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University of Minnesota

Summertime fun at the U

June 5, 2012

Mother Earth Composting.

Mother Earth Composter is one of the juried artworks on display on the Arboretum grounds. The artworks are all part of the Dirt-O-Rama exhibit, which runs through October 14.

Photo: courtesy U Landscape Arboretum

2012 edition

By Adam Overland

In and around the Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota is abuzz with summer activities for adults and kids alike. These events are sure to keep visitors busy and brainy at the same time. So pack up and pack in the fun, Minnesota. Summer comes but once a year.

Kids' University

Various times throughout the summer

You’re never too old to go to college—or too young. Kids’ University, a yearly program from the U, features two dozen exciting camps, from Grossology (where kids learn, among other things, why a turkey vulture poops on its own feet) to Chinese Language and Culture Camp. (China is home to the most English speakers in the world).

All camps are packed full of hands-on interactive fun, and feature 2.5 hours of academic enrichment a day. The rest of the day includes sports or games, swimming, rock climbing, arts and crafts, or exploring the many facets of the University of Minnesota.

Learn more.

Summer Music Festival at Northrop

June 8–Aug. 1, various times, Northrop Plaza

The Summer Music Festival at Northrop is an annual free, outdoor concert series featuring local and U of M bands. Curated by the Student Advisory Committee and Northrop Concerts and Lectures, the series brings an eclectic sampling of some of the best Twin Cities musicians to campus. Genres include hip-hop, dance music, singer-songwriter, folk, Latin, and spoken word.

A few of this summer’s artists: Haley Bonar (June 8), the Adam Meckler Orchestra (June 13), Salsa del Soul (June 22), Alison Scott (June 27), and the Sans Souci Quartet (Aug. 1).

Learn more and see the schedule.

Minnesota Centennial Showboat: “The Vampire!”

June 15-Aug. 25, Centennial Showboat

A scene from a Centennial Showboat production.Cheer, hiss, or boo; it's all up to you.

Vampires are everywhere these days, it seems. Even on showboats. And they’ll begin to haunt the U of M Centennial Showboat with the opening of “The Vampire!" on June 15.

The haunting thriller comes to life on the moors of Scotland, and spins a story of true love, an imperiled heroine, breathtaking sword fights, and high adventure. Audiences can expect gods and goddesses, shipwrecks, and Scottish vampires, and in keeping with 19th century traditions, they’re invited to boo and hiss the bad guys and cheer on the heroes. It’s sure to be a bloodthirsty good time.

Learn more.

Science Discovery Day Camps

June 18–Aug. 31, Bell Museum

More kids than ever will have the chance to attend the Science and Discovery Day Camps at the Bell Museum of Natural History this year through increased scholarship support.

The Bell is offering 18 one-week camps for children in grades kindergarten through six. The camps engage children in science through authentic objects and unforgettable learning experiences. Camps are led by the museum education staff and give campers the opportunity to explore the Twin Cities campus, meet University scientists, and take part in recreational activities including swimming at the University Aquatic Center.

2012 marks the debut of a new camp, “Engineering in Nature,” offered to campers in grades 4-6. Other camps include “Earth, Cosmos and Beyond,” “Rot-O-Rama: a Celebration of Stinky Delights” and “Wild at Home: Nature in the City.”

Learn more about the camps, including scholarship information.

Turtley Awesome Turtle Derby!

June 21 (rain date: June 22), 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Amplatz Children’s Hospital front lawn

The logo for the 2012 Turtle Derby.A turtley awesome logo, too.

It’s the Kentucky Derby of turtle racing, right here in Minnesota. Now in its 26th year, the Turtley Awesome Amplatz Children’s Hospital’s Turtle Derby raises funds that provide many of the extras that make the one-of-a-kind hospital a healing place with a heart.

Sponsor a turtle. Proceeds support car seats and helmets for children who have been in an accident; age-appropriate toys and bouncy seats for babies in the NICU; kid-friendly art in the pediatric CT room, and more. For anyone who has never attended, it is indeed completely and turtley awesome. This year’s event features turtle merch, turtle racing, food, carnival games, a dunk tank, and more. So sponsor a turtle and brighten a child's day. Sponsorship of turtles is open through June 15. It’s $30 for an individual or family and $75 for a U of M department, and open to everyone.

Learn more.

Summertime fun at the library—no kidding

Various times, throughout the summer.

After shelving more than 10,000 books returned by students at the end of the semester, the U of M Libraries are open and ready for exploration. The Libraries have exhibits throughout the summer that bring knowledge from the shelves to life. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

Our favorites: “Marquees on Main,” through June 29 at the Andersen Gallery, showcases through architectural drawings (with all the Hollywood glamour and drama designed right in) the role that movie theater buildings played in the experience of moviegoers—whether in small-town Minnesota or a metropolitan area. “Downstream/Upstream: A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle” runs through July 12 at the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, and documents a two-week journey that 39 kids, ages 4-6, took to explore the infrastructure of water.

Learn more.

Pet-a-Palooza: a party for your pets

June 30, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Brought to you by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center (VMC), this event for pets and their owners will have speakers, live music, pet adoptions and rescues, exhibitors, a kids area, pet entertainment, and more! Admission is free.

The U’s College of Veterinary Medicine is the only vet college in the state of Minnesota and is recognized worldwide as a leader in providing comprehensive, cutting-edge care. At the VMC, your collie can see a cardiologist, your dalmatian can see a dentist, or your Newfoundland can see a neurologist … among many other specialties. And its large animal specialists provide the same care for horses and other large species.

Learn more.

Get dirty at the Arb

Through Oct. 14, U of M Landscape Arboretum

Summer is a time to play in the dirt. Discover the real dirt on the surprising world beneath your feet during the U of M Arboretum’s summer exhibit, "Dirt-O-Rama: Intriguing Tales from the Underground," open through Oct. 14. The exhibit makes visible to us a world largely unknown, out of sight in the loamy darkness below our busy boots.

An artwork from Dirt-O-Rama.Another artwork from Dirt-O-Rama.

"Scientists report we literally stand on the rooftop of another world, and there’s more life below ground than above," says Sandy Tanck, exhibit curator.

The exhibit will feature a number of activities for kids and adults alike throughout the summer.

Beyond Dirt-O-Rama, the Arb has a ton of other summer events including education camps for children and families, so be sure to make the trip. Free with Arboretum gate admission.

Learn more about Dirt-O-Rama.

Marking A Century of Ideas

July 10 through August 9, St. Paul campus

To celebrate the College of Continuing Education's 100-year history—10 decades of innovation and education—LearningLife’s summer programming will feature A Century of Ideas, a series of seminars examining the defining moments and movements that made our society what it is today. Package discounts are available until June 29.

Learn more.

Find more U of M events at the U's events calendar.

Tags: All administrative: President, Provost, etc.

Related Links

U of M Events Calendar