Earth-friendly dwellings

The Sustainable Home Tour, formerly known as the Solar Tour, features 33 energy-efficient, renewably powered homes and businesses across the state. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 1 and is presented by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Visit a dome built of reclaimed materials in Farwell, Minn., or an “off-the-grid” house in Ely and learn from homeowners about a wide variety of solar arrays and other sustainable and energy-saving features. The self-guided tour ends at Kismet Cottage, an urban Net-Zero Platinum LEED house at 3519 Dupont Av. N., Mpls., where refreshments will be served from 2 to 3 p.m. For a list of sites and a map, go to


Home and design help

Learn about the latest trends in home decor and interior design from HGTV star John Gidding during the MSP Home & Design Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Gidding will be on stage at 5 p.m. Sept. 30 and 11 a.m. Oct. 1 and is presenting one of many how-to seminars by designers and experts scheduled throughout the three-day event. Gather ideas and tips at eight decorated rooms, ranging from a living room to a home office, created by local interior designers. The show also features the talents of interior design students from Dunwoody College, who will stage spaces with handcrafted furniture and one-of-a-kind accessories. A Makers Market displays products from Minnesota artisans including Hennepin Made. Show hours: noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 2. Tickets: $10 for adults at the door and $8 online; ages 12 and under admitted free. Go to

Historic walking tours

Tour a historic neighborhood while honing your artistic skills. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota is offering two smartphone Photography Walking Tours this week. From 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28, participants can tour the Minneapolis riverfront and A-Mill Artist Lofts. The tour begins at the A-Mill Artist Lofts with an introductory drink and presentation by professional photographer Eric Mueller. Art history and architecture Prof. Kristin Anderson will lead the group up Main Street to share the historical and architectural context of the area, stopping at notable buildings. The tour finishes on the Stone Arch Bridge. Cost is $25.

From 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29, participants can tour Stillwater and the Lift Bridge Brewery. The tour begins at Pioneer Park, overlooking downtown Stillwater. Instagram enthusiast Emily Falkenberg will discuss her favorite photography techniques, and local history buff Sally Erickson will guide the group through the North Hill neighborhood, stopping at the Warden’s House, Lowell Inn and Isaac Staples Sawmill. The tour will end at the brewery. Cost is $25, which includes a flight of beer.

To register for either tour, visit, click “services,” then “education,” then “classes.”

The art of blending in

New architecture that blends into existing Minneapolis neighborhoods will be celebrated at the 10th-anniversary Blend Award event, 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Fulton Brewery & Taproom. This year’s Blend and EcoBlend award-winning projects and architects will be announced. Keynote speaker Michael Evangelist will discuss his recently published “Downtown: Minneapolis in the ’70s,” featuring photos he took as a teen. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Fulton Brewery is located at 414 6th Av. N., Mpls. Register at