By Cortney Mohnk

As Memorial Day is a time to remember fallen military men and women, it is also a time to appreciate the sacrifices of current and veteran members of our armed forces. Many local VFW posts and cemeteries will be paying tribute throughout Minnesota. But if you’re looking for alternate ways to spend the holiday, perhaps by surrounding yourself in military history or celebrating through music and dance, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top picks for Memorial Day 2017 below.

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Military History Living Timeline
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55111

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Immerse yourself in the different eras of American military history with costumed interpreters during Fort Snelling’s living timeline. Listen to stories, watch demonstrations and take part in activities that represent the history of U.S. service people in armed conflict. Kids are invited to take part in an educational scavenger hunt for the chance to earn a prize. On Memorial Day, veteran and active-duty military are welcome to visit Fort Snelling free of charge.

(credit: CBS)

Memorial Day Powwow
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Drive
Onamia, MN 56359
(320) 532-3632

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Experience a modern-day powwow to celebrate current and past military veterans sponsored by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the AMVETS Post 53 and Ladies Auxiliary. After enjoying the sights and sounds of the powwow at this free event, Consider visiting the museum to learn more about the American Indian way of life and history through exhibits and hands-on activities. Admittance fees to the museum are $10 for adults but discounts or free entry are available for seniors, students, children and Mille Lacs Band members. Don’t miss the trading post next door for authentic arts and crafts including American Indian birch bark products, beadwork and dream catchers.

WWI America
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 259-3000

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Explore the changes that took place to our country during the WWI era with this important exhibit. Get an in-depth look into how the war shifted our status in the world and the important people who transformed history. Accounts and artifacts help to tell the story of the women’s right to vote, the daily life of the immigrant and the changes that took place in this country while brave men and women were sacrificing on behalf of the United States. The WWI America exhibit is included in the regular museum admission price.

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(credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Military Appreciation Days
1 Valleyfair Drive
Shakopee, MN 55379
(952) 445-7600

Date: May 26 through May 29, 2017

Memorial weekend marks a time of military appreciation at Valleyfair. Veteran and active-duty armed service personnel can get free admission to the park with a valid military ID. Plus, up to six tickets can also be purchased at $35 each plus tax for immediate family members. Not able to take advantage of this deal over Memorial weekend? Valleyfair extends this offer to military families over the Fourth of July weekend as well.

Memorial Day Ceremony & 150th Anniversary Event
Lakewood Cemetery
3600 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 822-2171

Date: Monday, May 29, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Remember the lives of military service people and others prominent in the development of Minneapolis during the Lakewood Cemetery’s Memorial Day tribute and nod to the 150th anniversary of the city of Minneapolis. The event begins by paying homage with an official ceremony near the Soldiers Memorial monument at 10:30 a.m. Exhibits on the making of Minneapolis and walking tours to the grave sites and memorials of the city’s major influencers, including Humphrey, Walker, Pillsbury and others, are available throughout the day. Trolley tours and carriage rides are other options for viewing the beautiful gardens, buildings and lake views. Admission, food, live music and activities are free, minus the $2 round-trip Lake Harriet streetcar rides that are available.

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