55 Summer Hotspots
55 Summer Hotspots
We've created your bucket list. Your plastic, purple, starfish-decorated bucket list.
Tiptoe through the treetops
Walking across a thin wire 30 feet up in the air is just part of the average day at Eagle Bluff’s high ropes challenge. Eagle Bluff has three different courses available to challenge your determination, each made up of several small platforms, towering 30 feet off the ground, connected by “events” (narrow log bridges, plank-like ladders and long lengths of cable) challenging you to walk across. Summer Open Ropes is the perfect Saturday adventure for adults and families all summer long. 507-467-2437, www.eagle-bluff.org.
Wet(lands) and Wild(life)
Some animal-spotting hot spots
Colville Park, Red Wing
The park is in a floodplain area along the Mississippi River that has become one of the best places in the region to watch wintering bald eagles. This part of the river stays open all year, providing prime fishing waters for the eagles. Eagle viewing is best when the weather is inclement. That’s when the birds retreat to wooded roosting areas such as the forest across from Colville Park and the areas along Reads Landing near Wabasha.
Hok-Si-La City Park, Lake City
The road leading into the park is guarded by a thick canopy of huge maple trees and takes motorists or hikers through a backwaters area where it’s not uncommon to see many different species of shore birds and ducks. (We saw a fearless great blue heron patrolling the backwaters on a recent visit.) According to the DNR’s wildlife guide, the city park is popular among birders in the spring because it is a gathering place for warblers. The mid-April to mid-May spring warbler migration is a prime viewing season. Hok-Si-La was also the site of the state’s first eagle nesting platform.
Weaver Bottoms, Weaver
Weaver Bottoms, a marshy Mississippi backwaters area, is part of the federal Upper Mississippi National Wild Life and Fish Refuge. It is famous as a fall gathering place for one of North America’s most magnificent wild creatures, the tundra swan. From mid- October to late November, hundreds of people flock to Weaver Bottoms to look at the giant, graceful birds. But Weaver Bottoms is also prime viewing grounds for a variety of waterfowl and shore birds that can be seen most of the year. These include herons, canvasbacks, redheads and bald eagles.
Whitewater State Park, Altura
Along with eagles and many varieties of ducks and birds, motorists or hikers traveling through the wildlife management area might also see a critter that has one of the longest histories in the region—the sandhill crane. The sandhill crane, which has a distinctive, rattling call and can be identified by its scarlet cap and red eye, is known for its mating dance. The large, leggy birds bow to one another and jump into the air, flapping their wings and cackling loudly.
Reads Landing, between Lake City and Wabasha
Depending on the time of year, you might see shore birds, ducks, Canada geese, herons, egrets, swans and osprey. This is another of many popular bald eagle viewing spots along the Mississippi.
Zumbro Bottoms Forestry Unit, near Dumfries
The remoteness of this area, and the dozens of miles of backwoods trails makes it popular among horseback riders and hikers. From Wabasha, turn west off 61 onto Highway 60. This road takes you down out of the blufflands into a flat valley populated by sand prairie and marshes. Thre are signs just south of the tiny community of Dumfries directing you to this state forest area along the Zumbro River bottomland.
Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, Orr
About 40 wild, hungry black bears surround visitors at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary on a typical July night. But there's not a hint of danger in the situation. Visitors are safely segregated on an elevated wooden viewing platform, and the bears are too busy snorting, eating and scratching their backs to pay much attention to their human audience anyway. The sanctuary originated informally around 30 years ago when logger Vince Shute stopped shooting bears and started feeding them on his property two hours northwest of Duluth. 218-757-0172, www.americanbear.org
Frontenac State Park, between Red Wing and Lake City Frontenac
Arguably the most impressive view of the Mississippi River Valley in the state. The park includes more than two miles of trails taking hikers through dense forests of oak and maple trees that provide cover for wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, red foxes, four different species of frogs and a rich array of birds. From the John H. Hauschild shelter high above the river you might see bald eagles or red-shouldered hawks soaring over the valley or migrating tundra swans or turkey vultures. Frontenac and the surrounding blufflands are also home to one of the state’s last remaining populations of timber rattlesnakes—if you happen upon one sleeping and sunning itself on a rock, give it wide berth.
Get a glimpse into the living past
In the mid-1970s, three families of Old Order Amish moved from a too-crowded Ohio to southeastern Minnesota, where they relocated for the cheap farmland and hardwood forests for furniture making. Today, more than 130 Amish families now live in the Harmony/Lanesboro area. For a quick drive through Amish country, take Minnesota Highway 16 west then left on County Road 21. A right on County Road 115 takes you past several Amish farms. Look for the powerline-less, shutter-less houses (shutters are considered ornate) on farms dotted with hand-baled hay. Windmills turn water pumps, horses pull plows. Or, for a guided tour, check out Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro (507-467-3070; www.bluffscape.com
). Then stop into Lanesboro for some classic small-town shopping, like Bittersweet Boutique & Antiques (507-884-1903, www.bittersweetlanesboro.com
Brave the rapids
Whitewater rafting in Minnesota? Yes. Expect to get wet from head to toe while whitewater rafting with Superior Whitewater's professionally guided tours in Carlton, near Duluth. Superior Whitewater Rafting will take you on your own adventure down the St. Louis River. Get a group together or just head up by yourself; any combination of four, five or six people can share a raft and if you have less than four, the company will pair you up with others. Part of the fun of whitewater rafting is that you can't just 'go with the flow.' You need to stay alert and follow directions during the excursion. 218-384-4637, www.minnesotawhitewater.com
Race at top speeds
Race car driving lessons at Brainerd International Raceway will quench your need for speed. Your adventure as a race car driver will start with a classroom instruction session followed by a driving tour of the track with an experienced instructor. From there the track is yours: race against other new race car drivers and perfect your turns in the BIR spec race cars. Own your own performance sedan or sports car? Want to see it reach top speeds? Bring it along and drive it for your lessons instead of the spec racers. What we wrote about it (Steve Lange, July ‘08): “... And it feels fast. Maybe 125 fast. Maybe 130. I’ve caught the group of cars in front of me. Made it known that, oh yeah, I’m going to pass them. I mean, I could be a damn race car driver.” 866-511-7606, www.birperformance.com
Watch a movie in your car. Old school.
The Cottage View Drive-In (in Cottage Grove) is a lot like you remember drive-in movies. You stake out the best parking spot (but don’t bother searching for the speaker-on-a-stick you used to lodge in a cracked window—the film’s sound comes through your car radio on a special FM frequency). While you’re waiting for sundown (the show still starts at dusk) you can set up lawn chairs and blankets, apply bug spray, and let the kids play catch or giggle with friends. If you need air conditioning, roll down the window. If you want stadium seating, try the view from the hood. And, if you really want to recreate it like it was, hide the kids under the blankets and see if you can sneak them in for free (even though the four-and-under crowd is free, anyway). 651-458-5965, www.manntheatresmn.com
Create you own top tent list
We’ll start you out, with eight great camping spots
Flandrau State Park, New Ulm
The sand-bottom swimming pool in a lake-deprived area brings crowds each summer, especially on steamy days. The local Schell Brewery offers tours for days not so steamy.
Frontenac State Park, Lake City
The campground sits on a perch above the lake and Mississippi River while surrounded by ancient Hopewellian burial mounds and sacred sites. The stars and sunset stretch for miles.
Itasca State Park, Park Rapids
The park hosts the Mighty Miss’s headwaters, flowing from Lake Itasca. Home to an Indian cemetery, 32,690 acres, and 100-plus lakes, this is Minnesota’s oldest state park—with many adventures to offer.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Onamia
The park is one of Minnesota’s largest and most historically significant parks with over 9,000 years of human history dating back to the Archaic period.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Two Harbors
Adventurers will be in paradise as they experience “real deal” camping at Split Rock. A bit of hiking through the forest is required to get to your site where you will pitch a tent under the stars and enjoy privacy, bluffs (formed by ancient lava), and wildlife along the Split Rock River. Spot a lynx on the trail or take in the great aspens and pines, which explain Split Rock’s logging history.
Upper Sioux Agency State Park, Granite Falls
Once an Indian reservation, the Upper Sioux stands on a plateau between the Minnesota and Yellow Medicine Rivers and is full of rich prairie history. Experience this by pitching a tipi, hitting the trails, or fishing.
