Parks and Recreation Links
Winter Fete 2023
Join Bloomington Parks and Recreation along with community partners this winter as we embrace the season during the 19th Annual Winter Fete celebration. See below for a list of activities and check back often as new events and other details may be added. All Winter Fete activities are free unless otherwise noted, and fun for the whole family!
Fat tire biking season is finally here in Bloomington! Join Minnesota Off Road Cyclists (MORC) for some outdoor fun this winter biking along the Minnesota River Valley in celebration of Global Fat Bike Day. MORC is one of the organizations that supports trail work volunteers on mountain bike trails throughout the Twin Cities, including the Minnesota River Trail in Bloomington.
Fat biking is one of the most popular winter recreational activities in Minnesota. Fat bikes have thick tires that safely handle frosty, woodsy, snow-covered trails, providing an excellent winter recreation option for Minnesotans. No experience is required to try a fat bike. It's an easy, low-impact, fun activity for you and your family and friends!
An opportunity like this is the perfect way to get involved with the fat tire biking community and enjoy wintertime in the Minnesota River Valley. We hope to see you there!
- Where: Minnesota River Bottoms Lyndale Avenue Lot, 11115 Lyndale Avenue South.
- When: December 3, 2022, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Weather: Ride is weather dependent.
- Equipment: Some equipment/bikes will be provided, but if you have your own you are encouraged to bring it. Helmets required.
Tour over 50 Bloomington locations who have signed up to be on the first-ever Bloomington Winter Lights Tour. All of Bloomington has the opportunity to admire the decorative skill of our neighbors.
Visit the official Winter Lights Tour page for:
- Interactive online map of Bloomington addresses participating in the tour.
- Link to vote for your favorites through January 2 for:
- Best Animated Display
- Most Unique Display
- Clark W. Griswold Best Overall Display
Questions? Call Bloomington Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8877 or email email@example.com.
Fishing isn’t just a summer activity! Once our lakes freeze over, we can venture out and catch fish through the ice. We will show you how to use the equipment, understand and find where the fish live in winter, and practice reeling in the different species that call Bush Lake home. All equipment will be provided.
- Where: Bush Lake Beach
- Dates: January 15, 16, 22, 29. February 5, 12, 19, 20, 26. March 5, 11.
- Times: 1 - 3 p.m. (except January 16, which is 9 - 11 a.m.)
- Fee: $10 per person
- Registration: blm.mn/webtrac
- Maximum of 15 participants per event. Children must have adult supervision.
- A RecTrac Household Account is required in order to register. If you have an account, log in after clicking the link above. If you do not have an account, create a new one.
2023 Flyfest Ski Jumping Event
Minneapolis Ski Jumping Club presents the 2023 Flyfest Ski Jumping Event, taking place under the stadium lights on Saturday, January 14 at Bush Lake Ski Jump, 8401 East Bush Lake Road, Bloomington.
Don't miss the high-flying ski jumping action with former and future Olympians pushing the limits of Bloomington's ski jumps and soaring up to 300 feet for trophies and cash prizes!
Experience the show outdoors and tour the site, viewing the competition from up and down the landing slope and all around the non-groomed areas. Dress warmly and gather around a fire pit with your friends while catching the exciting action! The ski jump site is vast, with many great vantage points to view the jumpers in action.
The chalet is closed to the public, but food trucks will be available for food, beverages and snacks.
Questions? Contact Minneapolis Ski Jumping Club.
- 5 p.m. - Spectator entry opens
- 6 p.m. - Tournament begins
- Test Round starts at 6 p.m. followed by competition rounds at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Competition typically concludes by 9 p.m.
- $10 - Age 13 and up
- FREE - Age 12 and under
- Tickets available at the gate, but buying in advance online will save you time during entry
Enjoy free open skating at Bloomington Ice Garden. Free skate rental included!
- Where: Bloomington Ice Garden, 3600 W. 98th Street
- When: January 15, 2023, 3:30 - 6:45 p.m.
- Fee: Free
- Registration: None required
MEDALLION HUNT WINNER!
Congratulations to Adrian Koester on finding the 2023 Winter Fete Medallion on Thursday, January 26 at River Ridge Playlot. Check out explanations of this year's clues below, just for fun! Thanks to all who participated this year!
FOURTH ANNUAL MEDALLION HUNT
The Fourth Annual Bloomington Parks and Recreation Medallion Hunt will take place in January and February, 2023 as part of Winter Fete. The hunt will end when someone finds the commemorative medallion, or on February 13, whichever comes first. The medallion will be hidden in one of Bloomington's 97 parks.
This is what the 2023 medallion looks like. It's about as big across as a hockey puck or a typical coffee table drink coaster.
Clues and Timing
Clues will be provided on this web page and on the Facebook home of Bloomington Parks and Recreation. NOTE: The first clue is on Tuesday, January 17 due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. All subsequent clues will be posted on Mondays and Thursdays until the medallion is found or February 13, whichever comes first.
MEDALLION HUNT CLUES
- Clue #1 - Tuesday, January 17: The Medallion can be found outdoors in a Bloomington Park. You have 97 choices in which to embark.
- The Medallion is located outdoors in one of Bloomington many parks. It's not inside a warming house or any other structure.
- Clue #2 - Thursday, January 19: The Medallion finder will earn a great prize. Don’t dig, don’t destroy, and you might find where it lies.
- The Medallion is out in the open. It is not buried or artificially obscured. So, you won't have to crack anything open to find it.
- Clue #3 - Monday, January 23: We hope this keeps you active and immersed. Check near a famous pathway, surely Bloomington’s first.
- The Medallion is located near Old Shakopee Road, which was originally an established Native American trail, and later used by missionaries, fur traders and other settlers in the 1800s.
- Clue #4 - Thursday, January 26: Andrew DePaola, Jalen Reagor, and Za’Darius Smith help tO make a gooD team. PuttIng them together Could assist your medallion hunt drEam.
- Unscramble the bold letters and it spells ZIP CODE. The names are Vikings players whose jersey numbers are 42, 5 and 55 respectively. Correctly rearrange those numbers and it becomes 55425, which is the zip code where the Medallion is hidden.
Additional clues not used (just for fun):
- Clue #5 - Monday, January 30: The skylines near Bloomington hopefully fill your happiness cup, the one closest to the medallion doesn’t even require you to look up.
- Skyline Drive is near the Medallion's location. It's a "skyline" you don't have to look up to see.
- Clue #6 - Thursday, February 2: The place it is hidden may be lesser known, yet tennis and soccer players still call it their own.
- The park in which the Medallion is hidden isn't as visible or well known as many others in Bloomington. But it still sees plenty of activity on its soccer field and tennis courts.
- Clue #7 - Monday, February 6: This can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, and has a bed but never sleeps.
- A river.
- Clue #8 - Thursday, February 9: This mountainous structure may serve as a bridge. If you follow other clues you might guess it’s a ______.
- A ridge.
- Clue #9 - Monday, February 13: The last clue is here, and will surely get you the prize. Head to 44.844841, -93.239512 and open your eyes.
- GPS coordinates of the Medallion. Now it's just a race.
Whoever finds the Medallion will win a prize package that includes a sled, snowball maker, rechargeable hand warmers, gloves, hats, arts and crafts supplies, an Amazon Fire tablet and more! Just as importantly, the Medallion finder earns the priceless prize of bragging rights over friends, family and neighbors for the next year!
AND THE WINNER IS...
The 2023 Winter Fete Medallion has been found. Thanks for playing. See you in 2024!
Once the hunt begins, please contact Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8877 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and/or WHEN YOU FIND THE MEDALLION. We don't want to miss out on bragging up your accomplishment, and letting others know to stop looking.
2022 - Stephanie & Casey Auen
2020/2021 - The Hoffman Family
Due to poor ice conditions, Three Rivers Park District has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2023 Ice Harvest event.
2023 Ice Harvest
Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District, experience the adventures of Minnesota’s hardy ice harvesters. All activities are ongoing and will be spread out to allow for social distancing. Activities will close at the end of the program time.
- Cut blocks of ice out of the pond with a vintage ice saw and pull an antique ice plow.
- Weigh blocks of ice, use chipping tools, and make ice cubes.
- Discover food preservation techniques with costumed interpreters from The Landing and hear stories from ice harvesting historians.
- Try a kick-sled, throw a snow snake and watch an ice rescue demonstration by Bloomington Fire and Rescue.
- Keep warm by a campfire.
Where: Richardson Nature Center, 8737 East Bush Lake Road
When: Saturday, January 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Registration: None required
15th Annual Pond Dakota Winter History Festival
Experience beautiful Pond Dakota Mission Park in the winter at the 15th Annual Pond Dakota Winter History Festival. Enjoy these fun outdoor activities.
- Explore Pond Dakota Mission Park on snowshoes on your own or on one of two guided walks in the River Valley.
- Guided walk #1: 11 a.m.
- Guided walk #2: 1 p.m.
- A limited number of snowshoes available for free use, or you can bring your own.
- Play frontier winter games outdoors.
- Go sledding on hills in the park.
- Take a guided tour of the 1856 Pond House with a costumed reenactor and warm up by the fire.
- Examine an entire bison hide, play Bison Bingo, and watch a documentary on this amazing American icon.
Limited free parking available in the Pond Dakota Mission Park lot. Additional free parking available at the adjacent Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
- Where: Pond Dakota Mission Park and the Historic Pond House, 401 E. 104th Street
- When: Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Fee: Free
- Registration: None required.
Embrace winter with Winter Play Day at Hyland Lake Park Reserve and across Three Rivers' parks!
Parks throughout the Three Rivers Park District will offer a free play day including free and discounted rental equipment and day passes. The festival event at Hyland Lake Park Reserve will include an active and engaging Event Village.
- Hands-on winter activities for all ages and abilities.
- Interactive nature education and exploration, including a trail ride and winter fun walk.
- Free winter equipment rentals, including snowshoes, skis and adapted equipment.
- Free mini-lessons and demonstrations, including skijoring, snow making and more!
- Music, food, beer and warm beverages.
Where: Hyland Lake Park Reserve, 10145 Bush Lake Road
When: Saturday, February 25
Registration: None required
More Details: threeriversparks.org/page/three-rivers-signature-events
Winter Fete is Presented by the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department