Edit ModuleShow Tags

Make Friends with Winter


If you want to get outside and celebrate a bit of winter, take part in supporting next weekend’s Loppet Urban Cross Country Ski Festival. A Loppet, in case you didn’t know, is a Scandinavian term for a long-distance endurance race or cross-country ski event.

It takes a well-trained athlete to compete in such a race. If you are a fan of the sport, there’s nothing like being on hand to watch the competitors race. The Hoigaard’s Classic Race and the Puoli Loppet Classic will both begin on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. But there’s more to see and do than just watch the marquee races.

Twin Cities design firm Duffy & Partners once again designed this year’s poster. This year’s image drew inspiration from traditional and illustrated maps, and not only encompasses all of the main festival activities, it also highlights Minneapolis landmarks and points of interest. The cursive flowing logo represents tracks made in the snow by cross-country skiers.

Here are a few events taking place during festival weekend. Proceeds from the festival go to The Loppet Foundation, which provides opportunities for year-round activities across the Minneapolis area, especially for inner city youth:

SW Journal Snow Sculpture Contest (Feb. 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., judging at 4 p.m.): In an area near the Lake Calhoun Center, on the northwest corner of the lake, teams of four will be given five hours to create a work of art from a block of snow measuring 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. No power tools. It’s not too late to enter; first come, first served. Or just stop by and watch sculptors in action. The winning team receives $500, second-place finishers will receive $200, while the third-place team receives $100.

Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet (Feb. 2, 2 p.m.): There’s more than one way to get around on snow. Skis to be sure, but how about a fat-tired mountain bike to do the trick? Watch as competitors navigate the snowy course on two wheels.

The Big Tent (Jan. 31 - Feb. 2): Sample some local brew at the Surly Beer Garden, or enjoy a bite of food and stroll through the Vendor Village.

Comcast Luminary Loppet (Feb. 1, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.) More than 6,000 specatators are predicted to ski, walk or snowshoe among the ice luminaries on Lake of the Isles. Marvel at an ice pyramid, Ice Henge, the Enchanted Forest, fire dancers and more. For relief there will be many bonfires, along with hot cocoa and cookie stations. To participate, registration is required. There will also be a Post-Luminary Loppet Part for paid participants over age 21. Visit The Loppet's website for more information.

The list only highlights a few of the weekend activities. Download the entire spectator guide for a list of all events. 

2014 City of Lakes Loppet Cross Country Ski Festival
January 31-February 2, 2014

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

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags