Historical 'happy hour'
Local history buffs are invited to "happy hour with a preservationist," a series focused on historic spaces not typically open to the public. Coming up on Wednesday is a presentation on the Reinhold Zeglin House at 3621 Park Av. S., Minneapolis. The house, built in 1905, is one of Park Avenue's best-preserved examples of the Colonial Revival Style and has been featured in the Star Tribune and Old House Journal. Homeowner and historian Ryan Knoke will discuss the history of the house and its context on historic Park Avenue. (Knoke, who restored the house, is offering it for sale.) The event is free, but space is limited. Visitors must reserve a ticket, for 5:30, 6:30 or 7:30 p.m., at www.eventbrite.com.
Build your own rink
Skating season is around the corner. If you want to create an ice rink in your yard this year, learn what you need to know at a free workshop offered by Gertens. An expert will walk you through the process and show what tools and supplies you'll need to make your rink. You'll also learn how to customize it and how to maintain it throughout the winter.
The workshop will be offered at noon Saturday, and again at noon on Dec. 7, at Gertens, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.
Holiday open house
The holiday season officially gets underway at Bachman's next weekend with a holiday open house, featuring treats, demonstrations and tastings throughout the flagship store during store hours. Kids can visit the live reindoor corral and stop by the craft counter to make reindeer food and build antler headbands and holiday bookmarks.
An original 20-minute play, "Who Crashed Santa's Sleigh?" featuring Santa and his elf sidekick, Albert, will be presented at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24, and on weekends throughout the holiday season. The play is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Bachman's is at 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis.
Hosting Thanksgiving this year? If you want to try your hand at creating your own seasonal centerpiece, there's a class offered at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Participants will learn to create a centerpiece using squash, artichokes and pears, fresh-cut flowers and trailing vines in a footed container.
The cost is $84 ($68 for arboretum members), and the class will be offered 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. To register, call 952-443-1422 or visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.
Top home products
What's new in products for the home? This Old House magazine recently announced its picks for the 100 best new home products of 2013. Editors spent months testing to find the most distinct, helpful and coolest products in seven categories: kitchen, bath, tools, building products, outdoor living, home tech and finishing touches.
The Top 100 Editor's Pick was the Drain Genie, a gadget that allows you to use a wet vac to clear a clogged drain. Other top products include a dicing food processor, a no-spill paint tray, the skinniest ceramic sink, an honest stud finder, a robotic window cleaner, a home key on your phone and an affordable LED bulb. The complete list of top products is at www.thisoldhouse.com/top100.