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

InterContinental Hotel Opens at MSP Airport

New lodging, restaurants, spa, gym, and skyway update the MSP Airport experience

Plan a Trip to Roanoke, Virginia

This East Coast visit comes with history, a burgeoning craft beer scene, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and more

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags