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10 Things to do in MN this winter

Winter Activities in MN: Luminary Loppet


The candlelit Luminary Loppet on Saturday, February 5, is the Twin Cities’ most magical event of the season.

Come out to Lake of the Isles and enjoy the Luminary Loppet where you can walk, snowshoe, or ski on the candlelit trail winding across the lake. Experience 1,200 luminaries lining the trail with unique ice features such as Ice Henge, The Spires, Ice Cropolis, as well as Ice Music, Fire Dancers, and much more – all in the heart of Uptown. The Luminary Loppet is also the Loppet Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year – supporting our year-round programs promoting outdoor adventure for all in the Minneapolis area.

Refreshments such as hot chocolate, cookies, and s’mores will be offered at tents across the lake. Food trucks, Surly beer, and music are located at the REI Co-op Luminary Party.

Participants must have their official Luminary Loppet glow sticks showing at all times while on the lake as proof of registration.

The Luminary Loppet is part of the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival, which includes cross-country ski, fat-tire bike, snowshoe, and skijor races and tours, youth events, and more. The Luminary Loppet is NOT a race.


To avoid congestion, there are six start wave times for the Luminary Loppet:

- 6:00pm

- 6:30pm

- 7:00pm

- 7:30pm

- 8:00pm

- 8:30pm.

Each start wave is capped, so remember to register early to get your preferred start time before the waves sell out. Participants may start at or after their registered start time (NOT before), and they may stay on the lake as long as they like.

All registered participants will receive an official Luminary Loppet glow stick, which must be displayed at all times during the event to gain access to the lake and the Luminary Party, and take advantage of the many Luminary Loppet activities.

REI Luminary Party

Join us for the “coolest” party in town. The REI Co-op Luminary Party kicks off and heats up with an outdoor concert and dancing. With famed local acts Dan Israel starting it off and then continuing with “ That Cover Band “ – it will be a night of great local music and rockin’ to the beat. The party also features Surly beer (for attendees ages 21+), photo booths, fire pits, food trucks, Loppet merchandise for sale, and prize giveaways/sweepstakes.

The REI Co-op Luminary Party is free for registered Luminary Loppet participants. For those not registered, tickets exclusively to the REI Luminary Party go on sale for $10 at the door at 7pm.

One can of Surly Brewing Co. beer is included for all registered Luminary Loppet participants who are 21+ years old (with a valid ID). Additional Surly beer is available for purchase for $5/can. Party-only guests may purchase beer for $5/can. Please note: The REI Co-op Luminary Party last call is at 9:45pm, with music and Surly beer service ending at 10pm.

Glow Stick Logistics

All registered participants will receive an official Luminary Loppet glow stick, which must be displayed at all times during the event to gain access to the lake and the Luminary Party, and take advantage of the many Luminary Loppet activities.

Please see below for glow stick pickup options. To ensure the quickest pickup experience, please have your check-in pass with the QR code (emailed to you when you registered) displayed on your phone/device or printed out for our staff to scan. Picking up your glow stick ahead of time allows you to skip the registration tent lines on the lake. 

Glow Stick Pick Up

- The Trailhead (Wirth Park, 1221 Theodore Wirth Pkwy) Friday, February 4, 4pm – 8pm Saturday, February 5, 7am – 3pm (best if already at the Trailhead for Festival races, otherwise parking will be very difficult)

- Lunds & Byerly’s Uptown 1450 West Lake Street – Upstairs Balcony Saturday, February 5, 10am – 4pm

- Lagoon Tent (between Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska) Saturday, February 5, 2pm – 8:30pm 

On Lake of the Isles (Registration tents) Saturday, February 5, 6pm – 8:30pm

Important Information

- Dogs (and other animals) are not allowed at the Luminary Loppet. Please respect the experience of other Luminary Loppet participants.

- Flashlights and personal lights are not allowed (this includes strobe lights, blinking lights, and light-up toys, jewelry/clothing, sleds, etc.). The trail will be plenty bright for you to comfortably see where you are going.

- Rentals: Limited ski and snowshoe rentals are available from The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park, Hoigaard’s, and REI Co-op at their Bloomington location.

- Transportation: We are working with Metro Transit to provide complimentary bus rides to the Luminary Loppet for registered participants. If this becomes available, we will email participants prior to the Luminary on how to use this amazing resource. Visit for information on bus service to the Uptown area.

- You must have a valid ID to receive your free Surly Brewing Co. beer (1 per attendee).

- There is no official start or finish location. Participants that have already picked up their glow stick prior to their start may begin their evening from anywhere around Lake of the Isles.

Accessibility:  Please acknowledge that the Luminary course is on ice and snow and conditions are not favorable for wheelchairs. However, sleds are an option. For accessibility questions and further information, please contact

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Jan 25