Fun Things to do During Winter in the Twin Cities

It’s not unheard of to witness a Minnesotan complaining about our harsh weather, but truth be told, winters in Minneapolis and St. Paul are spent doing much more than just digging our cars out of snow or shoveling our walkways. Twin City winters are historically beautiful– from beautifully formed ice structures to communities coming together with holiday cheer, there is no shortage of things to keep us busy during our colder months. 

Whether you are considering relocating or you have lived here for years, we have some of our favorite picks for fun things to do during winter in the Twin Cities. 

Experience Holiday Themed Festivities 

There is no shortage of light displays and holiday-themed festivals during December in Minneapolis. Whether they are in the heart of the Twin Cities or on the outskirts of the Minneapolis suburbs, anyone looking to get some holiday joy this season does not have to look too hard or too far. 

Attend the Holidazzle Festival 

From November 25 – December 18, the Downtown Council of Minneapolis hosts their annual Holidazzle Festival. Located in Loring Park, this all-day event is filled with food, drinks, entertainment, games, shopping, and more from local vendors. Holidazzle is fun for the whole family, with beautifully lit walking paths, carnival rides, yoga classes in the snow, and even interactions and photo ops with a 17-foot mechanical Yeti. 

Visit the Gingerbread Wonderland 

Taking place beginning November 22 – January 8, Norway House hosts its yearly Gingerbread Wonderland, which has become one of the main staples of Minneapolis’ festivities, bringing the community together as we celebrate the Norwegian roots in the city. On display this year are over 250 holiday-themed structures, including replicas of city landmarks made out of gingerbread, cookies, and other non-traditional materials. There’s always something exciting and surprising to see at the Gingerbread Wonderland each winter. 

See the Lights at GLOW

St. Paul’s GLOW holiday festival runs from November 23 – January 1 this year and will be comprised of over a million lights in celebration of the holiday season. Some of this year’s attractions include The Enchanted Forest filled with whimsical glowing woodsy mushrooms and trees and The Penguin Playground where well-lit swings, seesaws, and more are enjoyed by adults and children alike. Of course, we can’t forget Santa Land, where photo ops with Santa and his friends allow you to make last-minute gift requests from Old Saint Nick (that is if you’re on his “nice” list this year). With over a dozen more attractions, this event is a must-see for Twin City residents. 

Must-See Winter Beauty 

Sometimes all you need to do is look out your window to see the beauty of the sun beating down on the ice and snow during our Minneapolis winters. However, venturing out just a bit from the warmth of your home can lead you to see some sites farther beyond your window. 

Explore an Ice Castle at St. Paul’s Winter Carnival

Ice Castles Minnesota continues to present their glorious, fairy-tale-like ice structures at the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Active since 2011, these ice castles will make anyone feel like they’ve walked right onto the set for Frozen. From ice slides, frozen archways, and crawl tunnels and caverns made from ice, exploring the ice castles in the city is a favorite annual tradition for many families. 

Visit the Frozen Minnehaha Falls

During Minneapolis’ summer months, Minnehaha Falls draws crowds to view its gloriously stunning waterfalls. Unsurprisingly, the Falls are equally as popular in the winter months, when the entire waterfall transforms into a giant ice structure of unparalleled beauty. Open to the public, it’s free to visit this natural site and take in the wonders of Mother Nature. 

Walk through Uptown’s Winter Wonderland 

As Uptown, MN continues to rebuild and flourish, this year the small business owners in the community have been encouraged to create their own winter wonderland among the shops and restaurants of our walkable city. Uptown’s Arts + Rec Center, Northpong Partners, LLC, and Graves Hospitality have joined together in their mission to get the community to celebrate the neighborhood in holiday cheer. As you shop with local artisans, dine at local restaurants, and explore by walking past all of the vibrant window displays, you can witness firsthand how residents have embraced the city’s creative renaissance. 

The Chain of Lakes & Other Outdoor Adventures

One of the unique features of living near in Uptown and other Minneapolis neighborhoods is the ability to engage in outdoor activities year-round– regardless of whether it’s to play in snow or sunshine. The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation board offers endless winter recreation activities for locals and visitors alike. 

With over 20 miles of skiing trails and seven lakes available for ice fishing, the opportunities for outdoor adventures in nature in the Twin Cities are substantial. 

Here are some favorite pastimes you can enjoy at The Chain of Lakes and other regional parks: 

  • Ice skiing 
  • Skiing
  • Snow tubing 
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skijoring 
  • Sledding 
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice fishing 

Indoor Winter Entertainment and Fun

Whether it’s taking in a drink with friends at a local pub by the fireplace or visiting one of Minneapolis’s many shopping centers to shop for holiday gifts, there is no shortage of entertainment and fun to have this winter in the Twin Cities. 

Winter spectating takes place all season long as indoor hockey, basketball, and roller derby events fill up local stadiums. If you are not interested in sports, there are plenty of other types of entertainment venues presenting theater productions, concerts, and art displays all winter long. 

Whether it’s seeing the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Ghosts of Christmas Eve or taking in a Minnesota Wild game, both located at the Xcel Energy Center, or visiting Uptown’s new arts and recreation venue, Minneapolis offers lots of fun during its winter months. 

Relocating to Minneapolis this Winter? Contact Stutsman Realty, Inc

Are you looking to join in on the fun of Uptown and other Minneapolis neighborhoods’ annual winter traditions? Stutsman Realty, Inc can help you find an Uptown, MN apartment or a local home for sale that best suits you.  Please reach us by calling us at 952-927-4144 or filling out the form below to get started.

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