Top 7 Free St. Paul Winter Carnival 2016 Activities for Families

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We’ve got the scoop on the coolest carnival in town! From ice sculptures to the thrilling Vulcan snow slide, browse below for our top 7 picks for FREE family fun during the run of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Thursday, January 28-Sunday, February 7, 2016:

Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave., Falcon Heights

When: Activities run Saturday, Jan. 23-Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016
Details: Chill out at the Fair with the following fun family-friendly events:

  • Jan. 23-24: Calling all kids who like heavy equipment! Watch as it assembles the giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. Sat • 9am-4p, Sun • noon-4pm
  • Jan. 29-31: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition. Construction takes place Fri • 8am-10pm, Sat • 9am-10pm & Sun • 9am-1pm. Sculptures will be on display at the Fair through Feb. 7. 9am-10pm.
  • Jan. 30-Feb. 6: Plummet down the Giant Snow Slide (if you dare!) A fee of $2 per ride or $5 for three rides is charged, sleds provided.
  • Jan. 31: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides, a mini-medallion hunt for kids and more. 11am-3pm.

tm vulcan snow park 2

20160116__winmedallion_500Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt, various Ramsey County public land sites

When: First clue is published in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, Jan. 24. A new clue will be published daily through Feb. 7 or until the medallion is found.
Details: A St. Paul tradition since 1952, the hunt challenges readers to solve daily clues and be the first to find the medallion hidden on public land in Ramsey County. A great way for families to explore outside together and vie for a prize of up to $10,000. Aimee at Twin Cities Kids Club offers 5 Tips for a Family-Friendly Hunt.

Winter Wonderland in Rice Park, 109 4th St. W, St. Paul

When: Thursday, Jan. 28-Sunday, Feb. 7
Details: Take a stroll through the 2016 Winter Carnival ice carvings and pick out your favorite, explore the mini-ice palace (small fee charged) and enjoy live music and other entertainment.


Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade, 401 W. Robert St to Rice Park, St. Paul

When: Thursday, Jan. 28 • 5:15-7pm
Details: The Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade officially kicks off the first day of Carnival, January 28, in downtown Saint Paul. Fuel up with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies then join in cool winter walk from the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce offices to Rice Park. Bright your light-up gizmos! Open to the public, all ages welcome. Festivities start at 5:15 pm, the parade starts at 6 p.m.

Winter Carnival Kids Day @ Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul

When: Saturday, Jan. 30 • 2-6pm
Details: Need a break from the cold? Warm up inside the beautiful Landmark Center Cortile with kid-centric activities like inflatables, crafts and live performances, including a “Frozen” appearance from Queen Elsa.

NordythebearFrozen Family Fun Night @ Rice Park, 109 4th St. W., St. Paul

When: Tuesday, Feb. 2 • 5-8pm
Details: Explore the Palace of the Winds (small fee charged for this) and the dazzling traditional ice sculptures, skate at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink, and meet guests including Clifford the Big Red Dog (5-6 pm), Nordy of the Minnesota Wild (6-7 pm) and the MN RollerGirls (7-8 pm).

Winter Carnival Family Day @ Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul

When: Saturday, Feb. 6 • Noon-5pm
Details: Stop by the Landmark Center for entertainment and events for all ages.  There will be activities for children and adults alike. Wells Fargo brings the Minnesota Zoomobile from noon-2pm with live animals and the 3M Visiting Wizards will do hands-on science experiments from 1:30-2:30pm.

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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