Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2018: Top Free Family Activities

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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 picks for FREE family fun during the run of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Thursday, January 25-Saturday, February 10, 2018:

Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds | Falcon Heights

When: Activities run Jan 20-Feb 11, 2018
Details: Chill out at the Fair with the following fun family-friendly events:

  • Jan 20: Calling all kids who like heavy equipment! Watch as it assembles the giant snow blocks and walls created for the annual snow sculpting contest. 9am-4pm.
  • Jan 26-28: Come watch works of art whittled out of the snow during the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition (Fri) and the Amateur Snow Sculpting Contest (Sat). Sculptures will remain on display at the Fair.
  • Jan 26-Feb 11: Plummet down the Giant Snow Slide (if you dare!) A fee of $2 per ride is charged, sleds provided.
  • Jan 28: Hail the Vulcs on Vulcan Fun Day with free fire truck rides, a mini-medallion hunt for kids and more. 11am-3pm.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2017Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt | Ramsey County public land sites

When: First clue is published in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, Jan 21. A new clue will be published daily through Feb 1 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.

Winter Wonderland in Rice Park | St. Paul

When: Thursday, Jan 25-Sunday, Feb 8
Details: Take a stroll through the 2018 Winter Carnival ice carvings and pick out your favorite, take a spin on the ice courtesy of Wells Fargo WinterSkate, bring the whole crew to Frozen Family Fun Night (1/30) and enjoy live music and other entertainment.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival 2017

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

When: Thursday, Jan 25 • 6pm
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, St. Paul

When: Saturday, Jan 27 • 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 camp games with the YMCA.

Frozen Family Fun Night | Rice Park, St Paul

When: Tuesday, Jan 30 • 5-8pm
Details: Explore the dazzling traditional ice sculptures and skate at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink.

Winter Carnival Family Day | Landmark Center

When: Saturday, Feb 3 • Noon-5pm
Details: Stop by the Landmark Center for entertainment and events for all ages.  There will be activities for children and adults alike.


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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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