Bell Museum Exhibits
Saturday, June 2 through September 2: Be wowed by a 400-pound clam and killer pinecones. These are just a few of the unusual creatures on display culled from the more than 4 million specimens in the collection of the Bell Museum of Natural History and now displayed in “Natural Curiosity.” A second exhibit opening Saturday, “Flutter” includes real butterflies and moths, photos, miniature dioramas and artwork of, showcasing the insects’ delicate beauty, life cycle and interdependence with flowering plants. You can also build-your-own Lepidoptera models. 9 am to 5 pm Tues. through Fri., 10 am to 5 pm Sat., noon to 5 pm Sun.; Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street SE, Mpls.; $6 adults, $3 students, children (3 16) and seniors; free under three. 612-624-7083 or bellmuseum.org.
Dirt ‘O Rama
Saturday, June 2 through October 14: Get the dirt on dirt. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum opens its summer exhibition, “Dirt-O-Rama: Intriguing Tales from the Underground.” Interactive displays explain the mysteries of compost and healthy soil. Kids can climb into a giant anthill, encounter 5-foot long rubbery earthworms or step into a larger-than life felted wool coat, among five winning sculptures of a local juried art competition. In July, Arizona adobe artists Athena and Bill Steen will work with kids to create a Clayhouse out of local clay and straw. Grounds open 8 am to 8 pm or sunset; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska; $12 (free 12 and younger); 952-443-1400 or www.arboretum.umn.edu.
Saturday, June 2: Catch a ride on a Voyageur canoe or a solar pontoon boat around Lake Phalen at WaterFest 2012. You can also watch sailing demonstrations, take lessons in how to fish or use a standup paddleboard and borrow a canoe, kayak or bicycle. Our of the water fun includes a parade, geocaching, puppet shows, archery for kids, a climbing wall, water games and the dedication the OTHER Stone Arch Bridge, the newly refurbished historic limestone bridge that crosses a canal leading to Round Lake. The event is co-sponsored by a local watershed district, which has added education to the fun, with tours of rain gardens, sustainable shoreline landscaping and environmental displays about how to keep lakes and streams clean. 11 am to 4 pm, Lake Phalen, just north of Phalen Drive and Wheelock Pkwy., St. Paul; free; 651-792-7956 or rwmwd.org.
Open Field Opens
Saturday, June 2 through September 2: Walker Art Center opens its third season of Open Field, which the museum refers to as “a patio, a recreational field, a stage, a beer garden, a playground, a hangout, a cultural commons and place for social and creative exchange.” The monthly free family days move outside starting this Saturday with “Citizen Science” when kids can investigate bugs and plants with microscopes and alongside artists and educators. You can also join artist David Hamlow in making geodesic domes out of plastic food containers and other recycled packaging. Local musicians perform every Thursday as the sun sets at Acoustic Campfire, kicking off June 7 with the Hummingbirds. Throughout the summer, the field will also host regular drawing days, art residencies, and even an overnight, on June 9, as part of the Northern Spark festival. 10 am to 3 pm Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612-375-7600 or walkerart.org.
John Philip Sousa Memorial Band
Sunday, June 3: Nothing kicks off the start of the outdoor concert season better than rousing marches from The First John Philip Sousa Memorial Band. The 45-piece concert band performs tunes by Sousa and other music from the early 1900s. In the hour before the concert, the bands fife players and drummers will roam the park. Come early to explore 60-acres of woods and sculpture gardens and then spread your blanket on the grassy slopes of the amphitheatre for an old fashioned concert. Free concerts with a variety of performers are scheduled throughout the summer on Sunday evenings. 6:30 pm Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffley Road, Eagan. $5 suggested donation. 651-454-9412 or caponiartpark.org.