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5 Unique Winter Adventures that should be on your Bucket List

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It recently occurred to me that my birthday is in less than two months; I will be turning 39. I have one year of my thirties left- gulp. After a momentary panic attack, I went straight to Pinterest and typed in “Bucket List”.  My mission was to take inventory of all the things I want to do before I hit the big 4-0. Ouch, it’s even painful to type.

I laughed out loud an hour into my search when I came across this pin from

It’s true. I had jotted down so many bucket list ideas that I now figure I’m at least 20 years from a midlife crisis. If I really commit, I reckon I can get everything done by the time I’m 120.

As I sat back and studied my list, it occurred to me that almost everything was summer focused…horseback riding on the beach, shucking oysters, parasailing; the list goes on…..and on………and on.

But wait! There’s so much fun to be had in the winter. Friends- we are missing a whole season’s worth of bucketing!  So, I’m gonna throw out these five unique, awesome winter experiences that must be added to the infinitely long list of things to do before we all kick the bucket!

You can thank me later for adding at least another year or two on to your lifespan.

1. Snowmobiling to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River | Park Rapids, Minnesota
The beginning of the Mighty Mississippi starts as a tiny trickle flowing out of Lake Itasca near Park Rapids, Minnesota. You’ll be treated to a beautiful view no matter what time of the year you visit, but the ultimate way to arrive is by snowmobile. There are 31 miles of snowmobile trails in Itasca State Park where the headwaters are located. Trails out of the park lead to surrounding towns. Stay the night at the Ladyslipper Inn in Osage to indulge in pure relaxation after a long day of sledding. Each room has a double whirlpool tub and a fireplace.  I was so exhausted after two days of back-to-back riding that I was ready to sleep on the trail!Snowmobiling, Mississippi Headwaters, Itasca Mississippi Headwaters

2. Ice climbing at Exit Glacier | Seward, Alaska 
Alaska should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already.  In fact, Alaska deserves its own list and ice climbing Exit Glacier should be at the top.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE!  I have never felt more like an arctic explorer than when we hiked to foot of the glacier, strapped on crampons and trekked across the ice looking for the perfect crevasse to conquer.  It was exhilarating.  We went on the Exit Glacier Ice Climbing Trip with Exit Glacier Guides.  I highly recommend this company and the experience. 

3. Ice fishing | Any Lake That’s Frozen Enough
I’ll admit it; ice fishing was one of those things I just didn’t get when I first moved to Minnesota.  Why would anyone want to sit beside a hole in the ice, in the freezing cold, and wait?  Then, I went fishing in a fish house and discovered the beauty of the sport.  Secret- no one really cares if you catch a fish.  The fun is hanging out with friends in a tiny cabin.  Getting a bite is a bonus.  Driving out to the middle of a frozen lake and dropping a line in a hole is something that you should try at least once in your life.  If you are not ready to invest in your own fish house, rent one from Ice Fishing Warriors on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.  We spent a half day in one of their luxury ice cabins and had a blast. 

4. Exploring Frozen Apostle Island Sea Caves | Bayfield, Wisconsin
Part of the allure of the Apostle Island Sea Caves is that you don’t decide when you want to go see them, mother nature does.  In the past 10 years, the ice on Lake Superior has been thick enough to make the caves assessable by foot only 4 years. When the National Park Service gives the thumbs up that ice conditions are favorable, don’t ask questions- GO!  The scenery is out of this world.  Fingers crossed that this is a lucky year!    Apostle Island Sea CaveApostle Island Sea CaveApostle Islands Sea Caves

5. Visiting an Ice Castle | Stillwater, MN & Various Locations in North America
If you have kids, this should be added to your B-list immediately. If you don’t, add it anyway. The ice castles created by Ice Castles, LLC are Disney’s Frozen come to life. You can’t help being taken up by the magic while strolling through the winter wonderland. At night, the ice formations are even more spectacular lit up in various colors. I recommend buying a ticket in a time slot that will get you there a little before sunset so that you can see the castle in the daylight and then stay to watch the transformation.Ice castle in Minnesota

Now, don’t forget to pin this.  We all have to do our part in increasing lifespans.  Just hit that little “P” button right below this.  Yep…that’s the one.

Happy Bucket Listing!

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  • Ariane
    December 21, 2017

    No way you are turning 39! Unbelievable!

    • admin
      December 24, 2017

      Hard for me to believe too😜!

  • Carrie
    December 23, 2017

    Great post! My little family and I live in interior Alaska, and you’ve just inspired me to do something more besides just hiking.. ice climbing! Holy cow that sounds intense!

    • admin
      December 24, 2017

      You will love ice climbing Carrie! I’m hooked now! We are going the day after Christmas in Minnesota. I can’t wait!

  • Cynthia Mackintosh
    January 7, 2018

    I love these photos, but my oh my I’m more of a tropical kind of girl. Looks SO cold! I’m making a bucket list as well!

    • admin
      January 7, 2018

      It’s been so cold here lately that I am starving for some tropical weather myself!

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