When you have a week like last week (minus 30 wind chill!) or are looking ahead at a week like this one (single digits, freezing rain), it’s easy to get bummed out about January in Minnesota. However, there’s any number of activities and attractions that can warm you up, while still experiencing the greatness of the Twin Cities. I actually had to limit myself; there are many more than these ten winter warm up ideas:
1. Gander at art. You can take in contemporary at the Walker Art Center, encyclopedic at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Russian at The Museum of Russian Art or a mix at the Weisman Art Museum. These venues not only offer great art, but many have on-site restaurants as well as family friendly days/activities and much more.
2. Smell the roses. Or the cyclamen. Both the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory offer ways to see blooms in the dead of winter.
courtesy of Sea Life Minnesota
3. Spot seahorses and sharks. Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America is an excellent winter day activity, with its 300-foot tunnel through 500,000 gallons of water hosting 10,000 sea creatures.
4. Ride roller coasters. After Sea Life, head up to the mall’s center court and take a spin on any number of the rides in Nickelodeon Universe. There are options for kids as little as two and as mature as 92.
5. Drink up. Sure, maybe a glass of wine or a hot toddy will help get you through, but what about some good old-fashioned hot cocoa? Food & Wine named Kopplin’s Coffee in Highland Park one of the best places to get hot chocolate in the U.S.
6. Experience history. In addition to world-class art museums, you can also take a bite out of history with visits to the Minnesota History Center, Mill City Museum, American Swedish Institute and the Bell Museum of Natural History.
Dakota Photo by Todd Buchanan
7. Rock out. With popular artists like Prince, The Replacements, Dessa, and Semisonic coming out of Minnesota, we’ve always been lauded as a great place to see live music. See who’s playing at First Avenue, the Fine Line, the Dakota, the Turf Club or the Artists’ Quarter.
8. Sample hometown brews. We’ve been brewing beer in Minnesota (Grainbelt [now produced by] Schell’s) for more than a century, yet we’re continuing to make quite a name for ourselves when it comes to beer. Take tours of Schell’s, Summit, Surly or Fulton breweries, plus spots like the Herkimer and Dangerous Man Brewing offer up their own concoctions for thirsty patrons.
9. Get cozy by the fire. Several restaurants around town heat up their dining rooms with fireplaces: Forepaugh’s, WA Frost, Downtowner Woodfire Grill, Nicollet Island Inn and FireLake.
10. Catch a show. Whether you’re looking for Broadway-caliber performances, award-winning regional offerings, children’s adventures, opera or dance, we have a show for every personality.