When the temperatures drop to the single digits, heat up winter in Minnesota with some hot indoor fun.
US Bank Stadium
Didn’t score tickets to the Super Bowl this year that showcased US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis? It’s not too late to see the most exciting stadium in National Football League. Reserve a VIP Tour around US Bank Stadium for a behind-the-scenes look at the home of the Vikings. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes; the tour covers about a mile. Tickets for the tour are $19 for adults, with various discounts available.
If there isn’t enough ice outside, head indoors for a Wild time. Enjoy the fast-paced, hard-hitting action of the National Hockey League at a Minnesota Wild game. Home games played at Xcel Energy Center, St Paul. Experience the local tradition of making the ice at the stadium. A unique program at Xcel Energy Center allows fans to bring up to three ounces of water from their local pond, lake, or hockey rink to be used to make the ice for the Wild.
Heat up this winter by cheering on the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. A recently completed major renovation makes the state of the art arena worth a stop. The Timberwolves sister team, the Lynx, four-time WNBA champions play from spring until fall. If basketball isn’t your thing, the Target Center is host to everything from major concerts, to Wrestle Mania, to High School cheer-leading competitions,
Minnesota may be one of the country’s top destination for winter sports, but its ingenious residents have also figured out a way to keep summer fun going year around.
Keep your golf game up to par with a visit to Minnesota’s only year around golf center, Golf Zone. Even when the course is covered with ice and snow, keep your swing loose in Golf Zone in Chaska. Since 1998 Golf Zone has been opened to golfers of all skill levels with 40 heated, full-length driving range stalls, and Big Bear, an 18-hole indoor mini putt-putt course.
Take a virtual break from the winter and head to California’s balmy Pebble Beach for a round of golf. Inside Edge Golf is a year-round, indoor golf entertainment and training facility in Eden Prairie. Nine simulators at Eden Prairie feature over 70 world-famous courses rendered in 3D graphics. The popular indoor golf venue is perfect for an indoor get-together with golf-starved friends – or friends who’ve never picked up a club. From league play to lessons, go inside to take a swing at the winter blues.
If serious golf isn’t for you, consider a round of indoor mini golf. Fun for all ages, the newly opened Can Can Wonderland, is an artist designed, retro fun miniature golf course by day and early evening – and bar by night. This St. Paul warehouse-turned fun spot features a course of quirky holes, vintage arcade games, ping pong tables, and food and drinks – including after-9 p.m. boozy malts. The former site of American Can Company-turned fun spot is the product of the first arts-based public benefit corporation in Minnesota supporting artists in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Go to the dark side, at Glow In One in Blaine. For an interesting indoor challenge, the simple, yet challenging 18-hole course is illuminated by black-lights and features bright colors and upbeat music.
For black light mini golf – and a lot more — consider taking refugee from the cold in the Wow! Zone Family Entertainment Center in Mankato. The indoor recreation complex has something to please anyone looking to escape the cold for a few hours. Wow! Zone has 24 state-of-the art bowling lanes, two level laser tag arena, black light mini golf, full arcade, snack bar, sports bar, and restaurant.
Newly opened in December of 2017, the latest in the Great Wolf Adventure Park resort in Bloomington follows the company’s model of North Woods-themed stay and play. The Grey Wolf lodge offers themed accommodations attached to a water park and play area for the exclusive use of guests. Unlimited use of the Water Park is included with overnight accommodations.
Along with slides and pools, the eight-floor complex includes a high-hanging rope course, bowling alley, arcade, rock-climbing wall, MagiQuest live-action game course, along with a mining game that lets kids pan for gemstones. Besides the Great Wolf-branded dining options, find Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dunkin’ Donuts. Adults will find three bars for relaxing and socializing.
Shopping and Dining
Escape the cold and see the world at the Midtown Global Market. The Global Market is a national landmark known for award-winning food, shopping and entertainment. More than 50 vendors offer produce, delicacies, prepared foods, grocery items, and unique gifts from around the world. The Global Market celebrates the international diversity of South Minneapolis from its location in the old Sears building.
Minnesotans love their coffee. Escape the cold in one of Minnesota’s unique coffee houses for a warming experience. Minneapolis was voted one of the top 10 coffee cities in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, and there are many choices in the city as well as around the state for locally roasted coffees served in unique and fun settings.
Among popular spots for coffee and socializing, eating sweets and escaping the cold are LuLu Bean’s Coffee House in Willmar, Five Watt Coffee Kingfield in Minneapolis, and Café Astoria in St. Paul.
Mall of America
Mall of America, built atop the site of the old Metropolitan Stadium, is Minnesota’s premier indoor attraction and a great way to escape the cold and find some fun. With over 500 stores, 50 restaurants, dozens of attractions and two attached hotels, Mall of America attracts more than 40 million visitors a year.
This is no typical mall, you can find shows, an amusement park, race track, and even an aquarium here. Kids will love the mall’s indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe, home to 27 attractions and counting. Some of the newest include the Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler, the longest indoor zip line in the country, character meet and greets, and nightly light shows. Get a taste of Americana with one of the Mall’s newest attractions, FlyOver America. Billed as the “Ultimate Flying Ride” take in the sights, sounds and even smells of America as you soar above the country without ever leaving the comfort of the Mall. Try Smaaash, a multi-story indoor go-karting track and indoor entertainment complex with innovative, locally sourced dining options.
While it may be freezing outside, you can explore the vibrant oceans at the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America. The Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 sea creatures including sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish, and many more. A 300-foot ocean tunnel through the Aquarium is a highlight of any visit.
Even when its below zero outside, Minnesota offers many options to go inside and warm up your winter with fun.