Edit ModuleShow Tags

Celebrating Winter Across Minnesota


In recent years, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Minnesota have received a lot of press about what a great place it is to visit. Most recently, Travel + Leisure named us one of its 13 top destinations to visit in 2013. However, when these stories or rankings take place, reporters can't help but offer a laugh and say something like, "Just don't go visit in January, am I right?" Hardy har har. The thing is, we haven't been named one of the most active places because we're only outside six months out of the year. No, we're active 365 days a year, and it only helps that communities statewide offer winter celebrations, many which take place this month. So, if you're traveling in the next couple of weeks and want to celebrate the season, and get some fresh air to boot, check out these fun festivals.

WinterFest, Spicer (January 18-February 10): Enjoy everything from wine tastings, fireworks, horse and buggy rides, a frozen 5K, pond hockey, polar plunge, cross-country skiing and even a softball tournament.

Brainerd ice fishing


Courtesy of Brainerd Jaycees
Ice Fishing Extravaganza

Icebox Days, International Falls (January 17-20): Who can say no to frozen turkey bowling, snow sculpting, candlelight skiing in Voyageurs National Park and the 5K and 10K Freeze Your Gizzard Runs? Called the Icebox of the Nation, International Falls breeds tough residents who endure temps like 46 degrees below zero (just a few days after the festival took place in 2011!).

Winter Fete, Bloomington (January 19-27): Activities like bike races, hockey tournaments, sledding, ice skating, ski jumping and broomball take place around the city.

Polar Daze, Bemidji (January 18-27): Build a snowman, race sleds, walk/run a 5K, take a polar plunge, cross-country ski or take in a hockey game.

Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza (January 19): Besides hockey, ice fishing is one of the most popular winter traditions among many Minnesota families. They know this in Brainerd, which is why this ice fishing contest is a hugely popular event each and every year.

Arrowhead 135, International Falls to Tower (begins January 28): Feeling made of particularly hardy stock? Have a go at the Arrowhead 135. That's 135 miles across northern Minnesota on bike, foot or ski. Check out some photos of last year. Warning: frostbite toes pictured. Also, see video below. (While registration is closed for 2013, think about it for next year!)

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags