6 places to warm up this winter


You know the weather is bad when Minnesotans are retreating indoors. And while sitting on the couch with a blanket and a cup of hot tea is nice, eventually you're going to get a little stir crazy. Just because it sucks outdoors right now doesn't mean you have to plan a vacation to the tropics. There are actually quite a few Twin Cities destinations with balmy climates that will help you forget that we're in the middle of January tundra season. Here are six nearby destinations guaranteed to warm you up.

Do you have a favorite hot spot as well? Feel free to share your winter tips in the comments.

Como Park Conservatory

Remember nature, and how delightful it can be when the weather is nice? At the Como Park Conservatory, you can pretend it's spring while frolicking through nature. Here, folks can wander from room to room in a climate-controlled environment that can be experienced without a coat and mittens. Bring a book or journal, and bask in the warmth while sitting on a bench in a cozy corner, snap a few pics for Instagram and pretend you're on vacation, or enjoy some live music while sipping on wine at the space's free winter concert series.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

A lot of folks head to the Arboretum to experience the great outdoors. However, there are quite a few amenities for those who choose to stay inside. During the cold months of January, folks can enjoy the great indoors in the fireplace room. Here, you can work on a jigsaw puzzle, sip hot chocolate, take a free yoga class, or knit by the fire. Added bonus? Admission is free this January.


Take a Bikram yoga class

Not familiar with Bikram yoga? Basically, it's a workout for people who love exercising in a sauna. Ideally, this form of yoga is practiced in a room kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Meaning, the freezing temps might actually feel refreshing once you're done working out.

The Tropics Trail at the Minnesota Zoo

Want to pretend you're in the rain forest? The Tropics Trail at the Minnesota Zoo celebrates the greatest hot spots of the world. The lemurs, otters, and monkeys make for good entertainment, as does gazing at the mighty lion. This time of year, folks will appreciate that they can do so without a coat.

Sea Life at the Mall of America

Underwater creatures are very particular about their body temperature. That means that guests who come to view them in their natural habitat will benefit from the warmth as well. Here, you'll find underground tunnels were you can watch fish of about every size and color flit around in a warm environment that will make you forget it's -80 outside. While the rest of the MoA is pretty warm as well, this is definitely the warmest spot.

Saunas at the YWCA (or any fitness center)

Is joining a gym one of your New Year's resolutions? Well, if you choose wisely, your workout facility will include a sauna or steam room as part of the deal. Sure, you bought the membership for access to the treadmill, but taking a breather in the sauna before or after working out is good for the body and the mind.