In winter, the wide open spaces around the northern Minnesota town of Ely are a playground for anyone who likes to move fast over snow.
Details: For more, see Winter in Ely.
Past fast plans: Winter Carnival in St. Paul, Goofy winter fun in Minneapolis, Fun and games in Wausau, Fun in Itasca, Tundra swans in Monticello
Winter Festival in Cedarburg, Wis. This festival just north of Milwaukee features bed races, ice-carving, a dog weight pull competition, an egg hunt for kids and a parade at 1 p.m. Saturday. Feb. 1617.
Color the Wind Kite Festival in Clear Lake, Iowa. This town in north-central Iowa draws kiters from eight states for its festival, the largest in the Midwest, and stunt fliers will perform routines choreographed to music. Feb. 16.
Fire & Ice in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. Ice and snow sculptors create pieces around town. There's a novice category for beginners. Feb. 16.
Book Across the Bay from Ashland to Washburn, Wis. Ski or snowshoe across Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay on a 10-kilometer route lined by ice luminaries. If you're not too fast, fireworks will fill the sky as you're approaching Washburn; a bonfire, chili feed and blues music follow. Feb. 16.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
In the Upper Midwest, travel can be competitive.
Many festivals are so big and so fun that everyone wants to go. If you do, too, you'll have to act fast to stay ahead of the crowds.
And sometimes, you also need to know when not to visit a certain area, so you can avoid sold-out hotels or sky-high rates.
In winter, ice comes with the territory. You can curse it or you can play with it.
Kids know how. Climbers and skaters know how. And photographers adore it.
Having fun with ice also is a good way to cope with a winter that drags on, endlessly, into April.
That's when gigantic heaps of shards pile up on Lake Superior and ice storms create glistening tableaux that make photographers come running.
Before Valentines Day, and as winter drags on, everyone starts thinking about romantic getaways.
Well, we already have a story about romantic places to stay, and beyond that, who can say what romance is?
Especially since romantic often is code for expensive. We think romance has very little relationship to expenditure; weve found it in tents and camper cabins as well as luxurious inns. Its everywhere, if you look for it.
Here are 10 great Minnesota getaways for everyone, whether youre with your sweetie, your kids, your pals or just yourself.
In the northeast Iowa town of Decorah, a pair of nesting bald eagles have become an international phenomenon.
Not only do they have a constant stream of live video, but avid watchers are snatching the best episodes capturing the many dramas that go on in and around the nest and posting them on Youtube for everyone to enjoy.