Far from slowing down in the winter, the Brainerd Lakes Area is one of the liveliest winter destinations in the Midwest. As you’re planning your winter weekend trips, schedule them around these upcoming winter activities in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Nisswa City of Lights Celebration
Kick off the holiday season in style at the annual Nisswa City of Lights Celebration on Friday, November 24, the day after Thanksgiving. The dramatic countdown to lighting up the Nisswa downtown culminates with all the lights turning on at 5:30 pm. Festivities begin long before the lighting, with horse-drawn wagon rides, live reindeer, food merchants, bonfires, hot cider, and caroling. After the lighting ceremony, Santa Claus arrives and the celebration ends with fireworks at 7:30 pm. Event details at Nisswa.com.
Stay and Play at Mount Ski Gull
Quarterdeck is partnering with Mount Ski Gull to bring you an exceptional winter skiing adventure. Book two nights in Quarterdeck’s Main Lodge Suites for $99/night and ride the slopes at Mount Ski Gull with two free 1-day lift tickets and 15% off snow tubing. Mount Ski Gull is a non-profit facility that offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in one location. Use code STAYNPLAY when booking your Quarterdeck reservation to redeem promotion. Offer valid for Main Lodge Suites only. Based on availability.
Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl
Break out your ugliest holiday sweater for a night of holiday cheer on Gull Lake! On December 9, catch Santa’s Sleigh (the shuttle bus) and embark on a pub crawl around Gull Lake’s finest bars and dining establishments, including Ernie’s, Zorbaz, Jake’s Beach Grill, Cowboy’s, and more. A small donation to Christmas for Kids or a toy (with receipt) will serve as your ticket to ride Santa’s Sleigh. The pub crawler with the most outlandish sweater will win the honor of the best of the worst ugly sweaters! Sign up at Ernie’s, Jake’s, Cowboy’s, or Zorbaz before December 9th to secure your spot on the sleigh.
Ice Fishing Extravaganza 2018
One of the Brainerd Lake Area’s claims to fame is that it’s home to the world’s largest charitable ice fishing tournament, the Ice Fishing Extravaganza. The contest generates over $150,000 for area charities every year, along with $1 million in revenue for local businesses. The 2018 Extravaganza will take place on January 27th on Gull Lake from 12:00-3:00 pm. Contestants will compete for 150 different prizes supplied by local businesses. This year’s Grand Prize is a Ford or GMC Truck from Mills Auto Group. You must purchase a ticket and have a valid fishing license in order to compete in the Extravaganza. Buy tickets online for $50 or at Mills Fleet Farm for $30 (from November 1-30 only).
Gull Lake Frozen Fore Winter Weekend
The Frozen Fore is another annual charitable event that takes place every winter on Gull Lake. Frozen Fore is a three-day celebration of all things winter, a full weekend of friendly winter competitions that only Minnesotans could dream up (or find fun). From snow golfing to the Frozen Flop to a tent party with ice dancing, the Frozen Fore is a winter weekend unlike any other. Proceeds from Frozen Fore are donated to Confidence Learning Center and Kids Against Hunger. The 11th Annual Frozen Fore takes place on February 23-24, 2018. Full event details.
The Brainerd Lakes Area is a snowmobiler’s paradise, with over 1200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Quarterdeck is conveniently located on the Gull Lake Lighted Trail, which connects to the Paul Bunyan Trail, Snow Way 1, and into the deep snowy woods of the Pillsbury Forest. Follow the Paul Bunyan Trail from Brainerd to Bemidji, 100 miles north. Then head back to Quarterdeck for a hot meal at Jake’s, followed by a soak in your private whirlpool tub and a hot toddy by the fireplace. Check out the 2018 Snowmobile Trail Map and book now to get the best rooms for your snowmobile adventures.