Winter Fun for Everyone
Southeast Minnesota’s Cold-Weather Offerings

Isn’t summer in Minnesota glorious? When I decided to make friends with winter too, it was easier than I thought! “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” is so true. If you layer properly, there are only a handful of days where being outside is unwise. How tolayer? A wicking layer next to your skin, then insulating layer topped with a windproof layer. Hat and gloves or mittens. Optional—liner gloves, ear muffs over a hat or a thin hat under a thicker one. Good boots are a must, with thin socks under thicker socks when needed. And a pair of Cuddlduds makes all the difference.  

Now that you are layered up, what to do? Here are 26 ideas—more than enough for you to find some new favorites. 

Walk. Many trails are kept clear. 

Hike if you like more of a challenge. 

Ice skate. 1  oval track, 1 studio rink and 8 hockey rinks, and some have warming houses. 

Cross-country ski. At Eastwood, Essex Park and Quarry Hill. You can rent equipment at Quarry Hill, Chester Woods, or Oxbow. 

Snowshoe. At Chester Woods, Oxbow or Root River Park. In addition to being able to rent snow shoes and classic cross-country skis at Chester Woods and Oxbow, Chester Woods also rents kick sleds and has fat tire bike trails. 

Downhill sled. At the two sledding hills in town. 

Ice fish. Simple with an auger and pole, or fancy with an ice fishing house. 

Winter picnic. Classic grilled cheese and, of course, tomato soup in a thermos! For other tasty treats, search onlne for Honey-Berry Snow and Maple Syrup Taffy aka Snow Candy. 

Hot chocolate/coffee/tea. Make your own or buy some around town and drink it while sitting on a park bench. 

Photography. Rime frost and hoar frost make winter magical, as does a fresh blanket of snow. 

Snow angels. When was the last time you made one? 

Snow fort. Especially fun if you have littles. 

Snow people/art. Build your own, and look for what other people build! 

Downhill ski and snowboard. Welch Village, Coffee Mill and Frontenac are nearby. 

Snow Tube. Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch offers it, plus a snowball shooting range, sleigh rides and outdoor games like broom ball and cornhole, complete with warming shelters. 

The Thrive Outside Winter Activity Trailer contains sleds, snowshoes, fort-building kits, and a firepit and can serve up to 30 people at a time. Reservations, delivery and pickup are free! Reserve from November 15 through March 31. 

Curling. Rochester’s club meets inside, but once you learn, play outside. 

What are you going to try this winter?

About Author

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Chris is currently a certified yoga therapist and formerly a lawyer who likes people, writing, making things and foraging, because it’s all yoga all of the time.

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