May 2020 Events, Programs and Exhibits

For immediate release

Release dated: 
March 11, 2020
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

May 2020 Events, Programs and Exhibits

Friday, May 1, 2020

Alexander Harkin's 192nd Birthday Celebration
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
Visit the Harkin Store on the 192nd birthday of Alexander Harkin and celebrate with a party for all ages. Then explore the 1870s general store with 40% of its original merchandise still on display.
Fri., May 1, 2020, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Intro to Cheesemaking Workshop
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330
Explore the science of cheesemaking, from cow to cheese, including milk, rennet, and everything in between. Participants will make a simple cheese to take home and get tips on how to make cheese with tools from their own kitchen.
Fri., May 1, 2020, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
$30/MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Summit Avenue Walking Tour
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Take a 90-minute walking tour of the Summit Avenue neighborhood, highlighting the Gilded Age mansions lining the elite avenue and the people who owned and built them. Guides will talk about the architecture, social history, and current preservation issues of this historic neighborhood. The tour starts at the James J. Hill House and covers 1.5 miles. All areas are accessible for those with mobility concerns, but some side streets are cobblestone and have historic stone curbs. Tours do not include home interiors.
Tours offered May-September, Saturdays 10 am and 2 pm, Sundays 2 pm
$14 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $10 ages 5-17, 20% discount MNHS members
Get Tickets Online

Open House
Split Rock Lighthouse
3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd. Two Harbors, MN 55616
Enjoy the beauty and history of Minnesota's North Shore during a free open house at Split Rock Lighthouse.
Tour the light station and fog signal building. Stop by the visitor center to see exhibits on the North Shore's tourism and commercial fishing industries and view a film about the early shipping industry on Lake Superior.
Sat., May 2, 2020, 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Free

Precious & Adored Tea
Sibley Historic Site
1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. Mendota, MN 55120
Enjoy a three-course tea while learning about the life and romance of two extraordinary women, Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple. Join Lizzie Ehrenhalt, co-editor (with Tilly Laskey) of the book Precious and Adored: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, 1890–1918, for the story of how these two women met and fell in love, and the social and religious contexts that shaped their lives.
In 1890, Rose Cleveland, sister of President Grover Cleveland, began writing to Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy widow and soon-to-be second wife of Minnesota's Episcopal bishop Henry Whipple. The women corresponded across states and continents about their humanitarian work and their love for one another. In 1910, after Evangeline Whipple was again widowed, the two women sailed to Italy and began a life together. 
Lizzie Ehrenhalt is an editor and public historian. Precious and Adored: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, 1890–1918 is published by MNHS Press. The book will be available for purchase, and Ehrenhalt will be available for signing.
Sat., May 2, 2020, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm
$40/$35 for MNHS and DCHS members
Get Tickets Online

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Self-Guided Sunday
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Visit the James J. Hill House as the Hill family and their servants would have: without a guide. Spend more time in your favorite rooms and go at your own pace to explore the first, second, and third floors of the mansion. Includes hands-on activities for children and a scavenger hunt.
Last entry is at 3:30 pm.
Offered Sundays May-September, Noon-5:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free
Get Tickets Online

Egg Coffee & Newtons
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
Celebrate the Harkin Store opening for the season by enjoying a hot cup of egg coffee and homemade fig newton cookies. Then explore the 1870s general store, full of original merchandise, which was once part of the bustling riverboat town of West Newton.
Sun., May 3, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Spark! Tours for People with Memory Loss: A Wedding at the Hill House
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Take a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour highlights three rooms in the James J. Hill House.
Tours are offered the first Tuesday of each month.
Tue., May 5, 2020, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Free, reservation required
Get Tickets Online

Thursday, May 7, 2020

First Thursday Films @ North High: Minneapolis St Paul Film Festival Encore Film Screening TBD
North Community High School
1500 James Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55411
Each month watch a different thought-provoking film and engage in community discussion afterward around topics in history that resonate today.
In May, enjoy an encore performance of one of the outstanding films featured in the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival April 9-25, 2020. Movie TBD.
Topical and relevant in these turbulent times, First Thursday Films aims to create a space for dialogue and better understanding. Come for the movies. Stay for the conversation. 
This film series is a partnership between the Minnesota Historical Society, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, and the Capri Theater. This program is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Thu., May 7, 2020, 7:00 pm-9:30 pm
$5
Get Tickets Online

