They took a year off and changed venues, but the Art Shanty Projects opened for the season this past weekend, and it’s just as much fun as it’s ever been (which is to say, quite a lot). Open Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Feb. 23 on White Bear Lake. There’s a lot to see and do.
Yes, the beach is closed for swimming. No worries there.
If you’re not familiar with the Art Shanty Project, it’s a collection of shanties — some similar to fish houses — that are themed, decorated, and often have activities associated with them, all run by different artists or groups. With the Winter Olympics just about to start, it’s fitting that there’s a Curling Clubhouse Ice Shanty, where you can try your hand at this Olympic sport.
Sure, it gets cold on the lake, but you can easily work up some warmth with a stop at the Dance Shanty.
The Jigsaw Shanty will give your brain a workout, and not just with the giant puzzle being set up outside.
If you want a workout but don’t want to dance, you’re in luck. Heard of Pedal Pubs? Well, at the Art Shanty Project, it’s Pedal Bear. Yup — under that bear are several people, pedaling away to take a tour around the shanties.
The Elevator Shanty, complete with lobby, is a trippy little “ride,” complete with elevator-appropriate music. Or is it?
Ice Ice Maybe is a retailer, selling items encased in ice. Here’s the catch: your money’s no good here. Want to buy something? Be prepared to answer a list of questions.
Take a break and reflect. Or not.
The Speak Your Truth/This I Believe Shanty was created by students, parents, and staff from Southwest High School. What is your truth?
The Meta Shanty is a spot for rejuvenation: meditation, Tarot, astrological readings, essential oils, Tai Chi — you can find it all here.
The Wind Shanty, curated last weekend by this cheerful woman, is all about wind, what it is, what it seems like, and how to play with it. Example: wind chimes.
Noah’s Art Shanty gives budding artists a chance to create clay animals while enjoying tales told by a storyteller.
The Music Box gives you the chance to make beautiful music, with some unexpected instruments.
This is not everything there is to see and do at the Art Shanty Projects. Visit the website for upcoming events.
Note: directions to the Shanties are also on that website, but be aware: one suggestion is to use online mapping software with the address “White Bear Lake County Park” as the destination. I tried that on three mapping sites and got three different results, only one of them correct (Google). The step-by-step directions on the Shanties site refer to MN Highway 96, when what you want is Ramsey County Highway 96. Minor distinction, but it helps to know.
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.