1. Travel

Surviving Winter in Minneapolis and St. Paul

The Winter Can Be Tolerated... And Could Even Be Fun!


Surviving Winter in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Anna Cervova
Newcomers to the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area are told repeatedly how bad the winter is. It's bad... but with the right supplies, right attitude and adopting a measure of Scandinavian hardiness, the winter can be not just tolerable, but even fun. Here's how to survive and even enjoy the winter in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

The winter is long, and cold, snowy and icy, with blizzards and biting winds direct from the North Pole. There's also beautiful days, crisp and clear, where the sky is bright blue, the sun shines, the wind is still and it's a joy to wrap up warm, get outside and crunch through the snow.

To survive winter in Minneapolis/St. Paul, you need to be prepared. Get your house, your car, and your wardrobe in order.

Having a car you can rely on will increase your peace of mind, having a house that you can heat efficiently saves plenty of cash, and being warmly attired makes everything more pleasant.

Once you have the basics in place, the most important thing to get you through a Minnesota winter is attitude. The winter happens, and you live here, so you have to deal with it. You can either suffer through it, or you can find ways to take pleasure in it, and enjoy yourself. Here's a list of fun things to do, and reasons to enjoy the winter in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  • Ice skating at one of the free ice rinks in downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. Especially nice in the evenings, surrounded by twinkly city lights, and extra especially nice followed by hot chocolate with Baileys or your liqueur of choice in it.
  • Cross country skiing some of the best trails in the country right in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.
  • Downhill skiing and snowboarding at one of several hills within an hour of the metro area, or at a proper ski resort, Spirit Mountain, three hours north.
  • Children love to play in the snow. Take kids sledding, or out to build snowmen, followed by hot chocolate.
  • What's Christmas without snow? Going into a snow covered field, choosing and cutting a Christmas tree, then warming up with hot apple cider and freshly baked cookies before heading home, is a family tradition for many Minnesotan families.
  • There are many days when it's a joy to be outside. The day after a blizzard is usually calm and clear - wrap up and crunch through the pure fresh snow.
  • Fashionistas have two proper seasons. Think of all the boots, hats, gloves and other fun winter accessories to shop for!
  • Getting away from it. Minneapolis/St. Paul airport is so convenient in the middle of the metro area, and MSP-based budget airline Sun Country flies to Las Vegas, California, Florida and other sunny destinations. Sign up for their email alerts to be notified of their fare sales for a bargain break somewhere that has no snow.
  • Winter celebrations like the Holidazzle Parade, the Winter Carnival, the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships at Lake Nokomis, and the City of Lakes Loppet are all must-attend events in the Twin Cities.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.