By Emily Buss

It’s winter in Minnesota and that means snowstorms, bitter, cold days, and below freezing nights. But, it also means nights huddled next to a fire, sipping on hot chocolate and letting your significant other warm you up. The Twin Cities in the wintertime is a beautiful place to be when you go to the right destinations. If you’re looking for fun, romantic outings to do this winter, try some of these suggestions. Here is the list of best winter dates in the Twin Cities.


Nestled under the majestic windows of the Landmark Center and facing the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Rice Park ice rink sits in a prime location for a romantic evening of ice-skating beneath the stars in Saint Paul. Beautiful architecture, glowing holiday lights and snow glistening in the air set the mood for a perfect winter date. Throughout the entire state, local ice skating rinks are open to the public but there is nothing like this urban oasis.

Brought to the public by Wells Fargo, the rink is open to all, except during reserved hours for broomball. Admission is free while skate rental is only $2. If you’re looking for a romantic outdoor activity that will guarantee some quality hand holding, look no further than winter skating at the beautiful Rice Park.

(credit: St. Paul Winter Carnival)

Nothing brings a community together quite like a carnival. And, why not do it with your significant other? As Minnesotans, we are not only accustomed to winter, we embrace it. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is looked forward to all year long. The magnificent ice sculptures, the majestic royal court, the Torchlight Parade and the ever popular hunt for the elusive Medallion are just a few of the events associated with the carnival. Put on your parka and fancy boots and take a walk through the art exhibits, sculpture carvings and take in all the festivities.


The Twin Cities in the winter is truly a sight to see. The Mississippi River covered in a fresh blanket of snow, the city lights brighten the streets and a cozy, candle lit dinner alongside the city skyline is the cap to any chilly winter night. Vic’s on the Minneapolis Riverfront in the St. Anthony Main district boasts a flavor rich menu with a stellar wine selection.

Famous for the dramatic views of the Minneapolis skyline, don’t forget to reserve your table near a window or the antique fireplace. Decked in old style art with a deeply comfortable atmosphere, Vic’s is a premiere spot for a romantic winter date.

(credit: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

For those of you who are interested in a sense of cold competition but want to stay warm, why not catch a Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul? The hockey arena seats just more than 18,000 and will comfortably accommodate you and your hockey hunny. More private suites are available if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, but it’s so much fun to sit on the glass and cheer on your favorite hockey team.

Show your greens and reds and take part in the State of Hockey’s favorite past time as a different winter date. Your photo might just end up on the scoreboard smooch cam!


When you’ve had enough of the cold and Old Man Winter has got you frozen, head over to Crema Café in Uptown to warm up those chilly bones. Boasting award-winning ice cream, local ingredients, homemade delicacies and piping hot beverages, Crema Café is a cozy place to snuggle up next to your snow bunny and sip on a cup of rich hot chocolate or Earl Grey. This small, yet elegant café is just the right place for a quiet escape from the bitter Minnesota winters.

Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at, on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.