Southwest Metro-area Winter Activities Roundup

Brave the cold, and take the family out for some outdoor playtime this season.
Head out for a day of snowshoeing at Lowry Nature Center.

Snowy days are no excuse to stay huddled inside. Get out and get active with the whole family with one of these fun winter activities.

Snowshoeing at the Lowry Nature Center
One of the best winter sports for novices, snowshoeing couldn’t be much easier: There’s no training involved, and beyond the shoes no special equipment is required—just strap them on over any winter boots, and start trekking. More than 5 miles of hiking trails at the Lowry Nature Center at Carver Park are transformed into snowshoeing trails come winter. Snowshoe rental is available for $5 per day, with snowshoes available to fit ages 4 and older, and organized hikes are led several times each season—check the center’s website for details. 7025 Victoria Drive, Victoria.

Sledding at Staring Lake Hill
Speeding down a sledding hill is one of winter’s great joys, and the 700-foot Staring Lake Hill is ideal for family fun when weather conditions turn chilly. Plastic sleds are a must; metal runners, skis and snowboards aren’t allowed. The hill is free for sledding, but be ready to huff and puff back up the hill, because there isn’t a tow rope on site. 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie.

Cross Country Skiing at Lake Minnewashta

Cross country skiing is great exercise and lots of fun, and the trails at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park provide great scenery to boot, with trails through the woods, prairies and along the lakeshore. Skis, poles and boots can be rented from the park in two-hour increments, $5 for children and $6 for adults. Check the park’s website for special candlelight ski events. 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen.