Winter Activities

11 Ways to Enjoy Minnesota’s Winter Adventure Spot

Cold weather? We love to play outside! When the snow starts to fall, there’s no need to head “up north” – our green places offer plenty of outdoor spaces for winter adventures. And even without snow, we still have lots of "cool" things to do. Whether you want to glide across a rink, slide down a hill or stride across the countryside, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot.

July 6, 2021

1. Lace Up Your Skates

We have 21 outdoor park skating rinks, two year-round indoor skating rinks at The Rec Center, and the ROC, our covered outdoor skating rink.

woman cross-country skiing

2. Hit the Trails

At Theodore Wirth Park, you’ll find some of the best cross-country ski trails in the state. Weather warmer than expected? No problem! Our snowmakers maintain a number of trails all season long. The Trailhead, located in the park, offers both cross-country ski and snowshoe rental. After a day of outdoor play, grab a bison burger or some Belgian waffles at Mill Valley Market, the Trailhead restaurant.

3. Go for a Spin

Who says it’s too cold (or snowy?) to bike? Fat tire bike enthusiasts will love riding the groomed trail at Brookview. Warm up afterwards with a hot beverage from the Three One Six Bar + Grill. Or find miles of winter trails, from easy to extreme, at Theodore Wirth, home of the 29K Freewheel Fat Tire Loppet. (You can check current trail conditions here.) Be sure to try the lighted loop, from 6 – 9 pm, Friday through Sunday evenings. Want to try fat tire biking but don’t have a bike? We’ve got you covered. Tonka Cycle & Ski (in nearby Hopkins) rents fat tire bikes for $50 per day.

4. Take a Hike

Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre nature 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. Snowshoes (for preschoolers through adults) are available to rent from Westwood’s Interpretive Center during normal building hours (call ahead to reserve a pair: 952-924-2544).

two girls on a sled going down a hill

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. (And yes, the tubing hill IS open for hike-up riders.) 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 3 with lights for early evening runs.

6. Throw an Ace

Trade in your clubs for a “frisbee” and hit the links at Brookview for 18 holes of disc golf. Will you make the elusive ace (aka hole-in-one)? Don’t have a disc? You can rent one at the clubhouse.

7. Rock Out

Experience outdoor pub curling at Brookview! The first of its kind in the state, Brookview sports four curling rinks with synthetic ice.  Designed for all ages and skill levels, pub curling, which is similar to shuffleboard, is perfect for beginners and casual curlers alike. Rinks are rented on an hourly basis and can be reserved up to seven days in advance.

8. 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.

9. Shop ‘Til You Drop

Find the perfect 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 select fun and unique bakeware at the Nordic Ware Factory Store or whimsical décor and novelties at Patina.

10. 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 play classic TV show games at Game Show Battle Rooms. Throw a strike or play arcade games at The Park Tavern Bowling & Entertainment Center.

11. 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. Or try one of over 40 uniquely blended beers at Under Pressure Brewing. Sample German-style liqueurs and fruit brandies at The Dampfwerk Distillery. Be sure to try their new American Single Malt Whiskey!  As you leave, make a quick stop across the parking lot to pick up a craft cocktail kit to-go from Copperwing Distillery.

Grab your scarves and mittens and come see where Minnesota nice meets Minnesota snow & ice! Experience winter in St. Louis Park and Golden Valley.

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