Weekend Best Bets: Jan. 24-26

Things to do around the Twin Cities this weekend: St. Paul Winter Carnival, Jewish Humor Festival, new exhibits, outdoor fun, and more
"Audubon Animated" at the Bell Museum
“Audubon Animated” at the Bell Museum

Courtesy of the Bell Museum

The Great Northern kicks off—the Twin Cities’ winter extravaganza. See what’s in store, or check out plenty of other happenings this weekend.

The Great Northern

What: Saint Paul Winter Carnival
When: Jan. 23-Feb. 2
Where: Rice Park, St. Paul

St. Paul’s annual stretch of wintry fun in Rice Park—with kids’ activities, on-stage entertainment, multiple ice bars and parades, and contests for ice carving, hotdish making, and snow sculpting (remember the state champ who caught flak for making a Donald Trump sculpture?)—expands across the street this year, to Landmark Plaza. That means a heated tent for craft beers, cocktails, games, and more live entertainment. (WinterSkate relocates from Landmark Plaza to CHS Field.)

What: U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
When: Jan. 23-26
Where: Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis

A Lake Nokomis tradition going strong: Hockey players with a soft spot for outdoor tussling compete in seven divisions, across age brackets and skill levels, for a golden shovel.

Playbill Prophet

What: Jesus Christ Superstar
When: Through Jan. 26
Where: State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

The 50th-anniversary tour turns a Biblical story into a rock concert at State Theatre.


What: Grey Rock
When: Jan. 23-26
Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis

At the Guthrie Theater for just five shows, Grey Rock looks at the 1969 moon landing through the eyes of a man living in the West Bank.

Wild West Revised

What: How the Wild West Was Spun
When: Jan. 23-26
Where: Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis

Tapping into her own Indigenous ancestry, storyteller and activist Dovie Thomason updates the stereotype of Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Wild West” with the help of host Kevin Kling at the Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis.

Seismic Snapshots

What: A Choice of Weapons, Honor, and Dignity: The Visions of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz
When: Jan. 23-April 19
Where: Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M), 350 Robert St. N., St. Paul

Gordon Parks, who launched his photography career in St. Paul and was active from the ’40s through the ’70s, has inspired Brooklyn-based photographer Jamel Shabazz, who picked up Parks’ photojournalistic legacy in the ’80s. Both have turned the lens toward empowerment in African American communities. See their work at the M.

Real Fixer Upper

What: Minneapolis Home + Remodeling Show
When: Jan. 24-26
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

Brett Tutor, of TLC’s Trading Spaces, takes the stage as speaker for this fourth annual show, which aims to inspire homeowners with improvement-project presentations. Whether you’re looking to remodel, spruce up, or get more sustainable, find more than 300 resources and vendors in U.S. Bank Stadium.

Going Streep

What: Bridges of Madison County
When: Jan. 24-Feb. 16
Where: Artistry, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington

First a best-selling novel, then a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, Bridges of Madison County became a Tony-winning musical (2014 Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations). Francesca (Jennifer Baldwin Peden) is a housewife living a quiet, rural life when a wandering photographer comes to photograph the area’s famous bridges. Soon, she’s forced to question what she wants: a passionate, all-consuming love or a life with the family and community she calls home. See it all play out on the Artistry’s main stage. (For more top local theater picks to wrap up winter, click here.)

Nice Fishing

What: Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza
When: Jan. 25
Where: Hole in the Day Bay, Gull Lake, Brainerd

In your wackiest costume, drill a hole into Gull Lake and join thousands for the world’s biggest charitable ice-fishing contest. Tiki bars and tailgaters make fishing half the fun, while a $150,000 donation gives back to local causes. Check out our guide here.

Go Fly a Kite

What: Lake Harriet Kite Festival/Art Shanty Projects
When: Jan. 25, noon-4 p.m.
Where: Lake Harriet, Minneapolis

Your kite joins a colorful flotilla over Lake Harriet. Plus: family-friendly activities like ice fishing, snowshoeing, and marshmallow roasting. Also on the lake? The Art Shanty Projects. Get two-in-one this weekend.

I Scream, You Scream

What: Winter Ice Cream Social
When: Jan. 25, noon-4 p.m.
Where: Mulberry Point, Stillwater

Fight winter blues at an old-fashioned ice cream social in Stillwater. With free ice cream from Leo’s Malt Shop, chili, and root beer floats, you won’t even feel that windchill.

Jewish Joke Telling

What: Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival
When: Jan. 25-Feb. 1
Where: Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Rd., Minneapolis

Catch a truly impressive lineup of Jewish comics, authors, and artists. This week-long fest includes a show starring the creators of award-winning “Yiddish-ish” web series YidLife Crisis; a workshop led by the host of our favorite locally sourced satirical news program, Minnesota Tonight; a talk with Emmy-winning writer, Seinfeld alum, and Minnesota-native murder-mystery writer Matt Goldman; a talk with rising-star standup comic Jon Savitt; and a lot more.

Bird Brained

What: Bell Museum’s Audubon Animated
When: Jan. 25-May 31
Where: Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul

Find out what CGI can do for John James Audubon’s legendary 19th-century works of naturalism at the Bell Museum’s Audubon Animated. Inside “The Audubon Experience” video room, there’s a virtual swamp and forest, and 20 bird paintings from the pages of The Birds of America take wing. To add another sensory dimension, the Bell offers a monthly yoga series inside the exhibit.

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