Stay home, stay safe

That’s what we all need to do in the midst of COVID-19.

Here are a few ideas to help you pass the time as you wait it out at home.

Visit virtually: Social distancing doesn’t have to mean loneliness. Take full advantage of video-chat technology to communicate often with friends and family. Don’t worry if your hair isn’t pretty. Connecting is more important than being impressive right now. At the very least, keep in touch by increasing phone calls, texts and emails to family and friends, who are also hungry for interaction!

Seek help: If you feel overwhelmed by what’s happening or if you’re suffering from anxiety, isolation or depression, call the national Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 (open 24 hours a day).

Catch up on the classics: Instead of idly flipping through TV, make your couch time a cultural event. Scan through a list of history’s greatest American movies — according to the American Film Institute. Take note of the ones you haven’t seen and look for streaming versions on Netflix, Amazon Prime or even YouTube.

Go international: If you’re interested in world cinema, check out the list from the British Film Institute. To see many of these you’ll have to stray beyond streaming services: True cinephiles will find a subscription to well worth it.

Turn on local radio: Jazz88 (88.5FM) and The Current (89.3FM) feature live broad- casters, sending comforting messages of hope, plus uplifting music (versus the latest COVID-19 analysis). Whether you stream these stations online or turn on an actual radio, it’s lovely to have a live local voice filling the house.

Listening care package: The On Being Project — a Minneapolis-based, nation- ally renowned podcast and radio show — has compiled A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times, including podcasts and poetry to help folks process the pandemic. We promise you’ll enjoy the soothing voice (and gentle soul) of host/ founder Krista Tippett.

Catch some Baseball: Disappointed about the delay to the baseball season? You can at least watch six ballgames’ worth (that’s 18 hours) of Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary for free. It’s avail- able on and on many streaming services.

Check out ebooks: You may not be able to visit your library, but you can check out some of the thousands of ebooks ready for download. In Hennepin County and St. Paul you can gain access through an app called Libby; the Ramsey and Dakota County systems use cloudLibrary; Anoka County Library offers its own app.

Until next month: Hang in there!

Have an event coming up? Submit calendar events six weeks in advance to Photos welcome!

Looking for something to do with the grandkids? Check out the interactive calendar from our sister publication, Minnesota Parent!

NOTE: Many of the below events have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus.

Feb. 29–July 5

extra/ordinary: The American Swedish Institute at Play

This new exhibit pairs the museum’s historical artifacts, including carvings, photographs, textiles and musical instruments, with original watercolor paintings and ink illustrations by the Minnesota mother-son team of Tara Sweeney and Nate Christopherson.

When: Feb. 29–July 5

Where: The American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

Cost: Standard admission: $12 adults, $8 seniors ages 62 and above, $6 ages 6-18 and full-time students with ID, FREE for ASI members and children under 6


March 20-April 4


There Lies the Home

This spring, Cantus, the acclaimed vocal ensemble, honors the experiences of those who have braved the high seas — whether forced, seeking opportunity, or by necessity.

When: March 20-April 4

Where: Locations in Minneapolis, Stillwater, Edina, Wayzata and St. Paul

Cost: $23-$43


March 20-April 11

39 Steps

The 39 Steps

Mix a Hitchcock classic with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have the intriguing, thrilling, riotous and unmissable comedy. The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock, follows our unlikely hero, Richard Hannay, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, steeped in hilarious, murder mystery noir.

When: March 20-April 11

Where: Jackson Street Roundhouse, St Paul

Cost: $28


March 24-April 5



From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Anastasia is recommended for ages 7+ and lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes.

When: March 24-April 5

Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis

Cost: $40 to $146


March 27-29

Peace 4 the Ages

Peace 4 The Ages

This 90-minute collaboration of teens and seniors consists of writings, songs, video and dance, among other elements. Each participant wrote three letters to their pen pal before their first meeting, discussing what peace means to them.

When: March 27-29

Where: Stages Theatre, Hopkins

Cost: $14-$20


March 28, 29


Encountering Kindness, A Choral Poem

CorVoce Chamber Choir premieres local composer Catherine Dalton’s setting of Nye’s poem, together with works by Pau Casals, Rene Clausen, Norman Dinerstein, Morten Lauridsen, Stephen Paulus, Jake Runestad, Kevin Siegfried, and more.

When: March 28, 29

Where: March 28: St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Roseville; March 29: Mindekirken, The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church,  Minneapolis

Cost: Free


March 31-April 4

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

The 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival features a Grammy-winning score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues and a Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

When: March 31-April 4

Where: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Saint Paul

Cost: $48-$111


April 4

Community Thread’s jewelry fundraiser

Black Tie Bingo Fundraiser

This fundraiser will feature 5 games of bingo, along with other activities and raffles. Proceeds from the event will support Community Thread’s volunteer center, a program that engages volunteers for activities including flood response, river cleanup, lawn raking and more.

