1) Lace up your skates – We have 21 park skating rinks (some with warming houses!), two year-round indoor skating rinks at The Rec Center, and the ROC, our covered outdoor skating rink. They offer skate rental and skate sharpening. Our ice is so cool, the MN Wild come practice on it each year!
2) Hit the trails – You’ll find some of the best ski trails in the state at Theodore Wirth Park, host site for a World Cup cross-country skiing event in 2020. The Trailhead Adventure Shop, located in the park, offers cross-country ski rental and ski waxing.
3) Go for a spin – Who says it’s too cold or snowy to bike? Fat tire bike enthusiasts will find miles of winter trails for riding and racing at Brookview. Warm up afterwards with a hot beverage from the Three One Six Bar + Grill. Want to try fat tire biking? Theodore Wirth will rent you one, complete with helmet.
4) Take a hike – Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods, and restored prairie. Home to Westwood Lake and more than 3 miles of trails, it’s the perfect place to snowshoe and observe wildlife. Or discover your inner-Scandinavian by heading out on the ice with a kicksled. Both snowshoes and kicksleds are available to rent from Westwood’s Interpretive Center.
5) Fly down a hill – Theodore Wirth Park’s new tubing hill is designed for family fun, complete with a tow rope to bring riders back up to the top of the hill. You bring the warm clothes, they’ll supply the rest. There’s even a kiddie hill for younger riders. Or grab your toboggan for some old school fun on one of our 12 sledding hills, including three with lights for early evening runs.
6) Throw an ace – Trade in your clubs for a disc and hit the links at Brookview for 18 holes of disc golf. Don’t have a disc? You can rent one at the clubhouse. Will you make the elusive ace (aka hole-in-one)? Come find out!
7) Get ugly – Break out your ugliest sweater (or create a new masterpiece) and take part in the annual U.G.L.Y. Sweater Dash 5K on Dec. 8. The course loops through Louisiana Oaks Park and the lighted trees of Oak Hill Park. Afterwards, head across the street for post-race celebrations at Park Tavern Bowling & Entertainment Center.
8) Rock out – Experience outdoor pub curling at Brookview. Four new curling rinks debuted this year, perfect for beginners and casual curlers. Rinks are rented on an hourly basis and can be reserved up to seven days in advance.
9) Shred the slopes – The Snowboarding Terrain Park at Theodore Wirth Park is the perfect place to work on your technique. They also offer equipment rental, group lessons for kids ages 8-13, and private lessons for ages 8-up.
10) Walk the dog – Or better yet, try skijoring! Harness the power of your furry friend and ski with them at Brookview or Theodore Wirth Park. For simpler canine fun, visit one of our two year-round dog parks!
11) Shop ’til you drop – Find the perfect holiday gifts for family and friends. Pick up a pretty necklace and earrings at Max’s, a cozy hat and warm hoodie at sota clothing, and delicious chocolates at Droolin’ Moose. Or discover unique home furnishings at Ciel Loft & Home and other décor at Patina.
12) Stay inside and play – We have lots of fun activities that will keep you toasty warm. Experience state-of-the art virtual reality at REM5 VR Lab or test your wits at Escape MSP. Throw a strike at The Park Tavern Bowling Center or Texa-Tonka Lanes. Or glide across the floor to the latest tunes at the Roller Garden.
13) Hang out with friends – After experiencing the great outdoors, why not head over to Steel Toe Brewing for one of their award-winning beers? They won both a gold and a silver medal at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. Try a craft cocktail at Copperwing Distillery, home of vodskey, their signature spirit that’s similar to vodka but made from bourbon mash. Or sample some German-style liqueurs and fruit brandies at The Dampfwerk Distillery Co.
For a complete list of things to do in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot, check out our 2019 Destination Guide. For all the latest happenings, be sure to follow or like us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And don’t forget to tag your photos with #DiscoverSLP – we’d love to see them!