Rochester MN Winter Activities + Ideas

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We’ve got a bad case of cabin fever! How about you? Minnesota winters can be cold, dark, and long. We need to warm things up with some winter fun! Here are our favorite Rochester MN winter activities to get you through to spring!

Outdoor Fun

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Bundle up and head out to for a day of sledding! There are two designated sledding hills in Rochester and one big fun tubing hill, just outside of Rochester!  For all sledding hill information, please check out our Rochester MN Guide to Sledding Hills.

Ice Skating

The city is full of great outdoor ice rinks for a true winter experience! Check out our Rochester MN Guide to Ice Skating for all the details on what locations have lights, warming houses and hours of operation.

Snow Shoeing

No experience needed! Just put on your boots and strap on some snowshoes. Head out to a nearby park or trail.

The City of Rochester and the Rochester Active Sports Club work together to maintain the trails at Quarry Hill.  Please reference their winter sports map to plan your route!

Quarry Hill and Oxbow Park both maintain groomed trails and rent snowshoes. Check their websites for more rental and trail information.

Quarry Hill
Oxbow Park

Ice Fishing

If you’re up for a true Minnesotan experience try ice fishing! Our Rochester MN Guide to Ice Fishing will help you understand all of the details as ice fishing will take a bit of pre-planning. However, with the proper fishing license and shelter registration, you will be on your way to a winter fish fry! Take a look at the Minnesota DNR’s website for all of the guidelines and some helpful tips on how to make ice fishing fun and safe for kids. Silver Creek Reservoir, Quarry Hill, Chester Woods and Lake Zumbroare just a few local places to test out your winter fishing skills! Find more local and statewide places to fish with the MN DNR’s Lake Finder Tool.

MN DNR

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Downhill Skiing + Snowboarding

Interested in speed? There is no better way during the winter months to test your speed and agility than downhill skiing. Coffee Mill Ski Area and Welch Village both offer rental options, lessons, and good old-fashioned fresh air! Check out their websites for more details.

Coffee Mill Ski Area
Welch Village
Afton Alps
Afton Alps

Cross Country Skiing

If downhill skiing isn’t quite what you are looking for, how about cross country skiing? Cross-country skiing is a great way to get out and get moving. It will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing! Quarry Hill and Oxbow Park both maintain ski trails. Quarry Hill also rents equipment. Check out their websites for more information.

Quarry Hill
Oxbow Park

 

winter fun, guides, rochester mn, winter fun, activities, local activities, snow, winter, snowball, snow day, snowpants, snow shoeing, sledding, ice skating, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, ice fishing, fishing, snowman, snow cream, outdoor activities, ice bar, snow castles, winter funGood Old Fashioned Snow Fun

  • Build a snowman
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Make snow angels
  • Build a snow fort
  • Build snow animals

 

Winter Events

Social Lights

In keeping with the spirit of Social-ICE and taking into consideration COVID-19 circumstances, this year’s event is being adapted to Social Lights, which features the traditional format of Social-ICE and incorporates exciting new elements.

RDA staff is reimagining a visually stunning event with wow-factor lighting and forgoing cold-weather-dependent components like ice to include the following elements:

  • DJs/music
  • Keep individual bars’ themes and specialty drinks
  • Colorful, interactive lighting
  • Experiential activities
  • Photo station
  • Fire pits
  • Large-scale entrance

Dates/Times:

March 3rd – 5th, 2022 – Peace Plaza

Social Lights

 

Don’t forget to check our Events Calendar and our Monthly Event Guides for all the up-to-date winter events in Rochester MN!

 

Get Creative

Paint the Snow

Bring a little color to a backyard full of clean white snow! Make your own snow paint with this easy recipe:

  • Fill a spray bottle with warm water
  • add in half a bottle of liquid food color or 1/8 tsp of gel food color.  Shake well!

Shivery Snow Paint

Have a little fun indoors with this icy snow paint! When it’s just too cold to go outside create your own snow masterpiece with this fun recipe for Shivery Snow Paint.

Paper Snowflakes

Making snowflakes on a wintery day can become a fun family tradition! Try these coffee filter snowflakes that are easy for little fingers to cut and fold. If you are up for a bit a challenge or your kids are older check out this more elaborate paper snowflake video tutorial using paper bags!

Kitchen Fun

Snow Ice Cream

What kid wouldn’t want to turn snow into ice cream! Check out this super simple recipe and dig in!

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream

We can’t resist this tasty recipe for Hot Cocoa Ice Cream! It may be a cold treat for winter but it will definitely be a crowd pleaser! Or why not go out for a cup of the real thing?

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After playing outdoors in the chilly winter air everyone will be ready to warm up with this Crockpot Hot Chocolate! Get it all set to go and let it simmer while everyone is out having fun!

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Rochester Mom is written by and for moms who live in the Rochester MN area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses and seeking to connect moms both on and offline.

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