Metro State faculty aren’t spending the summer holed up in their offices. They are out exploring all the Twin Cities have to offer, and they’re a fount of ideas for summer fun. Check out their recommendations for activities and events
Kal Tuominen, community faculty member in the department of natural sciences, is teaching NSCI 201 Minnesota Ecology and Conservation Biology this summer. They recommend students take a hike “a bit outside the Twin Cities.
“People who want to get out of the city for a few hours, or even for a few days, will find a lot to do at Afton State Park. This is my first choice when I want to go for an intense hike without driving too far!” Tuominen said.
The park offers 20 miles of hiking trails, including 0.6 miles that are wheelchair accessible. Terrain varies from flat to steep.
Tuominen points to the park’s “excellent examples” of deciduous forest, former pine plantation, oak savannah and restored prairie.
Park activities include camping, picnicking, swimming and fishing in the St. Croix River, volleyball, horseshoes and geocaching. An archery range will be open on June 10 and July 15.
Afton State Park is about a 30-minute drive east from the St. Paul campus. A one-day vehicle permit costs $5. A twelve-month permit is $25 and allows access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Entry is free on June 10 in celebration of “National Get Outdoors Day.” For more information about Afton State Park, see dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afto
Erica Rasmussen, Metro State studio arts professor, encourages students to explore the field of fiber arts at the Textile Center in Minneapolis.
She recommends an exhibition by award-winning, internationally exhibited fiber artist Barbara Lee Smith. The show is titled “That’s How the Light Gets In: Reflections on Transitions.” It features large landscapes and abstract works crafted with paint, collage materials and sewing machine stitches.
“Through meditative landscapes and abstract compositions, this show provides a rich visual experience that ruminates upon place and memory,” Rasmussen said.
Smith’s work is on display until June 24 in the Joan Mondale Gallery at the Textile Center, 3000 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis.
Hours are 10 a.m. — 7 p.m, Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, visit textilecentermn.org/barbara-lee-smith-thats-how-the-light-gets-in/
Economics professor Allen Bellas is an avid cyclist who commutes by bike to campus. He urges students to take two wheels to see the sights.
“I love riding on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. It runs from West River Parkway — a great place to ride, too — and East 27th Street to the north side of Lake Calhoun. From there you can continue on to Hopkins and points west,” said Bellas.
But he doesn’t want you to whiz right through. “Along the way you can enjoy the view from the Sabo Bridge; get coffee, pastries and repairs at the Midtown Bike Center; or have a meal at the Midtown Market,” he said.
Even inexperienced or out-of-practice riders are good to go on the Greenway. “Greenway users are tremendously diverse and you’ll see everything from serious bikers to kids just learning to ride and everyone in between,” said Bellas.
But if you’re more of a watcher than a rider, how about seeing the fastest human-powered sport on Earth? Bellas highly recommends the Thursday Night Lights bike races at the National Sports Center Cycling Velodrome in Blaine.
Races run Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. through September 14, weather permitting. Adult tickets are $5; kids under age 12 are free. See velodrome.nscsports.org for more information.
The Science Museum of Minnesota will bring kids to the Metro State campus this summer. The Science Center on the St. Paul campus will host four camps
Metro State students receive a 75% discount rate for their children — $54 per camp.
- “Female Filmmakers” (July 24 — 28, 9 a.m — noon) offers girls ages 9 – 12 an introduction to digital video production and editing.
- In “Gamer Girls: Dance Edition” (July 24 — 28, 1 – 4 p.m.), girls ages 9 – 12 will use Scratch software to design and code a dance game.
- “Scratch Your Funny Bone” (August 7 — 11, 9 a.m. — noon) will get boys and girls, ages 6 to 8, telling jokes and learning basic computer code on the ScratchJr app.
- In “Puppet Movies” (August 7 — 11, 1 – 4 p.m), boys and girls, ages 6 – 8, can create puppets and make them move with HUE stop motion animation software.
To register, call 651−221−4511 and mention coupon code MSU2017. Offer available only for Metro State location and summer 2017 camps. Limit two coupons per family.
Metro State’s Library and Learning Center is unique for housing a university academic library and a public library branch under one roof. Librarians collaborate to provide a range of family-friendly events in their shared building
Savitri Santhiran, children’s specialist at the Dayton’s Bluff branch, welcomes Metro State students and their kids to participate in “Summer Spark” from June 1 to Aug. 31.
Children and teens aged 0 – 18 can complete activities and read books to earn prizes. Santhiran says parents and kids can stop by the library to pick up activity and reading logs.
Open Eye Figure Theatre will present the puppet show “Molly and the Magic Boot” on June 14 at 7 p.m. Hosted jointly by the Dayton’s Bluff branch and Metro State, pre-show activities begin at 6 p.m. There will be food, face painting and a hula hooping contest
Summer Spark also offers free performances by musicians, magicians, comedians and storytellers. All programs take place in the children’s area in the Dayton’s Bluff Branch: Jason Huneke’s Juggling Show (June 17, 1:30 p.m.); Snake Discovery, an educational reptile program (June 21, 3 p.m.); Magical Mia (June 28, 3 p.m.); Brodini Comedy Magic Show (July 5, 3 p.m.); A Touch of Magic presents “Mixed Nuts” clown show (July 12, 3 p.m.); Bruce the Bug Guy, live insect presentation (July 19, 3 p.m.
The libraries will also offer a family-friendly movie series on Fridays 1 – 2:30 p.m. in the first-floor student lounge in the Library and Learning Center on the St. Paul campus.
Scheduled films include: “Trolls” (June 16), “Moana” (June 23), “Kubo and the Two Strings” (June 30), “Toy Story” (July 7), “Toy Story 2” (July 14), “Toy Story 3” (July 21), “The Muppets” (July 28), “The Last Mimzy” (Aug. 4), “The Jungle Book” (Aug. 11), “Beauty and the Beast” (Aug. 18).
For more adult fare, turn to Metro State’s Film Space, a digital cinema theater located in Founders Hall on the St. Paul campus. Screenwriting professor James Byrne says don’t miss the upcoming Qhia Dab Neeg Hmong Film Festival, June 23 – 24.
“This is the biggest and one of the only Hmong film festivals in the country. It features national and local films that reflect Hmong culture and/or are made by Hmong filmmakers,” Byrne said. For more information, see in-progress.org/qhia-dab-neeg