There’s always something to do in the Twin Cities, and the winter months are no different! Here in the #boldnorth, we do not allow a little cold weather keep us cooped up inside. This guide to January showcases many opportunities for winter sports, plenty of bonfires and s’mores, ice castles, new plays and exhibits, and of course – the winter carnival!
January 1: Noon Year’s Confetti Dance Party! | 10:00am-1:00pm Como Park Zoo & Conservatory will be filled with dancing, games, special animal enrichment, a DJ, and a countdown to noon when we rain down from above hundreds of thousands of pieces of colorful biodegradable confetti.
January 3: Forever Wild Family Friday: Games on the Lake | 7:00-8:30pm Join Lebanon Hills Regional Park for family fun on the first Friday of every month with park activities and s’mores.Try out some new winter fun with snow snakes and curling games on the lake. All ages.
January 3-4: Championship Snocross | Varies Join the excitement of championship Snocross racing Friday, Jan. 3 and Saturday, Jan. 4! Watch riders soar over jumps and speed around the track during Pirtek Snocross National, presented by Country Cat. Some of the top extreme snowmobile riders from across the country will at Canterbury Park during AMSOIL Championship Snocross for two days of high-flying stunts and exhilarating racing.
January 3-5: Land O’ Lakes Dog Show | 10:00am Sponsored by Purina ProPlan, the 2020 Land O’ Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show takes place January 3-5 at St. Paul RiverCentre located in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Adult tickets are $9, kids are $5, and children under 4 are free!
January 4: Marsh March | 1:00-3:00pm Explore Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in the frozen wetland and discover what lives in and and visits the marsh during winter. Refreshments provided. Reservations recommended. Everyone attending this program must register and pay. Ages 11 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
January 4: Explore It! Tech Take Apart | 1:00-3:00pm Experience more hands-on engineering around a particular subject or with visiting partner organizations at The Works Museum. No registration is required, just stop in with your family or the young engineers in your life. All activities are included with your Museum admission and free to members. Get ready to Explore It! For this particular event, roll up your sleeves, put on safety goggles, and dig into the guts of machines and electronics.
January 11: The Big Chill | 12:00pm Visit Firemen’s Park for an afternoon of winter fun! Ice skate on the clayhole (weather permitting) to Dj music! There will be ice skating games, kick sledding by Carver County Parks and free hot chocolate. Bring your skates (no skate rental available) and come out for some ice skating fun.
January 11: Let’s Go Owling | 5:00-7:00pm Delve into the world of owls and take a hike for a chance to hear rand see these nocturnal hunters at work. Ages 5 and older, $5 per person.
January 11: Winter Trail Days | 11:00am-4:00pm Check out Winter Trails Day 2020 at Fort Snelling! This annual tradition is a day of fun, free winter activities. Try fat biking, tracking, archery, and much more! This event is free and open to everyone, however Minnesota State Parks require a vehicle permit – $7 for the day or $35 for the year.
January 11: Second Saturdays at TPT | 11:00am Get ready for the annual Second Saturdays winter carnival at TPT! This year, the carnival is bigger and better than ever. More info to come soon!
January 11: Luminary Workshop | 10:30am-3:00pm Come to Maplewood Nature Center for a fun day creating winter ice or other luminaries to light up the dark winter evenings! For kids 8 and up with an adult.
January 12: The Puppet Adventures of Ned the Naturalist | 1:00pm Follow Ned the Nerdy Naturalist as he saves nature from Trasher the Trash Can. Try a take-home art activity after the show inspired by art work currently in the gallery or on the trail. Explore and find art work all around Silverwood. Puppet show begins promptly at 1PM and is performed by youth volunteers. Free!
January 16-19: Arctic Fever | Varies Plan ahead for Arctic Fever 2020. Most events are free and all are family oriented fun. Enjoy free Joey Nova’s pizza on Friday night, snow sculptures (we are counting on the snow this year!), lots of fun in the parks on Saturday and a Hero’s and Heroine’s Super Brunch on Sunday.
January 17: Kids at the Castle: Winter Wonderland | 9:00am Wonder at the beauty of winter and celebrate silly snowmen during a playdate in Larson Hall. Families will search for snowflakes and unleash their creativity with a snowman craft. Mark your calendars for the third Friday and Saturday of every month for this action-packed, kids and family creative playtime. Join us for circle time, storytelling, crafts, visual play, music and movement in Larson Hall. Suggested for ages 2-5. Adults must accompany children. $8 per family.
