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Outdoors Winter Sports and Activities in Minneapolis and St. Paul


When the snow falls, there's plenty to do outside in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Wrap up warm and come out to play in the ice and snow!

Snow Shoeing

City parks and state parks offer scenic locations to visit on snow shoes, right in the Twin Cities.

Cross-Country Skiing

Parks right in the Metro area offer cross-country skiing opportunities for beginners up to challenging routes for experts.

Downhill Skiing

Skiing is very popular in Minnesota. We don't have particularly impressive hills, but a couple of ski areas are within easy reach of the Twin Cities.


Skiing is still much, much more popular than snowboarding, but local ski areas are adding terrain parks to tempt Minnesota's growing snowboarding population.

Ice Skating

Local lakes, arenas, and specially constructed ice rinks make for plenty of skating opportunities in the Twin Cities.


As soon as it snows, just about every public hill with a safe landing turns into a sledding hill. Where is your nearest sledding hill? And which hills are the best in the Twin Cities?

Snow Kiting

Snowkiting involves attaching skis or a snowboard to your feet, holding a kite, and using the wind to fly you across a lake. Watch the snowkiters at Lake Calhoun or take a lesson and join in.


This is one sport you'll have to travel out of the Twin Cities for. There are 20,000 miles of excellently maintained snowmobile trails in Minnesota, so once you reach the trails, it's worth the drive.

Ice Climbing

It's similar to rock climbing, but climbing up ice-covered cliffs. Natural water seepage over cliffs freezes in the winter, and climbers can ascend cliffs with a pair of ice axes, crampons, and other equipment. One of the best local places to go ice climbing is Sandstone, a disused quarry about two hours north of the Twin Cities. Vertical Endeavors rock climbing gym, and the University of Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Department gives clinics and instruction.

Ice Fishing

Minnesota has millions of intrepid anglers and a large proportion fish in the winter too. As soon as the ice is safe, ice shanties dot local lakes, including many in the Twin Cities.

Winter Golf

Most golfers wait until the spring, but some play on frozen lakes. There are several tournaments in and around Minneapolis during the winter for those who can't wait until the thaw.

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