North Dakota Tourism


Winter in North Dakota? “You Betcha!”

Every season is unique to North Dakota, even winter. It is a time to enjoy indoor and outdoor recreation and special festivals designed for winter fun.

It can get cold in North Dakota. December’s average temperature is 26° F, January 23° F and February 28°F. That means the ice on outdoor (and indoor) skating rinks is always ready, and snow on cross-country and snowmobile trails keep them ready for skiers and riders alike.

In North Dakota, the greatest show on ice is University of North Dakota hockey in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks are eight-time NCAA hockey champions who proudly play in the $100 million Ralph Engelstad Arena. Built for the fans and their enjoyment of UND hockey, “The Ralph” has excellent seating and views of the ice. Groups can enjoy a tour of clubrooms, suites, main level, ice level, Olympic arena and the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Tours require 24-hour notice. 

Downtown Grand Forks has many unique restaurants, art galleries and quaint shops. One is fourth-generation candy store Widman’s, which is known for its chocolate-covered potato chips and other chocolate creations and combinations. Nearby, Badman Design features beautifully handcrafted jewelry, warm decor and one-of-a kind pieces. Local dining favorites include Toasted Frog, known for its fried pickles, wood-fire pizzas, delicious steaks and great martinis. Not to be outdone, the Red Pepper is a famous late-night or anytime shop popular among the college crowd and known for the “Grinder.”

A brewery tour of Grand Forks should include Half Brothers Brewing Company, the newest taproom and brewery serving up craft beer and local music. Check out Crooked Pint Ale House and its urban pub. Ask for the “Classic Lucy,” a delectable stuffed burger.

If groups are into time and space, be sure to visit UND’s John D. Odegaard School of Aerospace Technologies to explore pilot and air traffic control training, altitude chambers, a radar simulator and UAS flight lab classrooms. 

Garrison, meanwhile, embraces the season by transforming into a Dickensian English village. The

Dickens Village Festival is in its 26th year, during which it takes on a new look for three consecutive weekends. Each night is capped by a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Lighted Christmas parades and horse-drawn carriage rides bring delight to all, some of whom enjoy a ride on the double-decker Queen Elizabus. Tickets for the Dickens’ play in the auditorium usually sell out but there is plenty of food by vendors on the street who tempt appetites and entice travelers into the shops. Garrison is a group-friendly town.

Out in the countryside, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling heat up when the temperature cools down. Featured runs and thrills are found at Bottineau Winter Park, Frost Fire Park, Walhalla and Huff Hills at Bismarck. Devils Lake prides itself on world-class ice fishing and other small lake and rivers freeze up, providing amazing action for walleye, perch and northern pike. North Dakota has a groomed snowmobile trail system of 2,800 miles.

Do not wait. Be Legendary in North Dakota. Learn more at or by phoning (800) 435-5663.

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Bus Tours Magazine
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