February is that month of the year that cabin fever sets in; it’s not full blown, but it’s starting. November and December bring the tinsel and charm of the holiday season. January brings the holiday hangover and people post up indoors with a good book or movie. By February people start getting antsy and brave the elements to enjoy the Winter season the Midwest is famous for. Living in blissful ignorance of the cold and snow, people partake in outdoor activities across the state such as: candlelight snowshoeing, ice skating, cross country ski races, ice fishing contests, frozen bocce ball and golf tournaments; even polar plunges. People across the state bundle up and truly enjoy the season. It’s makes us Minnesotans!
Here’s what’s going on this month in da North. Enjoy it before cabin fever really sets in and the only cure is a trip to the sunshine.
Full schedule after the jump
Jan 31- Feb 15- Winterfest | Variety of Locations | Rochester
New for 2015, Winterfest VIII has events for three weeks, growing from two! From Bacon Fest to Ice Skating, the variety of events is impressive.
1- Ice Skating | Soldiers Field Oval | Rochester
Start the month of outdoor activities on the ice! The oval will be frozen and open for skating until the ice melts so get out while you can! Note: must bring own skates.
3- Super Bowl Ad Review | Olson | Minneapolis
My marketing mind thinks this is the bee’s knees! A panel discussion with some of the twin cities’ best minds in the advertising world discussing the ins and outs, the good, the bad and the ugly of the Super Bowl ads.
5- Social Science: In the Dark | Science Museum of Minnesota | St. Paul
I love museums and getting my nerd on. I don’t love fighting my way through a sea of kiddos and strollers to see the exhibits. This event solves that. Open to adults 21+, enjoy not only the exhibits, but also special activities, food + bevs, and tunes. $15. 6:00 – 11:00 pm.
5- Bacon Fest | Canadian Honker Event Center | Rochester
I know, bacon is kind of soooo two years ago, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from eating bacon for a good cause. Go rouge on your dinner plans and try a variety of food all featuring bacon. $20. 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Proceeds go to Sunset Terrace Elementary.
6- Movie Night @ The Co-Op | People’s Food Co-Op | Rochester
Samples throughout the store, live music and adult beverages from Tessa’s Office with short films playing throughout the evening. Free. 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Get to know your local grocery store!
6- PROF | The Wicked Moose | Rochester
Because he always puts on a good show and for $12, it’s a steal of a deal for some Friday night entertainment.
7- When Harry Met Sally: A Drinking Game | Phoenix Theater | Minneapolis
When Harry Met Sally is the best rom com hands down; all others truly fail in comparison. Phoenix Theater puts on a staged reading of the show mixed with “take a drink when…” style drinking game for both audience and performers. $5. Show starts at 10:00 pm. Plan for a sober cab.
7- Wild Game Feed | American Legion Hall | Byron
If trying new things is one of your New Year’s resolutions, than this even has your name all over it. An event centered around chef’s making great snacks and dishes made from venison, squirrel, even alligator among other wild game!
8- Open House | Winona County Historical Society Museum | Winona
This event comes on the heels of their current exhibit, New Land, New Life!, featuring the history of the Norwegian immigration to Minnesota. Being very, very Norwegian, the exhibit alone is worth the trip. On Feb. 8, however, the museum is free from 12:00-4:00 pm and features crafts, guided tours and other hands on activities. Finish with some grub at Bubs and get the stuffed mushrooms!
8- Cardboard Sled Races | Rochester Golf and Country Club | Rochester
You’d be surprised and what people come up with given the challenge of creating with cardboard. $20 to create your sled and free to check out and view the event (in a warm spot with free coco and cookies I might add)! Check out their website for complete details and instructions.
8- Trivia Night | Tap House | Rochester
Every Sunday enjoy trivia at my all time favorite Rochester spot- the Tap House; fifty beers on tap, wine and the best selection of specialty drinks around (check out my current seasonal choice- chai tea with vanilla vodka).
9- Valentines Card Making Party | ARTrageous | Minneapolis
Instead of Christmas cards this year, I decided to send out Valentines to all of our family and friends. Not only are you sure to get a good dose of inspiration, the likely hood of actually getting them done increases tremendously at an event such as this. $15 (includes all your supplies). 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
13- Foods of Love Progressive Dinner | Various Locations | Stillwater
Progressive dinners remind me of my parent’s group of friends when each couple would host a course. They’d dress up and travel from home to home enjoying a new atmosphere and taste with each bite. I’ve loved the concept ever since. Stillwater is not only a picturesque river town, but the foodie scene is also top notch. This Valentine’s themed event features local specialties mixed with ahem aphrodisiac bites.
12- Thursday Night Chef’s Dinner | Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery | Spring Valley
Every Thursday enjoy multiple courses and wine pairings at the winery. Every Thursday the menu is different and remarkable. $55 of you won’t be disappointed or find a better meal.
14- Heart Bombing! | The Log Cabin Motel & Grill | Rochester
The event I’m most looking forward to this month. Show your love for historical sites and old buildings! An effort from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, spread some love on a historic buildings across Minnesota (full details and list of sites on their Facebook page). I’ll be headed to the Log Cabin Motel & Grill which was the spot for Norwegian Fuel (coffee) and sour cream pancakes before the construction of Hwy 52. Discover the history and experience the “good olde days” all while schmattering the building with paper hearts.
14- Snowshoe by Candlelight | All over Minnesota
Spend Valentines day bundled up snow shoeing or cross country skiing enjoying the silence of the forest with thousands of twinkle lights and candles illuminating your path. With most sites also offering coffee, fires for roasting mallows and some even dinner and chocolates, it’s a perfect little date night. Multiple locations across MN. Here are a few: Eagan, Lake Elmo, Duluth and North St. Paul. For a full list of events all season, check out this list.
19 – 21- SocialICE | Peace Plaza Downtown | Rochester
One of my favorite events in Rochester! Ice bars, bonfires, live music and specialty drinks to erase the cold. Also plenty of indoor spots to warm up! Open 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Best time to come? Happy hour!
21– Winter Farmers Market | Graham Park | Rochester
Shop local! It may be the middle of winter, but you’d be surprised at the available fare! Everything from root veggies to gourds to winter plant arrangements to preserves. Open 9:00 a.m. – Noon, with refreshments available, come spend an hour or two meandering the stands (did I mention it’s indoors).
21- Short Shorts Film Festival | The Underground/Duluth Playhouse | Duluth
7:00 pm. $10 Check out local films and stay for a complementary reception courtesy of Whole Food Co-Op.
28- Grumpy Old Men Festival | Various Locations | Wabasha
One of Minnesota’s more popular “filmed here” movies is Grumpy Old Men and every year the sleepy town of Wabasha has a festival to commemorate their claim to fame. Watch the movie and come see how Wabasha makes all things grumpy and old and man fun: a plaid parade, ice fishing contest, hot dish luncheon, cribbage tournament, the list goes on and on.
28- Wine and Chocolate Spectacular | Byron Events Center | Byron
Vino, chocolate, hors d’oeuvres and all the moola goes towards small dog rescue of minnesota. Sign me up! $20. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Sundays, all month- Music Under Glass | Como Park Zoo Conservatory | St. Paul
Every Sunday from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, wrap up the weekend with an adult beverage among greenery and flowers with tunes from one of the Twin Cities’ great performers- you’ll think it’s a summer day. Free admission too!