Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: January 21-22, 2023

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekenD!

This January Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of January 21-22, 2023. To find our most recent guide, click here.

What we appreciate after the holidays have wrapped is frugal entertainment. Most of our ideas for this weekend’s list of things to do in the Twin Cities are FREE or $5/pp and under to attend. For more wintry inspiration, hop over to our JANUARY FAMILY EVENTS GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR. We try to keep it stocked with options to fit your family’s needs – whether you’re keeping close to home — or want a break from it.

Guide to January in the Twin Cities Minnesota. Family Fun Twin Cities. - Background of two kids at the top of a sledding hill.

Winter Festivals this weekend in the twin cities

Rounded up for you here are the best of the Twin Cities’ weekend winter festivals – ways to get out and play in the elements with your family! For more frosty festival fun jump over to our Twin Cities Winter Festival Family Calendar.

Twin Cities Minnesota Festivals banner showing Rice Park in St. Paul Minnesota in the Winter - Family Fun Twin Cities

Starts this weekend! 2023 Art Shanty Projects

4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Not only are these unique ice houses designed by local artists, they are strongly encouraged to be interactive and fun! Great for families with kids. Weekends only starting January 21, 2023, 10am-4pm. FREE admission.

Man dressed as pirate in front of his Art Shanty, Lake Harriet, Minneapolis Minnesota
One of our favorite ice shanties from 2020!

Ice Castles

The magical Ice Castles will be held in New Brighton again this year. Once inside, explore the ice palaces for as long as you’d like! Read our review of Ice Castles here. Weekend admission, $16-$22/pp.

Ice Castle Beauty - Twin Cities Winter Family Festival Calendar

Community Winter Festivals

Springbrook Nature Center Winterfest

100 85th Ave NW, Fridley, MN 55432
Past activities at this festival have included snowshoe and story hikes, carnival games, shelter building, bonfires and more. January 21, 2023, 12-3pm, FREE.

White Bear Center For the Arts Winter Open House

4971 Long Ave, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Snow sculpting, dogsledding and more free activities at this winter festival for families. January 21, 2023, 1-3pm, FREE admission.

Excelsior Arctic Fever

Downtown Excelsior, MN 55331
Freeman Park, 6000 Eureka Road, Shorewood, MN 55331
Manitou Park, 5418 Manitou Road, Tonka Bay, MN 55331
Outdoor activities include, sledding, sleighrides, skating and other classic winter fun, spread across three parks. FREE admission, some activities have a fee. January 20-21, 2023.

Fun OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES in the Parks This Weekend

Featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.


The snow is here to stay — at least for the next few months (or so…). What better way to enjoy than hitting up one of these sledding hills (free!) or snow tubing hills (not free). Most of the sledding hills on our huge list are located within city public parks. Several free ice skating rinks across the Twin Cities are flooded and ready to go, too. Try one of these outdoor ice skating rinks with a pretty backdrop:

People skating the canals of Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota.
Ice skating at Centennial Lakes Park, Edina

Please make sure to double check operating hours before heading out!

Featured Twin Cities  Park Events this weekend

Ice Harvesting Day

Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Learn how ice was traditionally harvested as part of
Bloomington Winter Fete. Cut and weigh ice blocks, try a kicksled and more icy activities. Note: this is a free, very popular event – however, registration is not required this year. January 21, 2023, 10am-2pm.

Snowtime Saturday at Staring Lake

13765 Staring Lake Pkwy, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Try a bunch of winter outdoor activities at the Outdoor Center: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and kick sleds. All equipment and brief instruction included. January 21, 2023, 10-11am. $12/family, must register one member.


Sunfish Lake Park & Sally Manzara Nature Center, 3554 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
No registration is needed, just show up to explore nature. This weekend take a guided winter birding hike. Kids will enjoy the indoor exhibits. January 21, 2023, 10-11am.

January Free Family Fun Days with Three Rivers Parks

Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK. New themes each week. January 22, 2023, drop in between 1-2pm (see link for schedule). FREE admission.

Family Fun Day: Northern Life

North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Ct. Minneapolis, MN, US 55430
Learn about how animals in Minnesota have found ways to survive the winter cold by taking a closer look at animal bodies and behaviors while walking the park trails. January 22, 2023, 1-3pm. FREE, but registration is required.

Sampler Sunday: Winter Edition

Baker Outdoor Learning Center, 4001 County Rd 24, Maple Plain, MN 55359
Try out some winter activities all in one place. Snowshoe, make a campfire treat and learn with our naturalists. January 22, 2023, 2-4pm. $8/pp.

Two girls kicksledding on ice

more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities with kids

Many families feel more comfortable with a little extra armor during the Minnesota winters. We’ve beefed up our annual Winter Break Survival Guide to help you make the most of the season whether you want to get out and play or stay in and be cozy.

Cozy Indoor Activities

Family Day at Minnetonka Fire Department

14550 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345
This activity goes beyond cozy – it’s hot! Fire Station 1 is hosting an open house with the chance to get close to fire trucks, sample chili and cider and play on inflatable slides. January 21, 2023, 10am-1pm. FREE.

Find more touch-a-truck family outings on our community vehicle fair calendar!

Touch A Truck Calendar for the Twin Cities Minnesota Metro Area

Urban Expedition: Mexico

Landmark Center, St Paul
Travel the globe without hopping a plane! A new cultural experience each month, complete with family activities, entertainment and food, through April 16. While you’re exploring Landmark Center, stop in at the Gallery of Wood Art  with its kid-friendly “Touch This!” exhibit and the Schubert Club Museum to see the instrument “cyclone”. Admission to all of these events is the bargain price of FREE! January 22, 2023, 1-3pm.


American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Music, movement and play aimed at kids ages 2-5 presented in a real castle! Registration in advance is required as space is limited. January 21, 2023, 9-10am. $10/family, museum admission included. 


A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights. January 14, 2023, 3-7pm. $15/pp.


Participating Michaels stores across the Twin Cities are offering free weekend “Makebreak” classes and “Take & Make” Kids Club crafts. They’re simple, yet could lend a nice personal touch to a small gift. This weekend kids can craft a wood-burned ornament. January 22, 2023, 2-4pm. FREE.

Always free to visit weekends

Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!

During this cold weather, find tons of fun indoor games for kids you can play right at home.

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