December Happenings


Mandala Reflections provides space for thought, dialogue, learning and community that involves ourselves but also includes the collective experience. While a blog can offer a lot to some people, a lot of us need to experience something in “real life” to reap the full benefits. With that said, each month, Mandala Reflections provides a list of various happenings occurring in the Twin Cities Metro community that contribute to Mandala Reflections’ ongoing discussion about life, health and wellness and how it relates to our stories. Please send me an email prior to the 1st of each month if you have a wellness event you would like to share.

This month is a little light on wellness events, likely due to the widely celebrated Christmas holiday. Therefore I included some Christmas-related events if you feel inspired to participate.  Stay tuned for a surge of health events happening next January.

Listing of events does not indicate endorsement by Mandala Reflections.

Day Time Events: Convince your boss you need a few hours off of work for personal development or better yet, ask to be paid for it!

Thursday, December 1, 9-10:30am, Location: Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis, World AIDS Day/30 Years of AIDS Breakfast, in honor of World AIDS Day and to acknowledge 30 years of the AIDS epidemic, dialogue and eat with Intermedia Arts’ artist-in-residence Robert Farid Karimi (also known as “Mero Cocinero”) and facilitator Sandy Agustin. Cost: FREE.  Attendees are welcome to bring what they can to share, but food will be provided. For more information, contact Sandy Agustin at (612) 871-4444 or e-mail: For a complete listing of World AIDS day events check out the Minnesota Department of Public Health.

Friday, December 2, 8-11am, Location: Hope Community, 611 Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, “The Role of Ritual and Ceremony in the Healing Process,” a Backyard Initiative Community Forum. Come engage in discussion and self-study and surface how rituals and ceremonies affect healing and resiliency. Agenda will include Dakota Cultural Elders discussing rituals and ceremonies and a dialogue addressing how cultural groups ritualize their ways of healing. A complimentary breakfast will be served at 8am. Cost: FREE. Please RSVP to the Cultural Wellness Center at (612) 721-5745.

Evening Events:

Thursday, December 1, 6-9pm, Location: Capri Theatre, 2027 West Broadway, Minneapolis, Second Annual Sarah Simmons Showcase, sponsored by Turning Point, Inc., Macedonia Baptist Church, Community Fitness Today and the Minnesota African/African American Women HIV Initiative (MAAAH). In observance of World AIDS Day and in memory of local AIDS advocate Sarah Simmons, an open mike forum and on-stage performances will be held to highlight the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on the local African and African American communities. Local performing artists including rappers, dancers, singers, storytellers and poets will express their personal stories through their performances. Free HIV screening and refreshments will be provided throughout the event. For more information and performance/open mike sign-up, contact Sandy Johnson, MAAAH, (651) 201-4019, or Woodrow Jefferson, Turning Point, (612) 520-4004, For a complete listing of World AIDS day events check out the Minnesota Department of Public Health.

Thursday, December 1, 7pm, Location: Riverview Theatre, 3800 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, We Were Here, sponsored by the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) and Clare Housing, We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination.” Click here to watch the trailer: Cost: $3 at the door (cash only). For more information, contact Kate Nelson, MAP, 612-373-9162, or by e-mail at: For a complete listing of World AIDS day events check out the Minnesota Department of Public Health.

Tuesday, December 6, 7-9pm, Location: The Basilica of Saint Mary, 88 North 17th Street, Minneapolis,  “The Encouragement Factor: The vital component in a life of achievement and purpose…The key to unlocking the champion in you!workshop given by Denny Stockdale, local personal coach, motivational speaker and positive change strategist. Cost: FREE.  Registration is required as space is limited. To register, contact Janet Grove at at email or call 612-317-3508.

Thursday, December 8, 6:30-8pm, Location: WellWithin (Woodbury Office Plaza, 1811 Weir Drive, Ste. 230, Woodbury, “Eating foods for healing,” facilitated by Jerri Johnson, Certified Homeopath. “Appreciate the importance of  your consumption of food, your connection to its source and  how foods contribute to your health and vitality. Learn the tools to evaluate your diet and how you can make changes that will help your body to heal and balance itself.” Cost: $15. To register, call or email by Monday, December 5. For registration contact info and more events, see WellWithin website.

