The holidays are long gone, but Minnesota winter is still around for the long haul. Instead of dreaming of flying to the Bahamas, try some fresh ideas to get yourself out of the inevitable midwinter slump.
1. Polar Pub: Wish pedal pubs were 60 degrees cooler? Take a trip through downtown Minneapolis on the Polar Pub, a winter edition of Minnesota’s popular party bike — a multi-seat bar on wheels that riders pedal themselves. The Polar Pub is BYOB, but stops at bars along the way. Warmed by a fireplace, heated seats and mittens, embrace the winter chill and try a complimentary s’more. Available daily, contingent on clear roads and weather above 15 degrees. $385-$440. pedalpub.com/twin-cities-mn/route/polar-pub/
2. Winter Market at Mill City Farmers Market: Not all farmers markets end in the fall. Find winter crops, farm-to-table meals and more than 40 vendors in the lobby of the Mill City Museum. Open select Saturdays until mid-April. Free admission. millcityfarmersmarket.org.
3. Winter Warm-Up at U.S. Bank Stadium: Tired of running in the same gym all winter? The downtown Minneapolis stadium offers one more recreational fitness night on Monday, with inline skating on one concourse level and running on another. $8. usbankstadium.com/events/detail/winter-warm-up.
4. Ski and sauna: The 612 Sauna Society’s mobile sauna is currently stationed at Theodore Wirth Park and open Wednesdays through Sundays. Members of the nation’s first sauna co-op receive discounts and priority access, but anyone can make a drop-in reservation. Sauna visitors are eligible for a half-price ski pass in the park the day of their sauna. 612saunasociety.com. Or try the Sauna Village on S. Nicollet Avenue at 47th Street. The village offers several saunas and a chance to take a cool-off plunge in an ice bath. stokeyard.com/saunavillage.
5. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Spring Flower Show: The show features a mystical fairy village and a giant glass house plus spring bulbs, mossy greens and artwork. Admission to the show is included in a general admission ticket ($15 for nonmembers, free for members). Open in Chanhassen through March 1. flowershow.umn.edu
6. Polar Plunge: Not cold enough for you? Go jump in a lake. There are several polar plunges around the state through the middle of March. In the Twin Cities, you can test the waters of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) on Feb. 28 and 29. The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota. plungemn.org.
7. Winter Beer Dabbler: More than 180 local and national breweries and cideries participate in Minnesota’s largest outdoor beer festival, held on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. A ticket includes unlimited samples, live music and a silent disco. Feb. 22, 3 to 6:30 p.m., or 2 to 6:30 p.m. with an early access ticket. $50-$70, $20 for designated drivers. beerdabbler.com.
8. Ice rinks and tubing: The weather may be warmer, but ice rinks are still open. Visit Minneapolis rinks like Lake of the Isles for free outdoor skating and first-come, first-serve skate borrowing. For something a little more unusual, try Wild Mind Artisan Ales’ rink at the brewery’s tasting room. Feeling adventurous? Destination WinterSkate in St. Paul has a free rink with skate rentals as well as the Securian Financial SuperSlide, a twin-track 130-foot ice slide you can ride down in an inner tube. $7-$10. If you’re looking for something even bigger, Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove has a 10-story tubing hill with a moving sidewalk to get you to the top. $15 for two hours. threeriversparks.org/activity/tubing.
9. Winter dancing: Mix up your routine with a variety of interesting and inexpensive dance classes across the metro. Take a break from the retro arcade at Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul to try weekly tap-dancing and soul line dancing for $2 a session. Or, go underground to Wabasha Street Caves’ Thursday Swing Night for $8. wabashastreetcaves.com/swing.html.
10. Dogsledding: You don’t have to drive to the North Shore for a winter adventure. Hastings Huskies and Horses (also known as HHH Ranch) offers individual and group dog sled rides just 45 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Sit back and enjoy the ride or ask to help harness and drive. Prices and availability vary. hhhranch.net
Audrey Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.