Hot winter events 2014

Updated 1/2/2014

Outside may be cold, but “hot” is a state of mind. Hit these upcoming events and you’re guaranteed to feel a little warmer this winter.

Illustration by Brent Schoonover

FRIDAY: Kinky Friday with Mistress Jean Bardot

Man, have we missed Jean Bardot. Sort of the Jessica Rabbit of kink, Mistress Jean — pro dominatrix, sci-fi rubber vixen, international fetish superstar — for years broke hearts and skin as the house domme at Bondage-a-Go-Go, Ground Zero’s weekly fetish night, before packing it in in 2010 to pursue a, um, strictly private practice. Local kinksters, it seemed, had lost their matriarch.

But the good mistress is back, kicking off 2014 with a new monthly fetish event at the Gay 90s. Called Kinky Friday and hosted in the 90s’ newly revamped Dance Annex, the night promises to be a beefed-up version of Bondage-a-Go-Go — still a lot of gagging and slapping, but with a rotating cast of dancers and guest performers. Bardot has been known to cavort with porn-world luminaries such as Bianca Beauchamp, Kendra James and Anastasia Pierce (do not Google any of these names at work), which could mean a level of glitz and professionalism not usually seen in Minnesota. Costumes are encouraged — and so is audience participation. (9 p.m. Fri. and first Fridays of each month. $10. The Dance Annex at Gay 90s, 408 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Gregory J. Scott

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: ‘Burlesque Through the Decades’ & ‘Viva Vaudeville'

What’s considered sexy changes with the times — a notion Klub Haus Cabaret is celebrating with its “Burlesque Through the Decades.” Heat up a cold night as the troupe takes a trip through the decades, from the corseted, covered-up looks of the early 1900s to the flapper frocks of the Roaring ’20s, to the pent-up sexuality of the ’50s housewife, to the wild mod and free-love hippie styles of the ’60s and ’70s. Friday’s adults-only show will be followed up with two family-friendly “Viva Vaudeville” shows on Saturday and Sunday, featuring singing puppets, magic, comedy and dance. (“Burlesque Through the Decades”: 7 p.m. Fri., 21-plus, $10. “Viva Vaudeville”: 7 p.m. Sat. & 5 p.m. Sun., all ages, $10. Klub Haus Cabaret, 1079 Rice St., St. Paul. Jahna Peloquin

JAN. 18: Big Night with Revolver at the Ritz: 12 Experiments'

The Revolver literary collective, those P.T. Barnums of Twin Cities literature, continue their tradition of big, bold events showcasing their favorite lit talents. Past Revolver events have landed local authors in head-to-head writing competitions and actual boxing matches, and have featured collaborations with other arts organizations that share their penchant for panache. For the “12 Experiments” show, Revolver teams with Ballet of the Dolls to explore the intersection of art and risk in performance segments, or experiments, including such concepts as “SMS Disrupted Readings,” “Confetti Guns,” “Impromptu Micro-Essays + Internet” and “Poet + Drummer.” (7 p.m. Jan. 18. $15. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls. Rob Callahan

JAN. 23-FEB. 2: St. Paul Winter Carnival & Beer Dabbler

Only in Minnesota would a carnival feature a mythical royal family, a medallion hunt, people creating ice sculptures with chain saws and a gang of red-cloaked, masked “Vulcans.” Although some of the more outlandish elements such as horse racing on ice have gone by the wayside, the St. Paul Winter Carnival remains one of the quirkiest cold-weather fests in the country. A relatively new addition is the Beer Dabbler, with food trucks, live music, a silent disco, home-brew contest, “the world’s largest snowball fight” and local and domestic craft beers. (Carnival: Jan. 23-Feb. 2. Free. Various locations. Beer Dabbler: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25. $10-$99. State Fairgrounds Midway, 1265 Snelling Av. N., St. Paul. J.P.

JAN. 30-FEB. 1: Burlesque Dolls Presents: Diversi-Tease

Diversi-Tease is a three-day, five-show pageant of near nudity and sexy satire. It’s sort of a stripped-down counterpart to the Minneapolis Burlesque Festival, which normally calls this weekend home, and features local performers as well as acclaimed visiting acts focusing on burlesque, vaudeville and cabaret. The Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret and Burlesque house band joins Twin Cities striptease mainstays Queenie von Curves and Sweetpea to present dozens of acts Jan. 31-Feb. 1, along with the opening-night Improv-a-Tease on Jan. 30. (8 p.m. Jan. 30; 7 & 10 p.m. Jan. 31-Feb 1. $35-$150. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls. R.C.

JAN. 30-FEB. 1: Twin Cities Snowshoe Shuffle

With one of the biggest snowfalls in the United States, it’s no surprise that Minnesota boasts some of the country’s best snowshoers. With the ninth annual Snowshoe Shuffle, advanced and amateur snowshoers alike gather to take part in a challenging 5K or 10K race that travels around Rush Lake and along Rice Creek in New Brighton’s Long Lake Regional Park. Serious racers will compete to qualify for the U.S. Snowshoe Association’s 2014 Dion National Snowshoe Championship; less-than-serious snowshoers can opt to bring the dog for a 5K dog course, or bring the kids for a fun run. Don’t own snowshoes? They’ll be available for rental. (10 a.m. Feb. 1. $25-$40. Long Lake Regional Park, 1500 Old Hwy. 8, New Brighton. J.P.

WHENEVER: Dog Sled Tours

Since today’s sled dogs have never needed to haul anything more than a human being, dog sledding has become a recreational sport. Fortunately, you don’t need to own a pack of dogs to take part in your own “Call of the Wild” cosplay. There are several dog-sled tours offered in Minnesota throughout the winter, complete with expert guides, lodge and camping trip options and plenty of scenery. Paul and Susan Schurke’s WinterGreen Dogsled Lodge in Ely, Minn., has half-day trips starting at $150 ( per adult. Located 15 miles north of Duluth, Positive Energy Outdoors offers various tours starting at $175 ( Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior does short rides beginning at $50 ( Suomi Hills Kennel in Deer River, Minn., has a one-hour tour for $125 (www.sled Visit dogsledding for a list of more tours in Ely. J.P.