Can’t-Miss Calendar

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July 14–23

Looney laughing high resLooney Lutherans

The Maplewood Area Historical Society will present this family-friendly improvisational variety show, featuring three wacky gals, promoting their new (fictional) cookbook with music, comedy, audience interaction. Chef Mickey Michlitsch will offer Minnesota-inspired comfort foods in a pre-show picnic. Guests will be encouraged to browse the grounds before stepping into the barn to see the 75-minute show, cooked up by one of the writers from the Church Basement Ladies musicals.

When: July 14–16, 21–23

Where: Bruentrup Heritage Farm, Maplewood

Cost: $15–$40


July 28-Aug. 13



St. Paul’s own Circus Juventas, the largest performing arts youth circus school in the U.S., presents its summer show hot off the road from traveling to Washington D.C. Nordrsaga, a story steeped in little-known Norse mythology, adventure and magic, runs three hours long (with a 20-minute intermission).

When: July 28-Aug. 13

Where: Circus Juventas, 1270 Montreal Ave., St. Paul

Cost: $18.50-$45


July 12–Aug. 9

Music in the Cafe

Enjoy free music over the lunch hour, hosted by KFAI Radio’s Larry Englund in Landmark Center’s Musser Cortile atrium. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase one from Anita’s Cafe.

When: Noon July 12 (Miss Myra and the Moonshiners — sultry vintage jazz), July 26 (Little Riddles — American roots music) and Aug. 9 (Brian Wicklund and Mike Cramer — bluegrass fiddle performers)

Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul

Cost: FREE


July 6–Oct. 22



This tribute to “the legendary ladies of country music” — from the theater company behind the Church Basement Ladies — features jukebox songs of love, heartbreak, family and faith, celebrating the power and resilience of women.

When: July 6–Oct. 22

Where: Plymouth Playhouse

Cost: $29


July 6–Aug. 17


Summer Faire

Grab a lawn chair and enjoy sounds from Minnesota’s favorite musicians, including Aimee & Boyd Lee, Keri Noble, Shane Martin, Ryan Liestman’s Reggae Revival Duo, Martin Zellar, American Bootleg and GB Leighton.

Where: Arbor Park courtyard, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove

When: 6–8 p.m. Thursdays, July 6–Aug. 17

Cost: FREE


July 19–Aug. 16


Kubb Lessons

Learn how to play this Swedish lawn game, described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes, with lessons by the St. Paul Kubb Society. Grab a bite at one of the rotating food trucks featured during each class.

When: Wednesdays: July 19–Aug. 16, excluding July 5 and July 12

Where: The Commons, downtown Minneapolis by U.S. Bank Stadium

Cost: FREE

Info: Find many more family friendly events at

July 29–30

Loring Park Art Festival

View and purchase artwork from 140 juried artists of all media and enjoy family-friendly activities, food vendors and live music, too.

When: July 29–30

Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Cost: FREE


July 30


10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegnace

See rare and valuable automobiles, watercraft and motorcycles on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, alongside local vendors, fine food, live music and a kids’ area. This year, visitors can take a ride in a vintage automobile or cruise around Excelsior Bay in a historic wooden boat. Proceeds will benefit Bridging, a nonprofit organization serving the greater Twin Cities.

When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. July 30

Where: Excelsior Commons, Excelsior

Cost: $20–25


Aug. 4–6


Uptown Art Fair

See the work of professional and youth artists, plus enjoy live music and dance performances, family-friendly activities and festival-style food and beverages.

When: Aug. 4–6

Where: Uptown Minneapolis

Cost: FREE


April 15-Sept. 25

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Robert Anderson’s Gardens of Kaleidoscopes

The exhibit features 15 interactive garden kaleidoscope installations on the Arboretum’s Dahlberg and Morgan terraces, as well as inside the Oswald Visitor Center. The kaleidoscopes of varying heights allow everyone from children to adults to be able to enjoy them. Intricate prism designs create interactive, living sculptures.

When: April 15-Sept. 25; see website for hours

Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen

Cost: Visitors age 16 & up:  $15; Children 15 & Under: Free admission; Members: Free admission year-round; children up to age 15 free. Adults accompanying members in the same vehicle are $12 if they are not included under member’s membership level; University of Minnesota Students: Free; Free Third Mondays of the month, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Aug. 9 – 16

Rhythm on the Rails

This new, free summer concert series will feature live music, family fun, food/brew vendors and more. Acts include Church of Cash, a Jonny Cash tribute band (July 19), The Outer Vibe (July 26), Chris Hawkey (Aug. 2), Lost Highway (Aug. 9) and Martin Zellar (Aug. 16).

