Our Favorite Winter Activities to Do in Bloomington
From ice fishing and snowshoeing to ski jumping and hockey, Bloomington has all the winter fun you could ever dream of.
Skate the Star, Then Shop ‘Til You Drop
Mall of America® is excited to announce a new experience for guests this holiday season – Skate the Star. This custom-built ice rink is located at the north entrance of MOA® and is built around the iconic Star. Presented by UCare®, the 12,000 square-foot ice rink will open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 8, and will stay open through Jan. 27.
Skate the Star is free and open to the public during select mall hours. Guests are welcome to use their own skates, or skate rentals will be available for $5 with 100 percent of rental proceeds going directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities (BGCTC). Funds raised from rentals will help the BGCTC provide activities and support to more than 9,000 young people in kindergarten through graduation from high school. Learn more about hours, ice rink rules, facts and skate rentals.
When it’s time to come in from the cold, discover Mall of America®, the nation’s largest indoor mall, which boasts endless shopping options, more than 50 restaurants and four of Minnesota’s top attractions — Nickelodeon Universe®, SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium, Crayola® Experience and FlyOver America.
Bloomington or Bust
The rest of Bloomington and the surrounding area also celebrates the winter season with unique activities and events. Plan your winter getaway to Minnesota and stay at one of Bloomington’s beautiful hotels, all of which are central to the winter fun!
Hurry Over to Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Whether you prefer ice fishing on a frozen lake or snowshoeing through Hyland Lake Park Reserve, you’re going to want to bundle up for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Or, if you’re looking for more traditional winter fun, Hyland Hills Ski Area offers downhill skiing and snowboarding, and a new chalet to warm your toes.
The Minneapolis Ski Club hosts ski jumping competitions featuring Olympic-level athletes throughout the winter at Hyland’s Bush Lake Ski Jump. If you want to slow down a bit, try out the cross-country ski trails at Hyland Lake Park Reserve, or lace up your ice skates and take your family to one of the many outdoor skating rinks and warming houses in Bloomington.
Stay Warm With a Sporting Event
If it’s an indoor sporting event you’re looking for, visiting Minnesota in the winter is an ideal time to witness a hometown favorite — hockey. Enjoy a professional Minnesota Wild hockey game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, or an exciting Minnesota Golden Gophers collegiate game at the University of Minnesota.
If basketball is more your thing, head over to Target Center and cheer on our NBA team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. All of these sports arenas are accessible from Bloomington via our METRO Light Rail system.
More Winter Events in the Surrounding Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Region
Ice Castles is back this year with a new location and new sculptures to explore. This family-friendly attraction features beautiful castles made completely out of ice, with slides, passageways and surprises around every corner. Located in nearby Excelsior, Ice Castles is just a short drive from west Bloomington hotels.
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival celebrates all things winter in downtown Saint Paul’s Rice Park. Ice carving competitions, parades, live entertainment, Securian Winter Run, Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt and children’s activities — there’s surefire fun for everyone. The carnival runs Jan. 24 through Feb. 3.
The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival in Minneapolis is a winter-sports lover’s dream come true, with competitions including everything from speed skating to skijoring, in which skiers are pulled across ice by dogs. Not an athlete? No problem — take a casual stroll around Lake of the Isles during the Luminary Loppet and enjoy cocoa, treats and live music.