Show your guests how epic the night out in Minneapolis could be.
As the holiday season approaches, Minneapolis greets many visitors to our beautiful city. However, finding the fun in Minneapolis when it’s winter can be a bit of a struggle. So! We have put together a list of the best things to do in Minneapolis during your time in our chilly city. Ranging from outdoor events to indoor choices, we are sure you will find something that peaks your interest in Minneapolis. We prepared some serious cultural Exchange 🙂
Cold Fun Outside
Nighttime activities outside might seem like they are hard to come by, but they are actually very popular among the Minneapolis crowd. (We are a hardy crew.) We have plenty of exciting things to do in Minneapolis during the winter. Here are a few outdoor events that are worthy of checking out:
The Winter Carnival
Held in St. Paul during late January and early February, the Winter Carnival is the largest winter event held in the Twin Cities. There aren’t just one or two parades, there are three. Along with the grand parades through downtown St. Paul, enjoy ice and snow sculptures and traditional Minnesotan foods, followed by a firework show. Most events are free, open to the public, and will take place in downtown Saint Paul, near Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This is a perfect choice if you are looking for something fun to do after the holiday cheer starts to dwindle.
Just as magical as it sounds, Holidazzle events run from Thanksgiving till Christmas in Downtown Minneapolis. Enjoy lots and lots of lights on parade while walking through the area and experience a Minneapolis-centric experience with an abundance of local businesses and vendors. Holidazzle is a wonderful family-friendly experience that lights up Loring Park every year. And the best part is, it’s completely free.
Tour the Holiday Lights
Grab some hot cocoa and blankets and drive around admiring the beautiful light displays the residents of Minneapolis create every year. While the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area has several great venues that are full of holiday cheer and décor like Downtown St. Paul’s Wells Fargo Winterskate at Rice Park, there are many individual neighborhoods that are full of the Christmas spirit.
Warmer Options for a night out in Minneapolis
We can understand that the outdoors in negative temperatures are not appealing to everyone, so here are a few warmer activities that won’t turn your nose red.
Take in a game
Home to both professional and collegiate sports teams, Minnesota takes sports very seriously. Enjoy a Timberwolves basketball game at the Target Center, a Vikings football game at the U.S. Bank Stadium, or a Wild hockey game at the Xcel Energy Center. Enjoy many restaurant and bar options before or after the game, as amazing choices line the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Win or lose, fun is guaranteed with the enthusiasm of Minnesota crowds.
Music and entertainment
The music scene in Minneapolis is hard to miss. With venues like The Armory, First Avenue, and Dakota, there is sure to be something for everyone’s music interests. See a popular rock, pop, or indie band at the Armory or First Avenue, and don’t forget to take a picture in front of the star wall. If you are looking for an establishment with a full, chef-driven menu paired with world-renowned music, visit Dakota, Minneapolis’s one-of-a-kind jazz club.
Night Life in the Cities
Nightlife in Minneapolis is populated with some of the best clubs and restaurants. If you are looking for fine dining, enjoy restaurant choices like Spoon and Stable, Café Lurcat, or the newly acclaimed “Best Restaurant in Minneapolis,” Demi (if you can secure a reservation, more power to you). International gourmet options line our food scene, as well. Experience Argentina from Martina, Italy at Zelo’s, and the finest Japanese cuisine from Kado No Mise.
The most epic night out in Minneapolis
Not only do Minneapolis restaurants carry the finest food from multiple cultures, the drink choices are exquisite. Downtown Minneapolis has a wide variety of bars to choose from, including The Pourhouse, a sports bar and nightclub featuring happy hour and live music almost every night of the week. We at The Exchange & Alibi Lounge create an exclusive party ambiance with a sprawling, upscale dance club and relaxed lounge featuring craft cocktails to make you forget about the cold. Our DJs are both local and national and play the hottest hip hop, top 40 and EDM music to guarantee a night worthy of your time downtown. We also offer the best VIP bottle service in town. Hands down.
