11 Photos that Capture the Magic of Winter in Minneapolis
Winter in Minneapolis is hard to explain - yes, it's cold, but the season offers up some of the most beautiful scenes and exhilarating experiences. In many cases, words don't do it justice, so we've pulled 11 of our favorite winter photos that capture the essence of the season in Minneapolis.
1. Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge offers incredible views of the skyline and the Mississippi river all year long, but during the winter months this iconic landmark is the perfect place to soak in the beauty of the season.
2. Minnehaha Falls
In many places, enjoying the ethereal wonder of a frozen waterfall requires a day trip to the countryside—but here in Minneapolis, the stunning sight of the blue and teal snowbanks and icicles of Minnehaha Falls is a short trip from Downtown Minneapolis.
3. Loring Park
Head to Loring Park in the winter months to check out a winter festival, lace up a pair of skates at the ice rink, or snowshoe through the park - all in the heart of the city.
4. Spoonbridge and Cherry
The Minneapolis Sculpture Gardenis a must-see destination in Minneapolis, especially with its location right next to Loring Park. Visit the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry among more than 40 other works from the Walker’s collection.
5. Ice skating at Lake of the Isles
It wouldn’t be winter in Minneapolis without a trip to one of our (many!) outdoor ice skating rinks. One of our favorites spots to lace up your ice skates when the ice is thick enough is at Lake of the Isles Park. There is no charge to skate at Lake of the Isles and there are free rentals available in the warming house.
6. Luminary Loppet
Prepare yourself for some true Midwest winter magic at the Luminary Loppet. One Saturday in February (February 3 in 2024), 1,200 candle-like luminaries line a trail across Lake of the Isles, as well as tents pouring hot chocolate, food trucks, local beer, and live music.
7. Cold Plunging
Head to Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, or Cedar Lake for a wintertime cold plunge via holes cut in the thick ice. Be prepared to make friends with other cold-hardy locals, and be sure to follow the local protocols to keep you and everyone else safe as you take the plunge.
8. The Great Northern Sauna Village
Warm up at one of the many saunasin Minneapolis. As part of The Great Northern festival, The Great Northern Sauna Village is a social and therapeutic experience hosted at Malcolm Yards (Jan. 19 - Feb. 4, 2024). Visitors can immerse themselves in sauna culture by interacting with various Thermaculture traditions and connecting with the community.
The Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival is a beautiful festival that fills the sky with colorful kites, offers winter activities for all, delicious local food trucks and free s’mores by the fire to warm up throughout the day.
11. Theodore Wirth Regional Park
As the snow begins to fall, the fun really picks up at Theodore Wirth. The walking trails can be used as cross-country ski trails, so strap on your cross-country gear and conquer more than 20 miles of well-kept ski trails varying from open sections with views of Downtown Minneapolis to wooded trails filled with the sights of scenic lakes. Want to bring your furry friend along? Try skijoring—a growing winter sport in which your dog assists you while you cross-country ski. Or bring your sled, snow tube, toboggan or snowboard and hit the slopes.