Edit ModuleShow Tags

Jul to the World at the American Swedish Institute


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

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. The fall festivals and events in Alexandria brighten up the first chilly months and give life to the city that lives on the lake during its summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.

Best Minnesota Town Last Call for Votes

Help one of these 10 cities advance to the finals for a chance to win a party in their town, $50,000 toward an advertising campaign, and an editorial feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine.

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Small Press, Big Impact: Graywolf's 2nd Literary Salon

Graywolf invited writers Layli Long Soldier, Carmen Maria Machado, and Danez Smith to the stage to challenge the status quo

New Places to Shop and Eat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP Airport's revamp just bumped it up to 6th best in North America—now with indoor food trucks, local brews, therapy dogs, and a golfing simulator

From Writer to Mid-Wife: St. Paul Writing Workshops Highlight Strength in Vulnerability This Month

Leading workshops through October, St. Paul author Ellen Sue Stern on the healing of writing

DNR Predicts Unusually Vibrant Fall Colors: Find the Best Spots

The MN DNR is predicting an especially colorful fall season due to ideal summer weather conditions. We found five spots around the state—including Lanesboro and Lake Superior—with great autumn views.

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small

What It Means to Light Up the St. Anthony Lock

A colorful light show fills the now-defunct lock with its own history

Save the Date for Unveiled Bridal Show September 17

Unveiled isn't just a bridal show, it's a fun and memorable experience.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags