Here in Minnesota, winter can feel like it drags on for months and months. Sometimes the weather makes it impossible to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Many of us resort to shopping as a way to get out of the house. But we’re here to show you that you don’t have to be a hermit, even during a brutal Minnesota winter! There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself during the chilly season that don’t involve long lines at the mall.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Try a new sport.
Did you know that Minnesota is home to more than 30 curling clubs? No wonder the 2018 Olympic gold medal team was so great. Most of them came from right here in Minnesota. No matter your skill level, you’re sure to have fun when you try curling. Most curling clubs offer classes for beginners and leagues for the experienced curler. Maybe someone in your family will be Olympics-bound in the future!
2. Cheer on your home-town team.
Here in Minnesota, we’re fortunate enough to have many professional sports teams. During the winter months, grab your family and head to the Xcel Energy Center to catch the hometown Minnesota Wild try to put a tally in the win column. You might wait in a bit of a line to make it through the security checkpoint. But once you’re in, the lines are short, and the atmosphere is electric. Come during warmups and you may even spot the mascot, Nordy, in the stands for a photo op.
3. Learn to skate.
It’s never been easier to learn to skate in Minnesota. Even the smallest towns have their own ice rinks, and there are plenty of larger spots in bigger cities. These spots are especially nice because they come with easy access to warming areas. For example, WinterSkate in Loring Park is a popular spot to practice your skills. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced ice skater, you’ll love lacing up and stepping onto the rink all winter long.
4. Go ice fishing.
You can’t leave ice fishing off the list in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. No matter which direction you head in, there’s sure to be a good lake not too far from you. Grab your gear and bundle up, because there’s plenty of ice fishing in Minnesota! If you’re lucky enough to have an ice house, that will make your experience even more fun. But even if you don’t, there’s not much more fun than pulling a fish from a frozen lake.
5. Visit a waterpark.
It may be too cold for outdoor swimming this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it indoors! Minnesota is home to several great indoor water parks in every region of the state. Equipped with pools, slides, and lazy rivers, these warm spots are almost enough to make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. They’re a great respite from the winter cold, and much more affordable than a trip to warmer climates.
6. Hit the snowmobile trail.
Don’t let the weather get you down! In fact, this might just be the best time of year to feel the breeze in your hair, enjoy sunshine, and get some fresh air. Grab your helmet, slide on your snow pants, and hit the trails on a snowmobile! There are many groomed trails all throughout Minnesota, perfect for riders who crave a little thrill in the wintertime.
7. Go sledding.
Grab your sled and hit the hill! Sledding is always a family favorite, so we couldn’t leave it off the list. For this activity, you don’t need any expensive equipment. Nor do you need to pay big money for access to a hill. Simply find the nearest incline, throw your sled down, and hang on tight! Sledding is the perfect activity for those winter days where the sun comes out and temperature rises a little warmer than usual.
8. Hit the slopes.
If you crave something a little more challenging than sledding, it’s time to hit the slopes! If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you probably already have your favorites. But even if you’re a beginner, you can take lessons at just about any ski hill. Or if skiing and snowboarding just aren’t your thing, why not try snow tubing? This exciting activity is fun for the whole family. It’s a little more thrilling than sledding, but still accessible for people of all ages!
9. Visit a museum.
Minnesota is full of great museums. Whether you visit the Congdon House in Duluth or one of the Twin Cities’ many great museums, you’re sure to find something fu. If you have youngsters in your family, they may particularly enjoy the Science Museum of Minnesota. There, they can learn about everything from dinosaurs to the human body to questionable medical devices. There’s even a mummy! Visiting a museum might just be the best way to spend a winter day.
10. Go on a thrill ride.
Nickelodeon Universe may be at a mall, but that does not mean you have to go shopping! This indoor theme park has 27 thrill rides and attractions, and the lines always move fast. Classic rides such as the carousel are perfect for younger kids. And adrenaline-pumping rides like the Rock Bottom Plunge are sure to excite older children and adults alike. And you can’t forget the Log Chute, one of the most beloved rides in Minnesota! This park is a great way to kill some time during the long, cold winter.
11. Learn about sea life.
Another fun activity to keep you from getting the winter blues this year is a fun visit to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. Once at the aquarium, you and your family can learn all about different species of aquatic life. With species ranging from amphibians to fish to reptiles, visitors will be wowed by all you can learn from this awesome aquarium. Their newest feature, the Feel Connected Touchpools, allow you to get up close and personal with different aquatic species. It’s sure to be a huge hit for kids and adults alike.
There are so many fun winter activities available in our state. What are some of your favorites?