This is one of those idyllic winter weekends where the sun is shining, the winds are almost non-existent and the temperatures are mild... under freezing but in the double digits... perfect for getting outside and enjoying winter in Minnesota. If this is your first winter here you may wonder what that means... after all, it is still cold!!!
The simple joys of a fresh snowfall are most clearly registered in the faces of children... jumping for joy, making snow angels and snow men, sliding down a slope.
But the possibilities for outdoor activities for all ages are abundant, and the people who live here take advantage of them. Minneapolis isn't ranked the healthiest, fittest city in the nation because we stay inside all winter!
Most communities have favorite sledding hills in the area... if you're new, just ask your neighbors! Wirth Winter Recreation Area in Theodore Wirth Park has one of the most diverse offerings in the city of Minneapolis, including tubing, snowboarding, 25 kilmeters of cross country ski trails...even snowshoe trails and rentals for a quiet hike through the woods on the expansive 759 acres of the park.
To let you know how popular this area is, our daughter and grandson went to go tubing in Wirth Park yesterday afternoon for a birthday party. To their disappointment, it was full... so they simply went to a neighborhood school sledding hill!
Other metro destinations for skiing, snow boarding and snow tubing include Buck Hill in Burnsville and Afton Alps in Hastings, MN. Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area in Bloomington offers cross-country skiing and is next to the impressive ski jump of the Minneapolis Ski Club.
Ice skating is another fun winter activity, not just found indoors. You will find many neighborhood rinks such as an outdoor one in Centennial Lakes Park in Edina... and an indoor rink that brings the outdoors in at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis, named one of the top 10 best places to ice skate in the United States.
If you are new to cold areas, you may wonder what is going on when you see cars, trucks and huts on ice-covered lakes... not to worry, you are witnessing ice fishing first hand!
If distances beckon, try snowmobiling on Minnesota's 20,000 miles of groomed trails... cross country skiing... check out what is happening at ExploreMinnesota.com.
Be sure to check out the St. Paul Winter Carnival, which this year runs January 24 - February 3... it offers a wealth of opportunities daily to enjoy winter in the northland!