Landmark Center, in downtown St Paul, serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theater, exhibitions, and public forums. It hosts countless special events and houses three small museums: the Schubert Club Museum, the Ramsey County Historical Society Gallery, and the Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art. It also contains several exhibits of its own. All of these are free and interesting for families to visit.
Sundays at Landmark
Sundays are the best day for families to visit the Landmark Center. Each Sunday from September to May, the Landmark Center offers a different free or low cost cultural event, including heritage festivals, Urban Expeditions, musical performances, and holiday celebrations. All programs begin at 1 pm unless otherwise noted and are free and open to the public! Each fall, we share the current Sunday lineup here as it is announced.
Ballet Tuesdays usually run October through April on the second Tuesday. The 2021/2022 season skips December.
If you’ve got a budding ballerina or two in your family, the Ballet Tuesdays program at Landmark Center is an excellent taste of what formal classes and performances might be like someday. I have attended a couple of these free events with my children this past year and enjoyed what might be a glimpse into our future. My daughters (now ages 6 and 4) have watched dancers condense a typical class into a half-hour demonstration of repertoire and other barre work. The dancers work on simultaneous movement while observing preschoolers in tutus try to imitate the older girls’ every step.
This is the best part of the program – the young audience is free to move about, perfect their dance moves, and in some cases even join the action onstage. One Ballet Tuesday last spring the kids were treated to excerpts from an upcoming production of Peter Pan. SPCB made the performance interactive by inviting the children onstage to dance with the characters and pose for photos.
I’ll be honest, the cortile is usually filled with plenty of pink and an excess of estrogen. The event may mainly appeal to girls. However, sometimes they offer programs that could appeal to the boys, too.
This article was originally published by Anne Kingston on April 17, 2013.
Sharing the Landmark's Permanent Art Collection with Kids
The Landmark reopened in 1978 and has been building its permanent art collection ever since that time. Visitors can view this collection for free any time the building is open to the public. During the summer of 2020, Landmark staff shared pieces from the permanent collection on their website. Interested families can view the art online and follow links to learn more about the artists and art forms. Each piece will also have a corresponding art project guiding families to create their own art in the spirit of the piece. This would be a great way to learn about the art in a concrete way before visiting the Landmark Center to view it.
Family Fun at Landmark Plaza
Managed by the St. Paul Parks Department, Landmark Plaza offers visitors a tree strewn green space that connects Hamm Memorial Park to Rice Park. Families will want to visit to see the bronze Peanuts statues and maybe have a picnic on a nice summer afternoon.
In the winter, the plaza has traditionally been the home of St. Paul's annual WinterSkate outdoor ice rink. Skating and the warming house are free and skate rentals are available.
Free walking tours are held between the months of June and September. Space is limited and reservations are required. The tours are held on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., and vary by week. They seem to sell out, so planning ahead is a good idea. It's also probably a good idea to bring a stroller or wagon for the younger ones. Tours include:
- Rice Park Tours | 2nd Wednesday/month (Find a virtual version here)
- Heart of the City Tours | 3rd Wednesday/month
- Great River Tours | 4th Wednesday/month (Find a virtual version here)