Ice bar at the International Eelpout Festival

Enjoy a Cold One at a Minnesota Ice Bar

Scroll to Read
Image Caption
International Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake, Walker

Enjoy a Cold One at a Minnesota Ice Bar

By Caitlin Hannah

Minnesota is known for its winters, and there are plenty of unique ways to enjoy the season. These bars and restaurants have embraced the season with intricate ice carvings, themed bars, festive cocktails, bonfire pits and more.

As always, please celebrate responsibly.

A bar made out of ice at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival ice bar

Saint Paul Winter Carnival, St. Paul

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival always has an array of activities for visitors: music, a parade, ice carvings and snow sculptures, to name a few. But perhaps the best ice-related feature is the ice bar, allowing visitors to refresh themselves and stay cool throughout the festivities. In addition to Minnesota-made wine and beer, the ice bar also serves hot spiced wine. Find it in the heart of downtown at the newly renovated Rice Park.

A couple miles down the road, you'll also find an ice bar on the patio of Bad Weather Brewing on West Seventh Street.

Cardamom at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

This floral-inspired ice bar has a tasty twist with Mediterranean-inspired hot and cold cocktails, non-alcoholic options, beer and wine. If you need to warm up, blanket rentals and firepits are nearby to enjoy. The ice bar will run through February.

Ice sculptures in downtown Rochester at Social Ice

Social ICE festival in Rochester / Chelsea Rostad

Social ICE, Rochester

Downtown Rochester’s Social ICE is more than your average ice bar experience—it's a full-blown winter extravaganza. Held annually in Peace Plaza, Social ICE boasts a wide assortment of themed ice bars, including showstoppers like Half Barrel’s Minnesota Wild bar and a “Ghostbusters” bar by Kathy’s Pub. You'll also find DJs and ice sculptures at this free, three-night event. Grab a signature drink from any of the seven participating bars throughout the weekend.

(This year’s event will be slightly altered due to COVID-19.)

A bar shaped like an igloo on frozen Lake of the Woods

The Igloo Bar on Lake of the Woods

Igloo Bar at Zippel Bay Resort, Lake of the Woods

Ice bar, ice igloo, place to ice fish; it’s a little bit of everything. A perennial staple of winter on Lake of the Woods, this wooden structure covered with foam insulation is dragged out onto the ice for anglers and anyone else who wants to visit. Pull open trap doors to go fishing from the comfort of your bar stool, or simply grab a drink, kick back and soak up the unique charms of the heated igloo bar.

Caitlin Hannah

Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's senior digital social strategist. When traveling around the state, she likes spending time near the water, hiking, antique shopping, trying new restaurants, and watching hockey.