Next Generation of Parks Lecture with Dr. Craig L. Wilkins
Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55407
Join Craig L. Wilkins, a leading scholar on African American architectural history, for a talk about community engagement and design as part of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation's Next Generation of Parks lecture series.
A practicing architect and theorist, Wilkins serves as the creative director of the Wilkins Project, a social justice and strategic design alliance that provides architectural, urban design, and planning services, public interest design solutions, and expertise in engaged public discourse. Wilkins is particularly interested in the field of public interest design and the production of various forms of space; understanding publically accessible and responsive design can radically transform the trajectory of lives and environments, especially for those on the margins of society.
Wilkins serves on the faculty at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and is the author of Diversity Among Architects: From Margin to Center among other titles.
Thu., May 7, 2020, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Free

Author Event "Duluth: An Urban Biography"
Zenith Bookstore
318 Central Ave N Duluth, MN 55807
Duluth's own Tony Dierckins, publisher of Zenith City Press and the author of a dozen books about historic Duluth, will be at Zenith Bookstore to discuss and present from his newest book from MNHS Press Duluth: An Urban Biography.
Thu., May 7, 2020, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Free

Friday, May 8, 2020

Mendota After Hours: Business of Treaty Making
Sibley Historic Site
1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. Mendota, MN 55120
Enjoy an evening with friends while learning about Minnesota history in the intimate setting of the Sibley Historic Site. A new topic will be offered on the second Friday of each month, May-November.
In May, join author Martin Case for a discussion based on his book The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property. Case will share how those who orchestrated land-cession treaties with Native American nations transformed human relationships to the land in order to further their own interests.
Martin Case is a freelance researcher and writer. The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property is published by MNHS Press.
Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the presentation begins at 6 pm. Light food and one drink ticket will be provided with each paid admission.
Fri., May 8, 2020, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
$20/$15 for MNHS and DCHS members
Get Tickets Online

Ramsey After Dark: Household Hazards
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Advancements in science and technology improved lives in many Victorian-era homes. Some of these new advancements, however, did more harm than good. This guided tour explores rooms in the Ramsey House to uncover "hidden household hazards" of the era. From the kitchen to the bathroom, and the bedchambers to the parlor, view the technology, tools, food, and furniture of late 19th-century life in a whole new way.
This program is intended for ages 18 and up and is offered at 7 and 8:30 pm.
Fri., May 8, 2020, 7:00 pm-8:15 pm, 8:30 pm-9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online: 7pm & 8:30 pm

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mother's Day on the Farm
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330
Explore the Kelley Farm as it springs to life on Mother's Day Weekend. Help plant seeds in the garden, meet the new baby animals, and see what's cooking in the historic house kitchen and the modern Learning Kitchen. Plus, make a garden craft to take home for an additional fee.
Sat., May 9, 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free. Mothers admitted free when accompanied by a child.

Season Kick-Off & Beacon Lighting
Split Rock Lighthouse
3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd. Two Harbors, MN 55616
Celebrate the official start to the 2020 summer season with special activities, tours, and the lighting of the beacon in the evening. Guests can explore the site on their own or take a guided tour, and join a variety of activities throughout the day, including:

  • Tour the lighthouse while the beacon is lit from 6-9 pm
  • Games for kids
  • Meet costumed interpreter Orren “Pete” Young and find out what life was like at the lighthouse from 1910-1928
  • 11 am-1 pm: Book signings with Katie Berg, author of North Shore Adventures
  • 1-3 pm: Book signings with Christie Gove-Berg, author of Esther the Eaglet, Maggie the One-Eyed Peregrine Falcon, and Greta the Great Horned Owl
  • Enjoy samples of Kakookies, an energy snack cookie made in Minnesota, and purchase food from a local food truck

Sat., May 9, 2020, 10:00 am-9:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Kid Crafts: Bead a Ring
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359
Learn a basic stringing technique and bead a ring to take home. Allow an hour to make the craft.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Sat., May 9, 2020, 11:00 am-3:00 pm
$3/kit, museum admission not included

Appliqué Quill Earrings Workshop
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359
Before trade beads, Ojibwe people primarily used quills to adorn their clothing and tools. Learn to apply porcupine quills to birch bark to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind earrings to take home.
A minimum of five participants is required to host the workshop. This workshop is recommended for ages 12 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Sat., May 9, 2020, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
$55/MNHS and Mille Lacs Band members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
Celebrate Mother's Day by exploring the lives of women in Minnesota in the 1870s, including a display of about 150 historic and modern aprons.
Plus, stop by the gift shop for the perfect gift for mom. Aprons, books, candy, handcrafted items, toys, and more are available for purchase.
Sun., May 10, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

