This time of year, it is incredibly easy to hunker down inside and avoid leaving the house as much as possible. The A.D. Hays Group challenges you to embrace the Minnesota winter, and enjoy all the events and entertainment the Twin Cities has to offer. To make it easier, we created a list of events around the Twin Cities that we think are worth braving the cold. As a bonus, we added a few restaurants that are worth a stop any time of the month!
January 5-February 3 – Stillwater
Enjoy the amazing Ice Castles in Stillwater. Experience the frozen waterfalls, ice caves, and tunnels that transform the city. Tickets are available to purchase here.
Hours of Operation:
After touring the Ice Castles spend some time wandering in Stillwater. Downtown is home to charming shops filled with unique finds, and equally delicious restaurants. For a classic diner treat, we recommend Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop or for a twist on the traditional dining experience, try a meat and cheese board at Wedge and Wheel.
January 19-20 – Downtown St. Paul – Cathedral
The first of four Red Bull Crashed Ice events will take place on the frozen banks of the Mississippi River on January 19-20. For the past six years, huge crowds gather under the gaze of the imposing Cathedral of Saint Paul to witness the high-speed action that features skaters competing in four-man heats in a race to the bottom of a 1,600-foot-long track filled with obstacles. Get tickets to the event here.
January 25- February 10 – Downtown St. Paul
The Ice Palace: This year’s “People’s Palace,” will feature a 4,000 block, 70 foot tall Ice Palace in the heart of Rice Park to showcase the winter festivities during this “super” year. This incredible palace will shine over Rice Park throughout the 17-day Carnival as native Minnesotans, and visitors alike, visit this amazing structure. You can even purchase a block and relive the memory for years to come with a special keepsake. Learn more here.
Ice Bars: Stop by the Ice Bars to add an extra element of fun to your day. Try wines from Cannon River Winery (made exclusively for the event), or sip on a Winter Ale from Summit, the Exclusive Craft Beer of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.
Parades: Three Winter Carnival parades take place in Downtown St. Paul: The Moon Glow Pedestrian (Thursday, January 25), Grand Day (Saturday, January 27), and Torchlight (Saturday, February 10), all of which end in Rice Park. More Information about parade routes and times can be found here.
January 27- February 4 – Uptown, Minneapolis – Lake Calhoun
A cross-country ski festival for the whole family featuring ski races for all ages, skill-levels, and abilities.
The very popular Luminary Loppet takes place on Saturday, February 3, 2018. The evening showcases luminaries spaced around Lake of the Isles, the Ice Pyramid, Fire Dancers, the Enchanted Forest, Ice-Cropolis, Ice-Henge, and Ice-ster Island. Grab a bite from a variety of food trucks located in Loppet Village during the festival.
If you attend on February 3rd be sure to enjoy Surly beer and an outdoor concert at the Loppett’s REI Luminary Party taking place just north of Lagoon on Knox Avenue/Calhoun Parkway.
A full schedule of races and events during the festival can be found here.
January 25-28 – Minneapolis – Lake Nokomis
The 12th annual Labatt Blue US. Pond Hockey Championships (USPHC) will once again bring hockey the way nature intended it to Lake Nokomis. The Pond Hockey Tournament brings players and fans together for a weekend of competition and fun.
January 26- February 4th – Downtown Minneapolis – Various Locations
Most Minnesotans are aware of the fast approaching Super Bowl at our very own U.S. Bank Stadium. The good news is you don’t have to be a ticket holder to enjoy the multitude of events leading up to the big day. January 26th kicks off Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. This will be the site of the epic 10-day fan festival, which is free and open to the public. Super Bowl LIVE will feature something for everyone, including free live concerts, food and fun, with nods to winter that showcase Minnesota’s authentic, Bold North brand. Get a full schedule of events here.
The Taste of the NFL is an annual event that features food and wine from a chef from each NFL city who serves up their signature dish. This year is hosted by none other than Minnesota’s own Andrew Zimmern. Did we mention they serve up food and wine alongside a current or alumni NFL player? To experience this unforgettable event and sample tastes from different regions all over the U.S. you can purchase tickets here.
January 31 9pm-Midnight – Minnetonka – Marriott Southwest Hotel
Head to the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel for a night filled with tacos prepared by local all-stars, premium tequilas, frozen cocktails, and live music. Limited tickets available — get yours here!
February 24 2:30-6:30pm – St. Paul – Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Join in on the nine year tradition of the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival, the biggest outdoor beer festival in Minnesota. Experience unlimited samples of the nation’s best craft beer, live music, and fun activities. In short, the Winter Beer Dabbler is a true celebration of winter in Minnesota. Save money by purchasing tickets in advance here.
Here are two of our top spots, that we suggest you try this month.
Martina – Linden Hills, Minneapolis
If you’re looking for a fun night out filled with unique flavors, and photo worthy cocktails, (including one served in an ice eggshell!) make a reservation at Martina now. This newly opened hotspot brings a unique and modern twist to the established neighborhood of Linden Hills.
With a menu featuring Argentinian-inspired cuisine, diners will experience an array of seafoods and meats, as well as other delicious plates cooked over a wood-fire grill in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
We suggest trying out the Martina Brunch Menu so you can try some of our favorite finds such as The Double Cheeseburger, (crafted by the original creator of the Parlour burger) Lobster Toast: saffron butter and a fried egg and the Potato Churros.
Reservations are recommended
Young Joni – Northeast, Minneapolis
Boasting the title of Restaurant of the Year in 2017, Young Joni reimagines the fine-dining experience by creating a haven of hospitality, warmth and celebration. The menu is inspired by wood fired cooking, which includes a range of globally influenced small plates and signature wood fired pizzas.
Our favorite pizzas from Young Joni include the One Potato, Two: Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes, cream, gruyere, caramelized onion, rosemary and The Korean BBQ: Beef short ribs, mozzarella, scallion, arugula, sesame, soy chili vinaigrette.
Before heading home, check to see if the red light is on in the alley and have a after dinner cocktail at Back Bar, Young Joni’s very own cocktail lounge.
Reservations are recommended
We love helping our neighbors find awesome things to do in the Twin Cities! We also love being your preferred partner when it’s time to buy or sell a home in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas – if you need expert guidance the buying or selling process, we’re there for you and ready to talk through your unique situation. Let us know if we can help!