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Top 12 Things to Do (Indoors) in Mankato

Top 12 Things to Do (Indoors) This Winter in Mankato

Dreading the cold weather this winter? Don’t feel like the only way to escape the cold is by jumping on a place to Florida, because Mankato, Minnesota has plenty of ways to keep you entertained while staying cozy and warm. The city is home to plenty of exciting venues to keep you and your family or friends occupied throughout the winter. Here are the top things to do indoors this winter in Mankato.

Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota1. Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
When the outdoor playgrounds get blanketed with snow, head to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota where indoor adventures await. The Museum houses a large, two-story indoor playground called the Tree of Forts on which children can test their climbing skills. Other indoor activities include Coughlan Quarry (a construction building zone for kids), Grow It Gallery and Play Porch for infants and toddlers. During the winter, the Museum hosts a series of events like a family fun night at the museum, storytelling night and bookmobile visits.


Bounce Town2. Bounce Town
Let the little ones burn off that pent-up energy at Bounce Town in Mankato. This year-round indoor inflatable play center keeps kids ages 12 years old and younger entertained and exercised as well as educated. There are fun learning areas that allow children to learn motor and social skills, experience sensory items and embark on adventures of their own imagination. Bounce Town’s Wee Town is a place for even the littlest of ones (up to 40″ tall) can enjoy.


Wow Zone3. Wow! Zone
Whether you’re looking for a day out with friends or family, Wow! Zone will not disappoint. The entertainment center is entirely indoors, featuring black-light cosmic bowling lanes, laser tag games, miniature golf and state-of-the-art arcade games. Come hungry; the center has a large menu with pizzas, cheese curds, chicken wings and salads. Friends wanting a night out on the town can enjoy the bar and happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday.


Verizon Wireless Center Performing Arts Center4. Verizon Center and Grand Hall
Enjoy hockey games and upcoming concerts from groups like the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and at the Verizon Center, which recently underwent $28 million worth of renovations to make the place more comfortable for spectators while they enjoy concert, performance or other events. Monitor the venue’s website to stay in the loop of upcoming shows and games.



5. All Things Wine
Nothing beats staying inside on a cold winter day and enjoying a glass of wine. Around Mankato, there are plenty of cozy spaces with great sipping opportunities. The Wine Café offers a unique atmosphere to be enjoyed with family and friends. If you’re looking for something a little more, there is karaoke Thursday nights and live entertainment every Friday and Saturday. Stop in to The Wine Rack behind the Wine Café, where you can discover a new favorite among 600 kinds of wine, some are hard to find varieties. Named Minnesota’s Best Winery in the Star Tribune’s 2015 Best of Minnesota, Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery overlooks Chankaska Creek near Kasota. Every one of its drinks is handcrafted straight out of its vines. Come in from the frigid outdoors during Chankaska’s winter hours and delight in Minnesota-made wines.

River Hills Mall6. Shopping
Whether you’re purchasing antiques for your home or doing some holiday shopping for loved ones, Mankato has plenty of shops and shopping districts that might interest you. On the coldest winter days, head indoors to Mankato’s shopping centers, independent stores and more. Some of the small businesses worth checking out in Mankato, just to name a few, include Gallery 512, Salvage Sisters (antiques) and Whimsy and Weathered. The River Hills Mall offers large retailers and smaller shops, all under one roof. Plus, extend the indoor fun within the Mall by taking in a movie at the Cinemark theaters.

Curiosi Tea House7. Curiosi-Tea House
What better way to warm up in the cold weather than with a cup of hot, steaming tea? At Curiosi-Tea House, tea sampling is available at certain hours to try out various flavors. Chances are this winter, you’ll be encouraged to try out “wintery” varieties like peppermint, hot cinnamon spice and chai. Every cup is served in a vintage English teacup to match its indoor shabby chic vibe.



Mankato Brewery8. Mankato Brewery
Mankato Brewery, which has been open since 2010, is a popular destination for live music during the weekends in its taproom, where beer lovers can sample a variety of innovative brews and join a tour of the distillery. Different brews include Haymaker IPA, Crooked Rook Porter, Mad Butcher IPA and Organ Grinder.



Mankato Escape Rooms9. Old Town Escape and Kato Escape
Escape the cold this winter and arrange an unforgettable time for your friends at one of Mankato’s two escape houses: Old Town Escape and Kato Escape. Here’s how it works: groups are escorted into a secretive room and must figure out how to escape the room in 60 minutes with the help from clues and puzzles. At Old Town Escape, you have you can summon the elements in the mystical Witch’s Kitchen or take your chances with the Post Office, where the postmaster has mysteriously vanished and has left a series of cryptic puzzles behind. Kato Escape has a crazy uncle with his own riddles and an underground lab to hide from airborne toxicity in a post-apocalyptic world. Sounds crazy, right? Put your problem-solving skills to the test and enter if you dare.


Blue Earth County Historical Society10. Blue Earth County Historical Society
History buffs may want to stop by the Blue Earth County Historical Society where they can learn all about the local Native Americans and early settlers of the Mankato area. Exhibits include artifacts, photos and tools used in the region and gives you a little background about how Mankato developed into the city it is today. The indoor museum is in a research center that has its own art gallery and gift shop. Bring the kids; a designated interactive children’s area is available where they can play in a pioneer cabin.


Mankato Art Galleries11. Art Galleries
Don’t leave Mankato without bringing back an original art piece by a local artist. The city is home to several galleries including the historic Carnegie Art Center (great if contemporary art is your thing) and The 410 Project (an experimental space run by volunteers and artists). Twin River Council for the Arts is known for hosting art festivals and workshops so lovers of art may want to keep their eye open for scheduled events.



Mankato Late Night Entertainment 12. Late Night Entertainment
Show off your smarts by competing in weekly trivia contests at some of the local pubs in Mankato. Loose Moose Saloon is among the most popular locations to compete with other groups while enjoying a cold pint, as well as at Pub 500. Both spots have extensive menus for beer and food. Another fantastic way to find late night entertainment is at Wow! Zone, where live music plays near its fully-stocked bar. Beer drinkers may enjoy the live entertainment on certain nights at Mankato Brewery, as well.


This is just a snapshot of some of the cool things to do indoors in Mankato during the winter. Learn about more options. Go>