Nature Illuminated 

thru Jan. 17/APPLE VALLEY – This winter, there’s a magical world waiting for you at the Minnesota Zoo. Join us for Nature Illuminated: a one-of-a-kind drive-thru experience featuring stunning light work and larger-than-life animal art installations. Nature Illuminated invites you on a spectacular journey into a world of art, awe and light, all from the comfort of your own vehicle. Join us as we shine the spotlight on some of the world’s most endearing and endangered animals, and learn how our collective actions can help save our planet’s wildlife. All tickets must be purchased in advance and online.  >MORE

Ice Fest

Jan. 10-12, Thief River Falls – Ice Fest is a new event that celebrates winter in Thief River Falls! Take part in dog sled rides, fat tire biking, 5K/10K runs, hockey games & much more. The event kicks off on Friday at 5 p.m. with the Fire & Ice Kickoff Social at River Walk Public House where you can enjoy fierce entertainment, frosty beer and delicios food. Ralph Engelstad Arena. 218-686-9785  >MORE

Full Moon Snowshoe Hike

Jan. 11, HENDERSON – 6-7:30 p.m. Enjoy the park after dark while embarking on a snowshoe hike with a naturalist as your guide. If the sky is clear, peer through a telescope to view the moon up close! All equipment provided. Reservations required online by Jan. 9 at www.neycenter.org. Ney Nature Center. 507-357-8580

Back to Hack Winter Festival

Jan. 17-19, HACKENSACK – Back to Hack celebrates winter with activities including Frostbite Your Fanny 5K Race, Paul Bunyan Family Fishing Contest, Penguin Plunge, snow sculpting contest, community bonfire and fireworks. Returning this year will be horse racing, a silent auction and the Sleigh of Spirits Raffle. Come join in the winter fun! Downtown Hackensack. 218-675-6135

SnowKato Days

Jan. 17-26, MANKATO – SnowKato Days is a 10-day winter festival packed with activities for all ages and interests. This new annual event is a call to action for those who are up for bold, crazy winter fun. Planned activities include a medallion hunt, promotional buttons, daily prizes, learn to curl, ski and ice skate, a snow sculpture contest, sled bowling, hockey and more. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar. 507-385-6660

USXC Snowmobile Race – Park Rapids Heartland 200

Jan. 18-19, PARK RAPIDS  – USXC is a snowmobile cross-country racing circuit that travels through many locations and terrains across the Midwest. This is the only woods race in the 6 to 8 event circuit. The goal of USXC is to continue the tradition of racer-friendly events at many classic cross-country venues, giving drivers, crews and fans the best possible experience. Behind the Salvage Depot on HWY 34 east of Park Rapids. 218-732-4111