January 18: Winter Flower Show | Times Vary The 2020 Winter Flower Show will feature purple azaleas, jewel tones with dark red cyclamen, blue pansies, dark pink/maroon oriental lilies, veltheimia and various amaryllis. Visit the beautiful Como Zoo Conservatory thru March 31, 2020 to view these flowers.
January 19: Family Fun: Digital Scavenger Hunt | 3:00pm Explore through hands-on activities that everyone can enjoy at their own pace at Richardson Nature Center. Drop in anytime. Ages 11 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
January 20: MLK Jr. Community Day | 11:00am Celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of music, rhythm, and service at the Minnesota History Center. The VocalEssence youth choir will draw on songs from their vast catalog and youth drummers from ARTS-Us will share rhythms from across the African diaspora. Families can also drop in to assemble roadside kindness kits as part of a service project with Small Sums, a nonprofit that supports people experiencing homelessness.
January 23: Saint Paul Winter Carnival | Times Vary The Saint Paul Winter Carnival puts forth a celebration of legendary proportions each and every year. Calling upon the community for support, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival is able to create a sense of pride, belonging, and connectedness for fellow Saint Paulites and Minnesotans. The history and heritage of Saint Paul is celebrated during the Carnival through fun and educational events and experiences. The Legend continues!
January 23-26: U.S. Pond Hockey Championships @ Lake Nokomis | Times Vary Our goal is to celebrate the joy of hockey “the way nature intended” on a Minneapolis lake each January with players reuniting with their youth and friends over a weekend when time can stand still and we can all be kids for three days. The champions do not win prizes, but go down in history with their names etched into the Golden Shovel, a symbol of our lifelong love and passion for the purity of this outdoor game. The USPHC has become an annual pilgrimage for thousands, and every year pond hockey history is once again etched into the frozen surface of Lake Nokomis.
January 24-25: Twinsfest | Times Vary TwinsFest, presented by Kwik Trip, will feature interactive activities and behind-the-scenes fan experiences that celebrate Twins baseball and Target Field. As in years past, more than 50 current, former and future Twins players are expected to appear throughout the course of the two-day event in January. TwinsFest is one of the largest fundraisers for the Twins Community Fund, an organization working to change the lives of kids across Twins Territory by getting them involved in youth baseball and softball.
January 25: Winter RAVE at Coldwater Spring | 12:30pm Visit Coldwater Spring, a beautiful oak savanna prairie near the Mississippi River, for this special winter RAVE (River Action Volunteer Event). Help with invasive plant management, followed by a guided hike to the river with a park ranger. We may turn this in to a snowshoe hike, weather permitting! River Action Volunteer Events are a fun way to discover your river, while acting as a steward on behalf of this beautiful national park in your backyard. All RAVEs couple a recreational activity with a restoration project. Explore the river, learn about significant wildlife and cultural features, and do some good! RAVEs are great for adults and kids over 12 years old. No experience needed. This is a free event for volunteers – your only ticket is your service to the river! Space is limited and registration is required.
January 25: Join the Band! January Kids Kraft | 10:30am Beat the winter blues with some homegrown music. Listen to big band tunes, create two different musical instruments, and listen to a musical story! Free. SCHS Kids Kraft happens monthly on a Saturday. The program introduces children to museums, promotes literacy, and allows young people to practice “old fashioned” hands on skills.
January 25: Art Sled Rally | 2:00pm The Art Sled Rally is put on by neighborhood artists and residents in coordination with the park, local sponsors and community organizations who all want to enrich the spirit of community life in Powderhorn through free public events with a focus on artistic expression and out-of-the-ordinary spectacle. Bring your sled, sign a waiver, bring your helment, and show up for the fun!
January 25: Party in the Club 2020 | 10:30am-12:00pm Jammie Jam with KidsDance! Wear your jammies and move your feet at this funfest DJ show with great family music, dancing, contests, prizes & more!
January 25: Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival | 12:00-4:00pm Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors, and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet. Other fun family activities at the festival include ice fishing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and a marshmallow roast.
January 27: S’mores and More | 2:00pm Give your child a wonderful winter experience at Farmington Parks and Recreation’s annual event at the Rambling River Park warming house and outdoor rink. We will have skating games, music, S’mores, hot cocoa, and don’t forget your skates!
January 29: Winter Warm Up | 5:00pm Inline Skating and Indoor Running returns this season for U.S. Bank Stadium’s Winter Warm-Up, a series of twelve recreational fitness nights at U.S. Bank Stadium. These public events are open to all ages and will take place on the stadium’s main and upper concourses from 5-9 pm. Adult tickets are $8, kids 5-12 are $5, kids 5 and under are free.
