Winter All The Way

Winter All The Way

Five memorable ways to experience (and embrace) our signature season.

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
If your clients have a passion for hockey, cut out of the office early and head over to Lake Nokomis. There, in a primitive winter version of crop circles, you’ll find a dozen ice rinks and countless tribes of hardy men and women doing battle for the Golden Shovel, the Stanley Cup of pond hockey. Once you’ve spotted all the former NHL greats and state hockey champs (or you realize your feet are frozen), head over to Town Hall Tap for a pint of fresh-brewed Parkway Java Porter and a couple of Pete’s cabin burgers made with Angus beef, Minnesota wild rice and blue cheese.

Jan. 14-17, 612-379-1030, uspondhockey.com; Town Hall Tap, 4810 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls., 612-767-7307, townhalltap.com

Saint Paul Winter Carnival
For an enchanting introduction to the gestalt of winter in the Twin Cities, take your out-of-town clients to the first night of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in Rice Park. Enjoy live music and a glass of Summit Winter Ale from the Ice Bar as you admire sparkling ice sculptures and await the arrival of the Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade, complete with revelers, dignitaries, and hot air balloons. From there, stroll across the park to Pazzaluna for a bottle of barolo, handmade gnocchi Bolognese and a round of grappa for good measure.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Jan. 28-Feb. 7, 651-223-7400, wintercarnival.com; Pazzaluna, 360 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-223-7000, pazzaluna.com

Winter on the Hill
Clients who are history buffs will enjoy a spin through James J. Hill’s 1891 Richardsonian Romanesque manse on Summit Avenue. Check out the collection of vintage Minnesota-winter must-haves including antique snowshoes and a carriage blanket. Note the grand mahogany staircase, carved by John Kirchmayer, a Bavarian master who earned $1 per hour for his talents. From there, repair to the dark, cozy bar at W.A. Frost and order a bottle of Côtes du Rhône, the deep, rich cassoulet and a couple of snifters of Courvoisier.

Jan. 23-31, James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, 651-297-2555, hillhouse@mnhs.org; W.A. Frost, 374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715, wafrost.com

Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Show
Clients who identify as members of the “I Love the Smell of Snowmobile Exhaust” community will be thrilled by the vision of hundreds of vintage snowmobiles, artfully displayed on the ice on Lake Waconia. Once you’ve had your fill of antique ‘Sota-made Sno-Wolfs, Scorpions, Vikings and other “motor toboggans,” as they were first known, warm up at the natty, nautical Lola’s Lakehouse with spicy bloody Marys and savory steak chili with cornbread.

Jan. 29-31, Lake Waconia Event Center, 8155 Paradise Ln., Waconia, 651-649-4688, mwvss.com; Lola’s Lakehouse, 318 E. Lake St., Waconia, 952-442-4954, lolaslakehouse.com

Ice Castles
Dazzle your out-of-town clients with a memorable visit to the breathtaking ice castles of Eden Prairie. Constructed of 20,000,000 pounds of ice, thousands of man-sized icicles and illuminated with a colored light show, they glow like a frozen aurora borealis. From there, head over to Jimmy’s, a local favorite. Take a table by the fireplace and order Brown Derby martinis, New York strip steaks and mashed potatoes with Minnesota-made Hope Creamery butter.

17970 E. Miller Pkwy., Eden Prairie, 888-718-4253, icecastles.com; Jimmy’s Food and Cocktails, 11000 Red Circle Dr., Minnetonka, 952-224-5858, jimmysfoodandcocktails.com