It breaks our hearts to hear people say, “There’s nothing to do in Fargo in the winter.”
Whether this stereotype comes from the barren look of the movie Fargo or the idea that when it’s cold outside we all go into hibernation until spring, we’ve made it our personal mission to prove these stereotypes wrong (and we have picture proof that it’s actually beautiful in the winter in Fargo).
So, here are all the things to do in Fargo in the winter.
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Below are all the outdoor adventures to be had in Fargo in the winter.
Take a relaxing walk through the snowy trails on snowshoes. You can rent snowshoes at Edgewood Golf Course, and M.B. Johnson Park, and take to the park along the river for some off-the-beaten-path exploration. Added bonus: snowshoeing burns between 420 and 1000 calories per hour.
Cross country skiing
Strap on your skis and head out to one of the 10 parks that have groomed cross country ski trails in the Red River Valley. Take in the peace and quiet of nature while getting one of the best full-body workouts out there!
If you own a warm pair of hiking boots, Fargo and the surrounding area has plenty to explore. For longer trails, go just outside the city to Buffalo River State Park or walk the groomed paths along the Red River like Lindenwood Park.
Over 30 outdoor ice skating rinks are scattered across Fargo and its sister cities West Fargo and Moorhead. If you don’t have skates with you on this trip, hop on with your boots and play a fun game of broomball, or head to Moorhead Sports Center on Sunday afternoons for open skate (they have rentals!).
Visit the Red River Zoo
Fargo’s accredited zoo specializes in the care and breeding of some of the world’s rarest cold climate species. When you see camels and red pandas out in the snow, don’t be alarmed… they’re actually cold-weather breeds whose natural habitats have similar weather to Fargo.
Call ahead to see if you can schedule a guided tour and to find out if any special events or zookeeper talks will be happening during your visit.
The Red River Zoo also has special winter hours from 10 am to 5 pm every day.
If you prefer staying indoors (we don’t blame you!), there’s still tons of things to do in Fargo.
TAG (Tactical Action Gaming)
Fargo’s first indoor Nerf sports and tactical laser arena is a great spot to spend an afternoon battling your friends or family. We recommend calling ahead to book a game at TAG, but they also accept walk-ins.
Mosey through our free art museums, stand next to the full-size replica Hjemkomst Viking Ship that sailed to Norway and take a tour of the replica Norwegian Stave church, or imagine yourself flying in one of the many vintage planes at the Fargo Air Museum.
See a show
Fargo always has some sort of event or show happening – we recommend you research them beforehand (our Facebook page is a great place to start!).
For live music, look to The Aquarium for local and regional acts or The Sanctuary (a converted church sanctuary, pictured below) for larger names. For late-night laughs, The Cellar is the city’s only dedicated comedy club. Beyond that, you can find open mic and karaoke events pretty much every night of the week at various bars around the city, plus classic and cutting edge movies and shows at the iconic Fargo Theatre.
Rent a simulator, and play up to 18 holes. If you’re going with friends, you can set up a scramble, have longest-drive competitions, and even try hunting simulators.
Learn to curl
Fargo’s FM Curling Club features world-class curling events including the USA Curling Nationals.
While it’s fun to watch curling, it’s even more fun to do it yourself. The FM Curling Club also schedules “Learn to Curl Sessions” where you can get out there and pretend you’re an Olympic hopeful.
This is technically indoors, but make sure to dress warmly… the arena is kept around 40°F.
Food & coffee
Fargo is a foodie destination, with 220+ local restaurants (and new ones opening nearly monthly!). You can find something incredible to try, or you can opt to stay cozy at one of our local gourmet coffee shops.
Catch an exhilarating Fargo Force Game at the Scheels Arena. As part of the United States Hockey League, the Fargo Force help to produce many professional players. Attending a game is a great way to see the up-and-comers, relax with stadium snacks and a beer, and watch some live sports action.
A serious amount of events happen in Fargo almost nightly. Our Facebook events tab or our events page are two amazing resources to find something to suit you, but below you’ll find some of the big happenings for Winter 2019.
Frostival: January 25 & 26
Fargo’s largest winter festival is full of quirky competitive events (think human curling, cardboard sled races, and an undie run down Fargo’s main drag), nightly live concerts, and wintry family activities.
Hotdish Festival: February 24
An entire festival devoted to hotdish? You betcha!
Bacon & Beer Festival: March 16 (yes, March is usually still considered winter in Fargo)
Over 20 local restaurants will be showcasing their best bacon dishes and over 100 samples of craft beer will be available to taste. The best part? It’s all included in the admission price.
If you’d rather have this laid out in a two-day itinerary, you can check out our first-timer’s winter guide to Fargo.