Every year 20 colorful ice shanties pop up in a grouping on a frozen lake somewhere in Minnesota. It used to be White Bear Lake. Before that it was Medicine Lake. This year -- it is on Lake Harriet!! Located just a bit south of Downtown Minneapolis and right in the heart of the Twin Cities.
To me this festival IS the heart of the cities. It is us at our best! Braving the elements and celebrating what makes us unique. I am so happy to have it so close to the cities this year.
This village of shanties may have been inspired by the shanties fishermen use.. but the resemblance stops there! These are interactive shanties are created by artists. When you enter an art shanty - you enter another world! You are invited to enter each one of these amazing shanties. This really is a Minnesota Winter "Must Do." Get out there while you can!
The Art Shanty Projects are located on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. They're on the ice - about a block or two in front of the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
They are open every weekend 10am-4pm - no matter the weather! Saturday's & Sunday's from January 20th through Feb 11th, 2018
Attending the Art Shanty Projects is FREE and great for families.
They would love your support. Become a "member" and be invited to their member-exclusive events including an evening on-ice party!
Dogs are welcome to visit - but not enter the shanties.
Parking: Is more difficult this year than other years because the festival is in the cities. Space is tighter and attendance is higher. Try heading there early to get a good spot. The official parking is in the Lake Harriet Bandshell lot and the surrounding neighborhoods. Don't forget to be creative! You can easily find a spot on another side of the lake or even near Lake Calhoun & walk or ski right across the frozen lake! If you do this, be sure to dress appropriately. Wind chills are much more prevalent out on an open lake. It can be windy in the middle of the lake even on a calm day.
Bathrooms: Go before you come. Haha. I know for most of us that isn't going to suffice. There are about 8-10 Port-A-Potties out in front of the bandshell and that's it for bathrooms! Honestly - once you get over the initial strangeness of "going" outside in below freezing temps, it really isn't that bad.
Kid Tips: Parents, prepare like you are going sledding. Dress your kids in tons of layers. Consider leaving no skin exposed. (My sensitive-skinned son had windburn from being out there on a cloudy calm 30 degree day!) Bring snacks and water. Hand warmers if you like. There is NO indoor aspect to this festival. And - you have a gigantic frozen lake as your playground! Bring a ball, bring a sled, a kite, ski's, a picnic, make a day of it! I've seen many forms of little-one transportation: sleds, Bob strollers, backpacks and bike trailers. It depends on the snow/ice conditions but most of these items seem to work well. If you're bringing a stroller - grab a few extra blankets.
Food: Last weekend there were two food trucks there. Most of the time there will be a food truck or two there. I believe that as this festival plants its roots in the cities - more and more food trucks, bathroom and parking solutions will appear!
Wear Boots! This past weekend it was a lovely 30 degrees out and I saw people out there with frozen toes in tennis shoes. No matter how warm it is remember that you are walking on a frozen lake! Walking on ice is coooold on the feet!
I am honored to be the official Art Shanty Photographer. This is my third year and I just love it! I will be also creating a guide to each shanty and will have that out sometime this week as well! You can learn more on their site: www.ArtShantyProjects.Org
See you out on the ice!!