Lutefisk, anyone? North America's largest Scandinavian festival kicks off this week in Minot, North Dakota, transforming the North Dakota State Fairgrounds into a bustling hub of Scandinavian-centered activity. We've put together our personal annual visit tips to make your family visit to Norsk Høstfest a fun and full one.
All photos courtesy of Norsk Høstfest
Take the kids
Norsk Høstfest is filled with all sorts of sights and sounds that will capture the attention of kids of all ages. There are dozens of free stage shows each day, music galore (dancing encouraged!), and plenty of tasty treats at every turn. Plus, the crowd at Norsk Hostfest is one of the friendliest you'll ever encounter. Don't be surprised if you're stopped and asked the standard festival question, “Hi, and where are you from?” by more than one person during your visit.
Tip: Make sure YOU ask this question of others, too; if you happen to ask it of the “Mystery Viking” wandering the festival each day, he or she will reward you with $100 cash!
When you step through the doors at Norsk Høstfest, you're bound to discover one thing very quickly: the place smells amazing. From roasted almonds, to Swedish meatbals, to traditional Scandinavian fare like rømmegrøt (a rich Norwegian porridge topped with butter, cinnamon, and sugar), there is no shortage of delicious food. Many of the festival halls have large seating areas that make a great place for your family to rechare and refuel during your visit.
Tip: Concession stands are also open and serve American favorites like chicken strips and french fries.
Wear the baby
If you can get away with walking around Høstfest without a stroller, do. As with any festival, the crowds can sometimes be large and slow-moving, so the less bulk you have, the easier it will be for you to navigate. This is a great place to break out your baby carrier to tote the smallest members of your family around, or opt for a smaller, more compact stroller.
Tip: If you plan your visit after 4pm,
adult admission is discounted to $15, and kids under 18 are free.
Pick up a festival guide
Norsk Høstfest is a fairly sprawling festival, so you'll want to have a map handy. Pick up one of the festival guides when you arrive and make note of the landmarks you'll want to know how to find easily (bathrooms and the first aid station are good ones to start with!) and the events you want to catch.
Tip: Stop by LEGO corner, which features an interactive "Display 'n Play" area the kids will love.
Soak up the culture
One of the most unique aspects of Norsk Høstfest is the rich and diverse culture on display. From real Vikings battling each other with swords, to talented artisans showcasing their crafts, to scores of vendors sharing their treasures, there is no better place to soak up Scandinavian culture this side of the Atlantic than Norsk Høstfest. And even if your heritage doesn't include an ounce of Norwegian, the you're sure to leave with an appreciation for the culture and its enduring impact.
- Norsk Høstfest doors open at 7:30am
each day; shopping and entertainment runs from 9am-8pm daily
- Parking on festival grounds is free and shuttles are available to take you to the doors
Daily General Admission:
Adults - $40
College students (with college ID) - $20
Ages 13-17 - $10
12 and under – Free
After 4pm - Adults $15; kids free
The night my daughter was born, our first nursing session happened inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Meredith had required some brief monitoring post-delivery, and I remember sitting in that wooden rocker, amused at the way her angry little fists punched the air in protest over being made to wait. But, the moment she was in my arms, she took [...]
In your diaper bag: diapers, baby wipes ... and what else? I've handpicked my all-time favorite baby must-haves that I won't leave home without. From my little boy's favorite natural pacifiers, to the necklace I get tons of compliments on (and my baby loves to safely chew!), to the baby spoon that babies naturally know how [...]
When I was a kid, the North Dakota State Fair was a summer staple. Growing up just a few blocks from the fairgrounds meant my brothers and I lived the fair frenzy a little longer than most; we loved seeing those first trucks roll in carrying pieces of the ferris wheel, ticket booths, and carousel, folded in the back at odd [...]
Like it or not, retailers have declared the official start of Back-to-School shopping. Hunting down all the supplies your kids need for another year of learning is one of those tasks many parents dread (this one included). Here are six truths about the experience that should at least remind you: we're all in this together. 1. [...]
Calling all Bison Booties fans! We are planning out our collaboration calendar for the next six months and we'd love to work with you. Are you a blogger, photographer, small business owner, or trendsetter? Email me and tell me about yourself + your social media following >> firstname.lastname@example.orgShare with your friends! Can't wait to collaborate [...]
“I can't believe it's really real!” my 7-year-old daughter breathed as she gazed up at the four most famous faces in South Dakota. It was the first time she'd seen Mount Rushmore outside the pages of a book, and her awe at the sight of it made me smile. Growing up in an era when life before iPads and Internet is [...]
Looking back, it's funny to admit: I was a little nervous about our family trip to Medora—would this top tourist destination live up to the hype? And the dreaded question that every mom considers: will my kids be bored?What is it about Medora that makes it North Dakota's top travel destination?Just a quick two-hour drive from [...]
School's out for the summer (yay!) and while it means your life is probably blessedly less scheduled, it can also mean you might hear those two dreaded words before too long: "I'm bored." In the Bison Booties hometown of Mandan, ND, there are plenty of boredom busters right in our own backyard--and we bet your [...]
Planting garden seeds with my kids is one of my all-time favorite spring traditions. There's just something about getting your hands in dirt and seeing green sprout for the first time. Ahhhh it's springtime!We get a jump-start on the season by planting some of our seeds in mini containers inside the house. Not only does [...]