Whitewater State Park, Altura
Pastures of horses and cattle, limestone valleys, forests, wild turkeys and wildflowers: The scenery is simply awesome. Interpretive programs are held every Friday and Saturday night in June, July, and August.
Zippel Bay State Park, Baudette
This park is remote, remote, remote. Come if you are looking for alone time and lack of neighbors. Don’t if you need your Starbucks in the morning and full cell phone coverage. Birdwatching and wildlife sightings are plentiful here including mink, black bear, timber wolf, moose, otter, and coyote. Spy in the sky bald eagles, pelicans, ospreys, sandhill cranes, and more.
Info for any of the above parks: 866-857-2757, www.stayatmnparks.com.
Catch your home team. On the road.
Sure, the area’s “minor league” baseball team—the collegiatelevel Rochester Honkers—feature a few more errors, a few more wild pitches and plenty of batters who can’t touch a good curve ball. But, for a $6 ticket, you just might see a stand-up triple, an over-the-shoulder basket catch, or, heaven willing, a perfect suicide squeeze.
Roughly 40,000 fans (an average of 1,250 per game in 2011) flock to Mayo Field (403 East Center St.) every summer to cheer on the Rochester Honkers, revel on the party deck (which features admission and all the barbecue, burgers, brats, beer, and pop you can eat and drink for $28), and boogie down with Slider, the team's baseball-headed mascot during the 36 home games.
But 36 home games means 36 road games, and the Northwoods League features five classic stadiums within two hours of Rochester. And although the Honkers don’t play them in a regularly scheduled game this year, we still recommend taking the quick trip to watch the LaCrosse Loggers. Built in 2003, LaCrosse’s Copeland Park draws more than 3,000 enthusiastic fans every game, features tons of affordable food and beverage options (try the footlong Logger Dog, $3.25) including multiple craft beers on tap such as Blue Moon, Fat Tire and several varieties of Leinenkugel's ($3), and a great baseball atmosphere.
Looking for an old-school stadium experience? Carson Park, the home of the Eau Claire (Wis.) Express, is just a scenic two-hour drive (featuring picturesque Lake Pepin, towering bluffs, endless miles of green, rolling farmland, acres and acres of apple orchards, and towering mature hardwoods) to a gorgeous, intimate ballpark reminiscent of a tiny Wrigley Field (with lots of history: Hank Aaron played his first professional season here as an 18-year-old shortstop in 1952). Carson Park is also the most kid-friendly of the area Northwoods League parks: Kids can play on a playground, jump in a blow-up “bouncy” house, and throw, pitch, and catch in a net-covered area down the left field line. www.northwoodsleague.com
Bean Holes and Wood Ticks!
Attend one of the state’s strangest fests.
Wood Tick Races (June 9 in Cuyuna)
When magnified 100 times, wood ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) look like horrifying monsters. Yet once a year in Cuyuna (and at least a few other towns in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin), these barbedmouthpart, blood-engorging insects are celebrated in a race. While you can try and catch your own tick by, say, running through the woods with just shorts on, you can also buy racers (usually about a buck apiece) on site. 218-546-5313.
Bean Hole Days (July 9-11 in Pequot Lakes)
Since 1935 (with a brief patriotic pause during the World War II years), Pequot Lake has celebrated the “day the pioneers buried the beans.” According to legend, Pequot Lake pioneers were cooking a bean dinner when rumors of an Indian attack forced them to flee, but not before burying their bean pots. When the pioneers returned and unearthed the beans, they were “tastier than ever.” Today, 2,000-plus beanholers (their term, not ours) turn out for the annual Raising of the Pots (now done with backhoes). The 150 gallons of beans are free until gone. “People are lined up for blocks,” reads the brochure, “there’s an aroma in the air. It’s Bean Hole Days!” 800-450-2838, www.pequotlakes.com
Great Gobbler Gallop (Sept. 14-15 in Worthington)
Two towns. One title. Two turkeys. Worthington (Minn.) bills itself as “The Turkey Capital of the World.” Cuero (Texas) bills itself as “The Turkey Capital of the World.” Once a year, they race turkeys (one timed lap on Worthington streets, one in Cuero) to determine who's right. Worthington leads the all-time series, 18-14. The classic 1977 race had the closest margin of victory, nine-tenths of a second. 507-372-2919, www.kingturkeyday.com
Spelmansstämma: Gammalgården (Aug. 18 at Elim Lutheran Church, Scandia)
Spelmansstämma! And Gammalgården! 651-433- 5053, www.gammelgardenmuseum.org
Discover your inner caveman (or cavewoman)
The cave: Mystery Cave/ Forestville State Park, Preston
The claim to fame:
With more than 13 miles of natural passages (some too small to be fully explored), Mystery Cave is the longest cave in Minnesota and one of the 100 longest in the United States.
Mystery Cave is one of the few caves in the U.S. that's wheelchair- and stroller-accessible. The basic one-hour tour involves walking (or wheeling or strolling) for three-quarters of a mile on well-lit, paved walkways and see-through bridges.
The cave: Spook Cave, McGregor, Iowa
The claim to fame:
Spook Cave used to be called the “longest underground river tour in America.” Though we’ll go with the more recent claim of “longest underground river tour in Iowa.” What Spook Cave lacks in geology it makes up for in uniqueness and tourist laziness, as cave visitors are carried through the tour on a small boat motored over a spring-fed stream. The 35-minute ride on the flat-bottomed, electric-motored aluminum boat (one of the original boats from the cave’s inaugural tour year of 1955) begins and ends in the opening at the base of a 90-foot limestone bluff.
Like most caves, it’s constantly cool—this one’s 47 degrees year-round. Be prepared to duck. And keep your hands inside the boat at all times—the boat will scrape against rock in tight spots. 563-873- 2144, www.spookcave.com
The cave: Niagara Cave, Harmony
The claim to fame:
Niagara Cave's awesome centerpiece and namesake is a 60-foot waterfall framed by a 130-foot-high ceiling. There are fossilized snails from 300 million years ago imbedded in the cave's walls, as well as several other species of fossils that lived millions of years before the dinosaurs. The cave's stalactites (the ones from the ceiling down) “grow” one inch every 300 or so years. The Crystal Wedding Chapel, a chamber deep in the cave with a limestone ceiling reminiscent of a cathedral dome, has played host to more than 400 weddings.
The tour starts and ends with dozens of steps, so some visitors may huff and puff a little on their way out. But this is classic old school tourist attraction-meetsgeologic history lesson. 800-837-6606, www.niagaracave.com
Go steamboatin’ (on a small scale)
A large lake was no obstacle to the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Co.'s streetcar system; in 1906 it began building seven steamboats to carry streetcar passengers over Lake Minnetonka to the neighborhoods growing along its shores. When automobiles made streetcars outmoded, the steamboats were scuttled or dismantled. But you can still ride one today. In Excelsior, the steamboat Minnehaha offers various cruises on Lake Minnetonka, all powered by a 1930 steam engine. 952-474-2115, www.steamboatminnehaha.org
Two Ways to Do the Dells
Where to stay:
We’ve stayed at the Blackhawk Motel, and that’s as low-slung, old-school as it gets (608-254-7770, www.blackhawkmotel. com
). A few other recommended classics: Trails End Motel right in Downtown Dells (608- 254-2828, www.dellstrailsend.com
); and Dell Creek Motel, a classic drive-up (608-253- 7301, www.dellcreek.com
Old school must-do:
On D-Day, over 2,000 of the Army's new model D.U.K.W. amphibious transport trucks—“Ducks” to the GIs—drove off the landing ships and onto the beaches of Normandy to unload troops and supplies. Since 1958, the Original Wisconsin Ducks, retrofitted with bus seats, carry 300,000 annual tourists (on 45 Ducks) on an innards-shaking eight-mile trek in the Wisconsin Dells. It’s a tour chock full of schtick and bad puns, river splashdowns and natural sights. It’s as classic as the Dells gets. 608-254-8751, www.wisconsinducktours.com
Old school must-do, II:
The Tommy Bartlett Show is marking the 60th anniversary of its iconic water ski act with reunion performances the weekend of June 30-July 1, inviting skiers back to celebrate with the current cast of “Livin’ the Dream.” Retro ski acts are making a comeback too, featuring the ski tricks that made the show famous the world over. 608-254-2525, www.tommybartlett.com
Where to stay:
Nothing’s more new school than the Kalahari Waterpark Resort, which offers a 125,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and 100,000-squarefoot indoor theme park. While it’s been open since 2000, Kalahari still regularly leads the way in new school additions, and this year is no exception: Kalahari literally raised the roof to install two indoor Super Loop waterslides, the first of their kind in the world, the Sahara Sidewinders. And it’s the one you see from the highway, so your kids have longed to stay here every single time they’ve driven by. 877-525-2427, www.kalahariresorts.com
New school must-do:
The jet boats are the Ducks on steroids, especially if steroids can make you travel 40 mph and generate 1,200 hp. You will see some of the Dells best sights. You will get scared. You will get wet. 608-254-8555, www.jetboatadv.com
New school must-do, II:
With three ziplines—at Wilderness Resort, Vertical Illusions and BigFoot Zipline Tours—the Dells offers some of the best ziplining in the Midwest. The new Wilderness Resort (800-867-9453, www. wildernessresort.com
) features a six-tower, two-hour trip with speeds up to 65 mph. BigFoot Zipline (608-254-5555, www. bigfootzip.com
) takes riders on a two-hour tour to, from, and over Bigfoot Island. Vertical Illusions (608-253-2500, www.verticalillusions.com
) offers a Chimney Rock Park Zip Line Eco Tour billed as “the most exciting three hours of fun in the Dells,” with 15 lines, 100-mile views, and speeds up to 50 mph.
Meet Paul Bunyan!
Though he was recently moved a few miles, Brainerd’s Paul Bunyan—the legendary 26-foot lumberjack—is still greeting kids and telling tall tales while seated on a stump in Minnesota’s central lakes region. Brainerd Paul, who moves his head from side to side, lifts his right hand and opens and closes his eyelids, is likely the one Minnesotans remember best from their childhood. The most miraculous thing about the Brainerd Paul, who for years was advertised as “the world’s largest talking animated man,” is that he can recite from memory the first names of children and their hometowns. Today, he resides at This Old Farm Pioneer Village and Paul Bunyan Land, which features more than 35 rides and attractions as well as thousands of antiques. 218-764-2524, www.paulbunyanland.com
Other Tall Pauls:
There are at least a dozen Paul Bunyanrelated statues located throughout Minnesota:
• Akeley has a kneeling statue of Paul, and is also the home of his cradle.
• Bemidji’s Paul, along with Babe, his blue ox, stand on the shore of Lake Bemidji.
• Brainerd has several statues of Paul in addition to the one at Paul Bunyan Land. They include a waving Paul who greats motorists at the city’s new visitor center south of the city, and one at the historic water tower at the junction of Highway 371 and Washington Streets.
• Bloomington has a 19-foot statue of Paul at Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America.
• Chisolm’s Museum of Mining is home to a Bunyan statue.
• Hackensack is the home of Paul’s girlfriend, Lucette Diana Kensack.
• Kelliher claims to be the site of Paul’s grave and Ortonville has his anchor.
Stay on a lake. In Iowa.
Visiting Iowa’s Lake Okoboji—which is actually a group of lakes and the surrounding small lake towns—is an Iowa tradition. An Iowa tradition enjoyed by many Minnesotans. There’s the rush of a ride on the legendary wooden roller coaster through Arnolds Park Amusement Park, the sweetness of the Salted Nut Roll cookie at Hey Good Cookies!, the first bite of that oh-so-perfect combination of loose meat and hot dogs in the Bob Dog at Bob’s in Arnolds Park, and the fun of driving the curvy two lane that follows the lakeshore for a tour of the mix of mansions and cabins. Since it’s got everything (and we don’t have room to list everything here), we’ll recommend a stay at The Inn at Okoboji (877-265-4386, www.bojifun.com
Go to a grotto
One of the dozens of grottos built during the 1920s and 30s heyday of roadside art parks (when every retired farmer-turnedartist suddenly became fixated on sculpting dinosaurs out of car parts or shoving shards of colored glass into still-wet concrete statues), the Wegner Grotto (Cataract, Wis.) is defined by its concrete statues topped with shards of colored glass. Today, these roadside stops are revered by the religious for their shrine-like qualities, cherished by folk artists for their rustic qualities of untrained artists, and visited with confusion by the rest of the world. In 1929, Paul (a retired farmer) and Matilda Wegner started piecing together their own religious shrine following a visit to Wisconsin’s famous Dickeyville Grotto (see below). For a decade (prior to Paul’s death in the late 1930s), the couple spent their spare time creating the small concrete church, a five-footlong concrete replica of a battleship, and a concrete duplicate of their 50th anniversary wedding cake. www.mnmuseumofthems.org
