February 03, 2022

Embrace the Cold – Winter Fun 2022

We Minnesotans are no strangers to the cold.  In fact, we embrace it.  We get out there, wear shorts to the grocery store, do polar plunges, have drinks by the fire, and take part in any and all winter sporting activities.  The ice, snow, and cold won’t keep us cooped up inside all day.  Now that we have moved past all the holiday excitement, take a look at some great winter activities throughout the metro area.

Events in St. Paul (and surrounding areas):

St. Paul Winter Carnival (Jan. 28-Feb. 6)
*Feb. 5 is Family Day

This seasonal classic is back and better than ever!
• Ice sculptures
• Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tours
• Scavenger Hunts
• World Cup watch parties
Live Music + Ice Bar Warming House
• BEAR’ly Open “Golf on Ice” on White Bear Lake
• Union Depot’s Doggie Depot
Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade and Fireworks (Feb. 5)

Winter Skolstice (Jan. 3-Feb. 27)
Fun for all ages at Viking Lakes in Eagan

• Pond Hockey
• USA Curling Experience- Free!
• Skate and Sled the Omni
• Warming Haus
• Winter Lights

Beer Dabbler (Feb. 19)
The Midwest’s biggest and best beer festival is back at the MN State Fairgrounds.

Ice Castles
Gorgeous castles and structures made from ice and built by artists. Experience craw tunnels, slides, outdoor firepits, fountains, and more at this picturesque event. Tip: go at night to see it all lit up in magical colors.

Ice Palace Maze (Now-Feb. 20)
• Family-friendly outdoor ice maze
• Ice slide
• Hot chocolate and S’mores
• Ice Bar
• Ice Queen—Elsa visits often!
• Lights up at night

Winter Beer Gardens:
Waldmann Brewery: Heaters and seat warmers
The Gnome: Heat lamps and a large fireplace
Dual Citizen Brewery: Festive tent with twinkle lights and Insta-worthy decor

Events in Minneapolis (and surrounding areas)

City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival (Feb. 4-6)
Luminary Loppet—Most magical night of winter!
• Cross-Country Skiing
• Fat-Tire Biking
• Skijor
• Snowshoe
Captain Ken’s Kubb Tournament

Maple Grove Polar Plunge (Feb. 5)
Fish Lake Regional Park
• Food/Drink
• Live Music
• Raise money for the Special Olympics

Hang out With Llamas!
Carlson’s Loveable Llamas in Waconia
Weeping Willow Acres in Minnetrista
*At both locations, you get to meet llamas, walk llamas, brush llamas, feed llamas, and learn more about llamas than you ever thought possible. Fun for all ages!

Winter Beer Gardens
• Free House: Check out their sauna experience with two saunas and outdoor firepits
• Broken Clock Brewery: Themed igloo dining from “ski lodge” to “1970’s”
• Twin Spirits Distillery: Greenhouses, Igloos, and firepits
• Sociable Cider Werks: tables with fires on top, skating rink with curling and food trucks
• Stanley’s: big heated tent with tables and TVs
• Number 12 Cider: string lights, pizza truck, heated patio space, and firepits
• Utepils Brewing: Several open tents with heaters and firepits

Best Cross-Country Skiing Twin Cities
• Theodore Worth Park: 15+ miles of trails from Golden Valley to Uptown
• Fort Snelling State Park: 12+ miles of trails along both the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers (1, 2, or 3 mile Pike Island Loop is recommended)
• Como Park (free!) Four miles near downtown St. Paul—all skill levels
*Pro-tip! Choose a well-lit path to go at night and don’t forget a few beers in your pocket!

Best Ice Skating Rinks Twin Cities
• Lake of the Isles, Lake Nokomis, and Linden Hills Park (Click here for more info.)
• Rice Park: Urban setting with the historic Landmark Center as the backdrop
• Mall of America: The Skate the Star Rink at the MOA raises money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
• Check your local park! Many MN parks make ice rinks magically appear in the winter.

Best Ice Fishing
• Check out any of the chain of lakes (Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, Bde Maka Ska, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake) for walleye, pike, and crappies.
• Lake Minnetonka: Gray’s Bay and Gale Island

Best Snowshoeing
• Lebanon Hills in Eagan: offers rentals, great trails
Three Rivers Parks: check out their website for MANY locations offering guides and full moon hikes

Want to give curling a try? Brookview Lawn and Gold Bowling in Golden Valley offers private rinks

Best Snow Tubing
• Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Minneapolis
• Green Acres Recreation, Lake Elmo
• Brookside Park, Bloomington
• Trapp Farm Park, Eagan
• Buck Hill, Burnsville

Best Sledding Hills
There are too many! Click here to learn about the best hill by city/region.