52 Reasons to Love the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Region in Winter
From cozy breweries to one-of-a-kind events, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region is teeming with activity during the winter months — despite the chilly temperatures! Here’s your go-to guide to all the can’t-miss fun in this winter wonderland.
Mall of America®
- Check Mall of America Off Your Bucket List — A must-see for Bloomington visitors, the Mall of America has it all. And now, with the Bold North Package, you can enjoy lodging, dining and more!
- Experience the Art of Illuminate South Loop — If you’re looking for something to do Super Bowl weekend, head to Illuminate South Loop, an awe-inspiring art installation that has to be seen to be believed.
- Indulge in Surf & Turf at Bloomington ChopHouse — Known for their perfectly aged steaks and fresh seafood, the Bloomington ChopHouse is great for date night or a special dinner treat. They also feature a special Valentine’s Day menu, perfect for a romantic evening to remember.
- Stroll Along a Candlelit Trail in Eagan — Hike, cross-country ski, ice skate or snowshoe by candlelight along snowy trails. Enjoy roaring bonfires and hot food-truck eats to stay warm!
- Wander Through Eagan’s Winter Market — This indoor farmer’s market features 20 vendors, selling everything from homemade wares to produce. Shop like a local!
- Raise a Glass at Union 32 Craft House — Minnesota was the thirty-second state to join the Union — thus the name, Union 32 Craft House! And keeping with the theme, enjoy 32 home-grown brews, a tasty menu and friendly staff.
- Spend a Day at Twin Cities Premium Outlets — With more than 100 outlet stores, you could easily spend a whole day finding great deals. Avoiding the cold never felt so good!
- Kick Back at Volstead House Whiskey Bar & Speakeasy — If you can find the red door, then you’ve found the entrance to one of Eagan’s hippest bars. Order off a menu that features more than 60 whiskeys, and don’t forget about the burgers!
- Get a Taste of Minnesota Comfort Food at The Mason Jar — You may not know what a tater tot hotdish is now, but once you try The Mason Jar, you’ll know exactly why Minnesotans are so good at their comfort food.
- Bundle Up for Centennial Lakes Park Fun — Bring your own skates and sled (or rent them onsite) and enjoy all the outdoor winter fun of Edina’s Centennial Lakes Park.
- Shop Till You Drop in Edina — Have some holiday money burning a hole in your pocket? Shopping Edina is your fix! Browse between 50th and France, Southdale Center and the Galleria.
- Play a Round at Pinstripes — Fancy a game of bocce ball? Head to Pinstripes for food, drinks and fun!
Inver Grove Heights
- Pretend It’s Summer at The Grove Aquatic and Fitness Center Waterpark — Tired of layering up to go outside? Stay indoors and enjoy a day at the waterpark. Spice up your winter with a taste of summer fun.
- Sled at South Valley Park — One of the most beautiful parks in Inver Grove Heights transforms into a snow-laden wonderland every winter. Bring your sled and prepare for a magical day.
- See the Sights Along Winter Biking Trails — From Harmon Park Reserve to Mississippi River Trail, there are plenty of places to get some outdoor exercise and sight-seeing done at the same time.
- Order a “Juicy Lucy” at Jersey’s Bar & Grill — Whether you’re catching a game or just hanging out with friends and family, Jersey’s is the place to be. And you’ve got to try the Juicy Lucy Burger, voted Minnesota’s best!
Dakota Curling Club
- Throw a Strike at Bowlero Lakeville — Order a drink, grab some food and throw the game of your life at Lakeville’s premier bowling alley and lounge.
- Learn to Curl at the Dakota Curling Club — Whether you just drop in or schedule an instructional class, you’ll be curling like a pro before you know it in historic downtown Lakeville.
- Start and End Your Day at Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar — Kick start your day with a delicious cup of joe and wind down with a smooth glass of your favorite red — Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar has it all.
Annual City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival
- Find Something for Everyone at The Great Northern — A collection of all the best that Minneapolis has to offer, The Great Northern includes carnivals, dining events, outdoor sports and more!
- Bring Out the Whole Family to the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival — If you’re looking for a pre-Super Bowl activity for the whole family, the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival has food trucks, skating, cross-country skiing, luminary trails and more.
- Celebrate the Big Game at Super Bowl LIVE — Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon ushers in Super Bowl LII with outdoor events, food, drinks and live music from some of your favorite artists!
- Minnehaha Falls — The 53-foot waterfall is a Minneapolis hotspot, especially during the winter, where visitors get an unprecedented winter view of these famous falls.
Central Park Ice Loop
- Try Something New at Maple Grove’s Central Park Ice Loop — This isn’t your same-old ice skating rink. The 800-foot loop wanders through picturesque winter landscapes and offers a unique skating experience.
- Fly Down Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area’s Tubing Hill — You’ll feel like a kid again, hurtling down snow-covered hills on an inner tube! Plus, you can warm up with hot cocoa and fireplaces when you need a break.
- Take the Plunge During the Maple Grove Polar Plunge — Whether you’re participating in this teeth-chattering event or plan on staying warm and dry on the sidelines, the Polar Plunge is a Minnesota main-stay event!