January 30: Frozen Family Fun Night | 5:00pm Bring the whole family down to CHS Field on Thursday, January 30th from 5-8pm for a night filled with fun for everyone! Make DIY crafts and hangout with Disney Princesses!
January 31-February 2: International Motorcycle Show | Times Vary STACYC is excited to host youth demo rides on a STACYC-only course aboard our very own 12eDrive and 16eDrive STACYC electric bikes at the Minneapolis IMS Show. As long as your kiddo has closed toed shoes, a shirt and shorts/pants they can participate in the demo. STACYC provides a helmet to reach rider so don’t worry about bringing your own.
January 4: Minnesota Polar Dash | 8:00am Welcome to the 13th annual Polar Dash! 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Yeti & Everest Challenges & 2020M. NEW this year – a 20 mile race! Compete in one of two challenges! Yeti Challenge (2K, 5K & 10K) -OR- Mt. Everest Challenge (2K, 5K & Half Marathon). Complete the challenge and earn 4 medals (3 distances & 1 challenge medal)! All adult registrations get a performance fleece or jacket, medal, and post-race hot chocolate! Register a youth and they get a Polar Dash hat!
Every Saturday in January: Eagan Parkrun | 9:00am This free weekly timed 5K event takes place at Thomas Lake Park.
January 11 & 17: Ski Rennet Race | Times Vary Bundle up for two days of racing! From 26K races with challenging hills to the non-competitive 5K fun ski and youth races, Twin Cities Orthopedics Ski Rennet presented by L.L. Bean offers something for skiers of all ages and abilities.
January 25: Securian Winter Run | 9:00am Securian Financial embraces what Winter Carnival is all about – enjoying Saint Paul’s great outdoors, all year long. The Securian Financial Winter Run features three races: the Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K – each starting at Securian Financial Center on the corner of Sixth and Jackson Streets. The starting gun for the Half Marathon will go off at 9 a.m., while the 5K, and 10K will begin just minutes later.
Join us for a Moms’ Morning Out at Projects in Person – PIP! Grab your girlfriends and snag tickets to our Brunch & Build event, for a morning of socializing, yummy food & coffee, building your choice of a 3 bottle wine holder or a 3 hook wall coat/towel rack with the PIP crew, and, of course, swag and giveaways! More details to come but be sure to save the date on your calendar!
We will have two sessions for this event and tickets are VERY limited and will go on sale on mid-January. Click HERE for more information!
Sensory Friendly Play at Urban Air Adventure Park | Select days, see event calendar An event specifically designed for children with Autism and special needs to enjoy time at the park without loud music, flashing lights and to have a lot of fun! See calendar for timing and details.
Sensory Jump Night @ Pump It Up Third Tuesday of Every Month | During this evening event, the play areas are reserved for kids on the autism spectrum and their families. Kids have a great time meeting new friends. Jump, slide and play with sensory-friendly games in a safe and controlled atmosphere.
Sensory-Friendly Story Time Second Thursday of Every Month | 9:30am Story Time will take place before the store opens to the general public. No music until after the store opens…except for the songs we’ll sing together! Small fidget objects will be available for children to hold if they choose. There will be a clear schedule for story time with visual cues. As with all of our storytimes, this is a no judgment zone! We all have unique needs and ways of expressing ourselves, and we at Wild Rumpus welcome and celebrate those differences.
TPT Second Saturdays Sensory-Friendly Hour | Each month TPT opens up our studios in Lowertown St. Paul for a morning of PBS Kids cartoons on the big screen, meet & greets with PBS Kids characters like Daniel Tiger, Sid the Science Kid, and Buddy the Dinosaur, and fun activities like instrument making and carnival games. If that weren’t enough, the SciGirls squad are always on hand with all sorts of STEM-related games and activities to educate your child.
Sensory-Friendly AMC Movies Second and Fourth Saturday of Every Month | Times Vary AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese January 5th | 8:00am Chuck E. Cheese in Woodbury is proud to support families who have children with autism and other special needs. They offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month, opening two hours before their normal opening time. Their Sensory Sensory events include a trained and caring staff that work to ensure each guest has a fun-filled visit. They realize that the Chuck E. experience can be very stimulating for any child, so our mission is to create an event that allows ALL kids to be a kid.
Sensory-Friendly Night at Cheap Skate January 7th | 6:00pm Cheap Skate has a partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota in creating a night a of family fun with a sensory friendly atmosphere every first Tuesday evening of each month from 6 pm to 9 pm! What does that mean? No flashing lights, no fog, no loud music. These skating and bouncing sessions are designed for those with special needs in mind. Wheelchairs are always welcomed, as well as parents walking on the skating floor to help.
Sensory-Friendly Movies at Marcus Theatre January 11 & 18 | 10:30am We understand that sometimes it is difficult or uncomfortable for families with special needs children to attend movies together. Marcus Theatre’s Reel Movies for Reel Needs is a specially designed program to serve families with special needs such as autism or other challenges, who seldom attend movies. Reel Movies for Real Needs creates a welcoming and comfortable environment – lower sound, lights up – where families with children who need accommodations will be able to share the experience of seeing family-friendly films at a theatre. A select first run movie is featured one Saturday each month at a convenient 10:30 AM showtime.
The Dot at Stages Theater Sensory Friendly Performance January 25 | 10:00am “Just make a dot and see where it takes you.” When Vashti’s teacher asks her to draw a picture, Vashti insists she’s not an artist and makes an angry dot to prove her point. But when Vashti’s teacher frames her dot and hangs it up, Vashti is sent on a surprising journey of self-discovery. This charming fable about the power of the creative spirit comes to life through music and dance this winter with continuing collaboration with Escalate Dance.
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds January 19th-March 1st | Times Vary Ziggy’s afraid to leave the house. He’s too busy worrying about tropical storms, evil spirits, and a sneaky, freaky, hair-grabbing Duppy! But, with the help of some feathered friends, Ziggy learns “every little thing is gonna be alright.” A musical that jams Jamaican style, it’s a timeless tale of peace and love, and of course, Bob Marley, man.
The Dot January 17-February 17 | Times Vary “Just make a dot and see where it takes you.” When Vashti’s teacher asks her to draw a picture, Vashti insists she’s not an artist and makes an angry dot to prove her point. But when Vashti’s teacher frames her dot and hangs it up, Vashti is sent on a surprising journey of self-discovery. This charming fable about the power of the creative spirit comes to life through music and dance this winter with their continuing collaboration with Escalate Dance.
Toddler Tuesdays at MOA Tuesdays | 10:00am-12:00pm Toddler Tuesdays is a program that provides events, free entertainment, and discounts, especially for toddlers. Events include special character appearances, arts and crafts, story time and much more! FREE.
Storytime with Engineer Paul at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store Tuesdays | 10:00am Engineer Paul hosts a storytime full of songs and smiles. Afterward, enjoy the morning exploring and playing with the various train sets and tables at this fun train store. FREE.
Wee Wednesdays at Midtown Global Market Wednesdays | 10:30am Wee Wednesdays showcase free educational programming, fun crafts, and great meal deals each Wednesday morning at Midtown Global Market! Dance with them, experience live puppet theater, learn to cook fun items together in the kitchen, and even pet live animals from the Como Zoo. FREE.
Tots & Trains at Minnesota Transportation Museum 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month | 10am-12pm Explore the Jackson Street Roundhouse & Museum with your little one. Check out their open play area full of train tables. Create a themed craft to take home. Cuddle up and listen to a train-themed story read by one of the museum’s passionate volunteers. Snacks for the kids and coffee for the parents are provided.
Kids at the Castle: Third Friday Playdates (American Swedish Institute) | 9:00 Mark your calendars for the third Friday (and selected Saturdays) of every month for this action-packed kids and family creative playtime. Join us for circle time, storytelling, crafts, visual play, music and movement in the Turnblad Mansion. Suggested for ages 2-5. Adults must accompany children.
Free First Saturdays at Walker Art Center 1st Saturday of every month | 10:00am-3:00pm Free First Saturdays feature free gallery admission on the first Saturday of every month, plus performances, games, art-making, and kid’s films from 10 am to 3 pm. Family friendly food options are available or bring something from home to snack on in the lounge or in the garden.
Free Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning Saturdays | 11:00am-3:00pm Ages 3 and up. No reservations necessary.
MIA Family Day 2nd Sunday of every month | Times Vary On the second Sunday of every month, you’ll have a blast making art, going on artful adventures, meeting local musicians, dancers, and storytellers, and more at the Minnesota Institute of Art! FREE.
Three Rivers Park District: FREE Family Fun Days Sundays | 1-3pm Explore through hands-on activities that everyone can enjoy at their own pace. Drop in anytime. Held at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.