When: 6–10 p.m. Wednesdays July 19–Aug. 16

Where: Lewis Street, downtown Shakopee

Cost: FREE


Aug. 11–13


Irish Fair of Minnesota

The nation’s largest free Irish fair is held outdoors at St. Paul’s Harriet Island. Multiple stages dedicated to dance and music performances are a big draw for all ages, and the children’s area offers kid-friendly activities for every level of rambunctiousness. An art tent features face painting and arts and crafts, while the fair’s activity tent includes dance lessons, games, races, musical performances and visits from native dogs.

When: Aug. 11–13

Where: Harriet Island, St. Paul

Cost: FREE


Aug. 11–13

Twin Cities Polish Festival

Learn about Polish culture and traditions at this family-friendly event, featuring folk-dance exhibitions, live music, food, beverages, arts and crafts, cultural exhibits and a petting area filled with cuddly Polish sheepdogs.

When: Aug. 11–13

Where: Old Main Street in northeast Minneapolis, across from St. Anthony Main

Cost: FREE


April 8–Sept. 4

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WW1 America

Experience the extraordinary stories of Americans (both the legendary and the unsung) during this turbulent time. After its opening run, the exhibit — including original artifacts, images, voices, music, hands-on exploration and multimedia presentations — will begin a three-year tour to premier historical museums around the country.

When: Opening April 8, on the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the first world war, showing through Sept. 4

Where: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

Cost: Included with regular admission of $12 for adults, $10 for ages 65 and older and college students, $6 for ages 5 to 17; and free age 4 and younger; admission is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m.


March 3–Oct. 28

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This hugely popular Broadway-style production, also featuring tunes made popular from the 1978 film, is back for the first time in more than a decade. The show, first staged at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in 2006, became the venue’s best-selling show of all time and it has remained so since.

When: March 3–Oct. 28

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Chanhassen

Cost: $65–$89


Feb. 18–July 30

In 2014, Penumbra staged The Ballad of Emmett Till, a play based on the 1955 murder of a 14-year-old boy in Mississippi who was accused of flirting with a white woman. Photo courtesy Penumbra Theatre Company / Photo by Allen Weeks
In 2014, Penumbra staged The Ballad of Emmett Till, a play based on the 1955 murder of a 14-year-old boy in Mississippi who was accused of flirting with a white woman. Photo courtesy Penumbra Theatre Company / Photo by Allen Weeks

Penumbra Theatre at 40

Penumbra Theatre Company is Minnesota’s only professional African-American theater, and is one of only three professional African-American theaters in the nation to offer a full season of performances. Timed to open during Black History Month, this exhibit — subtitled Art, Race and a Nation on Stage — aims to help visitors gain a greater understanding of African-American artistic expression. Through firsthand accounts, artifacts and immersive settings, visitors will get an introduction to Penumbra Theatre’s efforts to inspire, educate and reflect the pride and perseverance of the communities whose stories it tells.

When: Feb. 18–July 30

Where: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul 

Cost: Included with regular admission of $12 for adults, $10 for ages 65 and older and college students, $6 for ages 5 to 17; and free age 4 and younger; admission is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m.



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Deep Roots: Plants as Medicine

Examine the history and future of plant-based medicine around the world in this exhibit sponsored by Minnesota’s LeafLine Labs.

Where: The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis

When: Opening June 22

Cost: Included with museum admission of $10–$5 (free for ages 4 and younger)



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Yoga at Union Depot

Get your Om on at beautiful Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.  Free classes are offered Monday nights, Tuesday midday, and Saturday mornings. All classes are offered for a variety of skill levels and are taught by the talented instructors from Studio 925.

When: Ongoing; see website for details

Where: Union Depot, St. Paul

Cost: FREE

Info: Reservations are not required for attendance. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat, water, and towel if needed.


MN State Capital / Photo courtesy of Minnesota State Capitol Restoration Project
MN State Capital / Photo courtesy of Minnesota State Capitol Restoration Project

Capitol Tours 

After more than three years of restoration work, the Minnesota State Capitol reopens this month with free tours.Guides will provide an overview of Capitol history, art, architecture and state government, and will highlight the massive restoration efforts, including murals and paintings returned to their original 1905 patterns and colors, cleaned and repaired exterior marble work and new public spaces in the basement, featuring exposed limestonefoundation walls.

