Posts Tagged: fun stuff to do in the driftless region

Summer Fun List!

Summer should be all about fun, playing outside, spending time with family, and enjoying all the good stuff that comes with longer days and these warm, magic-filled nights. Here are some things we plan to do this summer…maybe you’ll want to add them to your list too!
XO – Aryn

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Catch fireflies!

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S’more smores!

It’s a simple recipe (cracker, roasted marshmallow, chocolate) for a sweet summer tradition.

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Make a wish on a shooting star

(and enjoy looking at the others while you wait)!
Summer meteor showers to put on your calendar:

The Delta Aquariids – July 30
The Perseids – August 12

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Explore caves to keep cool

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Daylily farm!

An 1854 farmstead filled with daylilies?! Fun! And what a sight! More than a hundred varieties of daylilies – literally thousands of blooms – grow on Oak Hill Farm just south of Preston on Highway 52. They are open weekends when the lilies are blooming – usually the month of July until the first part of August, or by appointment (507-696-3251). You can stop by just to see the flowers, but it might be hard to resist taking some home (they dig the plants for you, in case you can’t resist)!

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Disc golf on a fun farm!

There’s another Southeast Minnesota farm we’ve heard has some cool offerings: Sweet 16 Farm near Houston, Minnesota – on, you guessed it, Highway 16. They not only have a Friday (6-8 pm) and Saturday (8-10 am) farm stand, but a 20-hole disc golf course too! The par 3 course features shorter distance fairways with naturally occurring hazards –tall grass prairie, ravines, a pond, through the woods… you get it! Sounds like a fun adventure!

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Mason Jennings at Seed Savers

Mason Jennings concert at Seed Savers couldn’t happen last year because of flooding, so we’re excited it’s on the calendar for July 8 this year!

A summer concert under the stars is always lovely, and add to that the gardens of Seed Savers and singer-songwriter Mason Jennings and it’s downright magical. Folk rock artists The Pines and Iowa songwriter Pieta Brown will open the show. Ticket sales support SSE’s non-profit mission to protect and promote America’s garden and food heritage.

Visitors can head out to Seed Savers early for wine or beer and a garden tour with Diane Ott Whealy at 6pm. Doors open at 5 pm and the concert begins at 7 pm. Food vendors and cash bar will be offered, and primitive camping is available for $15.

Details at www.seedsavers.org/benefit-concert

Check out Inspire(d)’s 2016 interview with Jennings here.

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Driftless Winery Events!

There are some super fun events on the docket this summer at area wineries. Empty Nest in rural Waukon is hosting fun wine releases, live music on the patio, and their ever-popular murder mystery dinner theaters (advance tickets only).

And north of us at Four Daughters Winery near Spring Valley, Minnesota, they’re offering up “dine in the vines” evenings, where visitors can enjoy a 10-course meal under the full moon (advance reservations). Plus, they’re planning free outdoor movies all summer!

June 21: Wayne’s World
July 12: The Proposal
July 19: A Walk in the Clouds
August 2: Field of Dreams
August 16: Signs
August 30: Twister

Note: No outside food or drinks will be allowed, but options for a pre-order picnic basket (charcuterie, cheese, bread, fruit and nuts) or pizza and salad for two are available, or various movie snacks are offered on-site. Movies will be shown in the Barrel Room in case of rainy weather. Bring your own blankets or chairs.

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Looking for more ideas to keep your kids active and engaged? Check out our big list of fun kids summer activities!

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P.S. Save the Date: Takkefest, September 23, 2017

We know we’re talking about summer fun here, but we want to be sure you save the date for a cool new event at Vesterheim Museum this fall: Takkefest.

Takk is the Norwegian word for “thank you.” Vesterheim will host a celebration in their “back yard,” the museum’s Open Air Division. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate.

  • Live Music, including the Scandinavian dance band Foot-Notes
  • Dancing
  • Norwegian Fusion Cuisine
  • Norwegian-American Beers and Aquavit
  • Crafts and Pioneer Activities (for kids and adults)
  • Mini Folk Art Classes

“Let’s loosen our bunads and kick up our heels, enjoying what we’ve got ?here in Decorah!” Indeed. Thanks, Vesterheim! We can’t wait. Check vesterheim.org for more details.

June 2017 Calendar!