World War II Round Table: Remembering the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Steve Harding, author of The Last Battle, and veterans of the final days of war in Europe will discuss the climactic end of WWII in Europe. Starting at 6 pm before the program, students can participate in informal conversations with the author and veterans on the program topic.
The Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table brings together authors, historians, and WWII veterans to discuss the history of the conflict and to share the stories of those who lived through it. 
Tue., May 12, 2020, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Free

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Spring Foraging Walk
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330
Explore Minnesota's edible landscape and discover delicious plants and mushrooms growing in your own backyard. Join Tim Clemens, founder of Ironwood Foraging and president of the Minnesota Mycological Society, for a hands-on learning experience identifying wild edible plants and mushrooms in the woodlands and restored prairie on the Oliver Kelley Farm.
Sat., May 16, 2020, 10:00 am-1:00 pm
$40/MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Fly Wallet Workshop
Historic Forestville
21899 County Road 118 Preston, MN 55965
Make your own fly wallet with master craftspeople from Doubletree Leatherworks. Join John and Heather Hill as they demonstrate how to craft a wallet for storing tied flies for use fly fishing. Supplies are included in the workshop fee. Space is limited to six people.
Sat., May 16, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
$50/MNHS members save 20%, advanced registration required
Get Tickets Online

Artists in the Gallery: Basket Weaving with April Stone
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102
Explore the Our Home: Native Minnesota exhibit and speak with artists about their work. In May, basket weaver April Stone (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) will demonstrate the art of Ojibwe basket weaving.

  • 10:30 am-Noon: Stone will show examples of her work and demonstrate weaving techniques in the exhibit gallery.
  • 1-3 pm: Join Stone for a mini-basketry workshop. Registration is required and limited to 15 participants.

About April Stone: Stone is a self-taught ash basket weaver. In 1998, she spent a full year watching a basket get used daily, unaware of the intimate relationship that was being formed. After one year of this basket in use, the lashing around its rim broke. The strength of this natural material moved her to the point of wanting to know all she could about the qualities and characteristics of the wood, what it could do, and how to weave with it. Stone has shared her knowledge and teachings with tribes, folks schools, colleges, youth groups, school programs, skill shares, and more, both nationally and internationally.  
Sat., May 16, 2020, 10:30 am – Noon
Gallery activities included with museum admission. Basket workshop is $18/MNHS members save 20%

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Author Event "Secrets of the Loon"
Bell Museum
2088 Larpenteur Ave W St. Paul, MN 55113
Families are invited for a special storytime event with children’s author Laura Purdie Salas as she reads aloud from her new book, Secrets of the Loon. Salas will be joined by her collaborator Chuck Dayton, an environmental lawyer and photographer. After the story, join engaging hands-on activities inspired by Minnesota’s native birds. At 1:30 pm, guests are invited to tour the dioramas with a local bird expert to learn more about bird behavior, identify bird species in the dioramas, and explore threats to diversity. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Activities free with gallery admission. 
Sun., May 17, 2020, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
$0-12
Get Tickets Online

Arriving in West Newton
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
Learn about the people who founded West Newton in the 1850s and see a display of items that they carried with them to their new homes.
Sun., May 17, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Monday, May 18, 2020

Hill House Chamber Players: The Inspiration of Youth
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
The Hill House Chamber Players return for the 2019-2020 season with concerts selected around the theme "The Inspiration of Youth." Enjoy extraordinary compositions from remarkable teenagers, including Mahler, Beethoven, Suk, and Mendelssohn while also marking Beethoven's 250th birthday in 2020.
On May 18 & 19, attendees can enjoy the following repertoire:

  • Schnittke piano quartet, based on a fragment from 16-year-old Gustav Mahler
  • Mahler piano quartet
  • Schumann Fantasy Pieces, Op. 88, piano trio
  • Beethoven piano quartet, age 15, WoO36, #3, C Major

