Over/Under 2: Winter Events in the Twin Cities

Written by Grace Brang



Welcome back, Over/Under blog followers! This is the second blog in my series that takes a decisive eye to various topics with the aim of classifying a specific event/product/place/etc. as over- or underrated. In this blog, we are going to embrace the time of year with the topic of ~ *drumroll* ~ winter happenings in the Twin Cities metro! Before we begin, let’s just set one thing straight: I LOVE Minneapolis and I LOVE festive, winter events; however, we have to be honest with ourselves… sometimes these super cute, fun events can turn out to be a bit less exciting than they are branded to be. Now, with that in mind, let’s get started!




Holidazzle ~ Free (November 24-December 23)

Overrated. It pains me to say it, but folks, the Holidazzle is overrated! My love for the Holidazzle goes back to when it was a magical parade. I used to complement the epic parade with a stroll through the Macy’s 8th floor holiday display, which also no longer exists, so the fact that my heart still yearns for the OG Holidazzle experience certainly impacts my rating. Every year I look forward to going, I get so excited just thinking about it, and every year I’m slightly disappointed. Does that stop me from going? Of course not. Does it stop me from purchasing every food item available and belting out the holiday tunes that play over the crowds? I wish.


St. Paul Winter Carnival ~ Free (January 25-February 10)

Underrated. With the Super Bowl coming to town in 2018, I can only imagine how much extra effort is going to be put into the St. Paul Winter Carnival to make sure it’s a hit. This is such a fun festival. Ice palaces, parades, a snow park… the list of things to do at the Winter Carnival goes on! Check it out - most of the events are free!

European Christmas Market ~ Free (December 1-3, 8-10)

Overrated. I want to love this event! To be fair, I don’t think I’m the target audience of the European Christmas Market. I don’t do much holiday gift shopping because of my broke college student lifestyle, but if I needed adorable, European-inspired, handmade gifts for my friends, this would be a jackpot. However, it’s still a nice excuse to get over to downtown St. Paul, sip on some Glühwein if you’re 21+, and get in the holiday spirit.


Small Business Saturday Winter Market ~ Free (November 24-25)

Underrated. Stressing about getting a gift for those friends that seem to have it all? Look no further than the Small Business Saturday Winter Market to find the perfect presents for them. Attending this event is sure to get you up to speed with the Midwest’s trendiest up-and-coming shops and boutiques, but you’ll also see some familiar stores that have called the Twin Cities home for years. This is a great time - grab a shopping buddy and get ready to coax each other into making countless purchases you won’t even regret later.

Wells Fargo Ice Skating Rink ~ Free (November 18-February 11)

Overrated. UGH - another thing I wish I loved! I’ve tried going to this rink a few times throughout the years I’ve lived in the Twin Cities, and it’s always been a hit or miss. Don’t be fooled by the photo I provided; it’s a lot smaller than it looks and it fills up fast, so get there at a time you don’t think will be very busy. I can’t be of much assistance in recommending a time to go because I have had like one successful day of skating there out of the many times I’ve tried to go. However, I love the free cost of this rink! It can be hard to find nice places to skate for free, so props to Wells Fargo and the City of St. Paul for making skating accessible to the community!


Harry Potter In Concert ~ $42-90 (December 15-17)

Underrated. Not exactly college budget-friendly, but if you’re looking to treat yourself this holiday season, this is worth it. I went two years ago when the Orchestra played Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I can only presume that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be just as magical. If you love Harry Potter, this is for you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do in the Twin Cities in the upcoming winter season, but I hope I’ve opened your eyes to some new things to try out!