- Experience the Wonders of Winter — Just in time for Super Bowl weekend, gather family and friends and enjoy everything the winter season has to offer — fire pits, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice skating and more.
- Accept the Challenge of the Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race — Give it a try and you’ll soon realize why fat bike racing is such a popular winter sport! Test your skills at the Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race, featuring 10- to 14-mile trails.
- Catch a Show at the Yellow Tree Theatre — Critically acclaimed, the Yellow Tree Theatre is the epicenter of Minneapolis Northwest’s thriving art scene.
- Skate the OVAL in Roseville — Enjoy the sparkling lights of 120 trees at this family-friendly winter destination. Bring your own skates or rent them for $4!
- Hit the Trails With Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing — Whether you’re a first timer in need of some lessons or want to hit the trails right away, Roseville Parks and Recreation is your go-to destination for outdoor winter sports.
- Browse the Shops at the Rosedale Center — Roseville has its fair share of shopping, but the Rosedale Center is the place to start. With 140,000 square feet of shopping nirvana, you’ll certainly walk away with a good find (or three!).
Wells Fargo WinterSkate
- Get Carried Away at Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival — Ice palaces, treasure hunts, parades, food, drinks — Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival really is the “coolest celebration on earth!”
- Chill Out With Wells Fargo WinterSkate — Take a break from your stroll through Saint Paul, strap on some skates and take a spin on the city’s biggest artificially chilled ice skating rinks.
- Taste Local Flavors at the Winter Beer Dabbler — Now in its ninth year, the Winter Beer Dabbler once again gives attendees the chance to sample more than 120 breweries, complete with live music, food and more.
- Bite Into a Slice of Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza — Emission-free coal ovens and only the freshest ingredients make this Saint Paul pizza parlor the perfect place to refuel after a day out in the cold.
- Hop Onboard a Snowmobile in Shakopee — Leave the skates behind and get your motor running! Shakopee features a labyrinth of snowmobile trails, ready to take you on an adventure.
- Dance the Night Away at Mystic Lake — The Super Bowl is bringing more than just sports stars to Minnesota. The Chainsmokers, Gwen Stefani and more star-studded acts will be performing at Mystic Lake’s “Four Nights. Four Epic Parties” event. Lace up your dancing shoes!
- Extreme Horse Skijoring — Skiers pulled by horses through an obstacle course? Count us in! Extreme Horse Skijoring takes this Nordic sport to a whole new level in Shakopee.
- Explore the Stillwater Ice Castles — You won’t want to miss this breathtaking attraction. From fantastical ice sculptures to evening performances and more, allow yourself to get swept away by this magical winter destination.
- Order a Cocktail at The Velveteen Speakeasy — You’ll have to “follow the rabbit” to find this hidden gem, but once you do, an unforgettable evening of food and drinks await.
- Stay Cozy in Historic Bed and Breakfasts — From resplendent mansions to cozy carriage houses, staying at one of Stillwater’s historic bed and breakfasts is the perfect way to add some spice to your winter itinerary.
- Relax With Drinks and Good Food at Brick & Bourbon — One of Stillwater’s newest eateries, Brick & Bourbon believes in fresh ingredients and impeccable fare. And while it may be cold outside, one of the signature wine slushies are sure to warm you up!
St. Louis Park
St. Louis Park Rec Center
- See Behind the Scenes at Copperwing Distillery — Known for their vodka, gin and “vodskey,” Copperwing Distillery offers visitors a glimpse behind the curtain, with tours, tastings and more.
- Slap Some Pucks at the Rec Center — Hockey season goes all the way through March, and the St. Louis Park Rec Center offers adult and youth hockey programs throughout the season!
- Quench Your Thirst at Steel Toe Brewing — From flavorful IPAs to complex dark ales, the brewing team at Steel Toe knows how to beat back the winter chill with a quality pint of locally crafted beer.
Twin Cities Gateway
- Enjoy Family Fun in Twin Cities Gateway — From indoor waterparks to cross-country skiing, there’s so much for families to do in Twin Cities Gateway. So bundle up, or stay cozy indoors — either way, you’ll have fun!
- Sip Craft Beer and Wine — Twin Cities Gateway has all your craft beer and wine needs covered. HammerHeart Brewing, Willow Tree Winery — you’ll be raising a glass in no time!
- Watch a Game at Shortstop Bar & Grill — Winter has a full schedule of sporting events — order a pint, dig in to some wings and keep up with the latest games at Sportstop Bar & Grill.
Waconia Ice Fishing
- Try Your Hand at Ice Fishing — See if you have what it takes to hook a catch-of-the-day with an ice fishing excursion at In Towne Marina.
- Put Your Feet Up at Iron Tap — With 30 craft beers on tap (not to mention a stellar food menu), Iron Tap in Waconia is the perfect place for dates, family get-togethers, parties and more.
- Spark Some Romance at the Willow Room — Discover unique wine, cheese and chocolate pairings that will delight your taste buds and make for a particularly romantic evening with your special someone!