Don’t Let The Snow Slow Your Roll

Photo courtesy of BigStock/nd3000
Photo courtesy of BigStock/nd3000

Winter in Minnesota can seem interminably long, especially if you stay cooped up in your house from early November to mid-April. While hibernation might work out well for actual bears, it’s often not the best course of action for humans. Social interaction, along with just being in the good ol’ outdoors, with family and friends is healthy—both mentally and physically—not to mention fun. 

The Twin Cities metro, as well as greater Minnesota, is replete with fun, interesting, and exciting activities throughout the winter months. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the many offerings on hand that’ll help keep the winter doldrums at bay until spring arrives in all of its rich green glory once more. 


Holidazzle 2022
Through Dec 18 • Peavey Plaza & Loring Park, Downtown Mpls

The beloved downtown Minneapolis tradition continues to brighten faces and bring joy to all ages with a variety of entertainment, shopping, food, beverages, and crafts. Visit our website for dates and more details!

Circus Juventas’s 3rd Annual Holiday Show – Solstice
Weekends through Dec 18 • Under the Big Top in St. Paul

A Nordic-inspired adventure filled with flipping, tumbling and soaring through the seasons will have you cheering for winter! Perfect for a family outing, Solstice will delight folks of all ages with both artistry and amazing physical feats. Circus Juventas is, and always has been, proud to be a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ youth.

Minnesota Freedom Band and Freedom Jazz! Holiday Concert
Dec 18 • 5 PM • Mall of America, Bloomington

Join us for an evening of festive music at the Mall of America Rotunda. Admission is free!

Bentleyville Tour of Lights
Through Dec 26 • Bayfront Festival Park, Duluth 

The largest free walk through lighting display in America has something for everyone! Free treats, 4 million+ lights and a 128-foot Christmas tree will delight folks of all ages. Free admission, parking is $10 per vehicle. •

Winter Lights 2022 
Through Jan 1 • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska

The Winter Lights display is always a stroll to remember! Tickets are required and go quickly, so check our website to get yours now. Enjoying the fresh, crisp air of a Minnesota winter evening surrounded by thousands of lights is an experience not to be missed. The Arboretum café will be open, and shopping at the gift store and music will be available on certain nights. Don’t miss the 25-foot Poinsettia Tree created with over 500 red, white and pink poinsettias.

The Dayton’s Project – Winter Maker’s Market
Through Jan 13 • Mon – Sat 10 AM – 6 PM, Sun 11 AM – 5 PM through Dec 23, Post holiday hours announced later • First & Second floors of The Dayton’s Project, Downtown Mpls

Take a step back into Minnesota’s past and check out the 67 vendors showing off their wares with everything from shoes and clothing to artwork to delectable goodies. You’ll be able to make a sizeable dent in your holiday gift list!

GLOW Holiday Festival
Through Jan. 1, 2023 • CHS Field, Lowertown St. Paul, MN

Get ready to experience GLOW Holiday in its new home—CHS Field! Newly expanded exhibits abound, along with over a million glowing lights, Bright Bikes, the sElfie Plaza, Tremendous Tree, Enchanted Forest, the GLOW Spectacular and so much more. Tickets are on sale now!

Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks From the Uffizi
Through Jan. 8 • Minnesota Institute of Art, Minneapolis

Fancy something indoors rather than outside in the cold? MIA is hosting a major exhibit of Renaissance artwork featuring Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli. Don’t miss this major exhibition that is rarely seen on loan outside of Italy.

Mill City Winter – Farmers Markets
Select Saturdays • Dec – April • Mill City Museum, Minneapolis

Just because the weather’s turned chilly, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the bounty of local farmers! They’ll be heading indoors to sell their wares on select Saturdays from 10 AM – 1 PM inside the Mill City Museum. No dogs, please.

Winter Solstice Celebration
Dec 21 • 5 – 9 PM • American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

What could be better than marking the shortest day and the longest night than doing so at the ASI? A special festival menu with small plates and warm Swedish mulled wine will be served by FIKA Café, and the Museum Store and Jul Shop will both be open late for attendees’ shopping needs.

