2013 Holidays Events at Minnesota Historical Society Sites and Museums Statewide

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 2, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 • jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

2013 Holidays Events at Minnesota Historical Society Sites and Museums Statewide

Visit a Minnesota Historical Society historic site and museum for holiday programming for all ages and interests. Unique experiences include a new Little Women Christmas program at the Alexander Ramsey House, a toy making workshop at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm, a birchbark ornament workshop at Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post and the annual Kwanzaa family day celebration at the History Center, plus much more.

Twin Cities Metro

Alexander Ramsey House, St. Paul

Holiday baking

HISTORY CHEF!: HOLIDAY DESSERTS

Date: Nov. 9, 2013
Time: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Fee: $25/$22 for MHS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-296-8760 or register online

Get ready for the holiday season by baking some delicious and easy desserts popular during the Victorian era. In this three hour class, participants will use Anna Ramsey's recipes to mix and bake a variety of dishes, including a pudding and a cake. While the desserts bake in the wood-burning stove, guests will take a tour of the house and discover how the Ramsey's prepared for Thanksgiving. At the end of the program, enjoy coffee and dessert in the restored 1870s kitchen.

A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT THE RAMSEY HOUSE

Dates: Nov. 13, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
(Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)
Time: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $7 ages 6-17; $3 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-296-8760 or register online

Experience an 1875 Victorian Christmas and discover how the Ramsey family and their friends, neighbors and servants prepared for the holiday season. Take a tour of the historic home while homemade cookies bake and holiday music of the era plays on the family's Steinway piano. View original family ornaments and Christmas gifts. Replica Victorian ornaments and other holiday items are available for purchase in the Carriage House gift store.

A "LITTLE WOMEN" CHRISTMAS

Date:
Dec. 5, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Fee: $13 adults, $11 seniors and college students, $9 ages 6-17; $3 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-296-8760 or register online

The world of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” comes to life in this new program. With the Ramsey house as the setting, discover how Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy might have celebrated Christmas in the late 1860s. Play Victorian parlor games and learn about fashions of the time. Sing Christmas carols and enjoy freshly baked holiday treats and warm apple cider. A craft project is available in the carriage house before the program. For ages 8 and up.

A SWEDISH CHRISTMAS

Date: Dec. 12, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Fee: $13 adults, $11 seniors and college students, $9 ages 6-17; $3 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-296-8760

Discover what Christmas customs the many Swedish servants of the Ramsey household would have brought to Minnesota when they immigrated. Listen to traditional Swedish stories and enjoy freshly baked Swedish treats in this hour long program. Learn a Swedish song about St. Lucia Day. A craft project is available in the carriage house before the program. For ages 8 and up.

James J. Hill House, St. Paul

Holiday stories

HILL HOUSE HOLIDAYS

Dates:
Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2013
Time: 1 to 3:30, tours begin every 30 minutes
Fee: $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $8 children ages 6-17; $2 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: recommended, call 651-297-2555

The bustle and excitement of a Gilded Age Christmas is brought to life as the servants of the James J. Hill House prepare for the holidays. Costumed actors portray people who worked for the Hill family in a dramatized portrayal of servant life and holiday preparations at the Hill family’s Summit Avenue mansion. The one-hour program moves through the elegant first floor spaces and then to the basement servant work areas. The script is based on letters and oral histories of people who worked for the Hill family during the first decade of the 20th century.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STORIES

Date: Dec. 15, 2013
Time: 6 p.m.
Fee: $12 adult, $10 seniors and college students, $8 children ages 6 to 17; $2 discount for MHS members.
Reservations: recommended, call 651-297-2555

Costumed actors bring warmth and humor into their readings of 19th century Christmas literature, including works by Mark Twain, Willa Cather, O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" and selections from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The performers will discuss the development of popular Christmas traditions, including Christmas literature during the 19th century. Admission to the one-hour program includes light refreshments and tours of the Hill House which will be decorated for the holidays.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS CAROLS

Dates: Dec. 20, 21, 22, 2013
Time:
7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Fee:
$12/$10 MHS members.
Reservations:
recommended, call 651-297-2555

Enjoy an hour-long concert tracing the rise and popularity of seasonal holiday songs in the 19th and early 20th century. Eight costumed singers, a pianist (playing the Schubert Club’s Steinway grand) and narrator present a broad selection of period tunes in the art gallery of the James J. Hill House. The performance begins with a opening featuring the massive Hill House pipe organ. Light refreshments will be served and tours will follow each performance.

Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

Kwanzaa

HISTORY HIJINX: THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Dates: Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 2013
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Thanksgiving weekend features plenty of “wows” in the History Center’s hands-on exhibit, "Then Now Wow." Visitors of all ages are encouraged to explore, discover and learn about Minnesota’s distinctive regions: the prairies, forests and cities. Children will delight in a History HiJinx craft activity where they transform themselves into a Minnesota icon by getting their photo taken then coloring and decorating a "Minne-Me" Bobblehead, a one-of-a kind collectible. For more information visit www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/hijinx.

KWANZAA FAMILY DAY

Date: Dec. 28, 2013
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Join family and friends in this annual African-American celebration. Kwanzaa follows seven core principles: Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The family day program includes storytelling, music, dance, fashion, crafts, food demos and an art activity.

HISTORY HIJINX: HOLIDAYS

Date:
Dec. 26, 27, 29-31, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Take advantage of holiday vacations and bring the family to explore the History Center. From noon to 4 p.m. visit the American Spirits exhibit for live performances of Minnesota's own Prohibition stories. Younger visitors will enjoy Then Now Wow, the history exhibit designed for kids (of all ages.) They can also stop by the History Hijinx craft area where they can decorate a 3-D cardboard tree using markers, construction paper, beads and buttons.

The History Center will be open for special Monday hours, Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The stores and Cafe Minnesota will also be open.

Minnesota Historical Society Library, St. Paul

Library help

GENEALOGY CLASSES: SHARING FAMILY HISTORY

Date: Dec. 14, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fee: $32 for two-class session; $28 for MHS and MGS members.
Reservations: required, call 651-259-3300 or register online

Sharing Family Stories During the Holidays. Family holiday gatherings are a great time to collect the stories of ancestors and immediate family members. This session will offer suggestions for integrating story-telling into your family celebrations. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas that have worked in their own families.

Getting Grandma To Talk. Sometimes relatives are reluctant to talk about their lives. "You've already heard about that" or "Its not very exciting" are two common responses. This session will offer tips for engaging your relatives in story-telling, bringing out stories of their lives and the lives of your ancestors.

Instructor Linda Coffin is a personal historian and owner of HistoryCrafters.

Mill City Museum, Minneapolis

Cookie contest

PIE CRUSTS AND POEMS: THE SECRET'S IN THE TELLING

Dates: Nov. 23, 2013
Time: 12:30 and 2 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for MHS members.

Get your holiday off to a delicious start with this new program focused on pie and poems. In the Baking Lab visit with Seattle's "Pie Poet" Kate Lebo. Kate will demonstrate how to create the perfect crust while she redefines the relationship between pie and those who love it with poems, stories and discussion.

Kate Lebo owns the Seattle Pie School, has won the annual Cake vs. Pie competition in Washington State for the past few years, and is author of the new book "A Commonplace Book of Pie." She also teaches creative writing at the University of Washington and writes poetry.

CAKE MIX AND THE RISE OF CONVENIENCE FOODS

Dates: Nov. 24, 2013
Time:
2 p.m.
Fee:
$11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for MHS members.

The postwar era of the late 1940s and 1950s ushered in a new era of kitchen conveniences. Many of the technologies that made this possible were developed by the American food industry during the Second World War. Did housewives want these easy-to-use products and appliances or were food companies creating a market for their goods by exaggerating the drudgery of home cooking? Using the example of the cake mix, this demonstration will answer this question, highlighting the dramatic changes in cooking habits during this era and how those innovations affect our lives today. Visitors will learn about food history, sample cakes made from scratch and from mix, and take home a copy of a recipe.

STAR TRIBUNE HOLIDAY COOKIE CONTEST WINNERS

Date: Dec. 7
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Fee: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for MHS members.

Holiday baking takes center stage when the finalists in the Star Tribune’s annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest bake their winning recipes in the museum's Baking Lab. Visitors can drop in and meet the finalists as they bake their award-winning cookies, learn more about the history of the recipes and why they are so good and get baking tips for the holiday season. Visitors will also be able to sample each of the winning cookies.

The Star Tribune’s Taste section sponsors the annual Holiday Cookie Contest in which readers submit their favorite holiday cookie recipes. The winner and 5 runners-up will be announced in the Nov. 29 Taste section.

