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Family Fun: Penguin Dance, Puppet Opera, and TeenNick's Degrassi


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If you are looking for a few entertaining Minnesota outings suitable for the entire family, you might consider one of these upcoming events:

Waddle at the Zoo

This week the Minnesota Zoo launched the Facebook “Do the Waddle” video contest, celebrating the zoo’s newest exhibit: 3M Penguins of the African Coast. Now through February 29, Minnesota Zoo’s young fans will be able to download the “Do the Waddle” jingle, create their own video between 15 and 60 seconds in length, and upload their videos to the zoo’s Facebook page (those under 18 must have a signed consent form). All approved videos will receive a family four-pack of tickets to the Zoo (one per household). On March 1, voting begins and is open to everyone. The top five videos with the most votes by March 8 will advance to the final round of voting for a chance at the top prize. The final day to vote is March 15 and the grand prize winner will be announced March 16. Five finalists will win a $100 Best Buy gift card. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 Best Buy gift card.

Monkeys and Pirates

It’s billed as the world’s only puppet, rock, yoga, opera for families in search of calm. Sounds interesting already. Presented by the In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, Monkey Mind Pirates is the tale of sea captain on a quest for calm. As Cap’n Fitz sets sail, he confronts stressors common among children—including doubt, anxiety, and distraction—all represented by the unruly Monkey Mind Pirates. The Pirates board Cap’n Fitz’s ship and wreak havoc until he discovers basic principles of yoga that guide him to manage stress and regain peace. The performance is suitable for ages 3 and older. The musical is produced by Minneapolis-based Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, a group that delights audiences with puppetry, physical comedy, and live music. The group has toured its family-friendly comedies across the country, earning many awards, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jim Henson Foundation. Monkey Mind Pirates runs February 18-26, Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 3:30 p.m., at the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children under 18, or pay what you can.

Party with Degrassi

For those of you with teens and tweens in your household, you may be familiar with the popular TeenNick’s drama, Degrassi. Not being a parent myself, I have to admit that I didn't know much about the show until I did some quick research. The series has won many awards and has become known for tackling tough teen issues. Next week, the cast from the popular show sets out on a five-city tour to promote its new season—including a stop at Mall of America. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m., join Degrassi cast members Luke Bilyk (Drew), Jahmil French (Dave), Aislinn Paul (Clare), and Melinda Shankar (Alli) at the “Party with Degrassi.” Walk the orange carpet, interact with the stars, and watch an exclusive advance screening of the premiere episode, “Underneath it All.”

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Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

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