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Wander Minnesota: Post-New Year’s Celebrating

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(credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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Once we get past ringing in the New Year, we have a few days’ grace period before 2014 really kicks in. Kids may still be home from school, people may still be taking vacation, but once the holiday decorations are put away and the Christmas thank-you notes are dispatched, what’s left to do? Plenty. Around the state, there are several opportunities to keep the festivities going.

There’s still one last chance to take in the Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House in St. Paul. How was Christmas celebrated in 1875? Find out in this charming tour, complete with cookies baked in the home’s wood-fired oven. Reservations required.

If you’ve got small kids who can’t make it to midnight, plan an outing to Como Zoo and Conservatory, which has “Noon Year’s Party” from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Jan. 1. There will be noise-maker making, a beach ball drop at noon, zoo keeper talk, KidsDance, and a polar bear enrichment program.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate in St. Paul’s Rice Park is closed on New Year’s Day, but will be open Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Bonus: The weather is supposed to warm up as we approach the weekend. Bring your own skates, or rent them on site for $2 (free for Wells Fargo check or credit card holders).

Given some of the inclement weather on the North Shore this winter, it’s not surprising that the Bentleyville Tour of Lights has been extended through Jan. 4. Held in Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park, Bentleyville is a giant walk-through festival of lights, open at 5 p.m. daily. Fireworks will be held Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. Check the website for possible weather closures.

Breezy Point Resort plans to embrace the arrival of the coldest winter months with its annual Ice Fest, Jan. 3-4. Dogsled rides, snowmobile radar run, snow golf, ice slide, horse-drawn trolley rides, live entertainment, and fireworks.

Grand Rapids welcomes art lovers with its monthly First Friday Art Walk, held Jan. 3 with live music, artist talks, and demonstrations.

Jan. 3-4, travel south to Austin for Minnesota Fest. Minnesota beer, wine, food, and music. Bonus: Pay a visit to the SPAM Museum. No, really—it’s a lot of fun.

The Forest History Center in Grand Rapids offers All About Owls and Raptors at 1 p.m. on Jan. 4. Examine specimens, dissect owl pellets (kids love this!), and meet a real owl.

St. Paul’s Minnesota History Center offers Speakeasy Saturday on Jan. 4, part of its American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit. Learn about the incredible boom in craft breweries in Minnesota and enjoy samples from Great Waters Brewing.

Whatever you choose to do, be safe, have fun, and Happy New Year to all of you!

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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