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What can be said of Minneapolis? It’s one half of Minnesota’s Twin Cities with Saint Paul situated to the east. It’s upheld as the biggest city in the state. And, of course, it’s a place extolled for its natural beauty. Some people know it as Waterfall City, others prefer City of Lakes. Either way you spin it, it’s evident that there’s a lot of water. With around 22 lakes and the Mississippi River running right through the city, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun to be had. But, with winter knocking at our doors, those visiting or planning to move to Minneapolis may be dreading the cold months ahead. Is there anything to do once snow inevitably blankets the streets? Or do the good people of Minneapolis have to make peace with being cooped up inside, reminiscing on warmer days?

Minneapolis is more than just a land of lakes. There’s culture, art, and music. You can tap into your inner foodie at fantastic eateries. And there’s endless fun for families. With all its beautifully cultivated neighbors, the city is brimming with activities just waiting to be discovered. So even when temperatures drop, those willing to throw on some extra layers can rest assured that they won’t get bored. Minneapolis is a fantastic setting for exploration and discovery.

If you’re up for the task, read ahead for things to do this winter.

Stay Warm and Immerse in Art and Culture

A corner stone of Minneapolis is art and culture. Whether you’re a refined art buff or maybe a music junkie, you’ll find yourself right at home in this city. There’s over fifty museums in the Twin Cities area. One of the most popular is the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). It houses a vast array of exhibits from historic to modern art. Thanks to money raised by members and supporters, admission for MIA is free of charge.

If you’re into performing arts, you can count on Guthrie Theater to maintain a spectacular line up of theatrical productions. Winter is a great time to stop in with their annual performance of A Christmas Carol. What better way to celebrate the holiday season with your family than enjoying a classic at the theater?

Winter Walker Art Center

Photo Credit: Jim Winstead

The Walker Art Center is another pivotal hub for the arts. Not only can you enjoy captivating art galleries, they also offer cinema viewings and theater performances. To top it all off, the Walker Art Center is a quick jaunt away from the darling of Minneapolis’ city parks, The Sculpture Garden.

Be Active

Winter shouldn’t mean an end to your active lifestyle. In Minneapolis, there’s no need to worry. For those craving action, there’s plenty of ways to get that blood pumping. Vertical Endeavors is great for the adventurous type. Boasting one of the largest rock climbing facilities in the nation, it’s great for both novice and advanced climbers alike. It offers a great workout and a fun experience to share with friends.

Family Sledding

Photo Credit: Daren Mehl

A trip to Theodore Wirth Park is another great way to stay active in the winter. There’s a myriad of winter activities to get involved in. You can bundle the kiddos up and go sledding. You can rent out snowshoes or a snowboard. If you work up an appetite out there in the snow, you can warm up with soup in the Chalet.

Throughout the Minneapolis area, there’s plenty of spots to go ice skating. Check out The Depot for an indoor experience or brave the cold at The Lakes of Isles. Either way, be sure to grab a well-deserved hot cocoa afterwards.

Explore the Nightlife

Looking to head out on the town this winter? Check out the historic First Avenue Downtown Danceteria. It’s the longest running independently owned and operated club in the United States. They’re the go-to music venue for many locals. Just next door is The Depot Tavern. The walls of the bar and restaurant serve as a walk through the Danceteria’s history. They’re decorated with memorabilia and photos of past shows. Although the Tavern has strong ties to First Avenue, it offers its own unique nightlife experience complete with delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian options.

First Avenue in Minneapolis

Photo Credit: Darin Kamnetz

Psycho Suzie’s Motor Lounge is a tiki lounge with a delightfully irreverent vibe. According to their site, “a hideout for shady characters, a rest stop on the road to oblivion, a destination for bachelorette parties and nefarious conspiracies alike”. Be in for a good time if your night takes you to Suzie’s. Betty Danger’s Country Club is another fun stop to consider. This restaurant and bar offers a similar audacious atmosphere as Suzie’s. They offer Tex-Mex delicacies, boozy cocktails, and even a ferries wheel outside!

So there you have it: your guide to all the winter fun to be had in Minneapolis. But remember, this is just a taste – with so much packed into one city, there’s so much more for you to discover. Blaze your own trail, my friends. Wrap that fuzzy scarf up tight and explore all that the City of Lakes has to offer.

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