How to beat the winter blues in Mankato

With the freezing cold, chilling winds and piles of snow, it can be hard to find the fun in the midst of winter. While it may be tempting to stay inside, there are a multitude of activities to participate in; some only being available a few months out of the year. Instead of sitting on your couch and binging the latest series, bundle up and explore what Mankato has to offer. 

First, it’s a must stop to go to Mount Kato to hit the slopes. With multiple trails ranging in difficulty, this is the place to bring your skis and snowboard. If you have zero experience, lessons are available to make you a pro in no time. Stop by the tubing park for more relaxed fun, especially on Glow Nights where the lanes are lit up.

If you are looking for a cheaper option for sliding down the snow, the answer is easy! Find a big hill, pick up a cheap sled from Target or Walmart, and go for a ride. While you might not have a handy chairlift to bring you back up the hill, the ride down is always worth the walk up. 

If you still want to get out and enjoy nature without the adrenaline rush, stop by Minneopa State Park. Both beautiful in the summer and winter, walk by the waterfalls for memorable photo ops. Make sure to be careful when walking around the park as most of the paths are not cleared of snow and ice. 

On the other side of the park there is a bison path for visitors to drive by. The buffalo are much easier to spot this time of year as they contrast with the mounds of snow. Enjoy watching them roam from the safety and comfort of your warm car. 

If the weather cooperates and you can’t get enough of hiking, bring snowshoes or cross country skis to one of the surrounding parks or nature areas. Rasmussen Woods and 7-mile Creek County Park have a mixture of flat land and hills, making for quite an adventure.

If you’re looking for a date night idea or want to get off-campus with your friends, go ice-skating at one of the outdoor rinks, such as the ones in Dotson and Alexander Park. If the temperatures are below freezing, All Seasons Arena is an indoor rink with slightly warmer temperatures. Bring your own skates or rent a pair from the rink for only a few dollars. Ending the night with a cup of hot cocoa is the idea of a perfect date.

While summer is the time to get out and enjoy the warm weather and all that nature has to offer, take the time in the winter to go out and shop. With plenty of boutiques, gift shops, and book stores in Mankato to visit, everyone is guaranteed to find something. Both downtown and Old Town have shops to entertain everyone

If the cold doesn’t appear to you but you want to get out of the house, stop by one of the many coffee shops in town. All offer warm, unique drinks that are pleasant to sip. Grab a pastry and curl up in a big chair while watching the snowfall.

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