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24 activities to embrace spring’s slow, crawling approach

Brave the awkward winter-spring transition with spring festivals, Earth Day clean-ups and plenty of celebrations of local food, art and booze.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

It happens every year — we experience one or two days of balmy, above-freezing temperatures in early March and think that the worst is over for us. Every year, we’re wrong and winter comes back to sneakily snow six inches. Here are 24 things to do this month instead of watching the snow melt, vengefully. The warmth is coming soon!

Many venues in the Twin Cities require proof of full vaccination or a negative test within three days of show dates. Events allow all ages unless otherwise noted.

1. Spring Festival at Canterbury Park
When’s the last time you went to a massive arts and crafts fair? Canterbury’s Spring
Festival has hundreds of handmade gifts, activities and plenty of food and drink to offer. More information here. $10 for adults, children under 10 get in free. April 1-3

2. Stratified Silhouettes at St. Paul Student Center’s Larson Gallery
Visit the Larson Gallery this month to view the abstract works of Emily Quandahl,
Alexander Pollock, Holly Kilander and Igor Dukic. Free. April 1-29

3. Shakespeare galore at Rarig Center’s Stoll Thrust Theater
The University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance BFA Second-Year Company will be performing two of the Bard’s great works, “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet,” during the first weekend of April. Free but registration required. More information here and here. “Hamlet” April 1-3; “Romeo and Juliet” April 2-3

4. Wine Tasting at the Campus Club
Visit the Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union for a night of socializing and free (!) wine for one night this month. Sharpen your sommelier skills and make silly, made-up observations about the tannins or something at this event. Free, but registration is required. 21-plus. April 2

5. Free April Films at Coffman Theater and Saint Paul Student Center Theater
Student Unions & Activities have a pile of your quirky indie favs on view at campus theaters this month, including: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” a Wes Anderson movie marathon, “Licorice Pizza,” “Almost Famous,” “Coraline” and “Sing Street,” among others not included in the indie category. More information on films available here. Free, all month long.

6. Minneapolis Winter Farmers Market
Though fresh local produce may not be available yet, there are still plenty of local foods available at this weekend market. Take the trip to East Lyndale Ave N for fresh eggs, cheeses and meats, among other products like plants and maple syrup. Free to attend. April 2-3, 9-10, 16 and 23-34

7. The Minneapolis Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Do I really have to say more? The event features roughly 500 pieces of artwork, live body painting, performances from local DJs and yes, all-you-can-eat pancakes. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door, 21-plus. April 2

8. Life is Peachy Reception at the Coffman Art Gallery
Meg Petersen, local multimedia artist, likes to romanticize everyday life in her work. The exhibit runs from March 30 to May 8, but her opening reception will happen this month.
Free but RSVP encouraged. April 7

9. Junk Bonanza Vintage Market at Canterbury Park
One man’s trash is another’s … you get the idea. Visit Canterbury Park for a three-day vintage home goods market packed with antique finds. Local, small-batch artisans will also be there to peddle their goods, along with live demonstrations and a raffle. Junk it up. More information here. Tickets start at $12. April 7-9

10. The Flaming Lips at the Palace Theatre
The eclectic alternative band will be on their “American Head American Tour,” supported by the Heartless Bastards. Tickets start at $45, 18-plus. April 8

11. GIGS: Student Sound at the Whole Music Club
Visit the Whole this month for a student musician showcase featuring Bad Dance, Daphne Jane and The Shelf Below. Free. April 8

12. Black Label Movement’s “Canary, Crimson, then Emerald” at the Cowles Center
University of Minnesota Dance professor Carl Flink’s company will perform their latest number, a combination of three works that explore themes of time. Tickets start at $25. April 8-10

13. Minnesota Craft Beer Festival at the Minneapolis Convention Center
This event boasts almost 200 local and national brewing companies offering limited release or taproom-only brews for a day of tasting and getting tipsy. Live performances by classic rock band Rough House will accompany the beverages. Tickets start at $44.99, 21-plus. April 9

14. Earth Day Cleanups
Has there always been so much garbage waiting under the snow after the big melt? Ick! Treat the planet with some sweet, sweet love and go to a cleanup somewhere near you. Check the Minneapolis Parks website for information on nearby events, or organize your own cleanup wherever you are. Free at your local park. April 23

15. John Mulaney at Xcel Energy Center
The SNL star, award-winning comic, actor and tall child is coming to the Twin Cities on his “From Scratch” tour, likely to joke about his divorce. For the unfamiliar, Mulaney has several major Netflix comedy specials, including “New in Town,” “The Comeback Kid” and “Kid Gorgeous.” Tickets start at $35.50. April 23

16. Hippo Campus at the Armory
Saint Paul’s indie darlings known for “Buttercup” and “Way it Goes” will be performing at the Armory in downtown Minneapolis, presented by First Avenue, Jam and the Current. This show comes after the February release of “LP3,” their third full-length album. All ages, Tickets start at $37. April 23

17. Fashion Week MN
Celebrate local designers and clothiers in ten shows at this year’s MN fashion week. Shows are kicking off at the end of the month with Rose + Bull’s “La Vie en Rose” for a day of dreamy florals and rose-tinted views. Native Starlight at the Machine Shop follows, along with “Picnic: A Floral Fashion Frenzy” and other bountiful spring runways. Ticket prices vary depending on event. April 24-30

18. Euphoria: The Drag Brunch at Crave
Join queens Sasha Cassadine, Frozaen Pissás, Priscilla Es Yuicy and Ken Doll for brunch as they enter Euphoria High. Three events, five queens, one day only! Dressing as your favorite character from the HBO sensation is encouraged. Tickets start at $16. As the event page says, “Drag brunches are all ages, but we would not recommend bringing a kid to this show.” April 24

19. Big Thief at the Palace Theatre
The indie folk group will be touring their sprawling latest album, “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You,” which features songs like “Certainty,” “Simulation Swarm” and “Spud Infinity.” Kara-Lis Coverdale, a Canadian composer, producer and musician known mostly for ethereal instrumentals will be opening.
Tickets start at $32. 18-plus. April 27

20. Charli XCX at the Palace Theatre
The English pop icon will perform jams from “CRASH,” her latest album released earlier this year. Baby Tate, the Atlanta-based rapper known for a feature on Euphoria’s soundtrack in 2019 with “Beckham” and several viral singles on Spotify, will be her supporting act. Tickets start at $39.50. 18-plus. April 28

21. Art in Bloom 2022 at the Mia
It’s time to leave snow behind and frolic fancifully through a field of flowers, or at least walk calmly through a museum gallery filled with floral paintings. This year’s Art in Bloom will feature a celebration of the museum’s flowered works, a lecture on flowery themes in art from Lisa Michaux and a floral demonstration by Bachman’s. There will be live tours both in-person and online. Free to the public. April 28-May 1

22. Third Coast Percussion with Movement Art Is at Northrop Auditorium
Grammy award winning band Third Coast Percussion will accompany dance duo Cameron Murphy and Quentin Robinson of Movement Art Is (Lil Buck and Jon Boogz) for performances at Northrop’s Carlson Family Stage. The event features a combination of street dance styles with new music by Jlin and Tyondai Braxton.
Tickets start at $28, April 30

23. Spring Jam
After a two year absence, the University’s classic Spring Jam will be returning this year for a day of festivities at the end of April. The student-run event will feature carnival rides, a beer garden, live entertainment by as yet unannounced musicians, student group-led activities and plenty of food and drink. Recently announced food vendors all include vegan, gluten free and vegetarian fare. Check @umnsua on all social media platforms for updates on the lineup. Free for University students regardless of age, $15 for 18-plus general public. More information here. April 30

24. “Liz Larner: Don’t put it back like it was” opens at the Walker Art Center
The exhibit will feature roughly 30 works by Liz Larner, a California-born sculptor and installation artist, created between 1987 and 2020. Her work explores the connections between material form and perceptions through the use of unconventional materials like bacterial cultures, hazardous materials, sand and leather. There will be a free opening-day talk between the artist and Mary Ceruti, curator of the exhibit and the Walker’s executive director. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the general public. More information available here and here. April 30-Sept. 4

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