Hard to believe that August is almost here, and the summer is winding down. Never let it be said that Minnesota lets summer go by without a lot of celebration. The number of events around the state reaches a peak this month. There are some biggies, like the Renaissance Festival opening Aug. 16, and, of course, the Minnesota State Fair, opening Aug. 21.
One of the most iconic figures in Minnesota has to be Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, Babe. How exactly Bunyan came into popularity isn’t clear, although some think that the stories originated in the early 1900s at a Wisconsin logging camp, while others point to early 1800s Canada. It’s not clear if there was an actual person who later became the mythic version of Bunyan, or if this was campfire lore turned into advertising. But variations exist in many parts of the country, and each tale seems taller than the next:
Just outside of Little Falls is a historic site open only in the summertime, so you still have several weeks to plan a visit. The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site has the preserved childhood home of the famed aviator, as well as the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park across the street (and which is named after the aviator’s father).
There’s a new addition to the varied scenery at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: the Harrison Sculpture Collection at the Arboretum’s highest physical point, with sculptures donated by Wayzata philanthropists Alfred and Ingrid Harrison, sculptures they’d collected from all over the world.
Have you heard of Dorset, Minnesota, the Restaurant Capital of the World? No? Well. Let’s take a visit. Dorset is a village Park Rapids and Akeley in northern Minnesota, with a population of about 22 people.
Just minutes away from the hubbub of the twin cities of Brainerd and Baxter is the Northland Arboretum. It’s almost a shock to find yourself so close to the fully built-out stretch of Highway 371 that goes through Baxter and just down the street from Fleet Farm, and yet you’re in a peaceful, calm nature preserve.
It’s so tucked away into the woods that you could easily drive right by it and never know it’s there—perhaps a good reason for the name: Lost Lake Lodge.
Yes, it seems like just yesterday we were all being beaten down by the long winter and polar vortex. Believe it or not, Independence Day is only three weeks away, and it falls on a Friday this year, making for a nice long weekend.
As the 2013-14 school year wraps up, there are plenty of elated kids cheering the thought of weeks of free time. Until they actually have that free time…then summer boredom rears its ugly head a lot sooner than Mom and Dad would like. Here are three suggestions for day trips to keep everyone happy. Check the linked websites for hours and special events.
You have to give it to John Cal. He’s a guy who can make things happen. The Twin Cities resident and long-time musician/composer would make Judy Garland and Andy Rooney happy, as he prepares to launch the premiere of the stage musical Philly.The show is rooted in Yonkers, NY, where Cal grew up. Passionate about music from the get-go, Cal had a garage band by age 16 and a lot of ambition to go with it.
The fun factor is pretty high at the exhibit that just opened at the Minnesota History Center: Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s (or as a History Center staffer put it, “From the Cold War to Star Wars”).
Friday marks the opening of the 19th annual Art-A-Whirl. This hugely popular art tradition sprawls out over several venues across NE Minneapolis. It’s a great opportunity to meet the artists themselves in their work spaces, see (and purchase!) original artworks, and support the arts community. For some practical tips on planning a visit to Art-A-Whirl, see How to Whirl, and for tips on visiting with kids, see Savvy Mom’s story on how to survive and thrive at Art-A-Whirl with kids in tow.
Maybe you heard about the following art exhibits when they first opened with big splashes and a great deal of publicity. But they were scheduled to be here for weeks or months, so plenty of time. And then other things came along, and they slowly disappeared from front of mind.
Minnesota’s fishing opener is only two weeks away. Are you ready? Many lake resorts have specials for the early months of the season, and some have packages specifically for opening weekend (or, as it’s also called, Mother’s Day weekend). Book now for the best prices.
This is one of the quieter months for festivals in Minnesota. But never fear–as spring fully arrives with the promise of summer ahead, the busiest festival time of the year is not far away.