June 2017! Helllooooooooo, summer! Can you believe it’s here?! Start your planning now with this handy-dandy June 2017 calendar (and you can download the pdf here).
Enjoy! XO, Inspire(d)

LOOKING FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT EVENTS ON THE CALENDARS?
Check out these great June 2017 activities!  In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. June 1: Driftless Safari offers free outdoor adventure and exploration in Winneshiek County all summer long! Visit www.driftless-safari.org or stop by any Winneshiek County library to join!

2. June 1: Step back in time to 1899! Visit Historic Forestville, rural Preston. Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day: Thur- Sun, (Saturdays only Sept/Oct) $6-$8 507-765-2785 forestville@mnhs.org  – Where real history happened!

3. June 3: Garden Bugs Workshop: Friend or foe? Learn to identify & manage garden insects while attracting pollinators. Seed Savers Exchange. 11am-12pm. $5 registration: seedsavers.org/events 563-382-5990

4. June 9: Guttenberg’s River of Music (ROM)EVERY Friday, June 2-August 11, 6-8 pm in Ingleside Park Bandstand along the Mississippi River (Rain location – City Hall)

5. June 17: Breakfast on the Farm- 8:30a.m.-noon at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Calmar, Iowa. Including: wholesome breakfast, dairy tours, and more! On-site parking available; donations are appreciated. www.iowadairycenter.com

6. June 17: Art in the Park Fine Art Festival featuring 100+ artist booths, live music, craft beer & food vendors at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro. 10am-5pm www.lanesboroarts.org

7. June 17: Good Earth Village welcomes their littlest campers yet! Preschoolers, invite an adult to experience camp with you from 9am-1pm! Spring Valley, MN. More at GoodEarthVillage.org/preschool

8. June 21: FREE Summer Solstice yoga class outdoors at Reefuel! You’ll perform 108 Sun Salutations soaking up the rays to ring in summer! 6:30pm. More Information: www.reefuel.biz

9. June 23-24: 60-Mile Garage Sale! Join the communities along the Root River Trail System for garage sales in nine communities! Online map and more info available at www.rootrivertrail.org

May 2017 Calendar!

May 2017! Wow, there are lots of fun things going on! Start your planning now with this handy-dandy May 2017 calendar (and you can download the pdf here).
Enjoy! XO, Inspire(d)

LOOKING FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT EVENTS ON THE CALENDARS?
Check out these great May 2017 activities!  In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

22. May 1: Visit Historic Forestville – Saturdays only in May/Sept/Oct. Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day: Thurs- Sun $6-8. Step back in time to 1899. Where real history happened! 507-765-2785 forestville@mnhs.org

23. May 2: Author Faith Sullivan (Goodnight Mr. Wodehouse, The Cape Ann, Gardenias, What a Woman Must Do) at Dragonfly Books!  Author talk / signing 7 pm. www.dragonflybooks.com/events.  Free!

24. May 6: You’re invited! Help Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation hand-pull unwanted plants from outstanding 1,200-acre woodland near Waukon. No experience necessary. Lunch provided. Kids welcome. 515-288-1846 www.inhf.org

25. May 6: Annual Plant Sale, Seed Savers Exchange: Rare family heirlooms & historic commercial varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees. New this year: hops & strawberries. 9am-5pm. seedsavers.org

26. May 6: Spring Garden School, Seed Savers Exchange: 10am-3pm workshop focusing seed starting, planning your garden for seed saving, and getting started with composting. Sign up: seedsavers.org/events 

27. May 7: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater at Empty Nest Winery. Advanced tickets only; $45/person includes 3 course dinner and Murder Mystery Comedy Production. Call 563-568-2758 for tickets. www.emptynestwinery.com

28. May 7: The Decorah Chorale and Oneota Valley Community Orchestra (OVCO) will hold a joint concert to perform Mozart’s Requiem at 3 pm at Decorah High School. No charge for admission however a free-will offering will be accepted.

29. May 12: Ultra Mega Mega, Luther College CFA, Visual and Performing Arts Spring Open House, 6-9pm

30. May 14: Mother’s Day Cider & Strudel, Seed Savers Exchange: Orchard in bloom, 20% off all purchases, cider, strudel, guided hike, apple history. More info: seedsavers.org/events

31. May 16: Help us launch local author Keith Lesmeister’s first short story collection, We Could’ve Been Happy Here! Author talk / signing 7pm. Dragonfly Books. www.dragonflybooks.com/events. Free!

32. May 21: Original folk music matched with witty humor with songwriter/performer Bill Staines in the Legion Room, Chatfield Center for the Arts. 6:30pm. $20, limited seating. www.chatfieldcfa.com