Edit ModuleShow Tags

Jul to the World at the American Swedish Institute


Published:

In 1903, wealthy businessman Swan Turnblad began building his castle-like residence in Minneapolis. In 1929, he donated his mansion to what is now the American Swedish Institute (ASI). For more than 80 years, ASI used this building to share Swedish culture with locals and visitors alike. In 2012, an expansion, the Nelson Cultural Center, opened to offer even more space and opportunities for exhibits.

Norway holiday room
Photo courtesy of ASI

Each year ASI showcases Nordic heritage with its own holiday celebration. Jul to the World: A Nordic Christmas (which opened this past weekend) offers museum visitors an opportunity to spot special exhibits, hear seasonal music (every Sunday through December 22), tour the historic mansion, and taste delicious goodies. Think you're brave enough to try the Nordic delicacy, Lutfisk? Attend the annual Lutfisk dinner this weekend! Or take special after hours tours of the exhibit while sipping on traditional Glogg, Swedish mulled wine (November 22 & December 3 & 20).

In the ASI’s historic wing, visit all five holiday rooms decorated and offering cuisine of the region. The rooms represent the five Nordic countries of Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. A bonus sixth room this year? Mexico! This room pays homage to the strong Hispanic culture in the neighborhood surrounding ASI.

Children can search the mansion for Tomte, the Swedish Christmas elf (he'll appear in person December 7 & 8). Shop Julmarknad, the Christmas Market (December 7 & 8) which is reminiscent of wintertime markets found across Europe. You can also explore the gift shop all month long for Nordic presents. Catch theatrical performances every Wednesday evening. The signature event, the Lucia Celebration (a celebration of light), takes place on Dec. 14.

Hungry? Nosh on holiday sausages and more at ASI’s FIKA café, which Travel + Leisure named to its America's Best Sandwiches list.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

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.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Brewery Running Series

We like brew, yes we do. We like brew, so we're willing to run 3.1 miles for it

Plunge Into Minnesota's Water Parks

Although Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, don’t forget about water slides this summer

Memorial Day Activities in the Twin Cities

From historical reenactments to a hip-hop music festival, there's something for everyone this Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities.

A Day Trip to Red Wing

Located right on the Mississippi River, Red Wing offers a historic downtown district and spectacular views

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags