Huss Observation Deck. Bell Museum staff will guide you through observations of the same celestial objects that have inspired sky-gazers throughout history!

Events will take place rain or shine. In the case of poor weather, indoor activities will be planned in place of telescope observing. Arrive on time, the first part of the program takes place inside the Planetarium.

They do ask that you register in advance.

Up to 62% Off Distillery Tour and Tasting (Isanti)

I’m always on the lookout for unique outings (especially date ideas) beyond dinner and a movie. Here’s one in Isanti that might appeal to whiskey connoisseurs: visit Isanti Spirits for a distillery tour and tasting, souvenir glasses included.

Save with this Groupon deal and choose from the following options:

  • $9 for Distillery Tour and Tasting for Two with Souvenir Glasses (reg. $20) – $4.50/person
  • $15 for Distillery Tour and Tasting for Four with Souvenir Glasses (reg. $40) – $3.75/person

At your tour, you’ll sample whiskey made with grains from Minnesota and locally-sourced barrels, and gin crafted with juniper berries grown on-site. Hours are every Saturday (12 – 5 pm) and by appointment. They do ask that you make a reservation with your Groupon in advance.

Isanti Spirits founder Rick Schneider has never been one to settle into place. In the 1980s. he drummed in a punk-rock band; in fact, at age 17, he was already playing famed venues around Minneapolis. By the 1990s, he’d taken up glass blowing and became an art professor.

Eventually, Rick began considering his next venture, and it dawned on him while he drank a glass of whiskey. He set out to open his own distillery: he read books, he took classes, and before long, he was opening the doors to Isanti Spirits. Here are a few things to know about Rick’s operation:

  • Signature spirits: Rick spins together Isanti Rye Whiskey, Sunken Bobber Bourbon, and Tilted Cedars Gin
  • The grains he uses are primarily grown in Minnesota, and the barrels are also coopered in-state.
  • Isanti’s Kothe still, however, is from a bit further away: Eislingen, Germany, to be exact.
  • The property: It’s located right in Isanti County on a pastoral hobby farm on German Lake, which Rick bought before essentially building the distillery right in his backyard.

Get your Groupon HERE!

Maple Syrup Festival at CSB/SJU

Are you still searching for a fun maple syrup event? The Maple Syrup Festival at CSB/SJU (College of St. Benedict and St. Johns University) is coming up on Saturday March 30th.  There’s a small admission fee and tickets can purchased in advance here on their website or when you arrive. Both events are fun for the whole family:

  • Sap collecting
  • Syrup cooking
  • Horse-drawn rides
  • Demonstrations
  • Hot maple syrup sundaes await the whole family during this annual rite of spring.

Before You Come:

  • The festivals are ENTIRELY OUTDOORS – rain, snow, or shine. Please dress for the weather.
  • It is usually extremely muddy, snowy, and occasionally icy out at the sugar shack. We HIGHLY recommend wearing boots.
  • Please LEAVE DOGS AND PETS AT HOME. While we love them too, they are not allowed in the Abbey Arboretum.
  • All the activities are going on throughout the festival between 11 p.m. and 4 p.m.


Experience a Day of Dancing with Dancing with the Stars Pros in Minneapolis

Chrysa Duran Nutcracker Dance Lesson

During the holidays I had one of my most fun and memorable days ever when I got a dance lesson from “Dancing with the Stars” pros Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten and Gleb Savchenko at Gleb’s dance studio, Pro Dance LA, when I was visiting Los Angeles for the Nutcracker and the Four Realms premiere.

I’m a HUGE fan of Dancing with the Stars and having a chance to meet the pros and have a dance lesson from them was a dream-come-true for this former dancer. I’m happy to say that lots more Minnesotans are going to get a similar experience coming up in May!

A Day of Dancing with Gleb Alan Artem

If you love to dance (or are just a dance fan), you’ll be excited to hear that Minneapolis is one of the specifically chosen cities for the spectacular Day of Dance! Pro Dance LA is bringing the hottest professional dancers from Dancing with the Stars including Artem Chigvintsev, Gleb Savchenko and Alan Bersten .

Enjoy one full day of learning to dance from the best, in an up close and personal setting, on May 4, 2019. It’s a chance to experience their teaching and get to know them through Workshops, Private Lessons, Meet & Greet Photo Session and Q&A.

A DAY OF DANCE Minneapolis

Did you know that Alan Bersten is from Minnesota? Yes, he is! And his brother and sister-in-law, champions Elena and Gene Bersten, own Dance with us America, at Southdale in Edina, where the Day of Dance will take place.

No matter if you are a dancer, dance student, a dance fan or have never stepped foot on a dance floor – this day is for you! This event is for ages 13 and up. You can learn more and register at