Or should we call it “Cool Events?” It’s wintry and dreary out, snow is falling and temperatures are dropping. So what better time to take advantage of everything that Minnesota has to offer in the winter? We have a few recommendations for you, whether you plan to go on outdoor adventures or prefer to hibernate inside by the fire. In any case, have a cozy weekend!
Minnesota Winter Must-Dos – Outside
Ice Skate! Popular ice skating spots are the classic Depot Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis, the Wells Fargo WinterSkate in St. Paul, and the new ice skating trail (free!) in Maple Grove. Prices vary, skate rental is extra.
Plus, many neighborhood public parks also have skating and hockey rinks, for ice skating, hockey, pond hockey and broom ball!
If you can’t get enough of winter sports, try going to the Wirth Winter Recreation Area at Theodore Wirth Park. This is the site of a variety of cross-country skiing events (like the Loppet), but it’s open for the public most days. With lessons and/or amenities suited for cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, it’s always a great choice! Passes and rental prices vary, see website for details
Check out Winter 4Play at Fort Snelling! This event is especially great for people who want to try out winter sports and new winter activities among friends. Expect ice fishing, snow snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, geocaching, hiking, s’mores, and cocoa! Plus, check out the cool Artathlon, where you can see art installations while you play in the snow. January 9, 11am-4pm, Snelling Lake Beach. Free; $5 parking day pass
Also, be sure to check out some upcoming events, including the Arctic Fever winter festival, the Loppet, the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, and the St. Paul Winter Carnival! The Loppet is having a pre-event pre-event this weekend!
Stay Warm Inside!
Check out a museum! The American Swedish Institute started out as a residential castle (no joke!) which was built by a Swedish immigrant family in 1908. If you can make it to the current exhibit “A Nordic Christmas” it’s worth it; the tour brings guests through a variety of unique holiday displays and cultures from different Nordic countries. End your tour with a treat from Fika, the award-winning cafe serving modern Scandinavian dishes. A Nordic Christmas exhibit is through Jan 10th. Pricing and hours here
Have you heard the Danish term, “hygge“? My goal is to incorporate it in my life as much as possible! It’s sort of like an overall sense of coziness, but better. A few tips for cultivating hygge include lots of candles, warm fires, going on wintry walks and having friends over for hot drinks and conversation. Sounds nice, right?
It’s that time of year for hot soups, stews, and one-bowl dishes in general. I highly recommend this bean and ham soup by Epicurious! Round out the meal with corn bread. Yum!
The Mill City Winter Market is on again tomorrow! Stock up on winter produce and check out the wares of local artists. Winter market is Jan 9th, Feb 13th, March 5th and 12th
After the winter market, visit the Mill City Museum! The Minnesota Historical Society has curated a variety of wonderful museums popular amongst kids and adults, but this is especially unique as it’s located in the ruins of the old Gold Medal mill. Be sure to check out the sweet view of the Mississippi River! See hours and pricing here
If you are in the mood for some epic classical music, the Minnesota Orchestra is having a Beethoven Marathon throughout the month of January. Through January 16th, they are performing 9 symphonies and 5 piano concertos. Thursday mornings and weekends through Jan 16th. Get tickets here
Sundays throughout January, Charlie Parr, the legendary Minnesotan roots guitar player is going to be at the Turf Club—also an St. Paul institution! Should be a great time. Sundays at 7pm, $10 in advance, $15 reserved dinner seats. Tickets here. 21+
Hope you have a great one, and stay warm!
(Image via the American Swedish Institute, for the exhibit: A Nordic Christmas: Myths, Legends & Fairytails)