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Bring Your Group to North House

We design custom programs for groups in every month of the year. Whether it's a tour of campus and introduction to folk school history or a multi-day workshop complete with abundant wood chips, contact us to explore the world of traditional craft while simultaneously building your community.

All groups are welcome—whether a school group, college course, alumni organization, extended family, scout troop or tour group. Most programs are scheduled around a group’s particular interests and needs, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Class sizes vary, but a good estimate is 6-15 people per program
  • Age guidelines vary by program
  • Tuition is approximately $45-$85/student for programs of a half day or full day in length

Early inquiries and flexibility of scheduling will maximize the range of opportunities available for each group. Choices of topics and dates is a function of classroom and instructor availability. 

Questions and inquires are welcome throughout the year and can be directed to Program Manager Sarah Waddle at (888) 387-9762 or swaddle@northhouse.org. Please peruse the custom course offerings below to get an idea of what can be scheduled.

Below are custom courses that are typically arranged for groups:

Custom Programs for Groups

Tour our Campus

See our classrooms, learn about student projects, and discover the magic and history that make up our inspirational story. This is the most popular way for a group to visit us. You’ll learn what we teach, how we teach, and what makes us a folk school!

Instructor: Jessa Frost or Sarah Waddle
Length: 1 hour
Suggested start times: 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.
Tuition: $75 per tour for up to 25 people. For groups larger than 25, an additional $3/person will be charged.
Minimum: 6 people
Maximum: 50 people per tour
What to bring: walking shoes, camera, and lots of questions

Taste of North House

Receive a guided tour of our workshops and discover our treasured harbor-side wood-fired brick oven. This is a great opportunity for groups to have a hands-on learning opportunity with results that everyone loves: PIZZA! In a picnic-style environment, participants will craft Italian-style wood-fired pizzas (personal size: 12”-14”) in our outdoor wood-fired oven. We provide the dough, the heat and the oven. Your group provides toppings (sauce, cheese, vegetables and anything else they desire) and additional condiments, beverages and side dishes.

Instructor: North House Staff
Length: 2 hours
Suggested start times: 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m.
Available: May through October|
Tuition:
$25/student
Materials: $5/student
Minimum: 15 students
Maximum: 40 students
What to bring: toppings (sauce, cheese, vegetables, etc.) for the entire group, beverages and side dishes as desired, clothing for baking (aprons if desired) indoors and out, a healthy appetite and willingness to learn

Introduction to Bead Embroidery

Learn the basic stitches of bead embroidery, and then create your own small landscape in beads. Instructor Jo Wood says her goal is to demystify the materials and process of bead embroidery. Needles, thread, beads, and a background of felted wool will be provided. After a little practice stitching, Jo will guide you through some simple principles of composition for you own beaded piece. You’ll also learn how to finish it as a pin, or for framing. 

Instructor: Jo Wood
Length: Full day, 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. with a midday lunch break
Tuition: $65/student
Materials: $30/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 10 students
Ages: Adults only

Carving with Green Wood

A spoon, a bird, something smooth! Try your hand at wood carving with hand tools in this half day introductory course. With a seasoned wood carver to facilitate your experience, learn to release an object from the wood surrounding it. Let your imagination and creativity guide your hands as you practice carving. The course will cover knife safety and different tools for carving, in addition to plenty of time to try your hand at carving—a useful and ancient past time.

Instructor: Mike Schelmeske
Length: Full day, 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. with a midday lunch break
Tuition: $65/student
Materials: $5/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 6 students
Ages: Adult groups or intergenerational groups are welcome with participants as young at 15

Felt Your Own Slippers

Keep your feet warm! Create your own pair of colorful booties for your feet by applying heat, water, and agitation to wool. Even though the tradition of felting predates spinning and weaving, felting is a wonderful expression of contemporary styles that's both playful and fun. These might be the warmest pair of slippers you've ever owned. Using washed and carded wool, you will prepare batts and then use a washboard, hot soapy water and a lot of elbow grease to make a pair of felted booties.

Instructor: Elise Kyllo
Length: Full day, 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. with a midday lunch break
Tuition: $65/student
Materials: $30/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 10 students
Ages: Adult groups or intergenerational groups are welcome with participants as young at 13

Cooking with the Seasons

Spend a lovely day in the kitchen as you learn new cooking skills and share great culinary fun with other students who love to cook. In this hands-on, participatory cooking class, you’ll prepare and enjoy a delicious meal, including wine pairings and craft brews. Take home a recipe packet featuring regional menu items and enjoy cooking and dining on the Grand Marais harbor. Materials fee includes meal and drinks. Menu will be determined by the freshest offerings of the Minnesota seasons.

