Springtime at Minnesota Historical Society Sites and Museums

Come snow or shine, these events will educate and entertain

For immediate release


ST. PAUL, Minn (April 3, 2023) – Spring is in the air at Minnesota Historical Society sites and museums across the state! There are several opportunities for folks to learn, listen, explore, and celebrate with MNHS this season. New events are being added regularly, so keep checking www.mnhs.org/events for updates.

Easter Egg Hunt, James J. Hill House, St. Paul

April 8, 10 am–4 pm

Put on your best Easter attire and hop over to the James J. Hill House! The annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place promptly at 10:30 am, with doors opening at 10 am. Family friendly hands-on activities are available throughout the day with the option to take a self-guided tour of the house. No guided house tours are offered on this day. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: $8-12/MNHS members save 20% (Children under 2 are free, but require a free ticket)

Stillwater's Last Lumber Baron, Forest History Center, Grand Rapids

April 8, 1 pm–3 pm

Join Bill McGrath as he tells entertaining and interesting stories of his grandfather, James E. McGrath, Stillwater's last lumber baron. Find out what happened to all those white pine dollars. Be prepared for tales from the Snake River, four bad fires, a broken compass, courtroom accusations, and false teeth. Join us for a rags-to-riches-to-rags tale about a man whose first job was sweeping sawdust in a mill. Cost: free with site admission

Indigenous Astronomy, Jeffers Petroglyphs, Comfrey

April 14, 3 pm–10 pm

Join us for a fun afternoon and evening as we explore Indigenous astronomy, light pollution, and the dark night skies. The event will kick off at 3 pm in room 123 Trafton Central on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato with an hour-long presentation from Professor Michael Rutkowski about light pollution and preserving the night sky. There will be a two-hour break in event activities to allow travel to Jeffers Petroglyphs, where the rest of the event will take place.

Activities pick back up at 6 pm with astronomy themed activities provided by the Bell Museum and tours provided by Jeffers Petroglyphs staff. From 8–9 pm Tom Sanders will give a presentation about archaeoastronomy of the world, Jeffers Petroglyphs, and the Red Rock Ridge. Weather permitting, the event will culminate with a viewing of the cosmos with telescopes. This event is in partnership with the Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Bell Museum. Cost: free

Beaded Earring Workshop, Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Onamia

April 15, 10 am–4 pm

Learn to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind beaded earrings to take home in this one day workshop led by traditional crafter LeAnn Wotishek. Registration is required three days prior to the workshop. Cost: $75/MNHS and Mille Lacs Band members save 20%

"Making the Carry" by Timothy Cochrane Author Event, Forest History Center, Grand Rapids

April 22, 1 pm–3 pm

Join us to hear author Timothy Cochrane share stories about his new book, Making the Carry. This extraordinary illustrated biography tells the story of John and Tchi-Ki-Wis Linklater, a Métis man and Anishinaabe woman, and their life together in the canoe and border country of Ontario and Minnesota, from the 1870s until the 1930s. With broad geographical sweep, historical significance, and biographical depth, Making the Carry tells their story, overlooked for far too long. The author will have books available after his presentation. Cost: free with site admission

"True North Cabin Cookbook" Baking Demo, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis

April 22, 1 pm–2 pm

Get inspired for cabin months and comforting food with Stephanie Hansen’s True North Cabin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a North Woods Table. Hansen will demonstrate how to make a strawberry shortcake drop biscuit from her book in the museum’s Baking Lab. Hansen, author and co-host of the #WeeklyDish podcast, shares stories and straightforward recipes that re-create the flavors and simple pleasures of summers at the cabin. Samples available while supplies last. Cost: free with site admission

The Minnesota State Band 125th Anniversary Concert, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

April 22, 1 pm–2:30 pm

Join the Minnesota State Band for a concert celebrating 125 years at the History Center! The State Band has been delighting audiences since their first appearance in April 1898 at a St. Paul Apostles baseball game. Come for an afternoon of music and historical reflection with a program including the winning entry of the Band’s Brass Fanfare Composition Contest, a nod to Earth Day, and the honoring of Band Alumni. Join the band for a reception following the concert to help celebrate the long history and musical legacy of the Minnesota State Band. Cost: free

Ukrainian Easter, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis

April 29, 1 pm–2 pm

Join us in the Mill City Museum Baking Lab as we learn about Ukrainian Easter baking traditions! Cost: free with site admission

Archery Workshop, Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Onamia

May 6, 1 pm–4 pm

Have you ever wanted to learn to shoot a bow and arrow? Let certified archery instructors on staff at Mille Lacs Indian Museum teach you how! You don't have to have any prior experience with archery to participate. Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: free with site admission

Coronation Ball, Snake River Fur Post, Pine City

May 6, 6:30 pm–9 pm

Celebrate the coronation of King King Charles III with a lively English country dance at the fur post. Dance steps will be taught and called at the ball. Doors open at 6:30 pm. If you are new to country dance, please plan to arrive early to receive basic instructions. The ball will consist of two sets of six dances starting at 7 pm. A short intermission for refreshments will be scheduled between sets. Period or semi formal attire is requested. Cost: $40/MNHS members save 20%

Corn Husk Doll, Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Onamia

May 20, 11 am–3 pm

Learn how to make a corn husk doll to take home. Corn husk dolls are made out of the outer covering of a ear of corn and are typically made during the fall. Allow an hour to make the craft. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Cost: $5 supply fee (with regular site admission)

Decoration Day, Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul

May 27–29, 10 am–4 pm

Spend Memorial Day weekend at Historic Fort Snelling and experience how Minnesota celebrated “Decoration Day,” an early style of what we know as Memorial Day today. Throughout the weekend the site will host programming on the entire 23 acre site from the new prairie landscape, inside the Plank Museum & Visitor Center, and of course the historic reconstructed Fort Snelling. On Saturday we will be rededicating the reconstructed 1820s fort flag pole. Historically, the flag pole lasted about 10-15 years before the army had to replace it. A short ceremony on Saturday morning to put up the flag for the first time since 2021. On Monday Historic Fort Snelling will host “Decoration Day.” Historic Fort Snelling staff will be dressed in 1890s military costuming to present “Decoration Day” speeches that reflected on past conflicts, especially the American Civil War, commonly heard during the late 1800s. Cost: free with site admission (veterans, active military members, and Native Americans are all free)

Draft Horse Harnessing Demonstration and Wagon Ride, Historic Forestville, Preston

(Meet in parking lot on south side of historic bridge)

May 27, 11 am–1 pm

Have you ever wondered what it took to get a team of draft horses ready to work in the field or to head to town? Meet at the historic site parking lot and join John Hill and the draft horse team, Suzie Q, and Pumpkin of Doubletree Carriage Company for a draft horse harnessing demonstration, then climb into the wagon and take your seat to experience transportation of the 1800s. John will talk about various modes of mid-1800s transportation while you enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh, spring prairie grasses – you may even spot a flower or two. Bring your questions and have an enjoyable ride! Cost: $25/MNHS members save 20% We are unable to accept credit cards at the event; online pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.

About the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment

Funding for several events is provided by the State of Minnesota's Legacy Amendment, through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.