City Guide: Things To Do During Winter in Minneapolis
December 9, 2017 | Travel Destinations
by Haley Kaiser
It’s the middle of winter, and the familiar frosty bite we’ve come to expect has come over one of our favorite towns in the Midwest: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Okay, it’s no lie, December through March is considered to be frigid and, even at times, extreme.
But whereas some may shy away from these wintry conditions, those in one of our country’s northernmost cities embrace the cold with pure jubilee and downright style; the winter months here are a time of celebration of what makes this area so incredibly unique. Minnesotans don’t just survive, we thrive in the winter wonderland of Minneapolis! Won’t you join us?
Prepare for Winter Weather
I’m not going to pull any punches on this one; pull out your warmest clothes! Be sure to bring your wool socks, joggers, and thermal gear. With an average temperature of about 15 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter in Minneapolis, you will definitely need some toasty attire if you plan on exploring the gorgeous landscape of snow and ice.
Don’t overlook some of the essentials like hand warmers, stocking caps, and even scarf or two. The cold winds come directly from the North Pole here, so don’t hesitate even if you’re clad like Mr. or Mrs. Claus, you’ll be in good company.
Warm Up with a Tasty Beverage
Half the excitement of spending winter in the Upper Midwest is the opportunity to enjoy hot holiday beverages that are made only once a year. The other half of the excitement comes from adding your favorite delectable cordial. You can trust Minnesotans to offer a creative hot beverage to keep you toasty during winter in Minneapolis.
So after hitting the slopes or touring downtown Minneapolis at the best price, be sure to grab yourself a delicious drink.
Read more: Moving to Minneapolis? Read our guide to the best ‘burbs near the Twin Cities.
Winter in Minneapolis also begs moments curled up to an open fireplace with your fingers wrapped around a hot mug of creamy eggnog. Whether made with love by your fashionable grandma with a rum addiction or mixed unevenly by your partner in the twilight of a holiday party, eggnog will be a staple for as long as Christmas exists.
Be sure to check out these authentic, and frankly the best, homemade hard eggnog recipes. Not a fan of eggnog? Maybe hot chocolate better suits your style? Try out any and all of these adult seasonal beverage recipes that include cardamom lattes, Tom and Jerry’s, and Hot Ciders. All are enjoyed statewide and will herald you as either the ultimate weekend warrior with exceptional taste or the cocktail hero of any Minneapolis holiday party.
Watch the Hockey Pond Championships
One aspect of Minnesota culture that goes largely unnoticed is the focus on fun-filled, competitive activities that accentuate the area’s lively sports scene. Look no further than the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, celebrating their 13th year this January.
Atop the massive Lake Nokomis, the pond hockey championships is a time to dust off the skates and rekindle the slapstick magic of old pals for three days out on the ice. For one of the best free things to do in Minneapolis, be a spectator and head out to the lake to enjoy the upbeat atmosphere on one of the coolest natural stages around.
Need a place to store your sports equipment during the Winter in Minneapolis? We have 7 storage facilities to choose from near Downtown Minneapolis
Experience the Frozen City
To experience the pure magic of snowy attractions during winter in Minneapolis, one does not need to tread outside the city limits. The City of Lakes prides itself on impeccable architecture and a passion for the arts (take a glance at the Minneapolis Institute of Art website).
They invite you to explore the amazing beauty of its urban landscape during the Loppet Winter Festival. Stroll through the city’s many parks if you are up for braving the cold. If not, the Minneapolis Skyway System allows you to and cross the numerous indoor bridges to participate in a snow sculpture contest, winter carnivals, and even the world-famous Hoigaard’s Classic Marathon.
Hoigaard’s Marathon is unlike any traditional race–it takes place entirely on cross-country skis–and carries you across town on both the city streets and park trails. It’s mid-November, and the familiar frosty bite of winter has come over one of our favorite towns in the Midwest: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Okay, it’s no lie, December through March is considered to be frigid and, even at times, extreme.
But whereas some may shy away from these wintry conditions, those in one of our country’s northernmost cities embrace the cold with pure jubilee and downright style; the winter months here are a time of celebration of what makes this area so incredibly unique. This holiday season, don’t just survive but thrive in the winter wonderland of Minneapolis.
Explore the Great Outdoors
A short drive outside of Minneapolis will take you to Stillwater, home of the jaw-dropping Ice Castles. It is a majestic destination designed with glowing, twinkling lights and interweaved with tunnels, glacier slides, arches, and towers.
It’s the perfect place for kids to explore, lovers to frolic, or grandparents to gaze upon the frozen fairytale landscape. One look at the pictures online will peak your interest until your eyes rest upon the sight for themselves.
Rally the kids to the Minneapolis Zoo while you’re in the area. Home to the Amur Tiger, American Bison, and aptly named Snow Monkey, the zoo is offering free admission to military personnel and promotional pricing to their families this season.
Say you want to just grab that pair of skis taking up residence in your garage and take a non-competitive slide from the stadium to the popping urban scene of Midtown Minneapolis.
Simply sign yourself up for the easy-going Loppet Tour: a casual endeavor like a mixtape of the best sites around town while exerting minimal effort but an epic amount of adventure spirit.
Guest blogger, Haley Kaiser, has a passion for creative writing, blogging, and exploring the outdoors. Among her favorite topics are Arizona sunsets, Midwest greenery, and craft beer.