Winter Fun in Minnesota – We Are Not Crazy

Winter fun in Minnesota sounds like you would have to be crazy to live here much less to have fun. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, there is much fun to be had. Sometimes the cold keeps us cooped up too long and strange activities take place. What can we say? We like to have fun.

In 2018, Super Bowl 52 was held here in Minnesota. Additionally, people came from all over just to experience our weather. Yes it was cold with some pretty serious windchills and low temperatures, but most who came found ways to enjoy themselves.

Dressing for the Weather

The Minnesota weather is not to be taken lightly. Having lived here my entire life, my memories are from growing up in a small town in southern Minnesota. You need to dress for the weather. This depends on many factors – windchill, temperatures, snowfall amounts, winds. We rarely had a snow day from school. I remember many times the snow piles being so tall, our favorite game was King of the Hill.

To be able to spend time outside for any amount of time requires proper weather gear. Let’s start from the top.

The Gear Needed

The Head:

At all times your head needs to be covered. Especially the ears. You can handle being outside a lot longer if your head is warm. The simplest way to do that is with the good old fashioned stocking hat.

The downfall with the stocking hat is that it does not stay put when you are in any sort of activity. Sometimes people will add earmuffs or a headband for an extra layer of warmth. Again it can easily come off in any sort of activity.

A better solution if you plan to do more than just shovel the driveway or walk for the mailbox is to get a covering that will include more of your face as well.

You really want to throw fashion out the window. Forget about your hair. The important thing is staying warm which means staying safe and in many cases, alive.

The Body:

Common Sense says to dress in the warmest clothes and jackets you have. Actually it is better to dress in layers and in material that is not cotton. When playing or enjoy the great outdoors, you need to remember the reality. Snow is moisture and moisture means getting wet. Also you can sometimes dress too warm for the weather and sweating is bad.

If you plan to do any outdoor activities for winter fun in Minnesota that you will be outside for at least an hour I recommend thermal underwear or base layer to get you started. A snowsuit or snowpants with a snow worthy jacket. By snow worthy I mean something that can block the winds, repel the wetness but allow air to pass through so you do not sweat. You also want something to keep your body temperature comfortable. You don’t want it to be warm, just comfortable. Remember, you are outside!

The Feet:

winter fun in Minnesota

Your feet are crucial to keep warm. Shockingly, frostbite can occur quickly and without realizing it because there is no pain occurring. When your feet go from cold to a burning sensation, you are in trouble and should seek indoors. Growing up one way we kept our feet warmer was by wearing bread bags on our feet over our socks but inside our boots. This was reality and it worked! Our winter fun in Minnesota was extended because of these simple items.

Fingers & Hands:

Although wearing gloves or mittens seems kind of a no brainer, there may be questions as to what is best. Material is also key because many mittens are from old wool sweaters or fleece. They also make Gloves with blends of nylon and cotton for better water resistance. And we all love a great snowball fight. Gloves are the equipment necessary to outlast the others. Fingers do best when they are kept together to retain and share heat, but many times it just isn’t practical.

Personal preference will be key here. Be sure to do your research on keeping your fingers and hands warm. Our extremities like our toes and fingers are usually the first places frost bite occurs other than our ears and face. Winter fun in Minnesota.

Outside Winter Fun in Minnesota

Heading out to the many Parks

A great resource for winter fun in Minnesota is our numerous State & Regional Parks. They are located all over the state and offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and hiking. All great family activities to wear out the kids and the endless supply of energy they seem to retain. They do require a fee to enter that you can either pay daily or buy an annual pass. With 66 State Parks be sure to view all of them here for the complete listing with details.

Many of the parks even allow you to go exploring and stay onsite and experience winter camping with rustic cabins. In the early spring, usually mid-March to Mid-April when the temperatures start averaging upper 30’s to mid-40’s, its maple syrup time. Many of our parks offer events for the public to partake in maple syrup tapping where they tap the trees and hang bags to collect the syrup.

Curious on which parks are the most popular year-round, including some winter fun? I have a great site here for you to read about 10 of the more popular ones.

Winter Carnivals and Parades – Incredible Fun in Minnesota

We Minnesotans can be very crazy with spending so much time outside with the snow. One way we enjoy the outdoors with with our Winter Carnivals and Parades. Every year for 10 days straight, you will find a variety of activities around St. Paul. In fact, Saint Paul plays host of this event for over 133 years!

The largest one is the St. Paul Winter Carnival. They plan for months ahead with various entertainment options such as Ice Castles, ice and snow sculptures, sledding hills, golfing, medallion hunt. Most of the activities are free and open to the public and take place in downtown St. Paul. Meander over to the ice bar in Kellogg Park for beer, hot mulled wine and other beverages.

Of Course We Have Ski Hills

With the likes of Jessie Diggins and Lindsey Vonn, Minnesota is on the map by these two ladies for our winter skiing. Two of the popular locations are Buck Hill and Afton Alps.

Buck Hill is the small hill Ms. Vonn grew up on and now has appeared in 4 Olympics. As well as, she was seen as a little girl who liked to go fast. As fast as anyone could handle Buck Hill’s runs. Be sure to try the tubing hill too when you come to visit. It is true family fun!

As an amazing athlete, Jessie Diggins makes Afton Alps in the East Metro earn its rightful place on the map after 50 plus years. With over 50 runs, 5 chalets and 18 lifts, it is the Midwest’s premier ski and ride school. In 2012, the exclusive Vail Resorts welcomed it to the Epic family. Because of this, both Skiing and snowboarding are activities many enjoy here in the winter months.

Ultimate Winter Fun in Minnesota Hockey/Ice Rinks

In our town, we also have outdoor ice rinks available for the public to enjoy a neighborhood game of hockey or whatever fun a kid can dream up while on the rink. Broomball is a favorite of some of our boy scouts and dads, even some of us moms will get in on the action! Just being outside, working up a sweat having some great fun is always a great thing in the winter.

Next Best Activity With Winter Fun in Minnesota – Warming Up

After being outside all day long, one of my most favorite things to do was to come inside and warm up with a great cup of cocoa with lots of marshmallows! As an adult, I still love to come inside and warm up a bit with hot cocoa but now my hot cocoa has a secondary action – lose weight! Yes! Imagine expelling all that energy and those calories outside and come in and keep the metabolism moving with a warming, delicious cup of cocoa. Go one step further and order yours today!