Top Ten Winter Activities

Top Ten Winter Activities
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I can’t fathom living in a region that doesn’t experience the extremes of the four seasons like we have here in Minnesota.  It seems that whatever season we’re in, I love it.  And yes, that includes winter, even when we’re in the midst of a 30 below windchill.  Well actually, there are six seasons in Minnesota….we have two tweesons; the time between winter and spring and the time between fall and winter.  I’m not fond of those transitional days as they’re usually damp and gray.

To those who have never experienced the beauty of winter, you really don’t know what you’re missing.  There’s a plethora of activities for those of us who embrace the season; we pile on a few layers and take the plunge into the polar vortex.  I learned long ago if you can’t beat’em, join’em and that holds true when it comes to winter too.

So today I’m sharing with you the Top Ten Winter Activities in Minnesota that help get us through those bitterly cold spells, those weekend long blizzards and the days when the sun is bright and the sky so blue, you can see sundogs haloing the sun just above the skyline.

10.  Snoeshoeing – If you like to hike, give snowshoeing a try.  I have a couple of county parks nearby where I go with my snowshoes in tow.  This is definitely one of those activities where you want to layer your clothing because snoeshoeing will heat you up in no time at all and you’ll be peeling off layers to cool down.  It’s an easy sport that takes little skill, just the desire to do some winter hiking without the extra exertion that you get without snoeshoes when your feet sink deep into the snow.

9.  Ice Fishing – Most people who know me well probably don’t have a clue I love to go ice fishing.  Popping up a portable fish house, lighting a propane heater, sitting on a bucket, cracking a beer and dropping in a line is the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  The bonus, fresh pan fish for dinner!  It’s great fun, I highly recommend you try it once, before you snub your nose to the thought of it.  Some of my favorite winter afternoons have been spent in an ice house.  And when the fish aren’t biting, you can enjoy good conversation or play cards.  And to enhance the ice fishing experience, you have to try fishing at night under the stars, it’s absolutely amazing! .

8.  Ice Skating – This has long been one of my favorite winter activities.  I can remember ice skating on the rink right across the street from my house, at the Margaret Street playground on the east side of St. Paul.  Yes, this was the place where I learned to never lick a frozen pipe when you’re thirsty.  You gotta love those first-hand life lessons!  I recently went on a family skating outing.  The Hurricane was in her usual mode…running…only on skates and when she tired, it was time to just lay down and make pretend snow angels.  And Little Mister, he was determined to keep going no matter how many times he fell.  Speaking of falling down, I’m not the Peggy Fleming I once was.  Ouch![shareprints gallery_id=”4330″ gallery_type=”slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]7.  Sledding – I lived in the city until I was seven then moved to a small town in southern Minnesota.  My parents used the lure of a big sledding hill to create excitement about the change we were about to experience.  And a big hill it was.  I can still remember the sound of my sled soaring down the hill with the cool air blowing by my face while squealing with excitement.  It was a sledding hill like no other and one my family frequented on many a weekend afternoon.  Today, sledding is still a family event.  While we don’t have the big hill I had growing up, I have a steady slope in my backyard that we all enjoy going down.  It’s the perfect hill for the kiddos to go down on their own and easy for adults to walk up.  Unfortunately this winter we haven’t had enough snow to do any sledding but there’s still plenty of time for a good blizzard to blow in.[shareprints gallery_id=”4334″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]6.  Snow Angels – The creation of the snow angel is a simple process.  The first step is to find an undisturbed plane of fresh snow. The next step is to lie with arms and legs outstretched, on the snow.  The limbs are then swept back and forth, creating a trough through the snow.  When it’s finished, the snow angel should have the appearance of a stylized angel, the movement of the arms having formed wings, and that of the legs having formed a gown.  The feeling of falling backward in soft, fluffy, fresh fallen snow is such an exhilarating feeling!

5.  Skiing – Downhill and cross-country skiing are favorite activities for many Minnesotan’s.  I used to participate in downhill skiing many years ago but haven’t done so recently.  It’s one of those things where in my heart I have the desire to ski but in my brain I know it’s an activity I should pass on.  An injury would seriously mess up the ability to do my job, therefore I don’t partake.  We have all kinds of skiing in Minnesota; downhill, ski jumping, cross-country skiing and shotski’s.  What is a shotski you ask?  It’s when you take an old ski and glue several shot glasses to the top, it allows for several people to take a shot at the same time.  I think I could participate in a shotski as long as I don’t go down that slope more than once.[shareprints gallery_id=”4337″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]4.  Ice Castle Tours and Ice Sculptures – Eden Prairie, Minnesota is home to a favorite winter attraction this winter, an ice castle up to 40 feet tall.  A Utah company built this amazing creation.  Instead of using blocks to create ice castles, creator Brent Christensen uses icicles and water to make a towering, glacier-like structure with a series of walls, tunnels and archways embedded with thousands of colored LED lights in the ice.  The St. Paul Winter Carnival will feature an Ice Courtyard made with blocks of ice harvested from a local lake.[shareprints gallery_id=”4339″ gallery_type=”slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]3.  Snow Golf – Many Minnesota golf courses are open in the winter for snow golf.  Now this is my kind of golf!  I’ve played snow golf several times at one area course, Majestic Oaks Golf Club in Blaine, Minnesota.  You get one club and a bucket of balls, tennis balls.  That’s the challenge right there…a frozen tennis ball doesn’t lob quite as well in the cold.  It’s great fun and you can even participate in a snow golf tournament if you’re the competitive type.

[shareprints gallery_id=”4343″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]2.  St. Paul Winter Carnival  – The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is the oldest winter festival in the United States.  It predates the Tournament of Roses Festival by two years.  This event brings family friendly events to the twin-cities metro each winter.  There are a ton of activities tied around this festival and one of my favorite ones is the St. Paul Winter Carnival Parade.  I’m not sure what it is about watching a parade in the dark, wrapped in a big cozy blanket.  If you a seasoned winter parade fan you’ll pack a thermos filled with your favorite hot beverage to keep you toasty.  The winter carnival also features a snowplow competition, a winter run and a treasure hunt where you read daily clues and hunt for a medallion.  [shareprints gallery_id=”4345″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]1.  Bockfest –  In New Ulm, Minnesota, Bock Fest is a great event where people come from all over the United States (and even the world) to enjoy a joyous day out in the Minnesota elements while drinking bock beer.  Of course this festival is near and dear to my heart because it’s in my hometown in southern MN on the grounds of the world famous Schell’s Brewery.  Words can’t even explain the awesome-ness of this event.  Once you experience it, you’ll make it an annual outing.  [shareprints gallery_id=”4347″ gallery_type=”slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_70″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]There are many more activities you can participate in to embrace winter in Minnesota from playing hockey to snowmobiling.  We have something for everyone.  And for those who don’t enjoy the cold, there are many indoor activities to pass through the season or you can be a snow-bird and head south.

Patiently awaiting a three-day blizzard,

Lynn

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2 thoughts on “Top Ten Winter Activities”

  • Have been thinking about you and reflecting on the wonderful weekend we shared last year in DC. I hope you’re having a great week, I’ll look forward to hearing about it. Safe travels my friend! X

  • I do love the beauty of the seasons.
    It’s fun to learn about all the winter fun. I love the kid pictures too. Miss you in DC.!

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