MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Sports/outdoors events 2021

January

  • (Jan. 28 – 31)Winter Games

    Lake Okoboji, IA

    This resort area in northwest Iowa will offer human sled races, flag football on ice, indoor golf, snowball drop, stein-holding, horse-drawn carriage rides, a Freeze Yer Fanny Bike Ride, keg toss and fireworks.


  • (Jan. 30 – 31)City of Lakes Loppet

    Minneapolis, MN

    For recreational skiers, the highlight of this big cross-country ski festival are the nightly Luminary Loppets on Lake of the Isles, with glowing ice pillars and "ruins.'' 

    There are also classical and free-style races, orienteering, fat-tire, snowshoeing and skijoring races in Theodore Wirth Park, location of most events.

     

     

     


  • (Jan. 30 – 31)Norge Ski Jumping Tournament

    Fox River Grove, IL

    See some of the nation's best jumpers compete in this northwest Chicago suburb, which has produced several Olympians.


  • (Jan. 31)John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

    Duluth, MN

    From Duluth, marathon mushers travel to to Grand Portage and mid-distance racers to Tofte.

    Spectators are not allowed this year but can follow the race at WDIO.com or MushingMidwest.com.

     


February

  • (Feb. 3 – 6)Winter Carnival

    Houghton, MI

    This snow fest at Michigan Tech University includes a human dog-sled race, snow volleyball and a tug of war and ends with a torchlight parade and fireworks at Mont Ripley ski hill.


  • (Feb. 12 – 13)Candlelight ski/snowshoe/hike

    Around the region

    There's nothing better than skiing (or snowshoeing or hiking) through a twinkling forest or across a luminary-lined lake. There's usually a bonfire and hot chocolate to enjoy afterward.


  • (Feb. 20 – 21)Silver Mine Ski Jumping Championships

    Eau Claire, WI

    Watch top skiers from North America and Europe compete at Silver Mine Hill, above the Chippewa River on the southwest edge of town.


  • (Feb. 21)WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race

    Ely, MN

    There's a spaghetti feed Saturday and the race to Tower and back on Sunday, with a chance for spectators to mingle beforehand.


  • (Feb. 24 – 28)American Birkebeiner

    Hayward, WI

    The "Greatest Show on Snow'' includes races of all distances for all ages and abilities plus skijoring and vintage ski.

    In 2021, racers also are skiing virtual races wherever they live.

     


May

  • (May 1 – 2)Kettle River Paddle Festival

    Sandstone, MN

    Watch a kayak whitewater rodeo, take a paddling clinic, make your own paddle or join a group float. There's hiking and rock-climbing, too. In Sandstone's Robinson Park and Banning State Park.

     


June

  • (Jun 6)Ride the Drive

    Madison, WI

    This year, the car-free routes are spread out between Marlborough, Wingra, Kennedy and Warner parks, with stops for activities, food and music. You can ride, walk or skate.


August

  • (Aug. 27 – 28)Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

    Superior, WI

    The festival on Barker's Island begins Friday with a parade of teams, fireworks and a concert and continues Saturday with races in the harbor and family entertainment.


September

  • (Sep. 6)Mackinac Bridge Walk

    Mackinaw City, MI

    Once a year, on Labor Day, people can walk across the five-mile span, the third-longest suspension bridge in the world.

     


  • (Sep. 12)St. Paul Classic Bike Tour

    St. Paul, MN

    Ride a 15-, 30- or 45-mile route along the Mississippi, lakes Como and Phalen and St. Paul parkways, starting and ending at the University of St. Thomas and punctuated by food and live music.


November

  • (Nov. 19 – 21)Outdoor Adventure Expo

    Minneapolis, MN

    The expo at the Midwest Mountaineering store on the West Bank includes dozens of speakers and seminars about skiing, sled-dog racing and ice-climbing as well as camping, backpacking and other year-round adventures.