When the ground gets covered in snow and you need to bundle up in several layers to go outside, it can be hard to find motivation to get outside, but Minnesota winters offer countless activities that are well worth the time in the cold. Winter is a great season to try a new sport and build a new hobby with your family or friends. Here are a few ideas for new sports to try based on the age of your kids and intensity you are looking for.

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You Have Young Kids

When you have young kids under the age of ten, you can’t be outside for too long because of the cold and possibly their lack of interest. Ice skating or sledding are two great options for kids in this age group. The Greater Mankato area has several skating rinks to check out; the All Seasons Arena has open hockey, public skating, and skating school for beginners. For aspiring figure skaters, the Mankato Figure Skating Club is a great option! If you’re looking for a sledding hill, you can go to Sibley Park and check out the Christmas lights display while you are there, or head over to Mount Kato for snow tubing!

You Want to Go the Distance

The Greater Mankato area has many options available for the crowd who wants to go the distance during the winter. If you want to travel on foot, cross country skiing or snowshoeing are two great options to get outside and work up a sweat while enjoying the beautiful winter scenery that Minnesota has to offer. “Mankato is surrounded by an extensive trail system featuring groomed pathways which bring cross country skiers through Indian Lake Park, Williams Nature Center, Bray Park, Wildwood Conservation Area and Daly Park” (Visit Greater Mankato).

If traveling by foot really isn’t on your must-do list, don’t worry, we have you covered. Snow biking a new trend that many outdoor lovers are raving about. Snow bikes, also known as “fat bikes” have wide tires that make it easier to ride on snow covered surfaces. The Nicollet Bike Shop has group rides every Tuesday at 5:30 so you can meet new people and try out a fat bike for yourself!

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You’d Rather Stay Inside

Let’s face it, not all Minnesotans love the cool, crisp days of winter. Don’t worry, there are plenty of new activities to try that keep you warm and indoors! Mankato’s Community Education & Research offers a ton of indoor winter leagues for adults. From volleyball to simulator golf, these sports are a great option to meet new people and learn a new skill!