AN "EVENTUALLY" CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAYS AT THE MILL

Dates: Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15, 2013
Time: 5, 6 and 7 p.m.
Fee: $14 adults, $12 seniors and college students, $10 for children ages 6-17 and MHS members; $2 off adult admission with Fringe Festival button.
Reservations: required, call 612-341-7555

This unique play is performed in the museum's Flour Tower elevator ride. The performance features "The Ghost of Mill City Past" guiding an intimate look at the 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party. The script is based on real stories taken from the pages of the company's employee newspaper. Scenes unfold on different floors of the mill and visitors meet different characters along the way. Witness the rocky romance of Celia and Otto; meet marketing mastermind Benjamin S. Bull; experience the awesome sweeping power of Bill Smith; and learn the secret origin of the Washburn Crosby marketing slogan, "Eventually-Why Not Now?" Not recommended for children under the age of 8.

Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Elk River

Winter on the farm

A YANKEE THANKSGIVING

Dates: Nov. 17, 2013
Time:
2 p.m.
Fee:
$7/$5 for MHS members
Reservations:
required, call 763-441-6896

Oliver H. Kelley was from Boston and like many others he migrated west as soon as he turned twenty-one, settling in Minnesota in 1849. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first day of Thanksgiving. Visit the Kelley Farm to explore what Thanksgiving was like on a "Yankee" farm in the 1860s. Visitors can hike the nature trails, explore the barn and root cellar, meet the animals and enjoy the aromas of a hearty Thanksgiving meal in the farmhouse. Be sure to dress for the weather. Warm refreshments will be provided.

TOY MAKING WORKSHOP

Date: Dec. 7, 2013
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Fee: $5/$4 for MHS members
Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896

Visit the Kelley Farm just in time to make homemade toys to give as gifts for the holidays. In the visitor center, guests will choose between making several 19th-century toys, including a ball-and-cup game, buzz saws, pick-up sticks and corn husk dolls. All tools and materials will be provided.

CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM

Date:
Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, 2013 (This event has been rescheduled from Dec. 9.)
Time: 2 p.m.
Fee: $8/$7 for MHS members; free for children age 5 and under.
Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896

Take a guided 75-minute tour of the Kelley Farm including a hike along the nature trail, a stop inside the historic farmhouse and a visit to the livestock pens. Discover how farm families and their animals coped with shorter days, colder temperatures and the upcoming holidays 150 years ago. Enjoy a horse or oxen-drawn bobsled or wagon ride. Dress for outdoor weather. Warm refreshments follow in the visitor’s center.

outstate minnesota

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Onamia

Ornaments

BIRCH BARK ORNAMENT WORKSHOP

Date: Dec. 14, 2013
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Fee: $25/$20 MHS members; Additional supply fee of $15.
Reservations: required, call 320-532-3632

Create miniature ornaments from birch bark that can be used to decorate for the holidays or given as gifts. Registration is required 3 days prior to workshop. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided. A minimum of 5 participants required to hold workshop. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, Little Falls

Christmas

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Dates: Nov. 8 - Nov. 10, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Fee: $3 for visitor center exhibits and gift shop

The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site is participating in the Little Falls Business Association's Holiday Open House. Visitors can explore the extensive visitor center exhibits, including the popular flight simulator, and peruse the gift shop for a reduced admission fee of $3. House tours will also be available on Saturday only through the Little Falls Art Crawl. To register for a tour, visitors can sign up at Great River Arts Association at www.greatart.org.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE LINDBERGHS: 1918

Date:
Nov. 30, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fee: $8 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

When C.A. Lindbergh did not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1917, he, his wife Evangeline and teenage son Charles spent the winter in their Little Falls home for the first time. Step back in time and visit the Lindbergh home as costumed characters portray family members and hired workers readying the house for Christmas 1918. Tour the home and hear why C.A. didn’t seek re-election, then lost his bid for the U.S. Senate, see “improvements” made to the house at the time, learn about the recent end of World War I in Europe, and find out what everyone’s hopes are for the new year of 1919. The gallery exhibits in the Visitor Center will be open and visitors also can shop for holiday items at a special sale in the gift shop and receive a 10-percent discount on all merchandise.

Forest History Center, Grand Rapids

Santa

CHRISTMAS IN THE LOGGING CAMP

Date: Dec. 7, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6 to 17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Minnesota winters are legendary. Years ago hearty lumberjacks toiled in logging camps cutting big timber between freeze up and break up. North Woods Number One, the Forest History Center’s historically re-created logging camp, comes to life under a blanket of snow during this yearly event. Join the camp crew as they get ready to celebrate Christmas in the logging camp. Take in the smell of wood smoke, feel the warmth being cast off from the barrel stoves, enjoy the smell of fresh baked cookies and take a ride on a horse drawn sleigh. Bring your camera to get your picture taken with Santa.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.