Big Fun Beyond the Big Game

By Caitlin Rick

Super Bowl Live

All eyes will be on Minnesota when the 2018 Super Bowl takes the field at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 4. But the game itself is only part of the fun, with festivals and events throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and beyond inviting everyone to come and experience the “Bold North.”

MINNEAPOLIS

Super Bowl Live

The newly renovated Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis will be transformed into a winter wonderland celebrating all things Minnesota for 10 days leading up to the Super Bowl. This free event will include ice skating, snowmobiling demonstrations, horse-drawn sleds, warming houses, interactive exhibits and cozy fire pits, with daily themes like Viking Fan Day and Prince Day.

Super Bowl Experience

Football fans can get the full NFL Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, a ticketed event that gives attendees access to the coveted Lombardi Trophy and a selection of Super Bowl rings, plus obstacle courses and agility tests to test your pigskin prowess. NFL players and ESPN personalities will also be on hand for meet and greets.

Nomadic Live

Before the big game, the Minneapolis Armory will be transformed into a state-of-the-art concert venue to showcase national touring acts. Past performers in other cities have included Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and other huge stars.

The Great Northern 

This 10-day winter celebration embraces the season and encourages locals and visitors to join the frozen fun. The event has amazing winter sports like pond hockey, skijoring, and fat-tire bike racing along with ice and snow sculpture competitions. There will also be food-focused and art-centric events that celebrate the Twin Cities' thriving dining and arts scene.

ST. PAUL

Winter Carnival ice palace_Jim Hoffman_squareSaint Paul Winter Carnival

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival has been a winter tradition since 1886, and is known as the “Coolest Celebration on Earth.” There will be even more frozen fun this year because the festival will be seven days longer than usual, from Jan. 25 to Feb. 10.

Taste of the NFL

Hosted by Andrew Zimmern, the Taste of the NFL will take place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul on Feb. 3, and is a charitable event for the hungry and homeless. That night also features a concert by Dave Matthews Band at the adjacent Xcel Energy Center. Also at the Xcel, Opening Night (Jan. 29) will give fans a first look at the Super Bowl teams and coaches as they arrive in Minnesota.

SUBURBS & GREATER MINNESOTA

Club Nomadic

Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake will be the home of Club Nomadic, a 96,000-square-foot, three-level temporary performance venue. The space will house concerts for exclusive audiences of 9,000 fans. The country duo Florida Georgia Line is set to perform Feb. 3.

Northern Lights and Ice Festival

The suburb of Vadnais Heights is capitalizing on the big game and will host the Northern Lights and Ice Festival from Jan. 25 to Feb. 5, with an ice maze, ice sculptures, snow football and light shows.

Otter Tail Co. On Ice

Ice fishingA celebration for the 150th anniversary of Otter Tail County, this on-ice festival on Otter Tail Lake will feature food, live music and a Super Bowl party the weekend of the big game.

Frostbite Festival

This annual event in Fergus Falls will include a Super Bowl party this year, in addition to the traditional ice fishing derby, ice skating, ice bowling and other winter fun.

To learn more about the big game and celebrations in the Twin Cities and around the state, visit mnsuperbowl.com.