The Winter Carnival is for everyone. And we mean everyone—young, old, short, tall, locals, visitors and fans of bowls that are super.
A jam-packed winter extravaganza, that’s what. We know a thing or two about the cold here in Minnesota and the Winter Carnival showcases our favorite season in all of its glory. This year’s highlights include a 70-foot Ice Palace in Rice Park, Olympic Team USA Winterfest, three parades, live ice carving competitions, an ice sculpture garden, a Minnesota Made Market and a long list of live entertainment.
Jan. 25-Feb. 10, 2018.
Sunday, Jan. 21
2018 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt begins
Thursday, Jan. 25
Winter Carnival Kickoff
Moon Glow Parade
Vulcan Snow Park Opens
Ice Carving Competitions begin
Friday, Jan. 26
Winter Carnival Royal Coronation
Autonomous Snow Plow Competition
Saturday, Jan. 27 - Kid’s Day
King Boreas Grand Day Parade
Securian Winter Run & Kids Skyway Scamper
Sunday, Jan. 28
UCare Jazz in the Park
Thursday, Feb. 1
MN Made Market
Saturday, Feb. 3
Family Day, Olympic Team USA Winterfest
Sunday, Feb. 4
Thursday, Feb. 8
Cinco de Mayo Night
Saturday, Feb. 10
Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade
This only scratches the surface. For a full listing of events by day, check the calendar.
It’s kind of a long story, actually, but it began in response to a few misguided East Coast reporters who called Minnesota "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation." You can read the full legend surrounding our mid-winter festival here or, if you've got an hour, check out TPT's episode—The Legendary Winter Saint Paul Winter Carnival.
Most Winter Carnival events are free unless otherwise noted. Buy a collector’s button online or at a local retailer to register for great prizes and exclusive discounts at ticketed carnival events and other local businesses. New this year is the Family Bowl Passport—collect three or more stamps at participating locations to be eligible to win even more exciting prize packs.
Skip the hassle and reserve your parking spot in advance (and get up to 50% off drive-up costs) using SpotHero.
Other Important Questions
What should I wear?
We like to bundle up in warm boots, a coat, gloves and a hat—you can always take layers off. Ultimately, it’s up to you though. Don’t be surprised if you see some true Minnesotan winter warriors rocking shorts.
Can I bring my dog?
While pets are allowed at the outdoor events, the Carnival recommends you leave them at home to ensure the safety of your pet and other guests.