Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Best of the Season: Winter Activities in Minnesota

Winter activities: they’re not for the faint of heart. Let’s be honest for a minute - we live in Minnesota - yes, the initial shock of winter takes some getting used to, but we aren’t going to spend almost half of the year indoors! Check out some of the best outdoor activities Minnesota has to offer this winter:

Served on the Rocks at an Ice Bar

What better way to enjoy a nice cold beer than by sitting on a big hunk of ice? Minnesota features ice bars across the state. The SocialICE in Rochester has icy signature drinks, twelve-foot artistic designed ice bars, an ice sculpture garden, and more. Make sure you take a trip to Rochester February 18th, 19th, and 20th for food, music, and a fabulous ice bar.


Ice Sculptures

Minnesotans pride themselves on their talent on the ice, off the ice, and with the ice. One of the state’s most time-honored traditions involves creative ice sculptures displays across the state. Eden Prairie has a beautiful and dazzling display of Ice Castles, which opened January 23rd and run through the end of February. The Ice Castles display is an excellent place to take a date or to set out on a family excursion.

Challenge Yourself

With extreme temperatures, there are bound to be extreme winter activities and challenges. Take Minnesota’s all-season sport of fishing out onto the ice this year. There are ice fishing contests and competitions across the state. Look for a location near you with the MNDNR. For the adrenaline junkies, the Minnesota Polar Bear Plunge is an excellent way of raising money for Special Olympics Minnesota athletes. There are plenty of locations and dates across the state that you can participate in for an extreme rush and good cause.

The Classics

With so many events to enjoy, make sure not to forget the classic winter activities. Go skiing and snowboarding at Powder Ridge, Lutsen Mountains, or Blackjack and Indianhead Mountain. Engage with the serenity of winter forests by snowshoeing with friends on a nighttime trail. Embrace your inner kid by grabbing a sled or snow tube and racing down a snow-covered hill. Try and see how many lakes you can go ice skating around. Minneapolis alone has two indoor rinks and 47 outdoor rinks to offer.

For more winter activity ideas, visit the DNR Winter Activities Guide. Embrace all that Minnesota has to offer and aim to fill this winter with exciting experiences and heart-warming memories.