Go to another grotto
The Dickeyville Grotto (Dickeyville, Wis.) sparkles and shimmers. A treasure chest in the sunlight. This concrete garden is the long-ago vision of one man: Father Mathias Wernerus. It was sculpted from all sorts of shiny objects, from ceramic plates to shards of colored glass, from jewelry to starfish to statues. Built between 1918 and Wernerus’ death in 1931, the shrine is a mix of patriotism (a statue of Christopher Columbus stands beneath a seashell) and religion (the entire piece wraps around the Holy Ghost Catholic Church). 608-568-3119, http://dickeyvillegrotto.com
HOP A STREETCAR
Haven’t streetcars been out of service for 50 years? Sure, the last of the original Minneapolis streetcars stopped running in 1954. But on the Como-Harriet Streetcar line in Minneapolis, three streetcars from the golden era of interurban rail still carry passengers on the two-mile round-trip run from the Linden Hills station (on Lake Harriet) and the Lake Calhoun platform (on Lake Calhoun).
Other area streetcar tours:
Old. No. 78, one of the oldest operating streetcars in the country and one that used to run on the Como-Harriet Line, runs along a short stretch of land near Lake Minnetonka as part of a Minnesota Transportation Museum exhibit in downtown Excelsior, which is west of the Twin Cities and next to the lake. 952-922-1096, www.trolleyride.org
FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS (AND HOOFPRINTS) OF JESSE JAMES.
And eat sticky buns designed to look like his feet!
No visit to Northfield would be complete without a trip through the museum that chronicles the day when the townsfolk foiled a bank robbery by the James Gang. The Northfield Historical Society is in the Scriver Building, the site of the 1876 bank robbery. The Society oversees the restored Bank Museum, which displays the original safe, guns, and other artifacts from the raid that many mark as the James Gang’s Waterloo. Also, the city features a dozen-stop walking and driving tour known as the Outlaw Trail, which traces the outlaws’ route around, through, and out of Northfield. During the annual Defeat of Jesse James Days (slated for Sept. 5-9), Northfield’s Quality Bakery sells foot-shaped sticky buns called “De Feet of Jesse James.” We recommend a Northfield visit during summer Saturdays, when the Riverwalk Market (riverwalkmarketfair.org
) is in full swing. 507-645-9268, www.northfieldhistory.org
TOUR A FIBERGLASS MENAGERIE
Sparta, Wis., is the birthplace—and, sometimes, graveyard—of giant Fiberglass kitsch. F.A.S.T. Corporation (it stands for Fiberglass Animals Shapes and Trademarks) has created classic giant statues—from Blue Earth’s Jolly Green Giant to the World's Largest Muskie (Hayward, Wis.) to the Giant Cow With Sunglasses atop Las Vegas’ Holy Cow Casino—for businesses across the U.S. and world. Outside the storage yard looks like a graveyard from the collective nightmares of roadside icons everywhere, with large plastic molds and statutes strewn everywhere. A giant plastic Jesus, hands in that familiar pacifistic pose, lays flat on His back in the dirt. A dull brown Big Boy grins with that never ending grin in a perpetual staredown with a ten-foot rooster. Giant ice cream twisty cones cast shadows over two of the seven dwarves. When we've called ahead to ask, they’ve always let us walk the grounds. 608-269-7110, www.fastkorp.com
Go see something you’d never normally see that people come from all over the country to see. Like the Ibsen Festival at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanseboro.
Since 1998, the Commonweal Theatre has performed work by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Each season opens with one of his pieces—an appropriate choice in an area built by Norwegian settlers. Commonweal is the only theater company in North America that performs a play by Ibsen every year, and the festival has led to international recognition, financial awards, and a festival that attracts theatergoers from across the country. The Ibsen festival, though, ends June 8. If you miss it, we might recommend the Philadelphia Story, which runs June 25-Oct. 26. 800-657-7025, www.commonwealtheatre.org