Experience Mankato this Winter

    Holiday lights display in Mankato Minnesota

    kiwanis Holiday Lights celebration photo courtesy of Visit Mankato

    The Kiwanis Holiday Lights celebration is a must-see attraction this holiday season (open through December 31 at Sibley Park in Mankato). Don’t miss your opportunity to see over 1.5 million lights illuminating the park as you walk or drive through this Winter Wonderland. Admission is free, but visitors can donate money or canned goods to be distributed to several local food shelves.

    There are lighted tunnels, pathways of colorful and animated lights, and decorated Christmas trees from local nonprofits—but the lights aren’t all there is to see and do. Bring you skates along and enjoy the Mary Dotson synthetic skating rink. Check out the ice sculptures from the ice sculpture contest, see the live reindeer, and, of course, no holiday celebration is complete without a visit from Santa. Take a break from the elements and enjoy a treat in the warming house with a variety of concessions from hot cocoa to mini donuts. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides, a carousel, and much more!

    The Kiwanis Holiday lights kicked off on November 23 with a holiday parade and lighting ceremony. Don’t worry though, you have plenty of time to experience this magnificent event as it runs through December 31.

    While in Mankato, why not make a weekend out of it and check out all the great things in the area? Mankato doesn’t hibernate during the winter, so you don’t have to either! There is never a shortage of things to do, even when it’s cold. Visit Mankato has put together some convenient winter packages to help you enjoy your time in Mankato without the hassle of planning.

    Looking to get away with the girlfriends? There’s wine tastings, shopping, local restaurants, and more. If a romantic getaway is in your future, take in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra or one of the local art exhibits. Traveling as a family? There are lots of options kids are sure to love, such as the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota or tubing, skiing, and snowboarding at Mount Kato. Feeling adventurous? There are plenty of winter activities for outdoor enthusiasts from downhill and cross-country skiing to snow biking and hockey.

    Whether you choose to have your itinerary planned for you or you prefer to create your own, Mankato has something for you.


    young skier

    Skiing at Mount Kato Photo courtesy of SPX Sports

    women snowshoeing

    Snowshoeing at Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery photo courtesy of Visit Mankato

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