Skip to content

Explore the Great Outdoors in Inver Grove Heights

By Stacy Brooks

This winter, embrace chilly temperatures in Inver Grove Heights! This is your guide to 6 Family-Friendly Outdoor Winter Activities in Inver Grove Heights. From sledding to snowshoeing, learning survival skills to navigating an ice maze, these outdoor family-friendly activities are fun for kids of all ages (and their grownups, too).

EcoElsa Outdoor Programs

Enjoy the snow with an educational twist: EcoElsa outdoor programs from Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation offer a fun, interactive way for kids and families to learn about STEM and local wildlife. Upcoming programs include a family Winter Night Hike on February 24, 2023 (ages 5 and up), family snowshoeing on February 25, 2023 (ages 6 and up).  Learn more and pre-register online here.  

Snowshoeing Photo Credit: Mael Balland
Photo Credit: Mael Balland


Explore the great outdoors on snowshoes at a local nature preserve.  At the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge you can borrow adult and child-sized snowshoes for free at the Bloomington visitor center and check out over 50 miles of trails.  For a backcountry experience without leaving the metro, visit Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area, which is an undeveloped, serene spot for wildlife watching or simply appreciating the snow-covered landscape.


The Mississippi River Greenway is plowed throughout the winter, making it perfect for a cold-weather hike.  Bring along your furry friends, too—on-leash dogs are welcome.  Stop at the Swing Bridge Park trailhead for a snowy family selfie at the end of the Rock Island Swing Bridge, a walking pier that juts hundreds of feet over the Mississippi River.

South Valley Park Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights


The whole family will love zooming down the sledding hill at South Valley Park.  The large hill has a long, gentle slope and is close to the parking lot, and the park also offers trails, a playground, and a skating rink. 

Inver Grove Heights Outdoor Skating Rinks
Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights

Ice skating

Glide across the ice at one of Inver Grove Heights’ outdoor rinks, which are open through February 20, 2023 (weather permitting).  Rinks are lit after dark, and warming houses and portable bathrooms are available.  The rinks at Skyview, Oakwood, Groveland, and South Valley Parks have warming houses; there’s also a rink at Southern Lakes Park without a warming house.  

Minnesota Ice Maze 2023
Photo Credit: Minnesota Ice Maze

Minnesota Ice Maze

Have fun getting lost at the Minnesota Ice Maze at Viking Lakes.  With nearly half a mile of twists and turns made from over a million pounds of ice, the maze is fully lit with colorful lights.  Kids can win a prize by completing the interactive scavenger hunt, and there are also ice thrones, fire pits, and hot beverages and treats available for purchase.  The ice maze is open daily through February 19, 2023 and tickets can be purchased online.

This winter, book a stay in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Warm up with amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!


Sign up for E-Newsletter to stay up to date on the latest happenings, news and more in Inver Grove Heights…