How to (help you) survive winter in the Twin Cities

The saying “Life is what you make it,” has to have been first uttered by a native Minnesotan. The winter here is certainly what you make of it. And while we Minnesotans can find plenty of ways to keep ourselves entertained indoors, there are lots of things to do if you’re willing to brave the conditions. We promise, spring will arrive soon! Or at least it will arrive. Check out some of these Twin Cities activities this winter, and make great winter memories in spite of Jack Frost!


St. Paul Winter Carnival

January 22 – February 1

Since 1886 the Winter Carnival, located at Rice Park in downtown St. Paul and at the State Fair Grounds, has provided a fun-filled way to enjoy the season. See below for just some of the outdoor events to experience. There are also indoor family activities at the historic Landmark Center.

  • Ice Carving Displays: See the amazing ever-sparkly ice displays created by area artists using knives, chainsaws, and other tools. See the artists at work at the beginning of the carnival or view the finished lit displays at night.
  • Music: Listen to live music performed by students and local artists. Kat Perkins (The Voice Season 6) will be performing on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Parades: Watch one or all three Winter Carnival parades — the Moon Glow Pedestrian, Grande Day, and Torchlight — all of which end in Rice Park. See the Overthrow of Boreas pageantry at the Torchlight parade.
  • Ice Bar: The Ice Bar will refresh Carnival goers courtesy of beverages by Summit Brewing Company and Cannon River Winery. Cannon River Winery will be pouring King Boreas white wine and Vulcan’s Revenge red.
  • State Fair Grounds: Great family-fun attractions including snow sculpting displays (lit after dark), giant snow slide, Vulcan Fun Day (Sunday, Jan. 25), fire truck rides, and scavenger hunts. A warming tent and concessions are on site.
  • Beer Dabbler: Sample craft beer from 120+ breweries along with live music and local food truck faire will be at Minnesota’s biggest outdoor beer festival at the State Fair grounds. Gates open at 3 p.m. on January 24.




Red Bull Crashed Ice

January 23 – January 25 (6:45 – 9:00 p.m.)

The construction of the 460 meter ice track, with a 40 meter vertical drop, is currently underway in front of the St. Paul Cathedral in downtown St. Paul. It won’t be long before skaters will be hitting speeds of 60kph going down a frozen course littered with obstacles! So exciting to watch, CNN deemed the event an “awe-inspiring spectacle” and placed it on their on top 19 global events “that are worth hitting the road for.” Go out and celebrate the 15th anniversary of this exhilarating sport! If you prefer to stay indoors, you can also watch live at




Ice Castles

January 9 – March 7 (weather providing)

Sunday – Thursday (2:00 – 9:00 p.m.); Friday (2:00 – 10:00 p.m.); Saturday (noon – 10:00 p.m.)

Miller Park, Eden Prairie

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the park, you will find a magical hand-crafted one-acre castle, created by growing 5,000 icicles a day on ice farms, and then harvesting the icicles and lighting them up at night with thousands of multicolored LED lights. The castle used to be located at the Mall of America, but changed its location to Miller Park this year, which allows for more interactive elements such as slides and water features. Don’t miss this amazing display! You can also bring your skates for a spin around the rink or use the park-provided snowshoes to complete your day. Tickets for both are available through the website.





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