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Top 10 winter activities for kids and families in Minnesota and western Wisconsin

Winter activities in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Feeling a little stir-crazy… and worried it’s only December? Looking for something fun to do over winter break?

Whatever the case may be, we’ve gathered a list of the top 10 winter activities for kids and families in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We can’t wait for you to try them!

Outdoor winter events

1. Go tubing at Elm Creek

Love sledding and tubing, hate how much effort it takes to get back up the hill? Or maybe you’re afraid that your kids’ steering abilities will result in a trip to urgent care? At Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area in Maple Grove, they’ve solved all these age-old issues with designated tubing lanes and a “moving sidewalk” that brings tubers back up the 10-story hill so they can conserve energy and tube all afternoon.

Date: All winter long
Time: See website for details

2. Ice skating in Wisconsin

Visit the 5 best ice skating spots in Wisconsin this winter! Each frozen pond and outdoor skating rink provides a unique sense of winter beauty for you to take in as you glide across the ice. Plus, a handful of these rinks have warming houses and concessions so you can thaw out after a fun skating session.

Date: All winter long
Time: See website for details

3. Breezy Point’s 25th Annual Ice Fest

Visit Breezy Point's 25th Annual Ice Fest to savor everything that winter has to offer. From pond hockey to beach bonfires to hayrides, there’s bound to be something for everyone in the family to enjoy at this annual winter festival.

Date: January 4th
Time: 10 a.m.

4. Embrace winter at The Great Northern

Bringing together three long-running and beloved winter events — the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival — The Great Northern is now entering its second year. Spread out across 11 days, programming includes the three signature events, plus public arts displays, events for foodies and more.

Date: January 23rd – February 2nd
Time: See website for details

5.Head Up North to Polar Fest

For 10 freezing days in February, Detroit Lakes puts on an epic winter spectacular. From a “Freeze Your Buns 5k” to a hot dish challenge and frozen fireworks over the lake, the Polar Fest is bound to help you and your kids embrace Minnesota winter in all its glory. Oh, and don’t miss the Ice Palace, which opens on day one!

Date: February 6th – 17th
Time: See website for details

Indoor winter events

6. Kids’ cooking classes

Cooks of Crocus Hill has kids’ cooking events scheduled throughout the winter at their three locations in St. Paul, Stillwater and the North Loop in Minneapolis. Whether your children love sweets or pasta, there’s a perfect experience planned just for them.

Time: See website for details

7. Go see The Little Mermaid onstage

While the weather outside is frightful, the theater at Hudson’s Phipps Center for the Arts is taking on a seaside vibe later this winter. Make plans now to go see The Little Mermaid with your kiddos as a special Valentine’s Day treat.

Time: February 14, 21 & 28 (7 p.m.)
February 15, 22 & 29 (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.)
February 16, 23 & March 1 (2 p.m.)

8. Take a class at the Duluth Art Institute

Whether your kids are interested in photography or drawing, the Duluth Art Institute has upcoming curriculum to help them draw out their inner talent! This place is full of learning experiences and ways to inspire a growing mind.

Time: See website for details

9. Visit Edinborough Park in Edina

Edina’s Edinborough Park is the ideal location to spend a snowy weekend or an afternoon after school is let out. Slides, basketball courts, dodgeballs, and themed play areas fill this indoor park. Kids of all ages will love Edinborough Park.

Time: Monday – Saturday (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

10. Take in a showing at the Omnitheater

For a limited time, the Science Museum of Minnesota is showing Superpower Dogs. This film celebrates the connection between canines and humans on an IMAX screen — perfect to watch on a cold winter day.

Time: See website for details

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