Minnesota regularly ranks as one of the best states in the nation to live in. In 2019, it came in at number three, following only Washington and New Hampshire.
Ranking high for its beautiful natural environment, effective infrastructure, good health care, and low crime, among other things, Minnesota is a great state to live in.
Minnesota also ranks high on lists outlining the states with the snowiest winters. That means that enjoying the snow is an essential part of life here!
Looking for winter activities in Minnesota? Here's a comprehensive list to keep you happy, active, and entertained during the coldest months of the year.
With other 22,000 miles of snowmobiling trails in Minnesota, you'll never run out of places to explore. You can spend all day riding the trails and stop along the way to check out local restaurants.
It's always been important to spend time outside during the winter, but it's especially important this year with so many of us working from home.
How could you let a winter go by without going ice skating? The perfect activity for the whole family, there are tons of spots for ice skating near the Twin Cities, or you could journey to one of the over 11,000 lakes in the state.
While Minnesota doesn't have as many opportunities to go downhill skiing as other states, it has an awesome cross-country scene. If you like to explore the beauties of nature during the winter at a peaceful and enjoyable pace, this is a great hobby for you to pick up.
Explore Bars and Restaurants
Sure, it's great to spend the day engaged in winter activities. When it's time to grab a bite to eat and warm up, though, there are tons of interesting and delicious restaurants to check out. With more than 100 breweries and taprooms around the state, you'll be able to keep yourself busy trying out new places for years.
Attend Winter Festivals
Winter is a part of life in Minnesota. That means that celebrating the winter is a part of the culture, too. Whether you live in the state of are just passing through, there are a bunch of fun Minnesota winter festivals worth checking out.
Check out the Saint Paul Winter Carnival or the The Great Norther festival in the Twin Cities area. You can also check out Polar Fest, where an ice palace built out of 1,500 blocks of ice is lit up every night, fireworks are set off, and a polar plunge is held.
There are a bunch of lodges near the Boundary Waters, Ely, and Duluth where there are guided day trips and longer camping trips to go dog sledding. If it's a bit much for you to be in charge of your own pack of huskies, you can watch comfortably from the sidelines during some of Minnesota's own dogsled races.
Snowshoeing allows you to go places in the winter where you otherwise couldn't. Floating above the snow, you can experience the wonderful quiet of a snowy landscape at your own pace.
Looking for a fun team sport to participate in that doesn't take itself too seriously? Consider joining a broomball league. No one knows exactly where broomball originated, but it's popularity has really taken off in Minnesota, and for good reason.
Ice fishing doesn't have to mean freezing your butt off. There are a bunch of shanties you can rent at lakes across the state, some of which even come equipped with WiFi and central heating.
There are a number of species that are actually more active in the winter than in other seasons. If you're into wildlife watching, you don't have to hibernate in the winter.
Learning how to identify animals by their tracks can be a particularly fun and rewarding activity. This is a great way to spend time with kids outdoors in an educational way that will be fun for them, too.
Have a Bon Fire
Is there anything cozier than warming up by the heat of the fire and roasting some s'mores? Spending time with friends and family around the fire is an awesome way to socialize and spend quality time together away from TVs, phones, and the internet.
Go to an Art Museum
The Twin Cities are home to two wonderful art museums. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and The Walker Art Center are both home to extensive collections. During winter in Minneapolis, you'll want to check out the outdoor sculpture garden at The Walker Art Center on a bright, sunny day.
Enjoy an Urban Sauna
Minnesota has the highest population of Finnish Americans other than Michigan, so it makes sense that this would be a great place to enjoy a warming and relaxing sauna. Growing in popularity across the Twin Cities and other parts of Minnesota, this is the perfect way to enjoy winter in Minnesota.
Check Out the Music and Comedy Scene
Sometimes you've had enough of bundling up and braving the snow. When that time comes, you'll find a thriving culture of music and comedy shows during a Minnesota winter.
Minneapolis has a bunch of improv theaters, comedy clubs, and music venues. There's nothing like spending the day enjoying the beauties of nature and the nights exploring a thriving cultural scene.
The Winter Activities in Minnesota Will Make You Wish It Was Winter All Year Long!
The winters in Minnesota are snowy and cold, but that's why we love them! There are so many great outdoor and indoor winter activities in Minnesota that you'll be excited for the winter to arrive every year.