Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!
This January Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of January 28-29, 2023. To find our most recent guide, click here.
We’re inching up on the halfway point of winter here in our frosty Twin Cities. What would be your favorite 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.
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.
2023 St Paul Winter Carnival: STARTS THURSDAY, JANUARY 26 WITH FAMILY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND!
- JANUARY 26-28: 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 27-29: 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. There’s a snow maze for kids, too! FREE.
- JANUARY 28: 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: 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.
A winter outing to Stillwater is ideal for both families with kids and couples looking for date night ideas. This weekend, the snow sculptures are still on display, you can skate on the free ice skating rink at Water Street Inn, and the annual Winter Ice Cream Social is Sunday, January 29.
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. Note that due to ice conditions this year, the shanties will be set up around the lakeshore. Weekends only, 10am-4pm. FREE admission.
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 – however, we have a discount code! See link for details.
Community Winter Festivals
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! January 28, 2023, 2pm, FREE.
Wesley Park, Wesley Drive and Orkla, Golden Valley, MN 55427
Sledding, ice skating, horse-drawn hayrides, DJ, and a bonfire with marshmallow roasting and hot cocoa. January 28, 2023, 12-2pm, FREE.
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. January 28, 2023, 1-4pm, FREE.
Oak Hill Park, 3201 Rhode Island Ave. S., St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55426
Bonfires, sledding, snowshoeing, music, hayrides, and cocoa & smores. January 28, 2023, 12-4pm, FREE.
4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55409
The fun winter festival returns with frosty activities featuring colorful kites and FREE s’mores by the fire to warm up throughout the day. January 28, 2023, 12-4pm, FREE admission.
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.
SOME FUN FAMILY IDEAS FOR THIS WEEKEND
The snow is here to stay — at least for the next month (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:
- CENTENNIAL LAKES PARK (EDINA)
- MAPLE GROVE CENTRAL PARK ICE SKATING LOOP (free ice skating, rentals available for $7)
- ROSEVILLE OVAL ($8/pp, rentals $5)
- WOODBURY HEALTH EAST SPORTS CENTER ice rink (free skating)
12547 Ridgedale Center, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Not a park event, but an exciting chance to skate free outdoors (free skate rental included) under fun lighting with music, glow sticks and snacks. January 28, 2023. Book a time between 5-7pm.
Featured Twin Cities Park Events this weekend
Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 Dale St N, Roseville, MN 55113
Have fun learning about customs and the Year of the Rabbit. January 29, 2023, 12:30-4:30pm.
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 snowflakes. You’ll want to explore the hands-on indoor exhibits of the nature center, too. January 28 & 29, 2023.
Three Rivers Parks locations
Drop in for free nature programs at MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK & RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER. New themes each week. January 29, 2023, drop in between 1-4pm (see link for schedule). FREE admission.
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 28, 2023, 10-11am. $12/family, must register one member.
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 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
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 28, 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 get started on Valentine’s cards with a watercolor project. January 29, 2023, 2-4pm. FREE.
Always free to visit weekends
- Minneapolis Institute of Art
- Weisman Art Museum – located on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota
- Como Park Zoo & Conservatory – note that fall & winter hours are 10am-4pm.
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.