We all love the winter season and snuggling up by a warm cozy fire. That makes it easy to forget about the icy adventures awaiting just outside our doors. There’s no need to drive for hours to find the magic of winter; here are some ideas to get you out into nature and back to that hearth again in no time.
Ice skating is a given in Minneapolis when lakes freeze solid and rental rinks beckon across the metropolis. Some of the most accessible ice-skating opportunities may be closer (and easier) than you think. Sixteen public parks in Minneapolis host outdoor ice rinks, and St. Paul tops that off with another 21 rinks. All city-maintained rinks are free to use, and most offer loaner skates as well. Check the official Parks and Recreation websites for details.
A favorite winter skating spot for those in-the-know is Lake of the Isles, which has a curated ice rink and free skates to use. Hockey aficionados can get some rink time here as well. Landmark Plaza in downtown St. Paul is a super-easy place to get on the ice through the end of February, and you’ll often find special events taking place around the holidays. Augsburg University, famous as a filming location for “The Mighty Ducks” and various television shows, maintains three ice rinks with free open-skate days throughout the year.
Whether or not you’re attending Holidazzle celebrations downtown, you can still slip, slide and skate on the ice rink at Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate in Loring Park. It stays open at no charge throughout the winter skating season. Bring along your own skates or borrow some from the Warming House (sizes and availability vary).
Snowshoeing and Candlelight Skiing
Cross-country skiers and snowshoe trekkers share some of the same terrains when summer hiking trails transform into winter snow-tromping territory. Dozens of public parks in or near Minneapolis provide guided snowshoe excursions and snowshoe rentals for as low as $6 a day. A few snowshoe adventures to put on your calendar are a mid-day trek in Sibley State Park on December 15 and the nighttime Owl Prowl at Whitewater State Park on December 29.
End the year on a romantic note with candlelight alpine (cross-country) skiing at Fort Snelling State Park. Dozens of lanterns and luminaries glimmer in the darkness, lighting short groomed pathways for all ages. The event takes place on New Year’s Eve but is also repeated at various locations and times through February. Check the Department of Natural Resources website for all the info you need.
Living in Minneapolis gives access to all the exciting events throughout the seasons. Check out our local apartment communities today, and call to hear about move-in specials!