Bright green good luck four leaf clover.
Bright green good luck four leaf clover.

By Molly Butler

This weekend we have Friday the 13th, so I’ve been thinking about luck. Lately, I’ve been feeling lucky. I’ve been given some fun projects to work on. I lost a kitten and then found him, safe and sound, up a tree, two days later. My family is healthy, and my coffee is good.

John Hat said, “True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home.”

Luck, then, is a matter of context. I was feeling pretty unlucky when the cat got out. It’s rotten luck to lose $5, but how wonderful for the next person who comes along? What feels tough today could be great fortune in the long run. With perspective like that, we can always feel lucky.

True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home. John Hat

Good luck isn’t stored away in four-leaf clovers and rabbit’s feet, and bad luck isn’t lurking inside broken mirrors and black cats (at least, I sure hope not). You don’t have to avoid it or wish for it. Nope. I think luck is just a feeling. You can cultivate it, a little more every day. It’s your weekend. Are you feeling lucky?


No school! Lucky kids. The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota will be open for playtime from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Plus, the museum will have special guests from Crystal Collection Reindeer on site from 1-4 p.m. The YMCA of Mankato will host “Beauty + Brains: The Science and Business of Self-Care.” Girls age K-5th grade can come and hear from local entrepreneurs about building their business and the science behind self-care products like bath bombs. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hilltop United Methodist Church in Mankato, and attendees will take home a goody bag.

We’re so lucky to have such talented local artists and performers. This weekend only, the Mankato Playhouse will be performing “Godspell Jr.” with the debut show beginning Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets for this unique biblical reflection are available here. Or, you can head to the Earley Center for the Performing Arts at MSU at 7:30 p.m. to enjoy its imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Tickets are available here.


Runners, it’s your lucky day! River Valley Running is putting on a free 5k Turkey Trot. Join in for a trot around Old Town Mankato on a stroller-friendly course. Masks are required before and after the race. There will be treats and coffee available after the run.

Artists and craftspeople, it’s your lucky day! We have so many fun options. Kids aged 3-8 and an accompanying adult are invited to get crafty and create their very own decorative Thanksgiving plate at the North Mankato Taylor Library. You can register online or by calling the library in advance. A to Zinnia Florals & Gifts of New Ulm will be hosting a couple fun holiday crafting classes this weekend. From 10-11 a.m. and then from 1-2 p.m., it will have its Gnome Class and Spruce Pot Class. If you’ve never seen these adorable little gnomes, I highly recommend checking this out. We had one on our front steps last winter, and they are so funny. Registration is available online. If you aren’t able to come to the class in person, you can simply pick up your kit at the store and follow along online.

Indian Island Winery in Janesville is hosting a Birch Tree Paint and Sip from noon to 3 p.m. You can register here, and Suzanne will guide you through the rest so you can take home your very own birch tree painting.


Ready to cozy up with a warm beverage and some classic radio storytelling? Luckily, my alma mater has you covered with “The Murder Mystery Hour: A Double Bill of Radio Thrillers.” The Gustavus Department of Theatre and Dance will make its recording of golden age radio storytelling with a digital twist available online all weekend.

We are so lucky to live in the land of 10,000 beautiful lakes. Appreciate and learn more about them with the Exploring Our Blue Earth County Waters photography exhibit by the Bend of the River Photography Club. Head to the Blue Earth County Historical Society in Mankato to explore this free exhibit.

Bonus: Sustainable Gift Giving

Between the Holiday Market in St. Peter, the Mankato Farmers’ Market at Drummers Garden Center, and so many beautiful small businesses to shop, there are plenty of great options to get started on your holiday shopping this weekend. This year especially, there’s an understanding that it’s not so much the gift itself, but the thought and love behind it that means so much. Here are some gift ideas for a sustainable holiday season:

  • Classes, tickets, experiences. Studies have shown people remember and enjoy gifts of memories more than material gifts.
  • Subscriptions. These days, there are hundreds of amazing subscriptions, delivering exciting samplings of everything from coffee to self-care products to pet supplies.
  • Consumables. Gifts like soaps, essential oils, foods and drinks are always welcome and, since they can be used up, will create less waste.
  • Gift cards. Swing by your loved one’s favorite small business. Your purchase will not only support businesses during a tough time, it will also allow your loved one to pick out exactly what they need.
  • Local art. Local galleries and shops often feature art from area artists. These purchases keep local dollars local and encourage the arts in your community.
  • Go the handmade route. Bath bombs and pet toys are easier to make than you think! Hop online for tutorials, and you can make your loved one something one-of-a-kind!

When you’ve got your gifts, remember to wrap sustainably! I tend to save my gift bags and boxes from the year before, or you can get creative re-using paper, cloth or jars.


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.