Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau

By Stacy Brooks, Blogger, and Inver Grove Heights CVB

In Minnesota, we celebrate winter. We invite you to come experience winter fun with us. 

Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, there’s lots of fun to be had in and around Inver Grove Heights this winter! In fact, you don’t have to travel to a warm destination for unique experiences, unique dining options, and unique attractions. Even better, stay in Inver Grove Heights and you’ll not only save money but you’ll make memories in the Twin Cities.

Outdoor festivals and activities like sledding, sports like cross country skiing, and even sculptures crafted from giant piles of snow—you might find yourself having such a good time, that you’ll wish the season lasted a little bit longer. 

Fat Tire Biking

Photo Credit: Bike King

You don’t need to let snow keep you from biking, but you might need to get some extra gear.  Bike King is a locally-owned full-service bike shop in Inver Grove Heights that offers equipment, apparel, and accessories for fat tire and cold weather biking. You can even rent bikes at this location. 

The single-track trail at Salem Hills/Harmon Park Reserve in Inver Grove Heights is open throughout the winter.  Check out the trail’s Facebook page for up-to-date information about trail conditions. 

Other nearby trails that are open for winter biking include Woodbury’s Carver Lake Park Off-Road Trail and Eagan’s Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail.

Sledding

Photo Credit: IGH Parks and Recreation

Zoom down a snowy hill at Inver Grove Heights’ South Valley Park, which is home to a large sledding hill.  As mentioned above, the park also offers an outdoor skating rink—grab your sled and skates for fun outing.

Cross country skiing

Photo Credit: Three Rivers Park District

Explore the great outdoors on a pair of skis for a fun way to experience nature and get your heart rate pumping! 

Ski trails close to Inver Grove Heights include Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, which offers ski rentals and 9.5 miles of groomed trails, including 6 miles of lighted trails and a snowmaking operation.  St. Paul’s Fort Snelling State Park feels like a backwoods getaway, with 12 miles of trails in a rustic setting.  A bit further afield, Golden Valley’s Theodore Wirth Park has over a dozen miles of ski trails for all abilities and will play host to the International Ski Federation Cross Country World Cup on March 14-17.  

Ice skating

Photo Credit: IGH Parks and Recreation

Skating is a fun winter activity indoors or outside for skaters of all abilities.  In Inver Grove Heights, there are outdoor rinks at Skyview Park, Oakwood Park, Groveland Park, South Valley Park, and Southern Lakes. Indoor skating is available at the Veterans Memorial Community Center Ice Arenas, which offers open skate and open hockey hours as well as skate rentals.

Other nearby rinks include Wells Fargo WinterSkate, which is located along the third baseline of CHS Field in St. Paul’s historic Lowertown.   Another fun skating option is at the Mall of America, where the Skate the Star rink is set up around the iconic star sculpture by the mall’s north entrance.

Photo Credit: Destination Winter Saint Paul

For an unforgettable plunge, check out the Securian Financial SuperSlide at St. Paul’s CHS Field.  The track begins 40 feet above the field, and riders slide into second base on innertubes. 

More great sledding can be found at St. Paul’s Merriam Park and Battle Creek Regional Park; Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Regional Park;  and the golf course at Columbia Park.

Snow and ice sculpting

Photo Credit: Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Not only can snow and ice be used for winter activities, they can be made into art!  The Saint Paul Winter Carnival runs from January 23-February 2, 2020, and one of the signature events is the Ice Sculpture Garden at Rice Park.  Artists work with knives, chainsaws, and other tools to create displays that are lit at night for a magical photo opportunity.

The Winter Carnival also organizes the Vulcan Snow Park at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.  About 3,000 tons worth of snow are made into a giant snow slide, snow maze, snow mountain, and snow sculptures.  In addition, the Vulcan Snow Park is the venue for the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Competition, which runs from January 24-26, 2020 and features teams carving sculptures with hand tools.

Comfort Food

After a day of experiencing the outdoors, you’ll want to warm up with these wonderful comfort food (and drink) options.

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights CVB

Jersey’s Bar & Grill

Jersey’s won the 2019 Twin Cities Burger Battle–People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice. From “Jersey’s Juicies” to interesting burger toppings such as the cheese curds burger (pictured), there’s something for all your taste buds. Jersey’s is also well known for their live music and entertainment. 

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Brewing Co. 

Inver Grove Brewing Co.

With 20 taps, Inver Grove Brewing Co. features craft beers produced on-site, as well as beers from other small breweries. Inver Grove Brewing boasts a full food menu, with appetizers like wings, nachos, and fries plus entrees including salads, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and pasta.

Inver Grove Brewing prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere, with a kids menu. Bonus: each kids meal comes with soft serve and a homemade cookie.

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights CVB

iPho2 by Saigon

iPho2 by Saigon Inver Grove Heights offers Vietnamese specialties like banh mi sandwiches, pho, bun vermicelli salads, and rice platters with meat and seafood.  There’s also fried rice, pad Thai, and stir fries. In addition, they serve bubble tea, available in flavors like coconut, taro, honeydew, strawberry, mango, and passion fruit, with pearls or lychee jellies.

Indoor Fun

Photo Credit: IGH Parks and Recreation

The Grove Aquatic Center

Splash year round at The Grove Aquatic Center’s indoor water park.  A zero-depth entry pool helps little ones ease into the water, and there’s also a play structure with splash features, spray toys, and a water table. Bigger kids will love zooming down the two large water slides and scrambling over the floating logs.

Bowling

Photo Credit: Drkula’s 32 Bowl

Drkula’s 32 Bowl

Bowling is fun activity for the whole family, especially when there are automatic bumpers for the little ones!  Drkula’s Bowl also offers a full-service restaurant, pool tables, darts, and more. Fun Fact: Did you know that Drkula’s 32 Bowl hosted the 1st ever PBA Championship in 1971? 

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America®

Photo Credit: Mall of America

Mall of America®

If you’re thrill seeker tilt, twist and turn on the wide array of indoor amusement rides in Nickelodeon Universe® at Mall of America®.  While you’re there, connect with some underwater creatures at Sea Life Aquarium and let your inner Picasso shine at Crayola Experience.  You can even take a flight across the country (and be back in time for dinner) at Flyover America.

Looking for a convenient place to stay during your winter getaway to the Twin Cities?  Inver Grove Heights is just 5 minutes from St. Paul and less than 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, and close to attractions like the Mall of America and MSP International Airport.  Book your room today at these Inver Grove Heights hotels!