The Hill House Chamber Players are Julie Ayer, violin; Tanya Remenikova, cello; Thomas Turner, viola; and Mary Jo Gothmann, piano. This program is co-sponsored by the Schubert Club.
Admission includes a 6:45 pm pre-concert conversation with the musicians, intermission refreshments, and a post-performance tour of the Hill House. Concerts begin at 7:30 pm. Valet parking is available.
May 18-19, 2020, 7:30 pm-9:00 pm
$23 adults, $12 students, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Minnesota River Talk with Scott Kudelka
Fort Ridgely
72404 County Road 30 Fairfax, MN 55332
Join naturalist Scott Kudelka for an exploration of the natural and historical significance of the Minnesota River, which flows across the southern part of the state. The Dakota call it Mni Sota Wakpa, which means "clear blue water" or "clouded blue water," referencing the river's turbulence. This program will look at the geology of the river and how it was formed, the cultural significance the river holds for many Native American people, and the dramatic changes that began after Europeans arrived.
This program is appropriate for all ages and takes place in the commissary building.
Wed., May 20, 2020, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Friday, May 22, 2020

Ramsey After Dark: Mental Illness & the Victorian Mind
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St. St. Paul, MN 55102
Mental illness was misunderstood and often feared by Victorian society. Families had to make difficult decisions about how to handle their loved one's illness in an era where health issues were not discussed in public, and treatment options were limited or experimental. Both Alexander Ramsey's brother, Justus, and son-in-law, Charles, suffered from mental illness, which impacted the entire family. In this theme tour, hear excerpts from newspaper accounts, family letters, and journals and discover how an influential family handled a very human reality.
This program is intended for ages 18 and up and is offered at 7 and 8:30 pm.
Fri., May 22, 2020, 7:00 pm-8:15 pm, 8:30-9:45 pm
$12 adults, $11 seniors and college students, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online: 7 pm & 8:30 pm

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Welcome Back to the Farm Day
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330
Experience the start of the summer growing season at the Kelley Farm. Help prepare fields for planting with a team of oxen, transplant seedlings in the modern Farm Lab garden, and discover seasonal foods in the historic and modern kitchens.
The first 200 children will receive a free Oliver Kelley Farm-themed activity and coloring book.
Sat., May 23, 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Death of the Empire Builder Weekend
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
James J. Hill, known as the "Empire Builder" for his work building rail and shipping lines from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean, died in his Summit Avenue home on May 29, 1916, at age 77. Hill left behind a personal fortune of $63 million. As one of the wealthiest and most powerful figures of America's Gilded Age, Hill embodied the era of Manifest Destiny.
Tours will emphasize Hill's career and the public's reaction to his death. Guests can view displays of photographs, newspaper articles, and a small selection of memorial volumes, including one by Tiffany and Company given to the family by the Great Northern Railway. Last tour leaves at 3:30 pm.
May 23 - 24, 2020, 10:00 am-5:00 pm Saturday, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm Sunday
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free
Get Tickets Online

Memorial Day Weekend
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave. St. Paul, MN 55111
On Memorial Day Weekend, explore Historic Fort Snelling's grounds, visit with interpreters, and engage with the many stories that make up the site's history. Watch demonstrations like cannon firings, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, join in historic games on the parade grounds, and more. Learn about Native American history and the fort's role in US expansion. Explore stories of African Americans at Fort Snelling, like the all-black 25th US Infantry in the 1880s and Dred and Harriet Scott, whose struggle to gain freedom from slavery helped ignite the Civil War.
On Monday, don't miss a special "living timeline" of America's military past on the fort's parade ground, with costumed interpretive staff and reenactors sharing the history of Americans serving in armed conflicts.
May 23-24, 2020, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free
Get Tickets Online

F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tour
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102
Explore the childhood haunts of F. Scott Fitzgerald with a 90-minute walking tour of the St. Paul neighborhood where he spent much of his youth. Tours are led by James J. Hill House guides.
Visitors will hear about Fitzgerald's early years, his relationship with his wife, Zelda, the impact of St. Paul on his writing, and his connections to the Hill family and other prominent neighbors. Guides will also discuss the importance of the neighborhood to other writers, like Sinclair Lewis, Patricia Hampl, and August Wilson.
The tour begins at the Commodore Bar & Restaurant and includes stops at 599 Summit Ave. (where Fitzgerald wrote his first novel, This Side of Paradise), and his birthplace at 481 Laurel Ave.
Tour stops do not include interiors. All areas of the tour are accessible for those with limited mobility, but some side streets are cobblestone and have historic stone curbs.
Sat. May 23, 2020, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Noon-1:30 pm, & 2 pm-3:30 pm
Sun. May 24, 2020, Noon-1:30 pm & 2-3:30 pm
Offered the 4th weekend of the month from May-September
$14 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $10 ages 5-17, 20% discount MNHS members
Get Tickets Online

