Winter is definitely celebrated just as much as the esteemed summer in Minnesota. While most of the state would prefer sunshine and unfrozen lakes, there’s still plenty to do while the lakes are frozen over. Cue WinterFest in Spicer, MN.
Deemed “Spicer where it’s Nicer”, this town on Green Lake is a popular destination in the summer so one might wonder why the heck I’d want to visit in the winter? Besides the obvious answer of ice fishing (which I don’t do, ha!), Spicer kicks off their WinterFest every year right on Green Lake. Stretching over 4 weeks, it’s a good excuse to escape for the weekend, support small local businesses and adventure to explore somewhere new! Oh, and capture a fun picture by the Ice Castle, built from the clearest water in Green Lake.
Clocking in at just under 2 hours, it’s a relatively quick drive to Spicer. There are plenty of bars, shops, and restaurants in the area to make the weekend trip worthwhile. Take a peek at some notable Winterfest Activities below and some suggestions on what to do or where to go while you are in New London/Spicer!
Eat/Drink/Stay/Shop during WinterFest
- Zorbaz – A chain that is normally located on a lake. Great for pizza and live music!
- Johnny O’Neils – One of my favorites to visit in Spicer. Usually always some sort of live music, but the atmosphere & food are great too!
- Westwood Café – Small café with amazing cinnamon rolls and amazing breakfast. Get their early as it’s a popular place, or order to go like I did!
- Glacial Ridge Winery – Local winery with some fun stories on how they name their wine.
- Lake Affect Coffee – A bookstore and coffee shop together in downtown New London- what more could you need!
- Middle Fork Café – Serves breakfast/lunch and open nights on Thursday (in winter) for beer/wine/dinner. Come here for their homemade soups & sweets! (Definitely get the caramel roll for breakfast!)
- New London Bakery– Freshly baked bread, donuts, cookies…YUM.
- Hampton Inn – Newly built and close to all the action!
- GrandStay New London Spicer– located right between Spicer and New London at the Little Crow Golf Club. Newly built & includes complimentary breakfast!
- Urban Escape – One of my favorites! Features a good mix of lifestyle women’s clothing, accessories, & gifts. Good price points and trendy mix! Also, has some local “Spicer” gear as well.
- Mill Pond Mercantile – Home décor. You will want to buy this entire place! Great gifts and unique décor.
- Happy Sol – Men’s & Women’s boutique in New London. Great pieces for all ages and awesome gift selections with a lot of MN local love.
Other Notable Places that we didn’t visit this time but have been before!
- Goat Ridge Brewing – Savory Local Beer in New London!
- Model Citizen – farm to table food inside of Goat Ridge Brewing – all ingredients come from within 100 miles of New London.
- Kofe Shop – Right off the highway is this little Coffee shop. From espresso to Italian sodas you can’t go wrong here. Also, this shop is open on Sundays!
- Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center – Cross Country Ski, Snow Shoe, Winter Trails.
Winter Fest Schedule
- WinterFest Pond Hockey Tournament
- 15th Annual Polar Plunge Benefitting Special Olympics MN
- Glacial Ridge Curling On Green Lake
- Live Music All weekend @ O’Neils
- Karaoke & DJ @ Zorbaz
- Soup, Music, and Spa Days @ Glacial Ridge Winery
- Omelet Breakfast @ Spicer Legion
- Soup, Music, Snacks & Wine @ Glacial Ridge
- Fishing Tournament
- Softball Tournament
- Sunday Brunch @ Little Crow & SuperBowl Spectacular at Little Crow Event Center
- Soup, Music, Chocolate, Cheese & Wine @ Glacial Ridge Winery
- Winter Fun Day at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
New London/Spicer is such a great weekend trip, especially if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It doesn’t hurt to wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the frozen lake either. Let me know if you are planning on heading to this pretty little town by the lake!