Saint Paul is gearing up for the 10 days of the 136th Saint Paul Winter Carnival: January 28 – February 6, 2022. What will this year’s carnival look like? You will be happy to learn many of our favorites are BACK! Most events are family-friendly and FREE, but if you want to purchase this year’s collector button, you can find it here. Activities take place in downtown Saint Paul, near Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Check back as we approach the Coolest Celebration. We’ll update as more information comes in.
Best Things to do for families & kids at the St Paul Winter Carnival 2022
January 27-30: WINTER CARNIVAL ICE SCULPTURE Competitions
Rice Park, 109 4th Street W St Paul, Minnesota 55102
When many of us think of the St Paul Winter Carnival, the first thing to pop into our heads is a collection of carvings done in ice. This may be because the venerable annual festival literally rose into existence with the construction of a giant ice palace in 1886, designed to attract tourists to St Paul. While a palace isn’t built all that often these days (the most recent was completed in 2018), the ice sculpture competition downtown remains a signature event. You can watch the ice carvers work their magic this weekend (please see the link for individual competition times); or you can visit the sculptures throughout the run of the Winter Carnival in Rice Park. Mother Nature permitting, as always. FREE admission.
January 29: KING BOREAS GRANDE DAY PARADE
If you plan to attend, you’ll want the parade route: West 7th at Smith to 5th Street to Washington to 4th Street. Parade kicks off at 2pm. Historical bit: King Boreas is a mythical figure, King of the Winds, dreamed up by the original organizers of the St Paul Winter Carnival. You can read more about the dramatic backstory HERE.
January 29-February 6: Vulcan Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds
The wily Vulcan Krewe (nemesis of King Boreas and Aurora Queen of the Snows, and their court) play host to a number of fun winter activities based out of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds including:
- WINTER CARNIVAL SNOW SCULPTURE PARK – Visitors are invited to come out to Vulcan Snow Park at the State Fairgrounds to watch sculptors at work during the first weekend. Finished sculptures are lit after dark. FREE.
- SNOW MAZE – Our kids love navigating the mini snow maze. Snow Park is located in the Kidway area of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
- VULCAN FUN DAY – The Snow Park heats up with Vulcan fire truck rides and a mini snow treasure hunt for kids in addition to the other daily snowy activities. Vote for your favorite snow sculpture between 10:30am-12:30pm with awards presented at 1pm. January 30 only, FREE.
January 31: Winter Carnival’s NEW DAY OF GOOD
This is a brand new Winter Carnival event for families and people in the Twin Cities to give back. Donate food, blankets, even blood. Event headquarters is Landmark Plaza, 5th Street & Washington Street.
February 1: Winter Carnival Frozen Family Night
What’s in store for families? Snow princesses, gift bags, a bounce house, and more fun activities. Bundle up and head down to Landmark Plaza between 5th Street & Washington Street. 5-8pm, FREE.
February 5: Winter Carnival Kids and Family Day
Landmark Center Cortile, 75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
The second Saturday of the St Paul Winter Carnival will offer indoor family fun at Landmark Center: cultural entertainment, education, arts and crafts, stories and more. 11am-5pm, FREE.
Rice Park, 109 4th Street W., St. Paul, MN 55102.
Afterwards, hearty families can stick around for the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade and Fireworks at Rice Park from 5:30pm-7:30pm. FREE.
This year the St Paul Winter Carnival is hosting four scavenger hunts. Each hunt has it’s own personality and an entrance fee of $20/team. These can consist of 1-4 people, perfect for a family team. Note that you willl need to download the free Goosechase app in order to participate. Here’s the breakdown if you want to get involved:
30 missions take you around the city of St. Paul visiting interesting and noteworthy spots.
This hunt is designed for kids around the Como Park area. Your objective is to find the horses that have been let loose around the park.
30 (!) missions for the free-spirited and creative members of our community.
Ten individual puzzles will direct you to a location in St. Paul that act as pieces to a final, ultimate puzzle.
- Locations around St. Paul, Minnesota:
- Landmark Center, 5 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
- Rice Park, 109 4th Street W St Paul, MN 55102
- Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108
- Dates: Friday, January 28, 2022 – Sunday, February 6, 2022
- Cost: The St. Paul Winter Carnival is Mostly Free
- Age Recommendations: All, but dress for the weather for outdoor events.
- Official Website
- Visit Saint Paul Website
- Learn more about the history of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which has been celebrated since 1886.
- The Winter Carnival Legend: Who are King Boreas and Aurora Queen of the Snows, the Fire King and his Vulcan Krewe, The Order of the Royal Guard, and the Royal Order of Klondike Kates.
- There is a children’s book about the legend, Saint Paul Winter Carnival Wonders by Kris Haslund.
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