The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival fuses nature, sports, art and community in a joyful celebration of the outdoors.
There’s cross country skiing, fat bike racing, obstacle courses and sports you’ve never heard of. With races and rides spanning the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Theodore Wirth Park, the festival has something for everyone.
Enjoy the experiences, sculptures, food and drink areas, and much more, all in the crisp winter air amidst beautiful trees, water and parks. Here are a few activities we recommend checking out.
When: Friday-Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2
Where: The Trailhead, Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles
Lake of the Isles lights up with candles and glow sticks for the Luminary Loppet, where people ski, walk or snowshoe through the luminous night. You can start at one of four different tents around Lake Harriet or in the channel between Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles. Afterwards, stay for the REI Co-op Luminary Party, an outdoor concert with music by Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Surly Brewing Co. beer and hot chocolate.
When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 (Luminary Party goes until 10 p.m.)
Where: Lake of the Isles
Cost: $35, $20 youth 16 and under
Southwest Journal Snow Sculpture Contest
Teams of four compete to transform blocks of snow into works of art in the course of five hours. Whether you are feeling artistic yourself or just want to watch, it’s a fun event that celebrates winter wonder.
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: The Trailhead, 1221 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Surly Brewing Beer Garden & Block Party
In between watching races, stop by the beer garden for food trucks, beer and socializing.
When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Jan. 30-31; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2
Where: Loppet Village at The Trailhead, 1221 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Ski games for the whole family are offered at the MYSL super carnival. With relays, ski ball, an obstacle course and more, this is a great option for kids, happening before the Minne-Loppet youth races.
When: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: The Trailhead, 1221 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Winter at the Walker 2020
Trek through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on snowshoes and then have a drink and try crafts indoors. On Jan. 30, see a special presentation of wintry films.
When: 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 23 and 30
Where: Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl.
Fire & Ice Family Skating Party
Enjoy a night with your family and friends skating to a DJ set or keep warm with hot chocolate and a bonfire.
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 24, 31
Where: Friday, Jan. 24: Armatage Recreation Center, 2500 W. 57th St.; Friday, Jan. 31: Kenny Park, 1328 W. 58th St.
Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum: Minnesota Swedes Raising Cane
Local historian Marilyn McGriff discusses an early-20th-century Minnesotan doctor who promoted the sale of Cuban land parcels to his fellow Swedish Americans.
When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 25
Where: Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave. S.
Fourth Annual Harriet Kite Festival
Alongside the Art Shanties, kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet. Other family activities at the festival include ice fishing, snowshoeing and a marshmallow roast.
When: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25
Where: Lake Harriet
National Lutheran Choir Hymn Festival
The 60-member National Lutheran Choir’s program will feature anthems interspersed with readings, as well as hymns, which will give audience members the chance to join in.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26
Where: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave. S.
Author Talk: Bill Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant
In “Closing Time,” Bill Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant dive into tales from famous and infamous drinking establishments from throughout Twin Cities history.
When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
Where: Walker Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave.
Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin’s Russia
In this narrative tour of modern-day Russia, Joshua Yaffa, Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, shows how the Putin system is made possible by the compromises of its citizens, whether in business, politics or the arts.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
Where: The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave.
Cellular Cinema: CAVE Festival
The third edition of the Festival of Cinematic & Audio-Visual Experimentation (CAVE4) offers a lineup of visiting artists and curators presenting a diverse array of screenings, performances and discussions.
When: 7-8:30 p.m. and 9-10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theater, 810 W. Lake St.
Cost: $6-$15 sliding scale, $5 with student ID
Celebration of African American Art History
One-hour public tours will be offered daily, highlighting the exceptional historical and creative cultural contributions made by African American artists.
When: Throughout February
Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S.
Hope in the Struggle: A Conversation With Josie Johnson
Josie Johnson will discuss her memoir, “Hope in the Struggle,” about her experience championing social justice through the ongoing civil rights movement in the United States, specifically in Minnesota.
When: 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: Linden Hills Recreation Center, 3100 W. 43rd St.
Fire & Ice, 13th Annual Rube Goldberg Build
People 18 and older will build one part of a giant causation contraption with mechanical features that include frozen water and flames. Food, drink, tools and materials provided.
When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: Leonardo’s Basement, 150 W. 60th St.
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
The Minnesota Drinking Game
In this 8th-anniversary show, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” will be performed by Twin Cities talent.
When: 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1
Where: Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Ave.