Get rid of boredom with these wintertime activities


Maria Winter, Staff Writer

Minnesota winters are notorious for their ridiculously cold temperatures and massive amounts of snow. People feel stuck inside with nothing to do. Luckily for us, there are many enjoyable activities available in and around Rochester that let us embrace the wintery weather conditions. These activities include skating, tubing, and snowshoeing. Your boredom will disappear as you lace up your boots to go venture into the great outdoors! 

There are various places open to the public in Rochester where people can go ice skating. One of these places is located at Soldiers Field Park. The city has created an ice rink that goes right over the track, which allows people to glide peacefully around a never ending oval. There are also a few amenities that are provided at this location. There is a warming house located conveniently near the rink, so participants can easily warm up their hands and feet if it is needed. The warming house will be open from four thirty until nine o’clock on weekdays, and from noon until five o’clock on the weekends. Although people can skate on the track at any time, there will be skate rentals offered on Saturdays and Sundays from twelve o’clock until four o’clock in the evening, starting on January seventh. The rentals are located near the warming house. There are also two hockey rinks stationed right near the track, for the competitive participants who are more interested in shooting a puck around than coasting on the track. Grace Gauthier, a senior at Mayo High School, visited the park in the middle of December and noted that “it was a great way to spend a winter afternoon. The location is beautiful – you can see downtown Rochester as you skate. As an added bonus, it is very easy to find and access!” So this weekend, instead of feeling stuck inside, go lace up some skates at Soldiers Field! 

If skating doesn’t exactly fit your idea of fun, there are plenty of other options to embrace the outdoors during the winter months. One of these options is snowshoeing at Quarry Hill Park. Just like ice skating at Soldiers Field, people can come and snowshoe whenever the park is open if they have their own pair of snowshoes, but snowshoes are also available to rent!  For an adult, it costs five dollars to rent a pair for four hours, ten dollars for an entire day, and fifteen dollars for an entire weekend. For youth, it costs three, six, and nine dollars, respectively. More detailed information about this activity is located on Quarry Hill’s website. Gabby Buhrow, a junior at Mayo, has gone snowshoeing a few times at Quarry Hill. She loves “that there is a park right here in Rochester where I can rent and snowshoe all in one spot, as I do not own my own pair. It is a fun adventure, and there are lots and lots of trails you can snowshoe on.” Snowshoeing would be a perfect way to spend the afternoon, as everyone can be involved because it is a very easy skill to learn!

If you are an adrenaline junkie, snow tubing at Steeplechase may become your new  favorite winter pastime. Steeplechase is located in Mazeppa, MN, which is about a half an hour drive from Rochester. Although it requires a little more effort to get to, the adventure that awaits is highly worth it. There is one main hill, and one “super hill,” which is only open for people ten years and older. Lift passes are available to purchase, and there are tubing passes for sale for a one hour, two hour, or four hour session. These cost fifteen, twenty-four, and forty dollars, respectively. Elise Nienow, a senior at Mayo High School who recently visited the attraction said that “it was such a fun experience! I loved going on the super hill – it was very fast and exhilarating. It was my first time going, and now it is going to become a new winter tradition for [us].” So, what are you waiting for? Grab a group of friends and prepare to effortlessly soar down a fast, tightly packed run.

Although Minnesota winters can be stereotyped as long and miserable, there is actually a plethora of fun outdoor activities you can do to make it through the cold months without going stir crazy.  Go put on your warmest coat and enjoy some crisp fresh air!