Winter in Minnesota is always full of wonder and whimsy, and that's as true today as it ever was. This season you'll need to include a facemask on the checklist of winter clothes to pile on before heading out for an adventure, but if you take the appropriate precautions you can still get out and enjoy the sparkling scenery with these travel ideas.
Even though Christmas is behind us, the Minnesota Zoo and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum are keeping their holiday light displays up through Jan. 17. These unique drive-through experiences have been very popular, so make sure you purchase your tickets in advance. For something a little more casual, the iconic Stillwater Lift Bridge is decked out in holiday lights alongside a new "dancing lights" display downtown that will be themed for New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and other occasions.
Many restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries are getting creative to keep diners and staff safer this winter. Heated patios stocked with firepits make it easy to continue supporting your favorite local businesses in-person. If you'd rather stay in, by now most restaurants have finely tuned their takeout and delivery options, or you can order a meal kit to assemble and cook your food at home. Some creative kits include the delicious cheeseburgers from Parlour Bar, the biscuit mix from St. Paul’s Hot Hands Pie and Biscuit (which includes an online video to walk you through the baking process!) or pasta sauces from Mucci's in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Sculpture walks are self-guided public art trails featuring works from artists from around the world, and you’ll find them in Minnesota towns both large and small. It’s a great way to get outside, admire the arts and discover some hidden gems along the way. You’ll find notable public sculpture walks in Mankato, Stillwater and Bemidji, among other towns. You can also enjoy public art at Franconia Sculpture Garden, Nyberg Sculpture Park in Vining, Norby Sculpture Garden in New London and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's social media strategist and resident Disney expert. She grew up spending summer weekends at her family's lake cabin in Detroit Lakes, and brings that "up north" attitude to everything she does. When traveling around the state, she likes trying new restaurants and taprooms, or watching Minnesota hockey.
Want to know the best spots in Minnesota? How about tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city? Our Minnesota experts can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you. For free.