First Day of Winter

Time for Minnesota Winter Activities
and Winter Festivals!

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The first day of winter can take us by surprise in Minnesota.

A forecast of impending snow usually comes before the official calendar date of winter's arrival. 

It is a common misconception that the earth is farthest from the sun in winter.

The Earth is, instead, closest to the sun in December...winter in the northern hemisphere.

The winter solstice is the date with the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere.

That date/time will be between December 21 and December 22 each year in and thus the "official" start of winter in Minnesota.

Whatever the calendar says, most Minnesotans look forward to winter in anticipation of opportunities to get out and play in the snow. That may happen as early as October, or as late as January. Typically, the first measurable snowfall happens towards the end of October or beginning of November.

Minnesota hotels, resorts and bed & breakfast inns are open for your winter pleasure.

First Day of Winter Activities

This surprised robin must feel the way many Minnesotans feel when the season changes before the calendar does!

Here are some of the very best ideas for avoiding "cabin fever" and getting out to enjoy winter in Minnesota whenever the snow may arrive. There are few places that offer more fun winter activities than you can enjoy in our state.

Get out and experience winter with a walk through softly falling snow. If you have more time and energy choose from this long list of winter sports. Take friends and family along to attend a winter festival.

It's always wise to keep an eye on winter weather predictions and forecasts in Minnesota. A common topic of conversation when the first snow appears is how so many of us forget what it can be like to drive on snowy or icy roads or, even, to be stranded in a sudden winter blizzard. A winter survival kit is a "must" in any vehicle that will be driven in Minnesota in winter.

The time to brush up on information about winter weather and how to cope during a Minnesota snowstorm is BEFORE you need it.  

The reason for seasonal changes is all about the Earth's yearly trip around the sun. The day of the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. The length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a minimum for the year. In the United States, there are only about 9½ hours of daylight on this day.

Whatever the calendar shows, we all count the first winter day as the day the first "real snowfall" happens.

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Minnesota State Parks:
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