Girlfriend GetawayVisit Mankato
Treat yourself to a weekend out! Grab a group of your best friends and check out Mankato’s great wine, fine dining, art, shopping, and outdoor fun! While you’re here, make sure to check out our renowned Kiwanis Holiday Lights display and charming downtown shops. Plan a trip yourself or choose from one of our specially designed packages at the bottom of the page.
Things to Do
Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery
For a lively atmosphere, try Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery near Kasota. Chankaska is a native Dakota Indian name meaning “forest-enclosed” and vineyard visitors will delight in the natural setting of the southern Minnesota River Valley. Hand-crafted, Chankaska Wines’ artisan winemaking techniques ensure a transformation from hearty grapes on the vine to a flavorful wine experience.
Indian Island Winery
A short drive out of Mankato to the outskirts of Janesville will bring you to Indian Island Winery. Indian Island Winery provides a hospitality like no other: its tasting room staff is eagerly ready to help you explore its superb range of dry and sweet, red and white wines. Sip while listening to the sounds of live music from local musicians every Friday and Saturday.
Javens Family Vineyard & Winery
The quintessential family winery, Javens Family Winery offers visitors beautiful scenery tucked along the banks of the Le Sueur River. An intimate tasting room, as well as the unofficial welcoming committee of Cooper and Charlie (the Javens family faithful pooches), await your trip to Javens. On a chilly day, stay cozy in the tasting room or sit on its elevated patio with picturesque overlooks of the vineyards. Weekly entertainment is available for your listening pleasure while enjoying the winery’s selections. The Frontenac Gris is an International Cold Climate Wine Competition-winning wine that is fruit-forward and semi-sweet to the taste buds. La Crescent is another award-winning one, with an semi-dry palate with great aromas.
Morgan Creek Vineyards
Travel to the nearby city of New Ulm and you’ll find the only underground winery in Minnesota. Morgan Creek Vineyards offers a unique, cool experience for visitors and the perfect temperature for wine production and aging. Specializing in German-, French-, and American-style wines, Morgan Creek’s selection is endless. Its award-winning Zietgeist wine is a Germanic style white wine with bright apricot aroma. St. John Reserve sells out among its dry-wine fans, who enjoy the luscious berry, spice and vanilla aromas. Sample its European-style cuisine made from locally-produced goods with your wine choice. On Friday and Saturdays, all this can be paired with the live music events like Winedown for the Weekend and Jazz Night at the winery.
Mankato Brewery started producing beers in 2012, and is proud to revive the brewing tradition in the Key City. Mankato Brewery is the first production brewery in the community since 1967. Focused on creating authentic beers that reflect the heritage of the region and its people, the crew at Mankato Brewery invites you to try their beer and to Experience Local Flavor.
Olives is a family owned and operated restaurant located in beautiful downtown Mankato on the 1st floor of Hilton Inn. From hand-cut steaks by the master chef John Massad to wood-buring pizza, Olives has it all!
Located in the heart of the Mankato City Center’s Entertainment District, Pub 500 is a top restaurant featuring daily Happy Hour drink specials, great food and live entertainment. Pub 500 serves lunch, dinner, late night snacks, appetizers, weekend breakfast, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Pub 500 has a wide selection of draft beer and drinks at their full bar. Pub provides the perfect downtown atmosphere for you to relax with your family and friends any day of the week. Weekly entertainment includes live music, trivia, poker, karaoke, and more!
River Hills Mall
River Hills Mall is the shopping center of choice for Southern Minnesota. You’ll find more than 80 stores featuring the newest apparel, accessories, and home goods. The eight-screen theater, a turn-of-the-century carousel, the diverse food court, and the children’s play area make this a great destination for you and the ladies.
Local Shops & Boutiques
Riverfront Drive in historic downtown Mankato has an array of charming boutiques and stores, providing a fun and personal shopping experience! This is the place to go if you are looking for unique gifts for loved ones, home décor items, or a new outfit to add to your closet!
CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour
Stretch your legs and go for a scenic stroll throughout the downtown district and be amazed at the detailed art decorating the streets. CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour is a popular public art route, where you can view 27 rotating sculptures throughout the area. This free, self-guided tour leads you to creative displays that are imported from around the world for this annual, year-long tradition. Every year the displays are different, so you can see something new and fresh on a return trip Mankato. After your walking tour, cast your vote for the best sculpture by voting online or using the ballot from CityArt brochure. The winning sculpture receives a People’s Choice Award and is purchased by the City Center Partnership for permanent installation in the City Center.
While visiting Mankato, immerse yourself in a world where art and culture unite by exploring the art galleries in the city. One of the must-see galleries is Carnegie Art Center. Since 1981, the gallery has been showcasing gorgeous collections of paintings, pottery, artifacts, glass, and photography. Each month, the gallery features a brand new exhibit for visitors to view. The artwork is brought in by talented artists of all ages from around the state. Another wonderful gallery to visit is The Emy Frentz Art Guild Gallery. This gallery is managed by a local organization that promotes its creative community through a series of pop-up exhibits in various locations. For a more intimate art experience, visit 410 Project. This small gallery features work from local artists.
Lace up and go skating in one of Mankato’s 11 parks with outdoor skating rinks! Too cold? All Season’s Arena offers an indoor skating rink with affordable skate rentals.
Looking for a unique experience in our parks and on our trails this winter? Give snowshoeing a try! This activity allows you to experience winter in all its wonder. Go it alone or book a tour with the local experts, Bent River Outfitter. Rent snowshoes from Bent River Outfitter or Minnesota State University, Mankato Campus Recreation (360° virtual tour) .
Down-hill skiers and snowboarders find Mount Kato to be a hub for fast action and short lines. With 19 groomed trails and four terrain parks for skiing and snowboarding, as well as a tubing park, you’ll never run out of things to do. Getting cold? Head inside the cozy ski lodge for some relaxation and dining.
Cross Country Skiing
Mankato is surrounded by an extensive trail system featuring groomed pathways which bring cross country skiers through Indian Lake Park, Williams Nature Center, Bray Park, Wildwood Conservation Area and Daly Park. Each location presents an exciting journey for a beginner or experienced cross country skier. Call 507-304-4025 or visit Blue Earth County’s website. Go>
Winter Events in Mankato
- Entertainment: Click here to see what else Mankato has to offer.
- Shop: Click here for a directory of Mankato stores and shopping malls.
- Eat: Click here for a directory of Mankato restaurants and cafés.
- Stay: Click here for a directory of Mankato hotels.
Still not ready to leave?
10 Best Local Restaurants. Go>