Five Things You Must Do For Fun This Winter

The Brainerd Lakes Area is Minnesota's premier winter playground and these five things are a must in 2016.

Winter is here and it is time to get out and play in the snow. This year break out of the normal winter routine and head to Minnesota’s winter playground for winter activities and events that will leave you telling stories for years to come.

POSTPONED To Feb 6th Due To Ice Conditions: Largest Live Release Charitable Ice Fishing Tournament in the World – Jan 23rd

On January 23rd over 12,000 people from around the world will head out onto the ice for the largest charitable live release ice fishing tournament in the world. Attendees will compete for over $200,000 in prizes including cash, new vehicles, four wheelers, fishing gear, and more. This event is an annual tradition for many and a new bucket list for others each year. Bring your family, friends, or co-workers. Dress up in a theme, set up your area with banners, tables, grills, whatever you want to do. Check out the various vendors selling a variety of gear, food, and beverages. This is more than just ice fishing it is a must attend winter bucket list experience!

Frozen Fore Winter Weekend Party - February 26-28

For those that want all the fun and none of the fishing then you must attend the Frozen Fore Winter Weekend Party on Gull Lake. Join thousands of people for three days of live music from four different bands, food, drinks, events, and activities all out on the ice. Kick off the weekend with a frozen flop and live music inside the huge heated tent out on the ice. Saturday you will shuttle, drive, or snowmobile around the lake from the tent to eight participating restaurant/bars for a lake wide game of ice golf. That evening head on back to the heated tent for more live music. Sunday wraps things up with the very popular food fest where you can sample and vote on food prepared by local chefs. This is a full weekend of partying that you do not want to miss!

Take on the Largest Tubing Hill in MinnesotaMinnesota Ski Hills

Mount Ski Gull in Nisswa Minnesota has long been a destination for skiing families traveling from all over the region for their downhill ski runs. Last year this ski destination upped the game with the addition of an 800 foot dedicated terrain park and the largest tubing hill in Minnesota at over 1,000 feet. Ride the high speed tow to the top, let your inner child run free tearing down this awesome hill, then warm up in the chalet while enjoying a snack and beverage (beer & wine).

Fat Tire Mountain biking on the Cuyuna Trails

Cuyuna is an IMBA certified mountain bike course and one of just a handful in the world. Mountain bike enthusiasts from around the country travel to this scenic area to take on the red dirt trails and the fun keeps going throughout the year with specially-groomed trails at the Sagamore Unit of the Cuyuna Country Recreation Area near Crosby. Work your way up a long, snowy hill, sail down the other side, negotiate around birch trees and rocks, and then stop to take in the beauties of winter. Cuyuna offers seven-and-a-half miles of winter trails, grooming them with a snowmobile and skid to create a four-foot track and a Rokon two-wheel-drive motorcycle with wide tires to pack a track. These challenging and scenic winter trails follow old mining haul roads, railroad grades and a few connections cut through the brush. Be sure to check out the Cuyuna Whiteout Event in February!

Take a Triple Brewery Tour

One of the newest attractions for the area is the recent addition of three breweries to the area. Jack Pine is located in Baxter and offers a selection of several craft beers including seasonal flavors. Although there is no food service there is a nice tasting room and gift shop. Gull Dam Brewing Company is located just a few miles north of Brainerd just outside of Nisswa and offers a variety of craft beers, food service, and live music on the weekends. Big Axe Brewing is the newest addition to the group and is located in downtown Nisswa. They offer a variety of craft beers and do have an onsite kitchen for food service with a variety of items to choose from. You can drive to these yourself or there are area shuttle companies that would be glad to take you on the tour.

These are just a few of the great winter activities and events available to you in the Brainerd Lakes Area and there is a great variety of lodging options available including Resorts, Hotels, and Indoor Water Parks. All of these lodging options give you easy access to the areas events and activities. Be sure to check the online calendar or download the area mobile app to keep up to date.

Win a winter weekend getaway  More Winter Activities

Area Resources

Visit Brainerd
Visitor Information for Brainerd, Baxter, and the Brainerd lakes Area including events calendar, deals, fishing reports, trail reports, lodging, dining, and more.

Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce

Nisswa Chamber of Commerce

Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce


Click the appropriate button below to download the Brainerd Lakes Area mobile app

Iphone Download    Android Download

Watch Our Videos

Brainerd in Pictures