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10 Things to Do in Minnesota This Winter

Explore Minnesota Shares Seasonal Statewide Travel Tips

Minnesota This Winter
A couple watches the northern lights at Gooseberry Falls State Park / Travis Novitsky

To celebrate the season, Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion office, is highlighting things to do across the state this winter. Minnesota is a haven for outdoor activities, arts and entertainment, food and drink, and seasonal festivals. Residents and visitors alike can embrace winter with these unique activities found #OnlyinMN.

Attend a Winter Festival
From a holiday light display on the shores of Lake Superior (Bentleyville, Duluth) to Hockey Day Minnesota, the Great Northern Festival (encompassing the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, U.S. Pond Hockey Championships and City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival in Minneapolis), ice fishing festivals that reel in thousands of attendees and Super Bowl 52 festivities, visitors will find many ways to weather winter and can sign up for weekly event updates at exploreminnesota.com/events.

Try a Unique Winter Activity
Winter-hardy folks who live in and venture to Minnesota stay active and embrace the season with open, down coat-covered arms. With endless outdoor activities that include ice fishing, world-class dogsledding, snowshoeing, skiing, kiteboarding, curling, winter biking and more, travelers have no excuse not to try a new Minnesota winter activity.

Beyond the Big Game in the Bold North
All eyes will be on Minnesota when the 2018 Super Bowl takes the field at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 4. But the game itself is only part of the fun, with festivals and events throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and beyond inviting everyone to come and experience the “Bold North.” Learn more about the big game and bigger celebrations here.

Catch a Show or Shop ‘Til You Drop
Minnesota is a mecca for tax-free shopping, museums, music, arts and renowned theater. With more than 400 stages, Minnesota’s theater scene is one of the most vibrant in the Midwest and offers a show for every taste. Learn more at exploremntheater.com.

Sip, Sample and Stay Cozy
Warm up this winter by raising a glass of Minnesota’s award-winning craft beverages. Winter is the perfect time to sip, sample and stay cozy at breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries across the state. This interactive Land of 10,000 Drinks map by The Growler Magazine helps travelers discover hundreds of craft beverage venues based on location and amenities.

Hit the Slopes
Minnesota offers some of the highest hills in the Midwest and affordable adventure close to home. Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Ski Areas Association offer reports on weekly ski conditions, destinations and more. Travelers can learn more and also enter the Minnesota Slopes Sweepstakes starting Dec. 18 to win great prizes like lift tickets, rentals or getaway packages at exploreminnesota.com/slopes.

Take a Snowfari
Minnesota is home to thousands of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and winter biking. In fact, Minnesota’s cross-country ski trails offer more miles of skiing than a trek from St. Paul to Los Angeles, and there are 22,000 miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling. Minnesota trails provide stellar views of our state’s wilderness, lakes and rivers. Visitors can plan a Minnesota snowfari with weekly winter trail reports.

Get Your Hygge On at Minnesota Resorts
More than 350 resorts are open in winter, and nearly a third of Minnesota’s winter lodging properties provide on-site access to cross-country ski and snowmobile trails. Elegant lodges also offer amenities like winter equipment rentals, spas, saunas, in-room fireplaces and restaurants. For the ultimate hygge retreat, try a remote cabin on the lake or a romantic bed-and-breakfast.

Gaze at Starry Skies and Northern Lights in the North Star State
Minnesota is one of the best destinations in the United States to see celestial wonders; there’s no need to travel as far as Scandinavia or Canada to catch a (potential) northern lights show and marvel at the starry skies above. For a remote stargazing experience away from city lights, the northern part of the state is home to destinations perfect for such an escape. Planning a trip around the northern lights is easier said than done, but Explore Minnesota offers some tips to see Minnesota’s night skies.

Share Seasonal Sights on Social Media Using #OnlyinMN
Research shows people seek travel ideas from their social networks. Travelers and residents are encouraged to tag photos and get real-time travel inspiration this season using statewide travel hashtag #OnlyinMN. The popular hashtag has generated nearly 700,000 uses to date, and Explore Minnesota regularly features user-generated photos tagged #OnlyinMN.

“Minnesota is a premier winter vacation destination,” said John Edman, director/CEO of Explore Minnesota. “From winter trails, slopes, events, arts/entertainment and Super Bowl 52 festivities, there are thousands of ways to explore the state. The world will be watching and learning about the many unique things to see and do #OnlyinMN.”

Explore Minnesota can help plan trips at 888-VISITMN, or via live chat, email and online travel resources at exploreminnesota.com.


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