When: April 4

Where: Community Thread, Stillwater

Cost: $75-$600


April 10-19

Freddie – Break Free

Freddie – Break Free

Ballet Co.Laboratory celebrates the music of Queen and legacy of Freddie Mercury in this rock ballet, featuring a collaboration of local artists including Queen tribute band Ready Freddie and the students from St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts.

When: April 10-19

Where: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, Minneapolis

Cost: $28-$70


April 17-May 10



From the composer of Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles comes another musical about a larger-than-life personality with an insatiable appetite for living. Meet Mame Dennis, an eccentric Manhattanite whose fabulous, bohemian lifestyle is turned upside down when her orphaned nephew comes to live with her

When: April 17-May 10

Where: Artistry, Bloomington Center for the Arts

Cost: $18-$47


April 18

Spring Parkinson's Symposium

Spring Parkinson’s Symposium

Minnesota’s largest locally presented Parkinson’s disease educational event is people living with Parkinson’s, their care partner, spouse, children, health professionals and community.

When: April 18

Where: Inwood Oaks, Oakdale

Cost: Free, but registration required


April 19, May 11

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Photo by Joe Weismann Left to right Joshua English Scrimshaw, Tim Uren and Eric Webster

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society

The Society will revisit the great horror and suspense shows from the golden age of radio, performed in the style of a classic radio broadcast, including original commercials, eerie music and live sound effects.

When: April 19, May 11

Where: Park Square Theatre, Saint Paul

Cost: $23


Jan. 23–April 19

Parks Shabazz

A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity: The Visions of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz

This exhibition includes photographs that document expressions of dignity, honor, hope, and love in the African-American community by two towering photographers. Featured works include Gordon Parks’s images from the Jim Crow era through the civil rights movement, and photographs by Brooklyn-based artist Jamel Shabazz, who has followed in Parks’s footsteps from the 1980s to the present day.

When: Jan. 23–April 19

Where: Minnesota Museum of American Art (The M), St. Paul

Cost: FREE


April 24

Season of Trees Opening Celebration

Season of Trees Opening Celebration

Snacks and beverages will be served, and there will be interactive stations and a scavenger hunt outside, complete with prizes.

When: April 24

Where: MN Landscape Arboretum, Chaska

Cost: $10 members, $25 non-members, $5 children 3-5 years


April 25

Arboretum: All About Dogs

All About Dogs

Visitors and their dogs have the opportunity to stroll on the Three-Mile walk, take part in fun pet contests, win door prizes and meet fabulous vendors at the pet expo.

When: April 25

Where: MN Landscape Arboretum, Chaska

Cost: $15 members, $30 non-members


April 26

BandWidth band at Landmark Center

BandWidth Community Band Festival

Enjoy an afternoon listening to marches, pop, Broadway, and jazz music performed by some of the top volunteer-based bands in Minnesota.

When: April 26

Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul

Cost: Free


May 2-3

Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour

Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour

Along with invited guest artists, a total of 30 artists will be offering work in various mediums: painting, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, glass, wood, metal, sculpture and more.

When: May 2-3

Where: Deephaven Minnetonka and Excelsior

Cost: Free


May 8-9


Wordplay: The Sequel

Attendees will have the chance at workshops, readings, and special experiences to hear from and interact with nationally recognized writers like Alison Roman, Michael Ian Black, Charles Yu and Scott Pelley, as well as local authors like Kate DiCamillo, Danez Smith, Kao Kalia Yang and Peter Geye.

When: May 8-9

Where: Minneapolis’ Mill City neighborhood

Cost: Saturday street festival: $17 in advance and $20 at the door. FREE for youth 17 and under; Friday kickoff event: $35


Feb. 22–May 29

The Dixie Swim Club

The Dixie Swim Club

In this comedy, five Southern women forge their friendship on a championship college swim team and reunite each summer. The play focuses on four of those weekends, spanning a period of 33 years.

When: Feb. 22–May 29

Where: Old Log Theatre, Excelsior

Cost: $30-$40


Feb. 29–Sep. 5

Music Man

The Music Man

Get into a little trouble with Meredith Willson’s five-time Tony Award-winning musical featuring the unforgettable songs “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Ya Got Trouble,” “Wells Fargo Wagon” and “Till There Was You.”

When: Feb. 29–Sep. 5

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Cost: Starting at $50



Our Home: Native Minnesota

Our Home: Native Minnesota

Dakota, Ojibwe and other Indigenous peoples have lived in the Minnesota region for tens of thousands of years. Throughout that time, they have maintained rich and nourishing relationships with the land, sky, nature and each other. A new permanent exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul showcases their stories and sends a message of continuity of cultural practices, teachings, values, and political agency.

When: Ongoing

Where: Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul

Cost: Standard admission: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for children 5–17