RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

“Silk Road: Discover the Riches” is the theme for this weekend. Guests can partake in the mystical festivities of the fairy festival. Work your midsection during belly dance lessons. Other attractions include jousting, stage and street acts, live music and more. (9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Mon. $13.95-$22.95. Minnesota Renaissance Festival Grounds, 12364 Chestnut Blvd., Shakopee. 952-445-7361. www.renaissancefest.com.)

SANDCASTLE CONTEST

Sandcastle, the seasonal restaurant at Lake Nokomis, is hosting a weekend of fun. Bring a pail, shovel and your imagination to a sandcastle-building contest for adults and kids. Sunday, check out a fire truck and Monday includes wiener dog races. Also ice cream-eating contests, live music and more. (1 p.m. Fri.-Mon. Free. Lake Nokomis, 4955 E. Lake Nokomis Pkwy., Mpls. 612-673-2100. www.sandcastlempls.com/ news---events.html.)MELISSA WALKER