Something for Everyone
If you are looking to catch the spirit of the city that doesn’t sleep, Minneapolis nightlife is the way to do it. From holiday events and basketball games to top-notch sushi at Kado No Mise and cocktails at The Exchange & Alibi Lounge, this is only a handful of some of the best things to do in Minneapolis. We urge you to explore the many musings Minneapolis has to offer and immerse yourself in our wonderfully cold city.
We prepared this list of best things to do in Minneapolis right now.
November is still fall for much of the country, but in Minnesota, winter is upon us. That means most of the party has moved indoors. Lakes have become skating rinks, and the magic of long days has traded places with the magical season of friends, family and comfort food. You spend your days on Pinterest, looking for killer turkey recipes and creative Thanksgiving cocktails for a crowd. You spend your nights with music and loved ones and warm, comfy clothes. The best things to do in Minneapolis in winter are a little different than what you may be used to, which is what makes this place so special.
Hockey state of mind
Minnesota is the State of Hockey. Minnesotans are crazy about it. If you find yourself with a November evening to kill in the North Star State, you may want to find a game. It’s one of the few winter attractions that happen both indoors and out, so no matter what your mood, you can scratch that itch. There are plenty of places to free skate, watch a game, or join a pickup game. Hockeyfinder.com has links separated by things like game type, skill level, and arena, so you can always find something that won’t make you look like a klutz with a stick.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, take the crew out for dinner. You deserve it. Minneapolis has always been known for its classic spots. So many of the great restaurants in town have been serving our families for generations. Tight-knit communities, Twin Cities families know each other, and pledge undying support for our local staples. They rarely disappoint, and you can feel the history in the air. Over the past decade, both Minneapolis and St. Paul have enjoyed a foodie renaissance, and many of the new entries are national contenders for best new restaurant titles, so don’t sleep on a restaurant just because Grandpa has never heard of it.
Minneapolis – the city of music
Minnesotans are also pretty serious about music. Each and every person you meet on the street will inform you of the fact that both Prince and Bob Dylan are from here if you let them. Try to keep your “mind blown” face in check. But they are right. There is a lot of great music here. Bands play iconic venues like First Avenue and 7thStreet Entry. Megastars play state-of-the-art stadiums like the beautiful new US Bank Stadium. Large and small venues, and everything in between. You may even want to plan your night out around one of the many great shows going on around the twin cities on any given night. There are so many stadiums, music venues, and theaters, you can find national and local acts in any style that moves your shoes.
Best things to do in Minneapolis in November
Our love for music is just a natural extension of our love for the arts. We tend to spend the cold half of the year indoors, so nesting is a popular pastime here. Also, we love to decorate our spaces with the work of our favorite artists and friends. We have brilliant art collections in the form of our world-class museums and galleries. We’ve also got theaters on every corner, and they produce really good shows. As a city, we’ve gone to great lengths to claim the second most theater seats per capita, behind New York City. While you could spend your evening digging for proof or disproof of the theory, the one thing you should take this to mean is that Minneapolis is passionate about theater, and it shows.
There are so many things to do in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, you could easily forget that it’s winter, and you’re in Minnesota. Don’t. Minnesota spends a lot of money maintaining some of the greatest parks in the nation. Many of them offer things like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding hills and tube rental among many other services and recreational opportunities. We have a beautiful cross-section of winter activities throughout the state. Open your mind and try something new!
Thanksgiving-themed cocktails: We are thankful for the great times!
Now that you’ve accustomed yourself with all the things to see in Minneapolis, you may want to finish your night with a trip to the club. We’ve got you covered on multiple fronts. Head to the heart of the Hennepin Avenue entertainment district downtown for some dancing and Thanksgiving-themed cocktails. The area has tons of nightclubs with great shows. Maybe you’ll want to pop into someplace like Alibi at the Exchange, if you’re looking for a more upscale dance club and relaxed lounge atmosphere. It’s right on the light rail, so you can hop a ride home at the end of your long day, ready for the next.
Minneapolis can treat you so well in the winter if you visit with a spirit for adventure. It makes you tough and gives you something to celebrate at the end of the day. Again, it may not be what you’re used to, but isn’t that why you’re getting out there?