The Winter Village
Through February 26 – Westin Edina Galleria

The Westin Edina Galleria invites guests and visitors alike to discover its immersive winter wonderland featuring an outdoor après ski courtyard experience, winter events and weekend excursions to usher in the holiday spirit as well as a range of food & beverage specials – from wine tastings to fondue.


Winter SKOLstice
Jan 6 – Feb 19 • Vikings Lakes, Eagan, MN

Combine winter and the Minnesota Vikings, and you come up with fun for all ages and skill levels when it comes to activities on the ice. Winter SKOLstice is back for its second year! Skating, pond hockey, curling, a warming house and the famous Minnesota Ice Maze all await you. Open Monday – Friday 4 – 10 PM, Saturday – Sunday 10 AM – 10 PM

One Voice Mixed Chorus Presents: “Generation”
Jan 14 – 15 – South High School, Minneapolis
Jan 22 – The Ordway Center for The Performing Arts

One Voice Mixed Chorus presents Generation, a concert exploring intergenerational
relationships across our LGBTQ+ community. From AIDS to Instagram, the concert weaves
together songs and stories of identity, change, and resilience.

Art Shanty Projects
Jan 21 – Feb 12 • Lake Harriet/Bde Unma 

Indulge in a whimsical, weird, uniquely experience that inspires joy in everyone from kids to adults. This yearly interactive art project, inspired by the ice fishing villages so prominent on Minnesota lakes, has an anything goes motto as far as construction and decoration for the 150+ artists who participate. Just don’t bring your fishing pole!  

World Snow Sculpting Championship
Jan 18 – 22 • Stillwater

“There’s NO business like SNOW business!” And, there’s no sight quite like that of teams coming together from around the world to compete in the creation of incredible snow sculptures as they vie for prize money and the title of World Champion. Attendees will have the chance to enjoy plenty of activities, ceremonies, social events, and the people’s choice award.  

18th Annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
Jan 19 – 29 • Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis

Hockey is as natural to Minnesota as breathing, so why not layer up and come out to watch players hit the ice as nature intended!

Saint Paul Winter Carnival
Jan 26 – Feb 5 • Various St. Paul venues

Come out to enjoy this St. Paul tradition that celebrates all things winter! Watch ice-carving competitions, enjoy free artistic and educational activities, music, dance, food, the medallion hunt, and so much more.

Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic
Jan 28 – 29 • Spring Lake Park, Mankato, MN

This two-day event is more than just a chance to enjoy hockey as it was meant to be played! Of course it offers opportunities for both youth and adult players to show off their skills, but there are also options for all kinds of family fun such as a sledding hill, a warming house, and 12 separate professional rinks. Entry fees go to help local charities that support fighting childhood leukemia.

Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza
January 28 • Hole in the Day Bay, Gull Lake, MN

One of the largest charitable ice fishing contests on earth, the event was founded in 1991 and is held ten miles north of Brainerd.

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon
Jan 29 – Feb 1 • Duluth to Canadian border and back

The longest sled dog race in the lower 48, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon sees competitors mushing in an event that covers nearly 400 miles and is a qualifier for the Iditarod race in Alaska. Come out to cheer on these mighty mushers at Northern Minnesota’s top winter attraction. •


Dog Mushing! Women’s Winter Adventure 2023
Feb 2 – 5 • 82 Irish Creek Rd., Hovland, MN

Have you ever had dreams of racing across the winter landscape behind your very own team of sled dogs? Here’s your chance! This is a true off-the-grid adventure for those wishing to learn about and participate in a wonderfully unique winter sport.

City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival
Feb 4 -5 • Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis

Originally designed as a cross-country ski race, the City of Lakes Loppet has become a winter staple that includes the Luminary Loppet, Cross-Country Ski, Skijor, Snowshoe, Fat Tire Bike events and more through Theodore Wirth Park.

40th Annual Finlandia Ski Marathon
Feb 18 • Bemidji, MN

Attracting skiers from around the world, the Finlandia cross-country ski event has been held in Bemidji since 1982 and is often called the “The Nordic Festival of the North”. The event is open to skiers of all experience levels. •

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