A snow covered pine. (Bert Heird)
A snow covered pine.

Bert Heird

Seven “Chill” Things to Do This Winter

December 16, 2016

Winter is a special time in Minnesota. Some love it, and many hate it. But no matter if you’re a Scrooge or a Buddy the Elf, here are some great winter options that will (snow)blow your mind away.

Rice Park


Angle sculpture in Rice Park.

Rice Park

No, unfortunately this is not a park filled with rice. I know–I was disappointed, too. However, I learned of the beautiful Christmas lights that illuminate this venue in St. Paul and I was ecstatic. Rice Park is home to the St. Paul Winter Carnival, complete with parades, Frozen Family Fun Night, and live music. Whether your crush finally notices you and asks you out, you have no plans, or you want to show the family a good time, chances are Rice Park will have something for you.

AVHS alumni Kelsey Buss knows what we are talking about: “2 years ago, I was on my way back with my family for a showing of The Christmas Story. We saw the lights and decided to walk through. It’s a great place to take pictures!”

Theater Productions

Mraz Center for the Performing Arts

A Performance of A Christmas Carol at Burnsville High School.

Theater Productions

There is no better escape from the frigid winter than taking in a play. Minneapolis is home to many festive productions this winter. Here are three of the most anticipated:

Make sure to get a ticket before they are gone!



Ice Castles

Jim Cole

In this photo taken Jan. 8, 2014 patrons tour an ice castle at the base of the Loon Mountain ski resort in Lincoln, N.H.

Ice Castles

Although this may not be the best winter destination for the clumsy, it’s a great way to act as the knight in shining armor when your date eats it on the first walkthrough. With this year’s castle in Stillwater, it’s a perfect for a short road trip and festive night out. Tickets range in price depending on the night of week, but overall stay pretty affordable at under $15. So, snag a date, bundle up, and visit one of the most magical winter wonderlands in the state.

Red Bull Crashed Ice

Peter Morrison

Canada’s Derrek Coccimiglio takes to the ice during the downhill team competition in the grounds of Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

Red Bull Crashed Ice

This event is the Superbowl of ice cross downhill skating–it’s a big deal. As if ice skating isn’t scary enough, racers will be skating down a long and agonizing course this February. The Red Bull Crashed Ice season only features four races in the world, and St. Paul is home to one of them. Other races are located in France, Finland and Canada this season. With Minnesota being home to the only race this season in America, there is sure to be a crowd. In recent visits to MN, Crashed Ice has drawn over 100,000 fans to watch this fiercely competitive sport.

Senior Joe Larson, who attended last year, enjoyed the atmosphere, noting, “It was a good experience. My only recommendation is to dress for the weather!”


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Lights at the Holidazzle Festival.


One word: jubilant. Holidazzle is a major hit for many Minnesotans. Free to the public, it is perfect for all the broke almost-college-students who are trying to save a buck. Featuring a slew of hip and happening vendors from handcrafted beverages at the Spyhouse to hats and other apparel from Love Your Melon, there is sure to be something that catches your eye. Along a whole host of Minnesota businesses to support, featured holiday themed movies perfect for people of all ages play on select Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evenings. Just remember to bring a blanket… or six.



Minnesota Wild Game

Stacy Bengs

Minnesota Wild’s Zach Parise celebrates with teammate Eric Staal (12) after Parise scored a goal.

Minnesota Wild Game

Oh yah, you betcha we are the “State of Hockey.” (It sounds better if you said that in the iconic voice from “Fargo.”) The atmosphere in the Wild’s arena, the Excel Energy Center, is electric on game day. With the Wild’s 15-8-4 record and roster featuring stars like Zach Parise, Eric Staal and Ryan Suter, it is the place to be on a Friday night. Or Saturday. Or any day in the winter.

Join in and get “Wild” cheering on the Minnesota Wild–it is a no-brainer.

Senior Casey Dudley echoes that sentiment: “It is a good way to support Minnesota and a great place to take a date.”

Swing Dancing

Tim Larsen

1920’s style Swing Dance-Off competition.

Swing Dancing

If you are the friend that everyone cringes at on the dance floor, this one’s for you. The underground Wabasha Street Caves are the perfect place to get your boogie on. Located in St. Paul, the Street Caves host a Swing Night every Thursday. If you are horrendous at dancing, don’t fret–they teach you. It’s another perfect place for a date night or just a fun time dancing to live music with some friends!


Happy Holidays!

You’ll be hearing us say we mistle-TOLD you so when you try out all of these fantastic winter activities. Avoid the naughty list this year, and give them a go! Finally, let us not forget Buddy the Elf’s famous words: “The best way to spread holiday cheer is by singing loud for all to hear!”

~Kallie and Sarah, your holiday elves

To contact, please send all correspondence to the North Pole.

(Candy canes are appreciated.)

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