Madison is known as a college town, yet it's always putting on and fun festivals and events for children. It's the perfect place to take school-age kids for a weekend in winter.
Details: See Madison for all ages.
Past fast plans: Fun around Ely, Winter Carnival in St. Paul, Goofy winter fun in Minneapolis, Fun and games in Wausau, Fun in Itasca
International Eelpout Festival in Walker, Minn. This town on Leech Lake celebrates the famously ugly fish with mechanical bull riding, bikini ice fishing and a beer pong tournament. Feb. 2124.
Grumpy Old Men Festival in Wabasha, Minn. There's always good eagle-viewing in this Mississippi River town, and during the festival, there will be an ice-fishing contest, polar plunge and minnow races. Feb. 2223.
Bald Eagle Appreciation Days in Prairie du Chien, Wis. Birding experts give programs, and volunteers man spotting scopes at the Wisconsin Travel Information Center, just off the bridge into town. Feb. 2223.
International Festival in Madison. Dancers, musicians, storytellers and puppeteers representing traditions from around the world converge on the Overture Center for the Arts on State Street for this free festival. Feb. 23.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
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.
Even if it looks like winter outside, you can count on maple trees to know otherwise.
In late February, their sap starts to run, and that's "the sweet good-bye of winter,'' writes naturalist John Burroughs.
Indigenous people were first to tap trees, inserting hollow reeds, letting the sap drip into troughs and boiling it down over a wood fire. The process isn't much different today, except most people use metal taps, plastic tubing and buckets to catch the sap.
It's still a lot of work; it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. But most people think real maple syrup is worth the effort.
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.