The Ely Winter Festival 2023 – Ely, MN

The Ely Winter Festival 2023 – Ely, MN

Ely Winter Festival

The Ely Winter Festival celebrates winter for 10 days in February. Activities include amazing snow sculpting in the park, an art walk through town, and playing outdoors in the pristine, uncrowded beauty that awaits you in Ely. Wander Whiteside Park as teams of professional sculptors turn 8-ft and 12-ft blocks of snow into works of art! Observe, ask questions, peek at their sketches and models. Keep warm by the fire. Every night, the light of dozens of ice candles renders Whiteside Park magical.

10 Days Of Celebrating Winter!

Our Headquarters is Northern Grounds at Central Ave and Sheridan Street in Ely where you can purchase Festival pins and T-shirts.


Ely Winter Festival

Thursday, February 2nd thru Sunday, February 12th

The Ely Winter Festival is made possible by donations from people like you.
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit and deeply appreciate your gifts! 


Whiteside Park

721 East Sheridan Street

Ely, MN


Art Shanty Projects Bring Interactive Installations to Lake Harriet – Minneapolis, MN

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon – Duluth, MN

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon – Duluth, MN

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

The 39th Running of the John Beargrease Sled Marathon experience is the premier long-distance sled dog race of the lower 48 states. For over 40 years, the Minnesota’s North Shore comes alive with the excitement of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon race, which celebrates and honors the spirit of John Beargrease and brings thousands of worldwide spectators and hundreds of mushers from across the nation.

The series features several races, including the longest sled dog marathon in the lower 48 states, each race requiring mushers to fend off Minnesota’s extreme winter weather and rugged terrain.

Watching the Beargrease doesn’t require dress shoes, fancy clothes, makeup, or showers (we’re only half-joking). Watching the race or volunteering involves spending hours outside in the versatile Northern Minnesota elements — will it be cold? Yep, probably.

But one thing is for sure, the Beargrease is addictive.  From the first distinctive howl of an excited lead dog to the sleepy canine athlete nuzzled in their bed of straw–these 4-legged-athletes steal your hearts.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, come and witness the Beargrease, you will be hooked.

Stay and play all week long to enjoy the Beargrease. Take a peek at local lodging options here.


The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the premier long-distance sled dog race series in the lower 48 states and one of Northern Minnesota’s greatest winter attractions. The sled dog marathon honors John Beargrease’s legacy, indigenous culture, and North Shore communities while celebrating the history of mushing and the incredible canine athletes who make it possible. For up to the minute information, including live tracking of race teams, go to John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.


Come To The Start!

Sunday, January 29th

Location: Billy’s Bar, Duluth MN  |  Billy’s Opens at 7:00 AM  |  Meet The Mushers at 8:00 AM  |  Race Start at 10:00 AM

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

212 West Superior Street

Duluth, MN


Tanglewood Gardens 2023 Farm Supper


World Snow Sculpting Championship – Stillwater, MN

World Snow Sculpting Championship – Stillwater, MN


Wednesday, January 18th thru Monday, January 23rd

Note: This event is weather dependent, watch the website and social media for updates. Sculpting team appearances are subject to change or cancel at any time due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID pandemic. We are confident that despite any unexpected changes, this event will be successful and provide a quality family experience for the City of Stillwater and all that attend.

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Stillwater Minnesota Retro Vintage Text Throw Pillow


Stillwater Park

201 Water Street North
Stillwater, MN


Where to Eat at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport




Itasca State Park’s Twinkle Light Trail – Itasca, MN

Itasca State Park’s Twinkle Light Trail – Itasca, MN

Itasca State Park

Twinkle of starlight, glitter of snow, winter’s frozen crystals reflecting the lights soft glow!

Enjoy the beauty of a winter night along 3/4 mile of lighted trail in Bear Paw Campground.

Available for night (or day) snowshoeing and walking. Lighted with electric twinkle lights from dusk to 10 p.m. daily through the winter snow season. This gentle course follows the Basswood Loop (1/4 mile) and Lakeview Loop (1/2 mile) in Bear Paw Campground.

