Things to do in Minneapolis Mn during the Winter

Minneapolis, Minnesota and its sister city, St. Paul belong to one of the coldest metropolitan areas in the United States. Winters are frigid with temperatures often dipping below zero degrees Fahrenheit. But there are still plenty of things to do while the snow flies.

St. Paul Winter Carnival: Every winter since 1886, the city of St. Paul has hosted the oldest winter carnival in the US. The annual celebration has parades, ice and snow carving competitions, a treasure hunt, and other community events. Though one isn’t built every year, many times a huge ice palace is constructed somewhere within the city limits.

The Holidazzle Parade: Since the early 1990’s, the city of Minneapolis has hosted the annual Holidazzle Parade. Every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas, lighted floats travel down Nicollet Mall past crowds of spectators. 

Skiing: The Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area in Bloomington, MN and Buck Hill in Burnsville are the only place in the metro area that offer downhill skiing. But, there are a number of other ski resorts within an hour’s drive including Afton Alps in Hastings and Welch Village in Welch, MN.

Ice Skating: Many community parks set up ice skating rinks during the winter months. Some of these rinks are divided into two sections; one for figure skaters and the other for games of ice hockey. The Depot Ice Rink in downtown Minneapolis also offers public skating in what was once the trainshed of a train depot.

Shopping: If you’re not in the mood to face the winter temperatures, you can always go shopping. You can escape the weather in both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul where most of the buildings are connected by a skyway system. These skyways connect the second floors of the office buildings and retail establishments with a long hall that runs over the streets. If you wanted to, you could walk from one end of downtown Minneapolis to the other and never go outside.

And, of course, there are multiple shopping malls in the area. Shopping malls have a long history here. Southdale in Edina, MN was the first enclosed shopping mall in the US. Even better is the famous Mall of America with four levels, an indoor amusement park, aquarium, and a huge number of restaurants.

Swimming: Just across the street from the Mall of America is the Radisson Hotel Bloomington and its indoor water park, the 70,000 square foot Water Park of America. The amusement center has a wave pool, surf simulator, and an indoor raft ride that is ten stories tall.