Minnesota’s long and frigid winters don’t offer many opportunities for those unwilling to get out there and face the harsh elements, let alone set up a date. But whether you fancy the cold weather or not, there are more than a few good reasons to get outside enjoying the company of your significant other.
Winter Date Ideas
The following is a short list of ideas to spark your interest (spark=warm, right?) for the rest of the winter season, and, while most require at least a little bit of activity outdoors, we promise you it’ll be worth it.
Nothing says winter in Minnesota more than ice skating outside. Whether it be your local lake, nearby pond, recreational hockey rink or even Maple Grove’s Central Park Ice Skating Loop, there’s somewhere to get out those rusty figure skates from 15 years ago and put them to good use.
Even if you don’t own a pair of skates this place has you covered. Central Park, located in Maple Grove, features a synthetic skating loop complete with holiday/winter decorations and hand railings around the entire perimeter for those with little to no skating experience. You can also use their complementary skate trainers to keep yourself upright when skating. The loop is groomed and maintained professionally so it’s always in top condition for skaters.
The Phenow Pavilion offers concessions, boot cubbies and a cozy fireplace for chilly evenings. The LED lit refrigerated ice loop is 20 feet wide and 810 feet long, designed for leisure skating (no hockey sticks or pucks). Skating is free and skate rentals are available, along with skate sharpening.
Click here for a list of more ice rinks within the Twin Cities.
If you and your significant other are afraid of the winter elements, have no fear: This date idea is completely indoors. Every 3rd Sunday of each month this winter, Northeast Winter Market in Minneapolis hosts and indoor farmers market. Yep, #frostfreemarket.
The event is completely free monetarily to attend as well, and features a variety of attractions: Themed music on vinyl, prepared foods, raffle drawings, local beer and Bloody Mary bar, kids activities, and over 30 different and dynamic vendors offering locally-made goods and gifts.
Read more about winter markets in Minnesota here: Get your fresh, local produce at these Minnesota winter farmers markets
Winter Sleigh Rides
Dash through the snow in a horse drawn sleigh, experience winter in a new way. Though there aren’t any places directly within the Twin Cities to ride in a sleigh, there are a few options that are located just outside the Twin Cities area that aren’t too far away.
Located in Andover, Bunker Park Stable is open year round, offering sleigh rides throughout the expansive surrounding park. Come warmer months, they offer hay rides, pony leads, and lessons as well.
Make sure you book a reservation ahead of time (on their website above) and bring your thermos with hot cocoa to keep warm with your loved one.
Located in St. Francis, just minutes north of the Twin Cities, Roselawn Stables also offers hay rides and day camps that include horseback riding, horsemanship training, safety and care, along with fundamentals of character building (which just might lead to a happier, healthier relationship? Maybe).
Read this next: Twin Cities Date Ideas, Vol. 1