Twin Cities Mom Collective

Outdoor Candlelight Adventures for a Magical Minnesota Winter Night

Minnesotans are incredible at adapting to harsh winter weather. Instead of hibernating inside for six months, we learn to bundle up and play with what we have. But even the hardiest of winter enthusiasts can get down by the long dark nights. That’s when it’s time to light up the night.

Nature Centers and State Parks all over the state help to bring the magic of light to winter exploration by hosting Candlelight Walks. Through luminaries with flickering candles, bright lanterns, and wild bonfires for a cozy gathering, explore the night like the owls and bunnies, and other nocturnal creatures. Wear all the layers, grab your snowshoes, skis, or boots with great traction, and explore the Magical Minnesota Winter Night through one of these Outdoor Candlelight Adventures in your area.

For more cold-weather happenings, be sure to check out our Twin Cities Guide to Winter Fun

January 25 & February 15: Faribault | River Bend Nature Center | Full Moon Luminary Snowshoe Hike

Enjoy the full moon with a luminary hike through River Bend. Trails are packed snow, participants are welcome to bring their own snowshoes.

Time: 6-8 PM
Cost: $10/member, $15/member with rental; $15/non-members, $20/non-members with rental; 5 years & under free.
Must pre-register for this event with a specific entry time.


Feb 3: Hastings | Afton State Park | Candlelight Walk

This walkthrough of Afton State Park will be lit with hundreds of candle luminaries for a 3-mile loop trail. Enjoy bonfires at the visitor center and halfway point. 

Time: 5-8 PM
Cost: FREE


Jan 12 / Feb 9/ March 8: Fridley | Springbrook Nature Center | Lantern Light Hike

Bundle up and get ready to hike at Springbrook using the light of glowing lanterns to guide your way.  Listen for owls hooting, keep your eyes peeled for elusive nocturnal animals, and warm up by the fire along the way.  If snowpack allows, snowshoe rental ($5) will be available as supplies last.

Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Cost: Registration required, $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free. Register online by hitting the “Register Online” button at the top of the page, or by calling the nature center at 763-572-3588.

Feb 3: Minneapolis | Luminary Loppet

Walk, snowshoe, or ski on the candlelit trail winding across Lake of the Isles. Experience 1,200 luminaries lining the trail with unique ice features and much more.

Time: 6-10 PM
Cost: Timed wave registration is required. $35 for adults; $15 for Youth (age 4-16; 3 and under free). Luminary Party is free for registered guests. $10 at 7 PM at door for non-luminary participants.


Feb 9: Eagan | Lebanon Hills Regional Park | Trails by Candlelight

​Enjoy parks by flickering candlelight. A variety of cross-country ski, snowshoe, hiking, and walking trails​ will be lit with hundreds of candles. Warm up with hot cocoa and crackling bonfires. Cocoa provided.

Time: 6-9 PM
Cost: $8/person, youth ages 5 and younger are free.

Feb 10: Bloomington | Richardson Nature Center | Candlelight and Chocolate

Snowshoe through the winter woods along a lantern-lit trail and kick-sled under the stars. Warm up inside while savoring a chocolate dessert sampler and listening to live music from singer-songwriter Josh Cleveland and multi-instrumentalist Dustin Smith.

Cozy up outside around a crackling fire and make your own s’mores. Sip hot cider, cocoa, coffee, or tea and explore our exhibits and live raptors. Bring your own bottle of wine or beer (for ages 21+). Snowshoes, kick-sleds, and ice cleats are provided. Reservations are required by four days prior.

Time: 6-9 PM
Cost: $24 per person, equipment provided. Registration required.
For more Candlelight Hike events happening in the area, see the calendar of Candlelight Events at MN State Parks

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