Best things to do in Minneapolis: Early Winter+Thanksgiving

Best things to do in Minneapolis: Early Winter+Thanksgiving

Best things to do in Minneapolis: Early Winter+Thanksgiving

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. 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?