Embracing the Cold: Best Winter Activities

Winter is upon us! While some people prefer to escape to warmer climates, others like to embrace the cold and enjoy fun winter activities. Snow, hot cocoa, ice skating … After all, the holidays are right around the corner!

We asked a few of our City Managers what the best winter activities are in their cities, and here is what they suggested.

Pittsburgh, PA

City Manager: Christian Molloseau

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory Holiday Magic!

The Holiday Magic! Conservatory Winter Flower Show and Light Garden at Phipps Conservatory features over ten acres of gardens and lights. Here you can see a tunnel and fountain of lights, a tree carousel display, colorful poinsettia trees, a frozen forest with topiary reindeer, a rainbow glow tree, and much more. It goes through January 12.

Tilted blue version, ice skates with reflection

Ice Skating Rink at PPG Place

From November 22 through March 1, the Plaza between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh transforms into the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place, a 16′ x 116′ outdoor ice skating rink. Admission costs $10 for adults and $9 for children, plus $4 for skate rental.

Illuminated Christmas fair kiosk with loads of shining decoration merchandise, no logos

Holiday Market in Market Square

The People Gas Holiday Market is a one-of-a-kind shopping village in Market Square, with live entertainment and vendors in wooden chalets selling food, arts and crafts, and holiday gifts. The Market is open daily through December 23.

Looking for a place to stay in Pittsburgh? Find a Frontdesk suite near it all!

Kansas City, MO

City Manager: Mayra Elizondo

Screenshot 2019-12-10 at 7.56.11 PM

Ice Skating at Crown Center

From November 1 through March 8, enjoy ice skating at the Crown Center Ice Terrace, an outdoor ice skating rink at the shopping complex. Regular admission costs $7, plus $4 for skate rental. They also offer skating lessons.

A view of the Kansas City Country Club Plaza Christmas lights and the skyline of downtown Kansas City.

Kansas City Plaza Lights

The Plaza Lights is a 15-block holiday spectacle on the Country Club Plaza, a local tradition for 90 years. Although the lighting ceremony took place Thanksgiving evening, the thousands of glimmering, jewel-colored lights will shine daily in the shopping district from 5 pm to 3 am through mid-January. 

Huge outdoor  illuminated Christmas tree with ferris wheel in background in Bournemouth, Dorset, UK on 8 December 2018

WinterFest at Worlds of Fun

WinterFest transforms the Worlds of Fun amusement park into a holiday wonderland of lights, festive decor, live entertainment, food, holiday characters, and of course, your favorite rides. It is open select nights from November 23 through December 31.

Looking for a place to stay in Kansas City? Find a Frontdesk suite near it all!

Minneapolis, MN

City Manager: Elton Bell

A cross country ski detail

Cross-Country Skiing

Minnesota has thousands of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The cross-country skiing trails alone cover more miles of skiing than a trek from St. Paul to Los Angeles! Find a trail in the Minneapolis area.


Decorated showcase of a store. Christmass time

Holiday Shopping on Nicollet

Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis’ prime shopping district, is the perfect place to find your holiday gifts. You’ll find stores ranging from Banana Republic to Brooks Brothers, jewelry stores, boutique shops, and much more. On Nicollet, you can also take in the holiday window displays that were recently unveiled at the Dayton’s Project, styled to match the nostalgia of the historical once-department store that is being renovated.

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Ice Castles

Take a short drive 30 minutes west of Minneapolis to Excelsior, MN to experience their incredible ice castles. The large, abstract castles are created with an elaborate sprinkler system that grows around 12,000 new icicles daily. There are LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and more. Opening day is weather-dependent, but is slated for late December or early January.

Looking for a place to stay in Minneapolis? Find a Frontdesk suite near it all!

Interested in checking out one of these great wintertime activities? Warm up with us in one of our incredible one- and two-bedroom short-term rentals. When you stay in a Frontdesk suite, we ensure that you have everything you need to enjoy your stay, no matter where you are. Book with us today!

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