Wildlife Weathering Our Winter Friends?

As our friends at Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) always say, “YOU are cold. They have fur. It comes down to three main strategies – leave, adapt or slow down.
🦇 Many bird species migrate south for winter, but so do some bats! Eastern red bats, hoary bats and silver-haired bats leave Minnesota in the fall for warmer parts of the U.S. and northern Mexico.
🐺 Other species, like wolves and moose, are well-adapted to winter and actually thrive during this time of year. Wolves group together more in winter and have an easier time hunting prey, like white-tailed deer, that struggle with deep snow and less food. Moose get a much needed break from pesky ticks and warm temperatures, the latter of which is hard on a big-bodied animal.
🐢 For many animals, like turtles, mussels and badgers the key to surviving winter is hunkering down. Most turtles become relatively dormant, moving very little as they lie along the bottom of a pond, lake, stream or river. Mussels will move from shallow water to deeper to avoid freezing, barely moving the rest of the winter. Badgers do not technically hibernate but sleep away most of the winter underground.


Trail Use: walking, snowshoeing. Skiers may use the trail but it is only packed, no track will be set.

Trail surface: Packed snow. Groomer will periodically pack the route as needed.

Pets: pets are allowed on the trail. Pets must be on a 6-foot leash. Owner’s must clean up after pets.

Time/Season: Trail illuminated from dusk to 10 p.m. daily (7 days a week) during the winter snow season December 1-approximatley mid-March. Park closes at 10 p.m. users are to be off trail at that time. Day hikers and snowshoers can use the trail during daylight.

General Safety Tips: Suggest bringing a headlamp/flashlight. There are no streetlights in this area. No water available at the site. Bring your own drinking water. Surface is packed snow, but may be uneven depending on volume of use. Wear appropriate winter footgear. Bring a cell phone for emergencies or taking a selfie.

Now thru March 15th, 2023

4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

East entrance is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Hwy. 71.

(Parking available near the Bear Paw Guesthouse)

More Information visit:  Itasca State Park


Winter Market at the Museum – Minneapolis, MN


Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Full Wolf Moon Snowshoe Hike – Chaska, MN

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Full Wolf Moon Snowshoe Hike – Chaska, MN

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Come howl at the Full Wolf Moon during this special snowshoe-after-dark event at the Arb. It’s thought that January’s full moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time of the year.

In honor of the Wolf Moon, Bob Ebsen with the Wildlife Science Center will be presenting on his team’s ongoing work with Minnesota gray wolves in the MacMillan Auditorium from 5:30-6:30 pm.

All evening long, a self-guided snowshoe path along Wood Duck Pond will be groomed and lit with tealights for everyone to enjoy. Along the way, warm up around one of the multiple bonfires in the Frog Hollow parking lot and roast a marshmallow.

Also joining us, Pete Miller, owner of The Lakes Running Co and Rick Thompson from Crescent Moon Snowshoes. Pete and Rick will be able to answer all of your snowshoe questions. They will have snowshoes for you to try out as well as some for purchase.

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Voyageurs National Park Minnesota Wolf Moon Howling Pullover Hoodie

New Brighton Ice Castles Opens Soon – New Brighton, MN

New Brighton Ice Castles Opens Soon – New Brighton, MN

New Brighton Ice Castles

Back again and opening January 7th 2023!

Don’t miss your moment. Your moment of imagination, exploration, and magic awaits at Ice Castles.

Escape into a world of ice caves, frozen waterfalls, and glaciers formed into archways, caverns and tunnels.

Time is limited, but memories last forever. Make them magical. Freeze Time.

Dates & Advance Tickets 

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FlagSource Minnesota Nylon State Flag, Made in the USA


Long Lake Regional Park

1500 Old Hwy 8 New Brighton, MN 


Welcome to The Departments at Dayton’s…and Santa Bear Updates!


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