Monday, December 19, 6:30pm (doors open), 7pm (conversation starts), Location: Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, 1671 Summit Ave., Saint Paul, Interfaith Conversation Café, Conversation Cafés are lively hosted conversations among small groups of people with diverse views and a shared passion for engaging with others in meaningful conversation – “BIG talk”. Cost: There is a free will offering to cover coffee, tea and refreshments. Please bring your own mug and a friend. For more information contact Joan at:

Weekend Events:

Friday, December 2, 6pm-bar close, Location: 16 North 6th St., Downtown Minneapolis, 12 Bars of Christmas, Feeling festive and want to drink and be merry with a lot of people? The 12 Bars of Christmas (now expanded to 14 this year) is a pub crawl in Minneapolis that benefits the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospitals. Buy a 12 Bars of Christmas t-shirt and enjoy drink specials as the crawl visits bars around downtown Minneapolis in the company of about 3,000 others. For more information about this event or to buy a t-shirt, check out the official website.

Friday, December 2: 3-8pm, Saturday December 3: 9am-5pm, Location: Midtown Global Market, Lake Street and 10th Avenue, Minneapolis, for new visitors to this lovely market, see Parking InstructionsNo Coast Craft o Rama is a craft event that “features a variety of designers, artists, crafters and other talented creators of unique handmade goods.” Come shop for ideas or purchase locally made gifts. Since the Current has featured this event, it has proved to be quite busy. If you can manage I would try to check it out early Friday evening, but I cannot guarantee it won’t be busy. With the revitalization of the DIY-er crowd, you might want to avoid this event if you have an aversion to crowds and shop Etsy for hassle-free locally made goodies. If you are fine with the crazy (or may be one of them), this event would be worth checking out. Cost: FREE.

Saturday, December 3, 11am-3pm, Location: Wildlife Science Center, 5463 W Broadway Ave, Columbus, MN 55025, Howl-iday Open House, The Wildlife Science Center aims to inspire relationships with the wild. They invite you to peruse their unique selection of “photographic art, crafts, jewelry, books, toys and decorative housewares in the relaxed atmosphere of our education building. Delight everyone on your gift list by showing your support for the Wildlife Science Center and their resident wildlife.  Santa will be there for photo opportunities, so if you are into that bring your camera. Cost: FREE–a special howl-iday gift to you! For more information call (651) 464-3993 or email:

Saturday, December 10, 10am-5pm, Location: Midtown YWCA, 2121 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 19th Annual Women’s Art Festival. Cost: FREE. Open to all. Come and support local women artists. For full details about this fun, inspirational and community building event, visit their web page.

Saturday, December 10 or Saturday, December 17, 10am,  Location: Gammelgården Museum, 20880 Olinda Trail, Scandia, Annie’s Swedish Coffee Parties, Meet Annie, longest resident of Scandia’s Gammelgården – “small farm.” Treat yourself to a traditional 3-course coffee party and learn about life in Minnesota as a Swedish immigrant. Find out about Swedish history and culture. Also, visit the Scandia Butik to find wonderful Scandinavian gifts. Cost: $10. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-433-5053.

Sunday, December 11, 4pm, 5:30pm, 8:15pm, Location: Central Pacific Depot, 500 E. 2nd St., Hastings (4pm), West Point Douglas Road, south of Seiben Bridge in front of the Youth Service Bureau, Cottage Grove (5:30pm) , Central Pacific Shoreham Yard, 2800 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis (8:15pm), Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Show, the holiday train will chug through town making stops along the way to entertain the community and collect items for local food shelves (Hastings Family Service, The Friends in Need Food Shelf and East Side Neighborhood Services). Over the past 12 years, the railroad has helped raise about $5.6 million and 2.5 million pounds of food.  The train will start its show 10 minutes after it makes its 3 stops. Cost: Perishable food or monetary donation.

For more holiday events near you check out Explore Minnesota’s Event’s page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s