Why the Horrible, Freezing Minnesota Winters Are Absolutely Worth It


We already know what you’re thinking: winter sucks. And on the surface we’re inclined to agree with you. After all, you might not see sunlight for nine straight days, need to own a separate set of tires dedicated solely to snow driving, and have likely lost at least a portion of one appendage because you decided not to wear gloves or warm-enough socks. But we’re here to remind you that there’s more to winter than just eternal darkness, annoying extra tires, and frostbite-inducing cold.

In fact, in Minnesota at least, these 13 reasons make it pretty goddamn worth it, so stop the hibernating that we know you've already started.

We get snow days

In most places, when nature prevents an entire populous from going to work and/or school, it’s bad news -- fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, a superfloodfirecanequake! -- but in Minnesota, it’s a big white blanket of happiness all over town the night before. Sure, you might have to spend some time shoveling, but you can actually do a million cool activities -- sledding, skiing, snowfort-making, snowball fights, drinking inside -- during the rest of your heaven-sent day off.

And a lengthy respite from mowing the lawn

You know what sucks? Mowing the lawn. You know what doesn’t suck? Not mowing the lawn from November to April.

The three other seasons

Sure, places like San Diego get all uppity about having goddamn gorgeous weather 365 days a year, but you know what perpetually being 72 and sunny leads to? Total boredom and probably skin cancer, problems that, thanks to winter, the keystone in our seasonal arch, we do not have here in Minnesota.

Flickr/Tony Webster

Hockey, duh

Admittedly, in our futuristic society full of fancy technologies like modern refrigeration, you can play hockey anywhere (even uppity skin cancer factories like San Diego with their always-perfectly-temperate climates), but if it weren’t for places like Minnesota that are frozen half the year, the sport wouldn’t be so popular in the first place.

Sitting on the couch drinking beer for entire weekends... guilt-free

In the middle of the summer when it’s perfect outside, it’s pretty hard to justify getting home from work on a Friday, sitting down on the couch with a beer, and not getting up again until Sunday morning. When it’s it's like a snow typhoon on the other hand, what else is a man to do?

Art shanties

We get 10,000 lakes' worth of new places to ice-fish every year, which in and of itself is pretty damn cool. Now take some of those ice-fishing shacks and repurpose them into anything and everything, from art galleries to mini dance clubs.

Thinning of the potential herd

Minneapolis is a pretty cool city, with enviable natural resources ranging from urban lakes to parks galore, and a diverse and vibrant infrastructure that has given way to one of the most underrated food, biking, and arts scenes in the world. But thanks to our wiley snow and cold, 99% of said world has no interest whatsoever in coming here to take advantage of/totally ruining it.


Watching/doing/being terrified by Crashed Ice

Alright, so most of us aren’t actually crazy enough to put on hockey gear and race down a frozen luge track from Cathedral Hill to the Xcel Energy Center for one weekend every year, but the fact that a select few of us are provides one of the most singularly epic winter sports-viewing experiences in the world for the rest.

Hot tubbing

Sitting in a hot tub while the weather is in the teens and snow is falling all around you as your beer stash sits ice-cold tucked into a big block of snow... well... you get the point.

Mastering crazy driving skills

You know those fancy truck and SUV commercials where they’re driving through impossibly epic terrain that nobody would ever drive through in real life? Yeah, that’s basically what we drive through on our way to work on any given December-March morning... only most of us doing it are in two-wheel-drive sedans. That pretty much makes us all stunt drivers.

Flickr/Howard Ignatius

Making fires (indoor)

Modern heating is great, don’t get us wrong. But if there’s something better than sitting in front of an actual wood-burning fireplace with beer in hand while snow whips around your house, we’ve yet to find it.

Making fires (outdoor)

Indoor fireplaces are great, don’t get us wrong. But if there is something better than sitting in front of a bonfire with beer in gloved hand as snow whips around you, we’ve yet to find it.

The street cred

The only people who aren’t at least somewhat awestruck when you mention you’re from Minnesota are Siberians and Alaskans. Fact.

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