What Are You Doing This Winter?

December 4, 2017

Don’t let the frigid Minnesota temperatures keep you from enjoying yourself this winter — check out these classic Minnesotan activities.

City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival 

When: Jan. 27-Feb. 4

Where: Theodore Wirth Park

Description: The City of Lakes Loppet is a festival of cross-country skiing and winter activities for the whole family, from lower stadium area in Wirth Park and to the Loppet Village in Uptown.  Ski races, skijoring races, a kubb tournament, a snow sculpture competition, a youth ski carnival, sprint races, ice biking, and the popular Luminary Loppet, a beautiful night-time ski around Lake of the Isles, lit up with thousands of ice luminaries.

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy 

When: Dec. 15-23

Where: State Theatre

Description: A classic — go experience the beautiful choreography of Loyce Houlton danced by MDT company, guest artists, and children of the MDT school, with the brilliant music of Tchaikovsky in the 44-piece Nutcracker Orchestra led by Philip Brunelle.

Winter Beer Dabbler

When: Feb. 28

Where: Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Description: The biggest outdoor beer festival in Minnesota. Need I say more? With unlimited samples of the nation’s best craft beer, great live music, and fun activities, the Winter Beer Dabbler is a true celebration of winter in Minnesota.

Fest! Merry Mansion 

When: Nov. 10 – Jan. 7

Where: American Swedish Institute

Description: Fest! is a demonstration in detail of the dramatic ways in which to celebrate the holiday season. Explore the unique displays of customs and traditions from the five Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, all set under one elaborately decorated roof, the historic Turnblad Mansion. Stop by the FIKA after and grab a coffee, egg tarts and Swedish-inspired pastries, Swedish meatballs and gravlax, modern versions of Nordic open-faced sandwiches and specialty dishes for lunch and early dinner.

International Eelpout Festival

When: Feb. 22-25

Where: Walker Bay in Walker, MN

Description: For the past 30 years, and for three days every February, crowds that are more than 10 times the population of tiny Walker, Minn. (pop. 1,069) gather on Minnesota’s third largest lake (112,000-acres), Leech Lake, for a festival named for one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, the eelpout. In a state where it is common to embrace the quirky and find great fun in the most unlikely circumstances and weather conditions, this festival is pure Minnesota fun. This is a weird one, trust me.