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Press Release

Announcing Once upon a Mansion, the American Swedish Institute’s 73rd Holiday Experience

Step into the story this season with the American Swedish Institute's most enchanting and immersive holiday experience ever
August 16, 2023 By Darby Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS—The American Swedish Institute museum and cultural center presents its 73rd annual holiday experience, November 11–January 7. Don’t miss Nordic-inspired holiday programs, an immersive exhibition in the historic Turnblad Mansion, festivals and live music, food events, one of the region’s largest holiday handcraft markets, a noteworthy holiday gift shop, and much more. Whether it’s your first ASI Holiday Experience, or your 73rd, this is one you won’t want to miss.    

Step into a winter wonderland unlike any other as the enchanting Turnblad Mansion undergoes a magical transformation. Myths, magic and traditions of the holidays collide in an all-ages exhibition throughout the Mansion where stories, folk, and fairytales come alive, and surprises wait around every corner. Immerse yourself in experiences co-created by local community contributors representing Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and the Sami Cultural Center. 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. 

“It’s our most ambitious and immersive holiday season yet, with experiences both new and familiar colliding in a gorgeously decorated historic setting” says Ingrid Nyholm-Lange, Director of Experience at ASI. “If you’ve never visited ASI during the holidays, this is the year to change that!” 

“This is such a special time for the community and for new guests to see the Turnblad Mansion truly shine. The holiday season at the American Swedish Institute has always made such an impression on me,” adds Molly Wright Steenson, president and CEO at ASI. “I’m thrilled to be here to share this cherished experience with all of you. And what a season we have in store!” 

Season highlights include:  

  • Once upon a Mansion Exhibition – On View November 11 – January 7
    Myths and tales, magic and traditions of the holidays collide in an all-ages exhibition in the historic Turnblad Mansion. Explore the festive rooms and experiences co-created by local community contributors representing Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and the Sami Cultural Center
  • Julbord Dinner Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17
    Reservations required. The Julbord, or Christmas smörgåsbord, is one of ASI’s favorite traditions and a great way to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Expect a Nordic-inspired feast with all the favorites like Swedish meatballs
  • Julgladje concerts – Saturday, November 25 9am & 11am
    Titled Julgladje, or ‘Holiday Joy’, this family-friendly concert is highly interactive, with storytelling, music, dancing, family participation. Perfect for families and audiences of all ages
  • Lutfisk Dinner – Sunday, November 19
    Do you think you have what it takes or were you born loving lutfisk like a true Swede? Try this potentially polarizing dinner for yourself! Lutfisk, potatoes, meatballs, peas, cucumber salad with sauces and lefse on the side. Dessert: Rice pudding with lingonberry sauce and pepparkaka cookie
  • Lucia in the Mansion – Wednesday, December 13
    Families are invited to celebrate light during the long winter in this smaller performance within Turnblad Castle featuring the youthful voices of the ASI Lucia Choir. ASI members only. Register in advance
  • Lucia Celebration Concert – Sunday, December 10
    Families are invited to celebrate light during the long winter in this special concert in Larson Hall featuring the youthful voices of the ASI Lucia Choir. Register in advance
  • Julmarknad Holiday Market – Friday, December 1, Saturday, December 2, Sunday, December
    Shop handmade and locally crafted goods from more than 60 regional artists, alongside pop-up performances throughout the Turnblad Mansion, family crafts, stories and festival foods
  • Babies at the Castle – Friday, Nov. 24
    Carry your baby on a 30-minute tour before the museum opens to the public and enjoy 15 minutes of sensory play. Tickets include a wooden teether! Preregister
  • Kids at the Castle – November 18 & 19, December 16 & 17
    Inspired by the seasons, ages two to five are engaged through circle time, storytelling, crafts, visual play, music and movement. Preregister
  • Winter Solstice Celebration– Wednesday, December 20
    Celebrate with reindeer in the courtyard, s’mores and cocoa around the bonfire, extended Jul gift shop hours, plus seasonal Nordic-inspired treats and warm glögg from FIKA. Preregister
  • Jul Shop at the Museum Store – Opens November 9
    ASI’s Jul Holiday Gift Shop is where Nordic-inspired imports and locally made treasures come together to create a shopping experience like no other
  • New FIKA Menu – Fall: October 4 & Winter: December 8
    FIKA’s new menu highlights those hearty, Nordic-inspired classics to bring you comfort and delight during these winter months. Visit what the New York Times calls a culinary “bright spot” in the Twin Cities
  • FIKA’s Holiday Bake Sale – Begins December 1
    Discover the 7 different types of Swedish cookies only served during the holiday season! Plus, new seasonal goodies are coming this year. In-store and preorders are available only through TOCK
  • Tuesdays & Wednesdays: Mansion Glögg Tours
    21+ only fun for this winter! Enjoy glögg, hot spiced holiday wine, and snacks during a guided tour of Once Upon a Mansion in the historic Turnblad Castle. Register in advance
  • Free Thursdays: Live music on First Thursday of each month
    Free Museum admission every Thursday from 3–8 pm with a live music series on the first Thursday of each month. Other Thursdays include a culture & conversation series and a handcraft makers’ night. Bring a guest and introduce them to ASI for the first time and don’t forget about FIKA’s happy hour special!

Please note, most events require advance registration. Visit asimn.org for more information and ways to sign up. 

 

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