Plant a Traditional Native American Garden Day
Jeffers Petroglyphs
27160 County Road 2 Comfrey, MN 56019
Take part in planting beans, corn, and squash—known as the three sisters because they are frequently grown together in the same mound. This practice provides long-term soil fertility and helps the plants to thrive. Guests will mound soil and plant seeds while learning about Buffalo Bird Woman and traditional Native American agriculture.
Sat., May 23, 2020, 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Included with $8-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Children's Day
Fort Ridgely
72404 County Road 30 Fairfax, MN 55332
Fort Ridgely kicks off the summer season with a children's day. Children can join a baseball game on the parade grounds or try tossing a hoop to each other in a game of graces. A variety of other outdoor games will be available to try, and crafts will be offered inside the commissary building.
Visitors can also explore the exhibits, the parade grounds, and the ruins of this once-thriving outpost, which served as a Civil War training grounds and an important site in the US-Dakota War of 1862.
Refreshments will be provided, or pack a picnic to enjoy on the parade grounds.
Sat., May 23, 2020, Noon-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

North Forestville Guided Hike
Historic Forestville
21899 County Road 118 Preston, MN 55965
The original footprint of the town of Forestville extended north into the state park. In this guided tour, go beyond Main Street to explore more of Forestville's past, including the Zumbro Hill Cemetery, the remains of the first schoolhouse, John Gill's brickyard, and the Robert M. Foster house, one of only two remaining homes from the town of Forestville.
The hike is about 1.5 miles long on uneven ground and includes a steep hill. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Sat., May 23, 2020, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
$9 adults, $7 seniors, college students, and children age 5-17, MNHS members save 20%
Get Tickets Online

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Nature Walking Tour
Sibley Historic Site
1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. Mendota, MN 55120
Join a guide from the Sibley Historic Site for an afternoon walk along the river and learn about the history of the area where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet—known as Bdote by the Dakota—and its importance to the fur trade and development of Minnesota as a state.
Sun., May 24, 2020, Noon-1:00 pm
Included with $5-7 site admission/MNHS and DCHS members free
Get Tickets Online

Music by Bill Cagley
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
On Memorial Day weekend, enjoy an afternoon of music from Bill Cagley as he sings and plays a variety of instruments.
Sun., May 24, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day
Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Ave. St. Paul, MN 55111
On Memorial Day, see a special "living timeline" of America's military past on the fort's parade grounds with costumed interpretive staff and reenactors sharing the history of Americans serving in armed conflicts from the colonial era to today. Explore the grounds, visit with interpreters, and engage with the many stories that make up the site's history.
Watch demonstrations like cannon firings, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, join in historic games on the parade grounds, and more. Learn about Native American history and the fort's role in US expansion. Explore stories of African Americans at Fort Snelling, like the all-black 25th US Infantry soldiers in the 1880s and Dred and Harriet Scott, whose struggle to gain freedom from slavery helped ignite the Civil War.
Mon., May 25, 2020, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free
Get Tickets Online

Memorial Day Powwow
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359
Families, staff, and community members come together in this social gathering honoring veterans past and present. Experience firsthand the excitement and joy of a contemporary powwow. This event is sponsored by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
Mon., May 25, 2020, Noon-4:30 pm
Free, museum admission not included

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Baby Animals Weekend
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk River, MN 55330
Experience new life on the farm during the cutest time of the year. Bring the whole family to meet baby chicks and see baby lambs up close and personal in our modern Farm Lab. Baby animal-shaped cookies will be available for a small charge.
May 30-31, 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm Saturday & 11:00 am-4:00 pm Sunday
Included with $8-12 site admission/MNHS members free

Pottery Day
Jeffers Petroglyphs
27160 County Road 2 Comfrey, MN 56019
Learn about traditional Native American pottery and create your own pinch or coil clay pot to take home. See demonstrations throughout the day and explore the petroglyphs while your pot dries.
Sat., May 30, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $8-10 site admission/MNHS members free

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gardening in the 1870s
Harkin Store
66250 County Road 21 New Ulm, MN 56073
Discover how people gardened in southwest Minnesota in the 1870s.
Sun., May 31, 2020, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Included with $4-6 site admission/MNHS members free

Ongoing Exhibits

Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul

Closes May 3, 2020 

First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom
Since 1970, the club now known as First Avenue and 7th Street Entry has been at the heart of the Minnesota music scene. The First Avenue exhibit takes you inside the sights, sounds, and stories of this landmark venue that put Minnesota music on the map. Meet the musicians, the staff, and the regulars—and look back at how the scene has evolved over five decades. The exhibit draws from the MNHS Press book "First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom” by Chris Riemenschneider. Find out more.
This exhibit is made possible in part by our presenting sponsor, Baird. Media sponsorship provided by Star Tribune and The Current.

