Uniquely Minnesota: Play in the Snow

by | Jan 15, 2018

Don't listen to the skeptics. Winter in Minnesota isn’t a frozen tundra with nothing to do—quite the opposite is true. Mother Nature truly shows off during the winter months here: Snowfall blankets the landscape in pristine crystalline fashion, and night skies shine bright with starlight. Minnesotans are veritable pros at donning extra layers and getting outside to truly enjoy, indeed celebrate, nature’s beauty.

Once you are here, it is easy to see why the great outdoors are our greatest asset in the Twin Cities.

In addition to outdoor fun, we have unforgettable experiences and attractions that are unique to Minnesota and that capitalize on Mother Nature’s gifts. Have you ever slid a 40-pound granite stone down a sheet of ice? You can try your hand at the sport of curling at local clubs. How about a pick up game of broomball? Imagine hockey, but replace the sticks with brooms, the puck with a ball, and the skates with shoes. Discover these one-of-a-kind experiences you can have during your Super Bowl visit.

So embrace winter. From ice fishing to craft beer festivals, these attractions will have you wanting to come back for more next year.

Free Ice Skating

Strap on some skates—free pairs available first come, first serve—at Loring Park’s refrigerated outdoor rink half a mile from the Minneapolis Convention Center and NFL Super Bowl Experience. With no cost, daily hours and a warming house, soon you’ll be skating like the next Apolo Ohno, Michelle Kwan or, our Minnesota boy, NHL star Zach Parise. (If you find yourself over in St. Paul sometime during our Super Bowl season, there's free skating at Landmark Center, too.)

The Great Northern

The Twin Cities’ biggest winter celebration comprises the annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis, the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival. See for yourself how beautiful our state is in the winter. Ice castles, snow sculpting contests, cross country skiing by candlelight and more make up more than 10 days of fun.

Beer Dabbler

Sample brews from more than 150 breweries, all chilled to perfection, at the biggest outdoor beer festival in Minnesota. Held at the State Fairgrounds Feb. 24, come and stay hearty with unlimited samples, live music and fun activities.

Minnehaha Falls

This natural wonder is a sight to behold in the winter season. The 53-foot, mighty waterfall plunges over a cliff, creating striking icicles and an icy cave.

Ice Fishing

Non-natives furrow their brows when we tell them that we like to set up small shelters on our frozen lakes, drill holes through the ice and drop fishing lines into the dark waters. Ice fishing has long been a tradition up north, and it deserves a try. The best ice fishing lakes in the metro area are Lake Harriet, Lake Phalen and Lake Minnetonka.

Curling

With its roots in medieval Scotland, curling is a strategy sport nicknamed “chess on ice.” You don’t have to be an Olympian to try your hand at the sport. Check out a curling workshop with Four Seasons Curling Club, which holds practices at The Ice House in Blaine. Wear layers and clean shoes and get ready to check an item off your bucket list.

Skijoring

It sounds like a made-up word, but it’s actually a skiing sport in which the athlete is pulled on cross-country skis by a horse. Here in Minnesota, we switched the animal to a much more common and domesticated one: dogs. See the action as a part of the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival.

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