Winter What To Do
Indoor Skating at The Depot
Milwaukee Road Depot, Minneapolis
Through March 9
$9 Admission, $7 Skate Rental
This indoor seasonal ice skating rink has a wall of glass offering views of the downtown skyline. When you’re ready to take a break from skating enjoy a hot chocolate from the food and refreshment bar.
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
Through February 2
Skaters are invited to experience the unique urban setting of downtown Saint Paul with this artificially-chilled rink. The historic Landmark Center creates a beautiful backdrop for the outdoor rink.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
January 9 – February 28
Adults $8, Children (4-12) $7
Everyone’s favorite giant screen film festival is back this winter! Omnifest 2014 will bring five giant screen films to the Science Museum’s Omnitheater – both audience favorites and brand new features.
Winter Farmers Markets
January 11- April 12, Select Dates
Fresh produce is no longer something reserved for summer with the Mill City Farmers Market moving indoors for its third winter. “Many of our farmers have produce well beyond the outdoor season as well as many value-added products so we thought providing an indoor marketplace would be a great opportunity,” says Katherine Heilmann, the market’s marketing and events manager. Against a backdrop of the Mill City Museum, visitors to the winter market can expect to be surprised by all of the fresh produce harvested year-round, with many of the same vendors as the summer markets. Heimann says, “Visitors can shop for everything from seasonal produce, pastured meats and cheeses, granola, baked goods, fermented and pickled vegetables, jams, preserves, local art and more!” And, since the market is indoors, there is no need to worry about the weather – a welcome change from the unpredictable summer season.
Leroy Neiman Exhibit
Griffin Gallery, Edina
January 15 – March 15
Featuring the work of Leroy Neiman, a St. Paul native, the Griffin Gallery should be on everyone’s winter to-do list. Considered one of the greatest painters and sketch artists of all time, Andy Warhol expressed great interest in Neiman and sought to advise him. Warhol, expressing his love for the sports artist who was the official artist of five Olympiads, said “I think he is wonderful – I watched him on the Olympics every night from start to finish.” The exhibit, featuring over 100 original paintings, serigraphs, and drawings, are all works owned by Griffin Gallery owner Deb Mack and her husband, Bill, who knew the artist. Deb says “We have probably the largest collection of original works by Leroy Neiman. They appeal to sports enthusiasts because the majority of his work deals with sports.”
9th Annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis
January 17 – 19
Pond hockey combines the passion of a simple childhood memory and the strength of community spirit. Players from around the world compete in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships.
Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival
Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet. Other activities at the festival include ice fishing, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, a medallion hunt, and marshmallow roast.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
January 18 – February 22
Adults $13, Children (4-12) $10
Now an annual four-part event series, The Science Museum’s 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. “It’s important for students of color to meet people like them, with similar backgrounds and experiences, and learn about the professionals’ path into amazing scientific careers,” says Kim Ramsden, the museum’s director of communications. Ramsden cites that three out of five employment opportunities in the next decade will require STEM capabilities, but the U.S. ranks 17th out of 34 countries in science and 25th in math. That achievement gap is even more pronounced in students of color. Done in a science fair style, Ramsden says “participation in the many exciting areas of science and meeting professionals of different backgrounds can spark the curiosity of a student to be the next big dreamer.”
2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival
January 23 – February 2
Event prices vary
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 24 – 26
Adults $20, Children (14 and younger) $10
One of the largest team-run fan festivals in professional sports, TwinsFest is an annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
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 25 – March 15
$75 minimum funds raised
A unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to raise money in support of Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters.
City of Lakes Loppet
Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
January 31 – February 2
Event prices vary
The urban cross country ski festival present winter activities for the whole family with events jam-packed into one weekend.
Art Shanty Project
White Bear Lake
February 1 – February 23
The Art Shanty Projects were started by artists Peter Haakon Thompson and David Pittman, two local artists who were interested in the ecosystem of ice fishing villages and wondered how that would (or could) apply to the arts. “In a way they started a self-appointed residency program out on the ice,” says Melinda Childs, the Art Shanty Projects Director. The project has a few main goals: First, think about space (particularly relatively unregulated or underutilized space) in new and creative ways; second, to create community through participatory art experiences and lastly, to encourage hibernating Minnesotans to get outside and be active and social in the winter. Child’s advice for first time visitors is to dress warmer than you think you need to – wind on the lake can bite! “Beyond that, come prepared to let your guard down,” she says. “It’s not necessarily about seeing every single shanty, your experience may be to stay in one shanty all day learning how to knit. Just be open to what comes to you!”
Valentine’s Day TC 5K
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
Individual $40, Couple $70
Twin Cities in Motion presents the 29th annual Valentine’s 5k race. Open to couples and singles, “relationship status” back tags make the perfect icebreaker.
2014 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship
February 20 – 22
The sport of ice cross downhill (a mix of downhill skiing, skating, and roller derby) continues with a third visit to St. Paul as the sport continues to grow in popularity with U.S. fans.
Matisse: Masterworks from The Baltimore Museum of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
February 23 – May 18
Spanning six decades of Matisse’s prolific career, with an emphasis on the artist’s earliest works, this special exhibition features 50 works of painting and sculpture, 30 prints, and the artist’s book Jazz.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre Presents: Disney’s The Little Mermaid
February 28 – August 30
$62 – $82
Experience the Midwest premiere of the Broadway production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Originally rooted in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid is a musical favorite for audiences of all ages.
Mill City Bake-Off Challenge
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Adults $11, Children $6
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.
Minnesota RollerGirls Championship
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul
March 8 – April 19
Adults $13, Children (9 and under) free
Cheer on the Minnesota RollerGirls as they fight for the championship. Don’t miss your chance to see who will raise the Golden Skate.
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.