Closes May 3, 2020 Prince: Before the Rain
Minnesota photographer Allen Beaulieu helped shape the icon we know today as Prince. As Prince’s personal photographer and friend from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, he worked closely with the artist, helping to transform Prince from rising star to super stardom. Through it all, Beaulieu had access to the musician that few photographers have had, before or since.
Based on the new MNHS Press photography book, Prince: Before the Rain by Allen Beaulieu, visitors to this exhibit can view 50 digital prints, including the album covers of Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999, promotional photos of Prince and The Revolution, Morris Day and The Time, and other artists, as well as rare behind-the-scenes candids. 
Ongoing Our Home: Native Minnesota
Learn about Native communities in Minnesota, including stories of survival, resiliency, and adaptation. Native Americans—Dakota, Ojibwe, as well as people from other tribal nations—have dwelled in this area for thousands of years and still live in here today. This exhibit shares their stories, enduring presence, and deep connection to the land.
View historic and contemporary photographs, maps, and artifacts — and learn how Native people have retained cultural practices, teachings and values, and an essential connection to home.
“Our Home: Native Minnesota” is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
Major support is also being provided by the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, the George Family Foundation, the Rosemary and David Good Family Foundation, the Hardenbergh Foundation, and Lucy Rosenberry Jones and James Johnson with additional support from the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, Thomas J. Arneson, the Athwin Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, Alta Marie Oben, and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation.

Ongoing

Then Now Wow
Designed primarily for children, visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring Minnesota’s distinctive places from the prairies and forests to the cities. Along the way, they'll meet the people who have made their homes here. Step inside a prairie sod house; board a Twin Cities streetcar; don a headlamp to venture underground in an Iron Range mine; hitch a ride on a boxcar; sit in a modern tipi; and encounter artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse people and historic events.
“Then Now Wow” is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. Find out more.

Ongoing

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom
Explore interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II and went on to create the postwar “boom.” The exhibition relies substantially on first-person narratives drawn from oral history interviews, published memoirs, reminiscences and letters. Find out more.

Ongoing

Weather Permitting
Minnesotans learn to cope with extreme temperatures, watch for signs of storms and generally enjoy the outdoors, whether boating on a summer’s day, skiing down a hill or snowmobiling across snowdrifts. Visit the multimedia tornado exhibit, “Get to the Basement,” named the best museum exhibit in the Twin Cities by City Pages. Find out more.

James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave., St. Paul

Closes June 21, 2020 

Art From the Edge of the Boreal Forest: Reflecting Biodiversity
The centuries-old tradition of botanical art blends scientific observation with artistic rendering. For the past 10 years, a group of traditionally trained botanical artists has explored the effects of a warming climate on the iconic boreal forest in northern Minnesota.
Working with climatologists, naturalists, and other specialists, they identified 10 Minnesota trees that are most vulnerable to climate change and depicted them through botanical art: balsam poplar, balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce, jack pine, red pine, paper birch, quaking aspen, black ash, and tamarack. 
This exhibit is on view through June 21, 2020.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post
43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia 

Closes Oct. 31, 2020

One Hundred Years of Healing: The Ojibwe Jingle Dress Dance Tradition
The global influenza epidemic that killed millions of people worldwide in 1918-19, including thousands of North American Indians and Alaska Natives, was the tragic inspiration behind a revolutionary new tradition of healing that emerged in Ojibwe communities of the United States and Canada, the jingle dress dance. Through photographs, oral tradition, and a display of jingle dresses from the MNHS collections, visitors will learn about the jingle dress dance and how its origin can be traced to the Mille Lacs Ojibwe.
The exhibit commemorates the epidemic and the 100th anniversary of the jingle dress dance. It is being developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota Department of American Studies and the Mille Lacs Ojibwe community.