The Weekender

Our recommendations to make the most of your weekend!
AAA Minneapolis

Explore the Grumpy Old Men Festival

Next up, in the category of "Most Minnesotan thing ever" comes the 28th annual Wabasha Grumpy Old Men Festival, happening this weekend. With a wide range of activities ranging from an ice fishing contest, ice skating, bonfire with s'mores, ice bar, plunge challenge, and shopping adventures at a slew of local establishments, you are guaranteed to get in the mood, and maybe even watch both movies afterwards! Don't forget to pick up an official bomber hat or neck gaiter.

Watch a Rock Light Show

Have you been missing the holiday drive through light shows since they came to an end last month? And are you missing going to your favorite concerts? Severs is back in the game with a rock show themed drive through lights tour all from the comfort of your vehicle. For only one weekend they will feature over a million lights set to a playlist of favorite rock songs including Prince, Pink Floyd and The Who. 10% of the proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Twin Cities Music Community Trust to support our local live music community.

Heat Up at a Chili Cookoff

Winter is not complete without a chili cookoff to heat things up, and what better place than at local treasure Midtown Global Market? A 2021 Midtown Global Market chili cookoff ticket will get you access to 9 globally inspired chili's -ranging from Aztec Chicken Chili to Venezuelan Surprise- from 9 Global Market chefs competing for the title of Best Chili of 2021. You can dine on your pre-boxed samples of chili in the Market at socially distant tables or pick them up curbside to go. Then make sure to vote for your top 3! A portion of the proceeds goes towards Books For Africa.

Watch the Lights on the Lock

Beginning at 6:00 on February 18th, witness this on-of-a-kind animated video collage titled "Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard" by artist Moira Villiard projected onto the 400 x 50 foot wall of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock synced with a soundscape of music. It explores themes of homecoming and finding connection within ourselves to culture, ancestors, and nature, no matter how far away we may sometimes feel. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Skate the Lake + a Movie

Wayzata's Chilly Open Cinema & Skates event on Lake Minnetonka features its first 45,000 sq. ft skating loop plus a big screen playing classic family favorites throughout the weekend including Frozen 2, The Mighty Ducks and Miracle. Friday night highlights include a visit from Olaf and firework display, and pups are welcome to the Saturday screening of The Call of the Wild. Two-hour ticket reservations are available for purchase.

Strap on Your Snowshoes

Pack up the whole family to the picturesque Bruentrup Heritage Farm at Maplewood Historical Society for a quintessential Minnesota activity; a snowshoe scavenger hunt. After a quick snowshoe lesson, you and your family will get a chance to practice your snowshoe skills in a hunt for clues that you can unscramble for a prize. Once you've hit your limit, warm up by the bonfire with s'mores and hot beverages. Sleds and leashed dogs are welcome, and registrations are staggered for safety purposes.

Celebrate Valentine's Day

Whether you choose to celebrate with a fancy meal, crafting, full of flowers or a virtual performance, there are plenty of options and ways to celebrate in the Twin Cities that are safe and filled with love.

Young People's Musical Menagerie

When multiple beloved local institutions team up, it’s guaranteed to be a Musical Menagerie. The latest Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concert Experience is teaming up with the Minnesota Zoo to connect music and animals in a live concert with various styles of music plus special animal guests. Watch online or on TPT Channel 2.

Lunar New Year at the Mall of America

Celebrate the Year of the Ox in the large open space of the Mall of America this weekend with gorgeous décor, an informative display, virtual content on the video wall and beautiful photo backdrops. We wish you a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month officially kicks off this week and there are many ways to celebrate across the Twin Cities. Celebrate the exceptional historical and creative cultural contributions made by African American artists with exhibitions, virtual events, videos, stories, and more at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Super Bowl Snacks from Local Restaurants

This year’s big game is approaching and many local restaurants including Saint Dinette, Italian Eatery, Patisserie 46, and Trattoria Mucci have you covered with specials and to-go packs. Or stop by the winter Super Bowl event at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market in Lowertown to load up on brats and sauerkraut, meats, cheese, baked goods, salsa, along with staff favorite “football day” recipes.