Instructor: Chef Judi Barsness
Length: Half day or Full day; all options end in a shared meal
Class options include:

  • Brunch Party: This session of Cooking with the Seasons will celebrate the delicious foods of a sunny morning. With Chef Judi, you’ll prepare a delectable menu suitable for a brunch gathering of family or friends. You and your classmates will prepare and enjoy a meal paired with fun Brunch beverages. Half day.
  • Afternoon Tea Party: You and your classmates will prepare and enjoy a sweet and savory menu paired with an assortment of delectable teas. Half day.
  • Taco Party: This fun class will focus on creating a Mexican Build Your Own Taco Feast, with an emphasis on the harvests from Minnesota’s earth and waters. The class will prepare all of the fillings and accompaniments for a delicious gathering of family and friends. The fruits of your labor will end in a shared meal complete with local brews from Voyageur Brewing Co. and a fun fiesta punch. Half day.
  • Garden Party: Tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, lovely greens, herbs and delicious edibles oh my! The flavors of the seasonal garden will be visited in this class. You and Chef Judi will prepare a variety of dishes that celebrate the many tastes harvested from our gardens and will help you make the most of your local farmers market, the CSA box, or your garden offerings. Enjoy a delicious light meal paired with a Chef's Choice beverage. Half day.
  • Souper Bowl Party: This session of Cooking with the Seasons will celebrate the delicious soups and chowders of the season. You’ll prepare 2 seasonal soups, chowders or chili’s,suitable for a gathering of family or friends. You and your classmates will prepare and enjoy a meal paired with fun breads and beverages. Half day.
  • Seasonal Dinner Party: In this hands on participatory cooking class, you will prepare a delicious 3 course meal and learn a few new cooking techniques. Wine pairings and a primer on pairing wines and foods will be included. Full day.

Tuition: Half day classes: $60/student; Full day classes: $85/student
Materials fees: Half day classes: $25/student; full day classes: $45/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 12 students
Ages: Adults only

Leaf Printing and Bookbinding

Eco-prints are one-of-a-kind prints made by steaming leaves against paper. No inks, dyes or paints are used to create them—the colors come just from the plants themselves. The colors are sepia-toned, the patterns are beautiful, and the process is non-toxic. Leaves are collected, pressed or pounded, arranged on paper, stacked and tightly bound together. These bundles are put to steam in the steambox. When the bundles are opened, unpredictable images and complex patterns remain, a faint memory of the leaves themselves. With a bit of folding, tearing, and sewing and the use of brads to bolt the whole thing together, several of the prints will be used to as a cover for a simple signature journal we will bind as our bundles steam away.

Instructor: Karen Smaby and Nancy Haarmeyer
Length: Full day, suggested 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. with a midday lunch break
Available: mid-June to mid-September
Tuition: $65/student
Materials: $20/student
Minimum: 8 students
Maximum: 12 students
Age: Adults or intergenerational groups are welcome with participants as young as 13 years old

Basics of Baking

Spend a day learning to bake bread with brick oven builder and baker Caleb Mattison. Work in teams to learn the ins and outs of a few types of breads: bake scones in the morning, make sourdough pizza in the wood-fired oven for lunch, and finish the day with a simple unleavened bread: crackers. The unique experience of baking in a masonry oven will be paired with ideas for baking fresh, flavorful bread in your home.

Instructor: Caleb Mattison
Length: Full day, 9 am-4 pm
Tuition: $65/student
Material: $35/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 12 students
Age: Adults or intergenerational groups are welcome with participants as young as 13 years old

Morning of Guided Birding

Colorful spring warblers; American Bitterns in the pond; Bobolinks and Sandhill Cranes in the field; singing birds of the Northwoods: whether you are a beginning birder or hoping to add a northern Minnesota bird species to your life list, enjoy a morning outdoors with guide Ann Russ. Ann has led numerous naturalist activities for all ages in all seasons and considers annual bird migrations one of life’s joys. Destinations will be based on your group’s interests.

Instructor: Ann Russ
Length: Half day
Available: typically May, June, and July; some options exist for fall migrations.
Tuition: $45/student
Minimum: 6 students
Maximum: 8 students
Ages: All ages are welcome
What to bring: binoculars if you have them