Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: January 29-30, 2022

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This January Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of January 29-30, 2022. To find our most recent guide, click here.

Woke up to a chill in your bones this morning? It’s official: winter is upon us in the Twin Cities. The task now is figuring out the best way to go about embracing it this weekend!

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 ideas, 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 & Lights Displays 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! St Paul Winter Carnival Events

  • JANUARY 27-29: WINTER CARNIVAL ICE SCULPTURES – Watch the ice carvers work their magic for the annual competition (ends Sat, 7pm); visit the sculptures throughout the run of the Winter Carnival in Rice Park. FREE admission.
  • JANUARY 29: KING BOREAS GRANDE DAY PARADE – Parade Route: West 7th at Smith to 5th Street to Washington to 4th Street. Parade kicks off at 2pm.
  • JANUARY 29-30: 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.
  • JANUARY 29-FEB 6: VULCAN SNOW PARK AT THE FAIR – Our kids love navigating the mini snow maze. Snow Park is located in the Kidway area of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
  • JANUARY 30: VULCAN FUN DAY The Snow Park heats up with Vulcan fire truck rides and a mini medallion hunt for kids in addition to the other daily snowy activities. FREE.

See our Top Family Activities for this winter festival extravaganza, including family days, the favorite Vulcan Snow Park and traditional parades.

Stillwater Fire & Ice Winter Social

A winter outing to Stillwater is ideal for both families with kids and couples looking for date night ideas. This weekend, Lowell Park hosts “Moonglow”, the nighttime release of  hot air balloons over the river (Jan 28-29), plus snow sculptures on display, a free ice skating rink at the Water Street Inn, the Wintertime in Stillwater lights display set to music, and the annual Winter Ice Cream Social (Jan 29).

2022 Art Shanty Projects

4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Back on the ice for 2022! 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, 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

Powderhorn Art Sled Rally

Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Bring a sled of your own creation and race it or have fun as a spectator! Jan 29, 2022, 2pm, FREE.

Golden Valley Winterfest

Wesley Park, Wesley Drive and Orkla, Golden Valley, MN 55427
Sledding, ice skating, hayrides, DJ, and a bonfire with marshmallow roasting. Jan 29, 2022, 12-2pm, FREE.

Wargo Nature Center Snow Day

7701 Main St, Lino Lakes, MN 55038
Try out a variety of winter outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, kick sledding and cross-country skiing. Jan 29, 2022, 1-4pm, FREE.

Scandia Vinterfest

Winter festival activities include a pancake breakfast, sledding outing and a snow sculpture contest. Gammelgarden Museum hosts kid-friendly crafts in the community center with fireworks at 7pm. FREE admission. Jan 29, 2022.

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

Pond Dakota Winter History Fest 

Pond Dakota Mission Park, 401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Play outdoor winter games, explore the park on a guided snowshoe hike and warm up by the campfire. Jan 29, drop in from 10am-2pm. FREE.


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’s theme is winter tracks. Jan 29, 2022, 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 & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. January 30, 2022, drop in between 1-4pm (see link for schedule). FREE admission.

Kicksled Open Rink

Lowry Nature Center, 7025 Victoria Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
Kicksledding is a funcold weather activity to enjoy on frozen Crosby Lake. Learn about kicksledding history and techniques. Reservations required by 24 hours prior. Jan 29, 2022, $5/sled (two people per sled recommended). Spots fill quickly!

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.

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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