I love winter. My idea of a great winter vacation is to head right into the snow and ice. The best place to go when you want to be outside is Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The area has the perfect mix of winter recreation opportunities for me and my family plus nice accommodations, restaurants and amenities. We’re headed up this month and I can’t believe all the fun events going on. For winter vacation ideas, Grand Rapids just can’t be beat.
Winter Vacation Ideas to Get Outside
Ice fishing around Grand Rapids is great right now. There are reports of people having a phenomenal day catching crappies and bluegill. Grand Rapids has multiple lakes to choose from and many resorts maintain an ice house so you can get out on the lake without any trouble. (Keep up to date on all of the latest ice fishing with regular reports from local fishing guides here.)
Although there isn’t a lot of snow on the ground, there is enough to groom the trails. I’m a Nordic skier and the cross country trails are really fun right now. It’s the best to be out in the woods, gliding along, catching glimpses of deer or snowshoe hare as they dart into the woods. If you prefer old time skis, get to the Forest History Center on February 14 for their vintage ski rendezvous. It’s a hoot! They encourage everyone to bring their vintage equipment and dress the part. Even if you don’t have anything old timey you can still enjoy the show, along with music and a chili lunch.
Northern MN’s Best Winter Events
February is hockey tournament season and Grand Rapids is host to the Star of the North Jr. Gold tournament. It’s a well run event, held at the IRA Civic Center, and families from all around come to cheer their team. If you’re in town on a tournament weekend, you can also take in a snowmobile radar run in Pengilly or a fat bike race along Legion Trail.
Itasca Ski Jumping Club has a highest jump tournament the weekend of February 21. This will be an amazing event to watch as participants lift off and zoom through the air. Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center hosts this event and will have downhill and tubing runs open for winter enthusiasts.
So many fun things to do in Grand Rapids! I can’t wait to get outside and play.
If you’re interested in having a great time playing in the snow, I encourage you to download the Grand Rapids MN Visitor’s Guide and check out all of the winter vacation ideas that the area has to offer.