Explore Minneapolis on a Winter Day
Winter is upon us in Minneapolis, and the City by Nature hasn't slowed down one bit. When the temperatures drop in Minneapolis, the excitement heats up with plenty of awesome things to do both inside and out! Here, we know how to experience winter to the fullest. So let us help you plan your perfect winter day in our city.
Get ready for a full day with a complete breakfast at Breaking Bread Café. Wake up to all your favorite Southern-style comfort foods in one place. Shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy and plenty of vegetarian friendly options too. Is your mouth-watering yet? If you need an on-the-go breakfast, Sammy's Avenue Eatery is your place. Here they specialize in crafting the best sandwiches, so you can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but we recommend the delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.
If you're starting to feel some cabin fever, head down to Theodore Wirth Park; the ultimate spot for winter recreation. Bring the kids and snowboard, cross-country ski, snow shoe, sled and tube; whatever way you like to get down a large hill, they've got it! Didn't bring your winter gear along? Not a problem! Equipment rentals are available through the Loppet Foundation.
By this time, all that outdoor fun has hopefully made you very hungry. For plenty of lunch options head over to the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Here you'll find some of the most talked about restaurants in the city, including Black Sheep Pizza (coal-fired gourmet pizzas), Smack Shack (seafood joint know for its lobster boils and lobster rolls), Red Cow (handcrafted burgers), The Freehouse (everything from breakfast to beer), and Red Rabbit (authentic Italian).
Eating at one of these popular spots is going to leave you full and ready to walk off what you just ate. Lucky for you, Minneapolis has the largest contiguous system of enclosed second level bridges in the world, also known as the infamous skyway system. Explore the city on a whole new level by walking through these heat controlled pathways connecting 80 city blocks. Do a little shopping, grab a sandwich from The Brothers Deli or a spice it up with a burrito from Velle Deli, and maybe get a little lost (it's your rite of passage!).
It wouldn't be a true winter day in Minneapolis without a trip to one of our breweries. Check out Day Block Brewing and Finnegans for some seasonal brews that will help you thaw out. You won't go hungry either, each place has great food options that'll make sure you end your day on the right note.
Beer not your thing? Swap the brew for a jersey and head over to Target Center. Winter means basketball season is well under way. Catch the Minnesota Timberwolves in action at the recently renovated Target Center (also skyway connected). Grab dinner at the many concession stands. Target Center has upped their game in the food department recently by bringing in local chefs and restaurants to their concession menu on Timberwolves and Lynx game-days. Make sure you try out the famous Parlour burger.
Step into the nostalgic 1950s era at Hi-Lo Diner. Here, they are famous for their unique concoction of sweet and savory toppings atop warm, glazed fried dough, which makes it the perfect spot to start out your day. They also have a fantastic from-scratch breakfast menu.
Later, experience the magical views winter has to offer by heading over to Minnehaha Regional Park and seeing the frozen Minnehaha Falls. Make sure to take plenty of pictures, this is a scene not to be missed! Outdoor enthusiasts can also take advantage of the crisp fresh air by enjoying the many walking and biking trails at the park.
For lunch head back towards downtown into the Mill City District. There you'll find Zen Box Izakaya, where they pride themselves in creating a menu full of authentic Japanese comfort food. What better way to keep warm than with a steaming bowl of Ramen?
Afterwards, walk around the Mill City District area to take in some more iconic Minneapolis sights. Even if you've seen these spots a million times before, there's something to be said about seeing them during the winter. The Stone Arch Bridge, with the backdrop view of downtown Minneapolis sets the scene of your winter adventures perfectly. The Guthrie Theater's Amber Box and Endless Bridge give you a picturesque look at snow-covered rooftops and the icy glare of the frozen river. You'll be compelled to take tons of photos and fill up your friend's Instagram feeds, then check out these other Instagrammable places in Minneapolis.
Since you're in the neighborhood a great way to end the day is to enjoy a production at the famous Guthrie Theater. Local artists, spectators and actors come together at the Guthrie to
re-create classic masterpieces as well as modern works. It's a must visit for anyone coming to Minneapolis. Connected to the Guthrie is the Ovation restaurant, which is a great choice if you're looking for something more upscale for dinner. Or go across the street to Farmer Kitchen and Bar for a farm to table experience. They use locally sourced ingredients for all their unique and tasty dishes.
Another great way to unwind after a long day is to enjoy a comedy show at Acme Comedy Company. Acme is one of the best comedy clubs in the nation, bringing in top notch comedians that will have you laughing all night long. The comedy club is attached to Sticks Restaurant, so you can make it an evening with dinner and drinks before the show. Or if you missed out on one of the amazing restaurants in North Loop on day one, here's your chance to try another!
- Holidazzle: Late November - Late December
Minneapolis winter events season starts with the Holidazzle. An event celebrating lights and the fun of the holidays.
- The Great Northern: End of January - Early February
During the thick of winter the city teams up with St. Paul to put on a joint winter festival. The Great Northern, is a 10-day long celebration built around three major events: The Loppet, U.S. Pond Hockey Championships and The Winter Carnival.
- Lake Harriet Kite Festival: End of January
Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors, and themes fly over frozen Lake Harriet.
- Beer Dabbler: Late February
Enjoy samples of the nation's best craft brews at the biggest outdoor beer festival in Minnesota.