The Ultimate 2017 To Do List: February

The top activities, shows, celebrations, and events throughout the month to help you enjoy the best of Minnesota

Red Bull Crashed Ice, St. Paul
Red Bull Crashed Ice in St. Paul, Feb. 3-4


Feb. 2-12: During its 10-day Winter Festival, Ely is populated by intricate—and gigantic—snow sculptures that will put your backyard snowman to shame.

Feb. 3-4If curling up with a hot cup of tea is your cup of tea, then Red Bull Crashed Ice is likely not. Extreme sports fans cheer on skaters who marry luge with hockey: flying some 40-miles-an-hour down an ice track outside the St. Paul Cathedral, taking hairpin turns, jumps, and checks from their competitors along the way.

Feb. 4The Beer Dabbler Winter Festival: At MN’s largest outdoor beer festival (yes, it’s during winter), the Mighty Midway at the State Fairgrounds transforms into the ultimate taproom with samples from 150+ breweries, plus live local music.

Feb. 4-26The Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake transforms MN’s iconic icehouses into venues to experience art instead of catch fish. Past favorites include shanties for sauna and karaoke, and one turned into a giant pinhole camera. This year’s shanties will allow visitors to strum a frozen harp (playable with mittens), get jiggy with the snow removal dance, and join an all-ages slumber party, complete with monsters under the bed.

Feb. 3-5For three days, the City of Lakes Loppet (pronounced low-pit) turns Minneapolis into a mini-winter Olympics: There are cross country skiing, skijoring, and speed-skating races; a kubb tournament (the Swedish answer to bocce); snow sculpture contests; and ice biking. Saturday night is the enchanting Luminary Loppet, where thousands of twinkling luminaries, ice sculptures, and fire dancers light a path through Lake of the Isles for skiers, snowshoers, and walkers. In lieu of a gold medal, cocoa, s’mores, and beer await at the finish.

Ice Castles, Stillwater, Minnesota
See the Ice Castles in Stillwater


Feb. 17: The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience at the Xcel Energy Center is the closest you can get to visiting Westeros and Essos, the fictional continents in the hit TV show, which will come to life through epic LED wall screens, 3D designs, and music from the show.

Feb. 23-26: It’s about a two and a half hour drive from the Twin Cities to Hayward, Wisconsin, but that’s nothing compared to the marathon that 12,000+ cross country skiers from around the world face during the American Birkebeiner, or Birkie, the largest such race in North America.

All month: Visit the Ice Castles, a fairytale come to life featuring ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones, towers, and magical lights. It takes 4,000 hours of manpower to create-and just a few days for Mother Nature to make it disappear. Read one visitor’s experience on the Minnesota Journeys blog.

SeasonalLutsen Mountains offers the steepest downhill skiing slopes in the state, plus MN’s only gondola.

View events throughout the entire year on the full 2017 Ultimate To Do List