2015 Winter What To Do
Winter Holidays in the Soviet Era
The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis
Through January 25
$9 adult, $7 children
The exhibition Winter Holidays in the Soviet Era uncovers the rich story of winter holiday traditions in 20th century Russia, from the late Imperial Christmas to the Soviet New Year of the Stalin and Khrushchev periods. Drawing upon the collection of Kim Balaschak, one of the world’s largest, the exhibition presents a remarkable selection of seven hundred holiday ornaments and related materials.
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
Through February 1
$4 skate rental (free with Wells Fargo check card or credit card)
The historic Landmark Center creates a beautiful backdrop for the outdoor rink in the heart of downtown St. Paul.
Through March 8
Imagine a magical collision of the Apostle Island ice caves, frozen waterfalls, and glaciers formed into towering organic archways, tunnels, slot canyons, stalactites, and frozen thrones. By day this frozen wonderland glimmers with glacial blues and frosty whites. After dark the ice formations glow multi-colored with the help of thousands of LED lights within the ice.
Indoor Skating at The Depot
Milwaukee Road Depot, Minneapolis
Through March 22
$9 adults, $6 children, $7 skate rental
This indoor skating rink has a wall of glass offering views of the downtown skyline.
Winter Farmers Markets
Minneapolis and St. Paul
Through April 18
Retain the ability to shop locally through the winter! You will find a wide variety of meat items, cheese, honey, bakery goods, strudel, jams & jellies, pickled items, chocolates, mustard & hot sauces, peirogis, apples & seasonal decorating items.
Out There 2015
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
January 8 – January 31
$75 package for all four shows, $20 individually
Out There brings startling, vital, provocative, and often joyous new forms of theatrical expression to the Twin Cites. Beginning as a modest two-weekend series, Out There has grown into a full-fledged month-long festival featuring new global performances, workshops, dialogue sessions, salons, and other activities throughout January.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
January 9 – February 19
$8 first film, 15% discount on additional films
Everyone’s favorite giant screen film festival is back this winter! Omnifest 2015 will bring five giant screen films to the Science Museum’s Omnitheater – both audience favorites and brand new features: Hubble presents imagery of the cosmos—from our own celestial neighborhood to galaxies billions of light years away; D-Day: Normandy 1944 brings the largest Allied operation of World War II to the Omnitheater’s giant screen; Narrated by Meryl Streep and featuring the music of Sting, The Living Sea celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Earth’s oceans; The Greatest Places embarks on a journey to seven of the world’s most dynamic landscapes; and Flight of the Butterflies meets a determined Canadian scientist attempting to unravel one of science’s great mysteries: finding the mysterious overwintering location of the monarchs.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
January 10 – February 14
$13 adults, $10 children museum admission
Now an annual four-part event series, Science Fusion focuses on the accomplishments of members of the Twin Cities’ African American, American Indian, Latino and Hispanic, and Asian American communities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Adults and kids alike will learn through interactive displays and presentations from scientists and educators at leading Twin Cities companies.
Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis
January 10, February 14, March 14
A queer dance party held every second Saturday, this event is 21+. Although each event has different promotions and themes, it’s always a queer dance party with DJ Girl Named Jane. Follow Grrrl Scout on Facebook to hear about what is going to make each event unique. Everyone is welcome.
10th Annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis
January 16 – 18
$500-650 team registration,
Players from around the world compete in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Either register a team or just show up as a fan to support the great winter pastime.
Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival
Minnesota Kite Society experts will demonstrate their skills maneuvering spectacular kites throughout the day, and offer their expertise to kite flying enthusiasts and to those who are new to the pastime. Bring your own kite, or buy an inexpensive one at the lake. Other activities at the festival include ice fishing, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, medallion hunt and marshmallow roast.
North West Fur Company Post, Pine City, MN
Come and learn a few new activities that will help time pass as an enjoyable winter. You’ll be able to toss a curling stone and learn about the game’s connection to the North West Company or play a round of Ojibwe snow snake and see how far it travels down the icy track. And of course there are snowshoes to explore the winter wonderland on the site’s two miles of trails. Learn about winter travel during the fur trade. For the faint of heart, warm yourself by blazing fires, or sip a cup of cocoa and watch the festivities from the sun-soaked visitor center. There will be something for all ages and interests.
2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship
January 22 – 24
The sport of ice cross downhill (a mix of downhill skiing, skating, and roller derby) continues with a visit to St. Paul as the sport continues to grow in popularity with U.S. fans.
2015 St. Paul Winter Carnival
January 22 – February 1
Varies by event
Featuring a Beer Dabbler, parades, contests, fireworks and more, every member of the family is sure to find something they enjoy.
Target Field, Minneapolis
January 23 – 25
$20 adults, $10 children
One of the largest team-run fan festivals in professional sports, TwinsFest is an annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
Illuminaughti: Secret Society Striptease
Town House Bar, St. Paul
The Vigilantease Collective brings you back into the world of top-secret burlesque, cloak-and-dagger drag, covert special guests, and initiation rites (aka contests). Win a bar tab and more! Come for the show, and then stay to show off with the TVC Dance Party. Not all of the specifics are finalized yet, so some details might change.
City of Lakes Loppet
Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
January 30 – February 1
$150 registration fee
The urban cross country ski festival presents winter activities for the whole family with events jam-packed into one weekend.
Art Sled Rally
Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis
A mass sledding spectacle inspired by the history of mass winter events at Powderhorn Park that began around a hundred years ago.
Polar Bear Plunge
January 31 – March 21
Raise a minimum of $75
A unique opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to raise money in support of Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters.
Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize
American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
January 31 – May 24
$9 adult, $5 children
Discover the world’s greatest honor through fashion and music. Couture designs by Beckmans College of Design and original musical scores from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm all inspired by the Nobel Laureates in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Economic Sciences, and Peace.
Minnesota Vikings Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally
February 6 – 9
Snowmobile with current and former Vikings players & cheerleaders at the Vikings Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally. Gather prize tickets from designated Blast Points for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes. A fun way to enjoy Minnesota winters while raising dollars to benefit the Vikings Children’s Fund.
The Secrets of Slave Songs
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
$20 adults, $15 children
“The Secrets of Slave Songs” is an examination of slavery, its abolition and consequences in the United States. Expressive choreography combines with moving renditions of Negro Spirituals and other songs borne from the American slavery experience, illuminating the complicated journey in our nation’s history.
Ames Center, Burnsville
$20 – $40
The Golden Dragon Acrobats present Cirque Ziva, a new world-class cirque spectacular. This fast-paced, technically-innovative performance showcases traditional Chinese acrobats; dance and costumes; ancient and contemporary music; and modern theatrical techniques. The renowned acrobats dazzle with amazing feats of athleticism, daring heart-stopping stunts and the grace of their centuries-old art form. The large cast and dazzling production designs illustrate just how breathtaking Chinese acrobatics can be. Cirque Ziva is sure to entertain, delight and keep audiences of all ages in suspense.
Valentine’s Day TC 5K
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
$30 individual, $50 couple
Twin Cities in Motion presents the 30th annual Valentine’s 5k race. Open to couples and singles, “relationship status” backtags make the perfect icebreaker.
Mill City Bake-Off Challenge
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Included with museum admission: $11 adults, $6 children
In true “test kitchen” style, Mill City Museum staff will create an original recipe on-the-spot after guests choose the ingredients from the Pillsbury Bake-Off official list of qualifying ingredients.
Schell’s Brewery Grounds, New Ulm, MN
An all-outdoor event on the grounds of Schell’s Brewery, featuring the release of the seasonal bock beer, with food and other drink. The Bock Fest Boys play all day, so come party with 5,000 other “festive” souls and head downtown afterward! Always held, no matter the weather, from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm, this events is only open to 21+, with most of the crowd between 25 – 45.
North Coast Nosh Curated by Sioux Chef Sean Sherman
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
Join in a celebration of the traditions and flavors of Minnesota’s indigenous people curated by Sioux Chef Sean Sherman for the Heavy Table’s latest local food and beverage event in the North Coast Nosh series. Ticket gets access to tasting and conversation with some indigenous and pre-colonial food and drink purveyors, in the convivial setting that “North Coast Nosh” is known for. Visitors will also enjoy access to the “Modern Spirit” exhibit of work by famed Ojibwe artist George Morrison, now on view at the Minnesota History Center.
14th Annual Winterfest
Union Depot, St. Paul
February 27 – 28
$75 individual night, $135 two-night package
This craft beer sampling event celebrates beer brewed in Minnesota by the breweries and brew pubs that are current members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. Chase out the winter chill with a multitude of Winter Warmers, hearty food, beer education, entertainment, and music.
2015 Wishes & More Winter Ball
Marriott City Center, Minneapolis
$175 – 225
Straighten the black ties, click your high heels, and step aboard a luxurious flight around the world. Experience world-class cultures and wishes for one exclusive night only. Join the Marriott City Center in downtown Minneapolis for an evening of bidding, dining, dancing, and a program showcasing wishes coming true. Proceeds benefit Wishes & More, an organization which enhances the life of a child fighting a terminal or life-threatening condition by providing extraordinary experiences including wishes, scholarships, memorials, and more.
Grumpy Old Men Festival
Fishing contest is $5 for adults, $3 for kids
Go to Wabasha for an ice fishing contest, Ice Shacks ‘n’ Plaid Parade, cribbage tournament, bingo, minnow races, Annual Grumpy Plunge, a hotdish luncheon and more.
Fur Flee 8
March 5 – 8
$80 registration fee, plus hotel
A bear-filled winter weekend getaway of partying, playing, swimming, hot-tubbing and more at a private hotel! Event details are still being worked out, but early registration is open and the host hotel is accepting reservations. Come join the Fur Flee festivities which may include (subject to change): a private bear hotel with 112 rooms, Saturday night party with open bar, afternoon pool party and lunch, after-hours hospitality suite, winter Alpine Slide at Spirit Mountain, and the company of 200+ bears for the weekend.
Cabin Fever Day
Winehaven Winery, Chisago City, MN
March 7 – 8
Got cabin fever? Come and taste some vintage selections that will bring you out of hibernation. This is the only event of the year where visitors can taste and purchase Winehaven’s classics that have been aging in the cellar for years. There is no fee for admission and reservations are not required–bring your friends!
Mustache March Run
$30, no day-of registration
Growing season is here yet again! Get ready to rip it up at the Twin Ports most furry and festive fun run of the year and revel in your mustachioed glory in this March tradition! Decorative mustaches will be available for those unable or unwilling to grow their own. Run along the beautiful lakewalk on this 2.65 mile course.
Fitger’s Courtyard, Duluth
March 12 – 14
The weekend opens with the Blessing of the Lake Superior Split Rock Bock Beer and progresses with entertainment in the beer tent, a Volksmarch on the Lakewalk, stein race, Black Forest Cake eating contest, team beer drinking, and more.
Minnesota RollerGirls Championship
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul
Cheer on the Minnesota RollerGirls as they fight for the championship. Don’t miss your chance to see who will raise the Golden Skate.
Qhia Dab Neeg: Hmong Stories on Film
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
“Qhia Dab Neeg” is Hmong for “storytelling,” and represents the traditional way the Hmong carried their history forward to future generations. After they arrived in the U.S., the Hmong began to see their stories being ignored or told for them by others. Now they are using the contemporary American storytelling tool of film to take back their history and tell their stories in their own voices.
Frozen Minnehaha Falls
With a slight minty-blue tint, Minnehaha Falls is the perfect backdrop for some cold-weather selfies or just a glorious bit of nature to enjoy.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
With over 12 miles of winter ski trails, the park also features special events open to the public such as candle-lit trails in the evening and nature scavenger hunts. After your fun in the snow, return to the visitors center for a cup of hot chocolate or spiced cider.
Theodore Wirth Park
$10 snowboard pass
Featuring the first inner-city snowboard program, now with snow-making equipment, Theodore Wirth Park also plays host to cross-country skiing and sledding/tubing opportunities.