Chase Hot Air Balloons

The three-day family-friendly Hudson Hot Air Affair typically attracts thousands of gawkers and is the largest balloon festival in the country. It will look much different than previous years, the hybrid event will feature pop-up launches, with live video coverage, and a drive-by “Moon Glow,” without field access this year. It will take place February 5-7, and spectators are encouraged to visit the event website to find locations for balloon spotting.  

The Great Northern Festival

The Great Northern celebrates our cold, creative winters through ten days of diverse programming that invigorate mind and body. These events encompass a wide array of activities ranging from public art, keynote conversations, and outdoor activities including the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the drive-thru Ice & Snow Sculpture Park that begins this weekend!

Winter Weekends with the Ordway

The Ordway is bringing music to your winter weekends with five stream-on-demand concerts featuring Lee Rocker, Naturally 7, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, and MOJO and the Bayou Gypsies that is pay-what-what-you-wish (including free!). With Grammy-nominated rockabilly to salsa and zydeco, this musical extravaganza has something for everyone.

Sistine Chapel Exhibit at the MOA

The closest you can get to Rome right now, experience Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time, at the Mall of America in a COVID-Safe environment on the 2nd floor, North Atrium. These frescos were reproduced on canvas using state of the art technology, allowing visitors to study the art up close and at eye level. 

Virtual TwinsFest

Join the excitement of TwinsFest from the comfort of your home! Check out the silent auction, "The Sandlot" table reading from Twins players, a painting class with Twins mascot T.C., get hitting tips from Ryan Jeffers and Justin Morneau, roundtable chat with Joe Mauer, Torii Hunter & Kirk Cousins, and even a special musical performance from Tim McGraw- all free to fans!

MIA Re-Opens

While they will continue to offer more of their excellent virtual programming and exhibits, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is reopening in-person exhibits starting Jan. 28. Admission is always free, but timed tickets are now required for entry Thursday–Sunday, 10AM–5PM. Reservations are available up to three weeks in advance. Visit time is limited to two hours.

Stillwater Ice Maze

Starting this weekend, check out the largest Ice Maze in the US in our very own Stillwater. Featuring 1500 blocks of ice, 1/2 mile of twisty passages, hot chocolate, s'mores, and even a 36' ice slide, this has all the making of the perfect Minnesota winter event. Limit to 100 visitors at a time for safety.

Starlight Snow Tubing

What is more fun than family tubing? Starlight Tubing at night Wild Chutes of Wild Mountain! Floodlights are turned off and instead are light up by hundreds of sparkling lights and multicolored LED batons. Every Friday and Saturday night beginning at dusk.

Virtual Graffiti Art

The current (virtual) exhibit at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Reedy Gallery is DASKARONE- Art of Graffiti, a solo exhibition of Peyton Scott Russell (aka Sprayfinger). Known for his iconic large-scale black and white mural of George Floyd's face, Peyton became the first “graffiti artist” in Minneapolis creating multiple graffiti murals while celebrating graffiti art and culture.

MN Zoo Drive-Through Exhibits

This is the last weekend for the impressive drive-through lights exhibits at both the Minnesota Zoo (Nature Illuminated featuring large scale animal light installations) and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (Winter in Bloom featuring a 40-foot apple made of lights).

France 44 Fondue Bundle

Restaurant lovers and makeshift family cooks are rejoicing as local restaurants recently re-opened at partial capacity, but if you're more of a homebody/more comfortable at home, France 44's Fondue Bundle has your name all over it. Cheese lovers only.

New Year's Gnome

Each week in January a New Year's gnome will be placed in one of St. Louis Park's parks. Clues will be shared on Tuesday mornings through social media. Taking a photo with one of the New Year's Gnomes is said to be good luck!