Midwest winters are not for the faint of heart—especially in “Minnesnowta” where a foot of snow can fall one day, and the wind chill temps can rival Antarctica the next. Getting through the cold and dark season, which usually feels like it spans half the year from October to April rather than its allotted three months on the calendar, can be difficult! Hibernating at home in cozy blankets while binge-watching Netflix is fun for the first few months, but by the time February rolls around and all the holiday luster has officially worn off, it can start feeling claustrophobic and downright dreadful. The good news is that spring is only a couple months away, but the bad news is that spring is still a couple of months away.

So, what is a Minnesotan to do if the stir-crazy feeling sets in and there’s no end in sight yet to the winter blues? Here are some fun ideas to get you through the rest of the season and brighten up the dreary days!

Go Green

Sometimes you just need a break from the monotone color palette of Minnesota in the winter—that grey on grey might be chic for a while but it definitely gets old. To tide you over until the first sprouts of spring pop up, head over to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory connected to the Como Zoo! A walk through their lush indoor gardens will give your eyes and soul a little refresh as if you were on a mini tropical vacation. They also have a “Music Under Glass” series throughout the winter where you can enjoy local music and refreshments amongst the serene greenery.

If the Como Gardens inspire you, why not bring some of the greenery home with you? Tropical plants such as palms, monstera, ferns and snake plants can all thrive inside even during the winter as long as there’s enough light! Succulents can also bring some pop of color to your windowsill and are fairly easy to keep alive. Year-round greenhouses like Highland Nursery are great places to visit to start growing your indoor garden.

Embrace the Cold

If you’re the type of person that actually likes the winter weather and just need a reason to get out of the house and enjoy it, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of!

Destination Winter is held at CHS Field in downtown Saint Paul and hosts a skating rink as well as giant snow SuperSlide to make your winter more exciting. And if you’re looking to really prove that the cold doesn’t bother you anyway, Ice Castles in New Brighton is a picturesque frozen wonderland. You could also check out the frozen waterfalls at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park or go snowshoeing in one of the many parks around the area!

Tour the City

Winter is a great time to visit all of the places you’ve been meaning to but just got too busy in the summer and holiday season to actually commit to. Visit the many breweries around the area or go to one or all of the exciting museums! For example, the Minnesota History Museum has its First Avenue exhibit running all winter and the Science Museum is celebrating the moon landing. For more must-dos check out the Explore Minnesota, Visit Saint Paul or Meet Minneapolis websites.

Fill Your Schedule

Having something to look forward to every week is a great way to make the time go by a little faster. Why not take up a new hobby for the winter months? For some ideas to get you started check out our January blog post!

Hopefully these tips will help brighten the rest of your winter and keep your spirits warm until spring!

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