5 Fun Winter Activities & Experiences Around the Twin Cities

by Joan Albrecht

The winters are long in Minnesota so you have to come up with ways to stay entertained. Luckily, there are so many different fun things to do in the Twin Cities! There are your typical winter activities like ice skating, snowshoeing, and skiing. There are also some fun unique experiences to have. Here is a list of 5 unique experiences that you probably haven’t thought of doing. A lot of these are unique to MN but I bet you could find other states that do similar activities!

The Wagner Family having fun at the Ice Castles a couple years ago!

1) Ice Castles

Checking out the Ice Castles is a must! It’s such a fun family-friendly winter activity – located about 25 minutes outside of the city in New Brighton. They also have locations in New York, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wisconsin. They usually pop up in January and are around until March.


image via Ramsey County

You can explore the caverns, slide down ice slides, or crawl around in ice caves. You are gonna wanna gear up to make sure you stay warm and dry (check out our warm winter jackets and best snow boots round-ups). I def recommend going at night so you can see all the gorgeous lights.


image via Ice Castles MN

2) Go Maple Syruping

You can find maple syruping programs at a lot of Minnesota State Parks. You can sign up with your family to learn all things maple syrup. They will show you how to tap a maple tree and harvest maple. This does depend on the time of year but usually starts between January and February and lasts until the spring. It’s a great activity for kiddos to learn where the maple syrup for their pancakes comes from.


image via Outdoor News

3) Dog Sledding

A bucket list must! Dog sledding can be a fun and eventful family-friendly activity. Most places to dog sled are near the North Shore. However, there is Hastings Huskies & Horse Ranch right in the Twin Cities Metro. It is perfect for families who want to experience dog sledding without having to make a weekend trip up North!


image via Minnesota Monthly

4) Ice Palace Maze

This is the perfect winter family fun experience! It’s located in Stillwater, MN which has so many fun winter activities and is right in the Twin Cities Metro. The Ice Palace Maze is made up of thousands of ice blocks that are stacked 10’ high. If you make it through the maze you get a victory slide down the huge ice slide. They also have a chocolate and smores bar for the kiddos and an actual bar for adults.


image via StarTribune

5) Igloo Dining

Although creatively used for outdoor dining during the pandemic, Igloo’s are still a fun dining experience for the wintertime. Ninetwentyfive in Wayzata brought back Igloo dining by popular demand. The Igloo’s fit 6 people comfortably and would be great for a couples dinner out or a get-together with friends. Each of the Igloos is customized to a certain drink: whiskey, vodka, champagne. There is also a prix fixe menu that matches each of the individual Igloos.

image via ninetwentyfive

Winter time in the Twin Cities can be so much fun! Let us know which activities you wanna give a try or have already tried out!

Are you local or plan to visit the Twin Cities? See more of our city guides here:

Patti’s Guide: Things to Do In and Around the Twin Cities

Patti’s Fall Guide: Things to do Around the Twin Cities

Sweetest Regards, Patti