Throughout the winter, North Dakota offers a warm welcome to visitors. Our state has four distinct seasons with fun things to explore and add to your itineraries. From seasonal festivals to arts, cultural heritage, entertainment, inviting eateries, winter landscapes, fresh air and more, unexpected group travel adventures are easily found.

Each year, our largest city, Fargo, turns its downtown into a winter wonderland. The city’s Broadway Square—which features a variety of events throughout the year, including live music and an outdoor market with fresh produce, delicious food and craft vendors—becomes Fargo’s version of New York City's Rockefeller Plaza. Broadway Square kicks off the holiday season on Tuesday, November 22 with a festive celebration to light its 32-foot Christmas tree and open its picturesque downtown ice-skating rink for the winter season. Skate rentals are available on site.

To continue the celebration of the holiday season in Fargo, visitors will enjoy The Classic Nutcracker—a seasonal performance of professional dance company, The FMBallet, from December 16-18 at North Dakota State University’s Festival Concert Hall.

Fargo offers many more year-round events and attractions that are popular among visiting groups, including the Fargo Air Museum—a group favorite. North Dakota’s premiere aviation destination, the museum is home to aircraft of all eras, many of which can occasionally take to the sky in flight—a unique feature not found in most air museums.

An hour’s drive north along Interstate 29 is the delightful city of Grand Forks. Here, the big kick-off to the holiday season is the “HollyDazzle: Festival of Lights,” taking place Sunday, November 20 at Town Square in Grand Forks’ historic and vibrant downtown district. This annual holiday tradition includes cookie and ornament decorating, free horse-drawn wagon rides, a free holiday movie showing, s’mores making, a photobooth, local choirs performing in Town Square, the thrilling Parade of Lights, and a grand finale fireworks show.

Adjacent to the downtown and Town Square is the Grand Forks Greenway, a long stretch of connected parks, trails and tree-lined banks along the Red River. Throughout the winter, visitors enjoy beautifully groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Rentals are available at several shops and vendors in town. This heartwarming winter-scape can also be enjoyed via walking paths and downtown sidewalks, as well as through the windows of inviting restaurants and other businesses.

While celebrating the beginning of winter and the approaching holidays in either city, visitors love shopping the area’s boutique stores, walking under festively lit streetlights and storefronts, and stopping for a latte or hot cocoa in a local coffee shop.

North of Grand Forks near the Canadian border, visiting groups often enjoy the Pembina State Museum, which features a seven-story observation tower where visitors can scan the surrounding prairie and the meandering Red River.

West of Grand Forks along U.S. Highway 2, the smaller city of Devils Lake—and the adjacent lake of the same name—offer a different kind of winter playland. North Dakota’s largest natural lake is a regional hotspot for ice fishing, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter birdwatching and sightseeing. Devils Lake’s annual February ShiverFest is a fun weekend for the community and visitors alike to celebrate winter with sledding, skating, curling, s’mores, hot cocoa, succulent foods and much more.

The Devils Lake area also offers plenty of other year-round attractions, as well. Visitors enjoy the Lake Region Heritage Center, which features the history and culture of the region and includes displays of the city’s early post office and courtroom, its first fire engine and a 1903 automobile. The Lake Region Heritage Center also serves as an art gallery with local and traveling art shows and exhibits.

Nearby on the south side of the lake, Spirit Lake Casino and Resort offers hotel lodging, excellent dining (one of several top-shelf steakhouses in the Devils Lake area), high-stakes gaming, big-name concerts and more entertainment.

Throughout this eastern region and the entire state, visitors love events and attractions featuring the work of fine artists and artisans selling perfect holiday gifts. From late October to early December, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture hosts multiple Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase events (Pride of Dakota is a designation signifying authentic North Dakota businesses and their goods).

Art museums and galleries statewide display collections and traveling exhibits from regional and national artists. Groups interested in the arts could enjoy the Plains Art Museum in downtown Fargo, the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, and many more.

Plan a tour of North Dakota’s wonderful world of winter this year.

 

Courtesy of North Dakota Tourism.

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