When: Public guided tours — 45 minutes long — will return January 3 on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 10 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Where: Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul

Cost: FREE



A Beautiful Planet 1

A Beautiful Planet

Made in cooperation with NASA, this Omnitheater film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Toni Myers and narrated by actress Jennifer Lawrence.

When: Ongoing

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Cost: Film tickets cost $9.95 for adults and $8.95 for ages 4–12 and 60 and older. 



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Tours of the Cathedral of St. Paul 

The Cathedral of Saint Paul was the dream of Archbishop John Ireland, who secured the site in 1904. Situated on the highest point in St. Paul, this magnificent building welcomed waves of immigrants that flooded into Minnesota in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The building houses its own museum and gift shop and the tours are given by their knowledgeable network of volunteers.

When: Every Tuesday through Friday; 1:00 p.m.

Where: 239 Selby Ave, Saint Paul 55102

Cost: FREE; though donations are gratefully received. Tours are suspended on Holy Days and civil holidays.


Through Sept. 4


Blooming Butterflies

Hundreds of butterflies from Africa, Asia and the Americas will be flying freely in an indoor garden environment filled with tropical plants. More than 400 butterflies will be released into the exhibit each week.

When: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. through Sept. 4

Where: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul

Cost: FREE



Alexander Ramsey House Tours

Take a guided tour of Minnesota’s first territorial governor’s historic home — one of the best-preserved Victorian-era homes in the country, offering a glimpse into life in the 1870s.

When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 2

Where: St. Paul

Cost: FREE



Daisy Camp

Getting divorced? Get educated and empowered with a day of lectures and question-and-answer sessions with local legal, financial, real-estate and mental-health professionals, including attorneys trained in collaborative law.

When: Ongoing

Where: 3300 Edinborough Way, Suite 550, Edina

Cost: $60 (includes refreshments and lunch); scholarships are available.

Info: See for updates.




In this new addition to the museum’s exhibit galleries, visitors are invited to run, kick, swing and jump to explore the science of bodies in motion

When: Ongoing

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Cost: This exhibit is included in regular museum admission, which now costs $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for ages 4–12 and 60 and older.




Science of Pixar

Get an unparalleled look at Pixar’s filmmaking process for beloved animated films such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, Inside Out, Monsters, Inc. and WALL-E.

When: Through Sept. 4

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Cost: Admission to both the museum and this exhibit cost $28.95 for adults and $22.95 for ages 4 to 12 and seniors age 65 and older. Visitors are asked to choose a date for their visit and a specific entry time.



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Journey to the South Pacific

Go on epic adventure through the tropical islands of West Papua, New Guinea, to experience one of the most extraordinary places on Earth, featuring Jawi Mayor, a 13-year-old boy.

When: Through September

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Cost: Tickets are $9.95 for adults and $8.95 for ages 4 to 12 and 65 and older.



Second Saturday Divorce Workshop

This event is geared toward women who are contemplating divorce, who are in the process of getting divorced or who have already filed for divorce. Explore the legal, financial and emotional aspects of divorce. Discover what resources are available to help you. Talk with others experiencing similar life changes. Learn from experts who have guided others through divorce.

When: 9 a.m.–noon on the second Saturday of every month

Where: Minnetonka Community Center, Shady Oak Room, Minnetonka

Cost: $25 (Men are encouraged to attend Mondays for Men from 5 to 8 p.m. on select Mondays in St. Louis Park. Cost is $25.)


May 27–Sept. 4


Kangaroo Crossing

Live kangaroos, emus and wallabies will be at the heart of this new, walk-through Australian-themed exhibit.

When: May 27–Sept. 4

Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley

Cost: Free with zoo admission of $12 for ages 3–12 and 65 and older, $18 for ages 13–64



Musical Theater Series

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts’ 2017-2018 musical series will feature three Ordway-produced shows and one Broadway tour (Kinky Boots) to illuminate a variety of diverse musical styles and universal themes.

When: Jesus Christ Superstar (July 18–23), In the Heights (Sept. 12–17), Annie (Dec. 7–31) and Kinky Boots (April 3–8, 2018)

Where: The Ordway, St. Paul

Cost: Subscription packages for the series start at $130.