Culture Soak

Hop on the New Nordic bandwagon and explore our thriving Scandinavian scene.

Concordia Language Villages

Nordic Lights Film Festival

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Finn Hall Band

Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman of Kaivama


Nordic Lights Film Festival

This festival introduces Nordic film and filmmakers to local audiences.
When: Feb. 8–14
Where: St. Anthony Main Theatre

Nisswa-Stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival

Features some of Scandinavia’s most talented folk musicians. Bring your dancing shoes and the kids—this is a family-friendly event.
When: June 7–8
Where: Nisswa

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

The rich tradition of choral singing still thrives at the Scandinavian-American colleges, and this century-old festival is the granddaddy of ’em all. Go early to enjoy the Scandinavian buffet.
When: Nov. 29–Dec. 2, 2012
Where: Northfield


Nordic Happy Hour

Raise a glass with the young and young-at-heart as they gather for monthly conversation and camaraderie. The location occasionally changes, so look for the latest information on the group’s 200-member Facebook page.

Northern Roots Session

This Pan-Nordic acoustic session welcomes new players and listeners Monday nights at the Contented Cow pub in downtown Northfield.

Finn Hall

This band, which re-creates the sounds of 20th-century Finnish dance halls, frequently serves up its authentic tunes at Kramarczuk’s Deli and Sausage Co. in Northeast Minneapolis.

Cedar Cultural Center

Historically known as Scandinavian “Snoose Boulevard,” Cedar Avenue is still a favorite stop for touring Nordic musicians.


Finnish-American musicians Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman are transforming ancestral melodies into music for new audiences. Take in a local performance or download their newest CD with Finnish fiddling superstar Arto Järvelä.

Colleges and universities

Many local schools have strong Scandinavian ties, and they offer a steady stream of visiting authors, musicians, and other notables. Watch the calendars of Augsburg, Gustavus, St. Olaf, and the University of Minnesota in the metro area, or go farther afield to Concordia (Moorhead) or Luther.


Connect to Nordic culture—or just decipher all those IKEA product names—by learning a new language and soaking up Scandi culture right here.

Concordia Language Villages

Offers summer youth immersion programs in Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, and Danish, as well as preschool, family, and adult programs.

American Swedish Institute

The Turnblad Mansion and newly opened Nelson Cultural Center are the local center of all things Swedish.

Danish American Center

The regional hot spot for Danes.

Icelandic American Association of Minnesota

Check the calendar for collaborative events with the Icelandic Hekla Club, as well as the local Norwegians and Danes.


This south Minneapolis church offers a weekly worship service in Norwegian, as well as language and cultural classes.

Minnesota Finnish Pages

A clearinghouse for all things Finnish.

Sons of Norway

Founded and headquartered in Minneapolis, the organization’s calendar and blog highlight local Nordic-American events

Twin Cities Scandinavian Music and Dance

Stay on top of the thriving folk scene.


From pastries, cheeses, and meats to toys, clothes, and gifts, get our editors' list of must-try Nordic shops and restaurants across the Twin Cities. GO »

Lefse Hits The Big Time

Watch out, Minnesota: Our chefs are making pilgrimages to a restaurant known for tableside bone sawing.

Names Go Nordic

Names Go Nordic

Yes, that was probably a “Thor!” you just heard shouted out on the playground.

Great Tastes

Great Tastes

The best places in town to shop for Nordic eats.

The Hot List

The Hot List

Nordic style finds from our own cool backyard.

Dane on The Brain

Dane on The Brain

Denmark has long been a hotbed for modern design, and the style known as Danish Modern is all about vintage wood furniture with minimalist lines.

Ikea by The Numbers

IKEA by The Numbers

The Twin Cities is serving up some of the finest, most cutting-edge Scandinavian cuisine, but Minnesotans still love a classic—and a good deal.