We’ve gotten through the “most wonderful time of the year” and now the cold realities of living in Minnesota are starting to set in, again. Instead of curling up in your favorite blanket and hugging your cup of warm cider (which is something you can do after!), we recommend some of the more adventurous OUTDOOR activities that are available in Minnesota.
Following the old Scandinavian saying, “There’s is no such thing as cold weather, only inadequate clothing,” we can surmise that there are some people who might take this saying to the extreme, even in the coldest of weather. However, for those that are just looking to get their feet wet (figuratively, of course, because wet feet in the cold winter is just crazy), here are a few ideas to get you started:
For a Date Night
Look, nothing can beat dinner and a movie for the traditional way to treat your significant other, but we live in Minnesota. We can do that anywhere. If you’re looking for something to do with your sweetie for Valentine’s Day, here are a couple ideas:
1) Snowshoe by Candlelight – February 22 – Nothing is more romantic than huffing around in your snowshoes. Taking the front 9holes of The Legacy golf course, Cragun’s is lighting up a mile long loop from 5-8pm. With a halfway pit stop offering hot chocolate & cider, and a bonfire at the end of the trail with cookies, this looks to be a really fun way to spend time with your sweetie. Plus, the event goes to support Habitat for Humanity.
2) Snowshoe Class at the Northland Arboretum – If you’re looking for more of an outdoor date, that the entire family can enjoy, the Northland Arb is holding snowshoe classes on Saturday, February 23 at 9:30am.
Minnehaha Falls is one of the most recognizable natural places in Minnesota. With many tourists visiting during the warmer months, the park kind of goes into a hibernating state during the winter. Use this to your advantage! During the deepest parts of winter, the falls will actually freeze solid with an opening occurring underneath the falls, themselves. It’s not regulated by the park, so visit at your own risk, but the views and memories will be breathtaking.
For the Family
1) Eelpout Festival Feb 21-24 – One of the best ways to have fun in the cold is to have fun in the cold with a bunch of other people. Walker has held it’s Eelpout Festival for years and this year there’s tons of things to do outdoors. From an ice bar, sled dog races, eelpout curling, to dancing and food, you’ll find something for everyone in the family to do.
2) Polar Bear Plunge – Dates Vary – Depending on your ability to resist the cold, the Polar Bear Plunge may be the ticket to a good time. Benefiting Special Olympics, the Plunge has events going on all throughout Minnesota, the most local one is on March 2 on Pelican Lake in Breezy Point. If you’ve got a thick skin, want to help charity, take a dip in the cold waters of Minnesota.
1) Cross Country Skiing – Minnesota has a trail system that criss-crosses all over the state. After a small investment into a pair of skis, you can get your sweat on.
2) Boot Hockey – There are over 15,000 lakes in Minnesota. You’ll have your choice when you want to get on the lakes to shufflearound with your friends. All you need is solid ice, a whiffle ball, and maybe (if you’re going all out) a net, but a couple of buckets or brooms work just as well. For more information, you can go to the official boot hockey website.
3) Fat Tire Biking – Minnesota is king when it comes to biking trails and accessibility for bikers. However, once the snow hits, many bikers choose to hang up their wheels for a little indoor time. That’s not the case anymore! Fat tire biking is gaining popularity in the state as the thing to do during the cold days. If you’re looking for a more structured fat tire experience, you can go to the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout page to learn more about fat tire racing. Their big event is happening next year in 2020. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, the trails at the Cuyuna mountain biking area are open year-round to fat tire biking.