Pseudo winter is boring. Little real cold and half hearted snow storms lack the excitement Minnesotans require to maintain sanity. I miss hearing “Is it cold enough for you?” or “Nothing like the blizzard of 89′” It seems almost docile. We may be in jeopardy of losing the claim of being hardy.
While the winter is closing in on the halfway mark, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors this winter. Here are some links to some very traditional activities. Many places rent to equipment so you can avoid a second mortgage to gear up only to find this may not be your cup of tea
Downhill Skiing & Snow Boarding – The Minnesota Ski Association can provide you with locations, snow reports and special offers.
Cross Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing – The Minnesota DNR website has information on locations, passes and rentals. Many of the regional parks like Three Rivers Park District or Elm Creek Park Reserve also have information
Sliding – There are enumerable local places to slide or tube but if you are looking for something a bit more dramatic and organized check out the Elm Creek Park Reserve or most of the large regional parks.
There are also lots of ice skating and hockey rinks in the metro area. A drive around after dark and you just need to look for the glow of the lights in a local park.
There are also some great organized events to fill your activity calendar;
St Paul Winter Carnival
Hockey Day Minnesota
Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby
U.S. Pond Hockey Championship
If you’re looking for a more robust and up to date list of events in the area you could try Minneapolis.org/calendar, visitstpaul.com or Google twin cities winter events
For the temperature challenged residents of the Twin Cities there are variety of museums and attractions to pass the time until the Spring Equinox. Most area museums and area attractions are worth an investment of the day. (I’m not sure you can get through the Science Museum in a single day). Here are just a few:
Science Museum Of Minnesota – The Science Museum was founded in 1907. The museum’s current location on the banks of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul offers 370,000 square feet of space. It includes a 10,000-square-foot temporary exhibit gallery, five permanent galleries, 10 acres of outdoor exhibits, and an Imax Convertible Dome Omnitheater.
Minnesota Children’s Museum – Sparking Children’s Learning Through Play. Minnesota Children’s Museum is dedicated to providing children with a fun, hands-on and stimulating environment to explore and discover. The museum helps to instill a lifelong love of learning by nurturing the real-world skills children need to become engaged citizens in the future.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum -The “Arb” is a top visitor attraction of more than 1,200 acres of gardens and tree collections, prairie and woods and miles of trails. As a premier northern garden, the Arboretum was borne out of the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center and established in 1958, with the Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, Minnesota
State Horticultural Society and other community supporters creating the Arboretum as a gift to the University of Minnesota. Want indoor flora and fawna? The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory might be just the ticket.
Home Improvement Shows – There are a number of community home improvement expos in the Twin Cities, but the Grand Daddy of them is the Home + Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It runs two weekends and attracts tens of thousands area homeowners. There is also the Home + Remodeling Show at U.S. Bank Stadium
Sport, Camping and Boat Shows – Minnesotans love the outdoors. particularly the months where flip flops and shorts can be the uniform of the day. There are several exhibitions that take place that allow the summer outdoor recreationists to begin preparing and dreaming of sunshine, warm days, lakes and laughter. For those of you that do it on two wheels, the Donnie Smith Bike Show takes place at St Paul’s River Centre (adjoins the Xcel Energy Center – home of the Minnesota Wild). The other big show is the Northwest Sportshow which is held at the Minneapolis Convention Center . There are other shows that take place throughout the state and in some of the larger suburban venues.
No need to hibernate with all these fun things to do. Stay active and social even on the coldest of days. It’s great practice for later because the days are getting longer and in no time at all we will be grilling and chilling by the lake or on our decks.