A Twin Cities Mom’s Guide to the Month of January 2016


There’s always something to do in the Twin Cities. This is an areas where events are never in shortage. We’ve heard over and over that our local guides are a huge help to you in keeping your kids busy and entertained (thus, you keep your sanity). In 2016, we’ll be bringing you monthly event guides so you don’t miss a thing! Here are January’s “need to know” activities – we’ll update with new additions as they come.

January 5: Mall of America Toddler Tuesday “Make a New Friend” | 10am at the Rotunda  Sesame Street Live joins at Toddler Tuesdays®. Dancing, storytime, crafts and much more! Join the fun and make a memory with your new friends and family!

January 10: Family Nature Club: Snow Sculptures (Minnesota Zoo) | 2-4pm  Explore the MN Zoo’s new family playground. When the snow falls, strange looking figures and shapes start to appear.  After reading “Stranger in the Woods,” a story about a snowman, you’ll hike to our back woods to build your very own strange snow-critter creations complete with homemade treats, just like the story. Registration required. Members: $3 per person. Non-members: $4 per person plus Zoo admission and parking

January 12: Mall of America Toddler Tuesdays The Snowy Day presented by Children’s Theater | 10am at the Rotunda  Join Children’s Theatre Company for a wintery adventure! See the world through the eyes of a little boy named Peter with story and activities based on the popular book series, “The Snowy Day and other Stories” by Ezra Jack Keats.

January 15: 9th Annual Dog Days of Winter (Hiawatha School Park – Minneapolis) | 6-8:30pm  Hot dogs, hot chocolate, and popcorn for all to enjoy. Best of all, we will roast marshmallows over a campfire right next to the ice. Cost is $1 per person. All ages.

January 15: Wells Fargo Winter Skate – Skate with the Stars  Minnesota Wild and North Stars alumni with be available to skate with fans fans from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Several alumni participating in the NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game will be skating and signing autographs.

January 15-16: Sesame Street Live “Make a New Friend” (Target Center) | Times Vary  No matter where you’re from or where you’ve been, everyone is special – so join in! Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, to Sesame Street. Together, they explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing, to sharing cookies! Hearing Impaired & Peanut-Free performance is Saturday, January 16 at 2:00pm. 

January 16: Snowshoes and Tracks (Maplewood Nature Center) | 10am-3pm Snowshoes available to rent for ages 4 to adult. Learn how to walk, run, and turn around on snowshoes. Learn about Animal Tracks and Signs from self -guiding activities. Try wood or metal snowshoes (wood snowshoes require 6+ inches of snow). Sleds will be available for pulling young kids. Dress in layers and wear winter boots. Hot chocolate for all attendees! Free to attend. Snowshoe rental: $5/pair.

January 16: Annual Winter Kite Festival (Lake Harriet) | Noon-4pm   The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will host the 14th Annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival in January 2015. The Kite Festival will take place on the north end of Lake Harriet near the Bandshell, located at 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway. Tips Outdoors will teach kids ice fishing skills and safety tips. Equipment and permits for children will be provided. The Hitching Company will be providing horse and sleigh rides throughout the event.Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes will fly over frozen Lake Harriet. FREE.

January 18: Parent-Child Snowshoe Trek (Tamarack Nature Center) | 10-11;30am  Have fun with your child on this day off from school! Strap on snowshoes and go off-trail with a naturalist as they follow animal tracks and discover hidden homes beneath the snow. Ages 4 and up. $12.38/parent-child pair, $6/person optional snowshoe rental. Also offered on President’s Day in February.

January 22-February 15: Bear Snores On (Stages Theatre) | Show Times Vary  Warm-up this winter as Bear and all his friends cozy up in our imaginative new musical! On a cold, stormy winter night, one by one, a whole host of animals venture into Bear’s cave to warm up. But even after the tea has been brewed and the corn has been popped, Bear just snores on! Come see what happens when he finally wakes up and finds them having a party! Also featured during Mall of America’s Toddler Tuesdays on January 22nd.

January 23: Fridley Winterfest 2016 | Noon-3pm  The City of Fridley has a day of inside and outside winter fun: dog sled rides, hay rides, ice games, kids dance party, and medallion hunt.

January 23-31: Bloomington Winter Fete | Schedule varies Kick off Winter Fete by attending the Fat Tire Bike race in the Minnesota River Valley, sponsored by Penn Cycle.  Be sure to check out the many other activities including the Pond-Dakota Winter History Festival, Ski Jumping, and other great events during this winter celebration! All Winter Fete activities are free unless otherwise noted, and fun for the whole family!

January 28-February 7: St. Paul Winter Carnival:  The 130-year-old tradition has been the “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” since 1886.  Enjoy activities starting in January and running through February 7th: parades, a winter run, the snow park, ice carvings and so much more.  Plenty of fun activities throughout the festival to keep you busy!

January 29-31: Twins Fest | Schedule varies  The largest annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, TwinsFest will feature numerous new interactive activities and behind-the-scenes fan experiences that celebrate Twins baseball and Target Field.

January 28-31: U.S. Pond Hockey Championships (Lake Nokomis):   This annually celebrated event is in it’s 10th Year! The U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament is always a big draw for hockey fans. Players come from all over the world to participate – this is a fun activity to watch with your kids.  Bring some cocoa and watch the competition!

January 30: The Polar Plunge begins! This day starts a three month tour of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota – 30 stops and millions raised for Special Olympics. Get a little crazy and support a great cause.

January 30: Bundle Up! Winter Fun Day (Oak Hill Park – St. Louis Park) | Noon-4pm It’s time for some outdoor family winter fun for all ages! The St. Louis Park Rotary Club, in partnership with the City of St. Louis Park, is sponsoring the fifth annual family outdoor winter event at Oak Hill Park. Free.

Ongoing Activities in January:

Ice Castle (Eden Prairie): Open through March 7th | Schedule: M–Th: 3pm to 9pm | Friday: 3pm to 11pm | Sat: Noon to 11pm | Sun: Closed

Wells Fargo Winter Skate (St. Paul): Open through February 7th | Schedule: M-Th: 11am-5pm.  Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm |  Sun: 11am-8pm
Enjoy a fun winter outing in downtown St. Paul!  Skate rental is $4 per person. Show your Wells Fargo check card or credit card and get free skate rentals. Both hockey and figure skates are available from little tyke one-size-fits-all up to adults’ size 13.  January 9, 16 and 23 check out Cub Foods learn to skate programs from 11am-Noon.

Third Thursdays at Minneapolis Institute of Arts: 3rd Thursdays | 6pm  Experience MIA’s diverse art collection through unique programs, drinks, and live music.

Kids at the Castle: Third Friday Playdates (American Swedish Institute)  In the hour before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, movement and crafts inspired by ASI’s current exhibits- activities that will encourage creative minds and active hands. Recommended for ages 2-5. $5 per family. Registration not required; check in at the Information Desk by 11 a.m. on the day of the program. Adult accompaniment required.

Night Trains at Twin Cities Railroad Museum (Bandana Square – St. Paul): Saturdays through February 27th | 6-9pm Night Trains Season comes to the dozens of model railroad layouts in a magical way, the lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. The make believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations. $10 for individuals, 4 and under FREE.

Ice Skating at Centennial Lakes: M-F 10am-9:30pm | Saturdays Noon-9:30pm | Sundays and most school holidays. vary.   Complementing the rink is a cozy, rink-side warming house, complete with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, restrooms, concessions and skate rental. Concession items include hot chocolate, pop, popcorn, hot dogs, chips and candy. Skate rental is available for $6 per pair, with sizes ranging from children’s Size 8 up to adult Size 13. Ice sleds may also be rented for $7 per hour. There is no admission charge for skating. Concessions stand and skate rental hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m.  Rink opens at Noon for those with their own skates.

Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on all that we’re up to!

More helpful winter articles:

Twin Cities January Events | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 winter activities
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 Are you looking for more events? Our Neighborhood Groups on Facebook are always up to something. Find the one for your specific area of the Twin Cities to connect with moms in your own backyard!


Did we miss an amazing event? Tell us about it and we may add it in!

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