Winter Festivals Are Full of Frozen Fun

By Explore Minnesota

Winter fireworks at Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes
Winter fireworks at Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes

It may be cold outside, but that doesn't mean it's time to hole up until spring. Bundle up and celebrate this special time of year at one of many winter festivals, which offer activities for all ages and interests.

An annual tradition since 1886, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival brings thousands of revelers to downtown St. Paul for events including ice sculpture carving, a winter run, snowplow competition, parades and fireworks, as well as indoor family activities at the Landmark Center. There's also an outdoor beer festival, snow sculpting competition and snow-centric activities for kids on the State Fairgrounds.

In Crosslake, WinterFest features pond skating, horse-drawn wagon rides, a snowman-building contest and the annual SoupFest tasting. Also in early February is theĀ Frostbite Festival in Fergus Falls, which has tournaments of all kinds, from bunco to bowling to ice fishing, as well as ice skating and a chili cookoff.

Near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Ely Winter Festival's goal is to showcase the unique history, tradition and artistic flair behind the town of Ely. In northwest Minnesota, Polar Fest in Detroit Lakes features 10 days of fun, including skiing, ice sculpting, a fishing derby, and frozen fireworks on the beach.

More 2019 Winter Festivals

Ice Fest

Breezy Point, Jan. 5-6

IceBox Days

International Falls, Jan. 17-20

Back to Hack

Hackensack, Jan. 18-19

Bold & Cold

Owatonna, Jan. 19-27


St. Peter, Feb. 1-10

Sleigh & Cutter Festival

Waseca, Jan. 26-Feb. 24


Rochester, Feb. 7-9

Chilly Open

Wayzata, Feb. 8-9

Otter Tail Co - On Ice!

Ottertail, Feb. 8-9

Hygge Festival

Grand Marais, Feb. 8-14

Ham Lake Snowbowl

Ham Lake, Feb. 9

Shiver Elk River

Elk River, Feb. 9

Winter Jubilee

Nisswa, Feb. 16-17

Find even more winter fun in our extensive events calendar.