Experience / Exhibitions / Once upon a Mansion: ASI’s 73rd Holiday Experience

Once upon a Mansion: ASI’s 73rd Holiday Experience

What festive tales did the Turnblad Family read while cozied up in the Library? What would happen if the creatures carved in the Mansion woodwork wanted to come out and play?  

Step into the story at the American Swedish Institute’s most enchanting holiday experience ever that brings the magic of winter, traditions, myths, and tales to life for visitors of all ages. Explore the festive rooms of the Turnblad Mansion and immerse yourself in experiences co-created by local community contributors representing Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and the Sami Cultural Center. Whether it’s your first ASI Holiday Experience, or your 73rd, this is one you won’t want to miss.   

One of Minnesota’s top winter traditions, ASI’s Nordic-inspired holiday experience brings communities and people of all ages together to celebrate the season. From November to January, the museum and cultural center partners with local organizations designers, artists, makers, and performers, to produce an immersive holiday experience within the historic Turnblad Mansion—Minnesota’s only castle—and to present an array of top holiday events, holiday handcraft, food, language classes, and more. ASI’s museum store expands to feature the Jul Shop, one of Minnesota’s best holiday gift stores, and FIKA Café‘s menu grows to include seasonal inspired holiday food and drinks with a New Nordic twist. 

Among the many artists in this years’ experience, local artist Tia Keobounpheng will install an impressive Himmeli in the Turnblad Mansion Artists’ Studio, and artist Anita Jain will transform one of the Mansion’s original bedrooms into an immersive, mossy landscape straight out of a Finnish fairytale. The exhibition also includes unique objects provided by the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.  

Bits of wonder and surprise will be found throughout the experience including weird and wild curiosities from 12 Vultures in Northeast Minneapolis, and of intrigue and inspiration perfect for your Instagram feed from Studio Moss.

‘Tis the season for festive play! Come explore the Family Gallery in the ballroom on the third floor of the Turnblad Mansion.

Find the perfect holiday gifts from local artisans at Julmarknad, one of the region’s largest handcraft markets, featuring more than 50 regional handcraft vendors, live music, festival foods, hands-on activities for all ages, and more. Let out your pagan side and celebrate the longest night of the year around warm outdoor fires (and maybe pet a reindeer!) at the Twin Cities’ largest Winter Solstice Celebration. Dare your friends to try lutfisk for the first time at a Lutfisk Dinner. Find out why Lucia wears a crown of candles at the Lucia Celebration Concert.  

Explore ASI’s season of workshops on holiday crafts, cooking classes, food demos, language classes, and more. Pick up a skill, learn something new, or even inspiration for holiday gift ideas! See what’s on.  

The ASI Museum Store’s Jul Shop is open November 9–January 4, with a curated selection of handmade and imported items. Shop in person or shop online to find the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list.  

Don’t miss the holiday menu at FIKA Café, voted one of the best restaurants by MSP Magazine, where you’re sure to find the seasonal flavors of cinnamon and saffron alongside some of the best meatballs and gravlax around.