Since we are projected to get our first snow this weekend, what better way to welcome the snowflakes than with a list of winter activities you can do in the Twin Cities. There are enough activities and events to keep you busy but make sure you bundle up first. We’ve collected some of this season’s best winter events in the Twin Cities area.
Betty Danger’s Winter Wonderland || Betty Danger’s Country Club, Minneapolis
Every Thurs-Sat | November 16-January 31 | 5-9PM
Great vintage holiday decorations viewed from Betty Danger’s Ferris Wheel. $8 for hot chocolate/cider or $10 for spike drinks. They offer polar fleece blankets as well as a festive sleigh ride. It only takes 15 minutes so it’s a mini adventure but a great place to go for a romantic date or fun time with the family.
The Nutcracker || The O’Shaughnessy
December 16-December 18
For novices to the holiday ballet, the story begins on Christmas Eve. We join a young girl, Clara, her mischievous brother, Fritz, and their family hosting a Christmas party. A latecomer to the party is Clara’s mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer. He presents her with a marvelous gift, a Nutcracker doll. As Clara goes to sleep that night, we are transported into her dream of the Rat King fighting the Nutcracker and his army of toy soldiers. The Nutcracker Prince escorts Clara through an enchanted snow-covered forest and on to his Kingdom of the Sweets where Clara accepts the throne from the Sugar Plum Fairy. If you haven’t had a chance to see this wonderful performance, it’s a great holiday tradition for anyone. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $18 for a student/child.
Lowertown SantaCon IX || Lowertown, Saint Paul
Voted the “Best Twin Cities Pub Crawl”, this couldn’t be left off the list. Imagine ComiCon, but no entrance fees, wristbands or merchandise. This December will mark the 9th year of the annual event. The Lowertown SantaCon claims to be half spectacle, half pub crawl and half flash mob. People dress as Santa and other associated characters. This is one great event if you’re looking to save some money (it’s FREE) and find a good place to people watch.
Fire & Ice: A Winter Carnival Art Show || AZ Gallery, Saint Paul
January 12- February 19
A special exhibition of artwork from over 75 local artists. Opening night reception is January 21 from 6-10PM.
Snow Park at the Fair Annual Snow Stomp || MN State Fairgrounds, Saint Paul
January 21-January 22
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Snow Park and see how huge snow blocks and smaller snow walls are created. It’s a lot of activity packed into only two days. While you can’t be involved in the process unless you are a volunteer (there is a lot of heavy equipment), you can still enjoy and observe from a distance.
Saint Paul Winter Carnival || Various Locations
January 26-February 5
Parades, puzzle contests, Queen of Snows and much more is what you can look forward to this year at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. It’s a 130+ year old tradition which started to create a sense of pride, belonging and comradery between fellow Saint Paulites and Minnesotans. The usual highlight of the event is a treasure hunt for a medallion worth up to $10,000 and has been a tradition since 1952. The Pioneer Press publishes clues for the location of the medallion which is somewhere on public land in Ramsey County.
Red Bull Crashed Ice Championship || Cathedral of Saint Paul
Returning for it’s sixth straight year, this is a great event for the entire family. It draws crowds of more than 100,000 in only two days. You can witness high speed skaters competing in four-man heats in a race to be the Red Bull Crashed Ice Champion. And just as the title implies, there will be some crashes. If you’re looking to take your kids and don’t want to deal with the crowds at night, you can always go the practices during the days and get a great spot to watch. Last year, local Cameron Naasz claimed the overall championship as the first American ever to win.
City of Lakes Loppet: Urban Cross Country Ski Festival || Lake Calhoun
February 3-February 5
While most may hibernate in the winter, Minnesotans are known for being as active as ever. One great example of this is the City of Lakes Loppet Festival. It’s packed full of events for winter enthusiasts and athletes. It includes cross country skiing, snow cycling, dogsled racing and beer tastings. It’s a three-day gathering which has more than 10,000 participants, proving low temperatures can’t keep the toughest Minnesotans inside. There is also a snow sculpting contests, food trucks and a beer garden that is sure to have something for everyone. This year is projected to be one of the largest attended events of it’s history.
Beer Dabbler || Minnesota State Fairgrounds
February 4 | 2:30-6:30PM
Back for it’s 8th straight year, the Beer Dabbler is one of Minnesota’s best winter activities for beer lovers. Featuring over 120 local, regional and national craft beers, it gives you the opportunity to taste new beers and listen to some live music all while trying to stay warm with your fellow Minnesotans. Advance tickets start at $45 for general admission. If you are planning to be the designated driver, your tickets are only $20.
Did we forget one of your favorite activities? Comment below and we will add it!