Winter activities - ice fishing

Midwest Winter Travel & Activities

Alright, I will be the first to admit: when I think of travel, I daydream of a nice warm beach somewhere.  But, there are so many other activities to appreciate (or at least try once!) during the Midwest winter.  I would much prefer the weather to be 80 degrees or even rainy everyday than to deal with the bitter cold.  BUT, I’m trying very hard this year to embrace the winter, and find an activity that is “cool” enough (haha) to make the winter worthwhile.

So, if you’re headed to the Midwest at all this winter, there are several different activities to consider!

Winter activities to try:

  1. Cross Country Skiing – I actually really like this!  It is a good workout, and there are usually pretty trails nearby that are worth checking out.  Haven’t made it out this year, but hopefully soon.
  2. Snowshoeing – Also pretty fun, and a good workout.
  3. Downhill skiing – If you haven’t done this before, I suggest signing up for some lessons.  Apparently I went when I was little (don’t remember that) and when I went for the first time as an adult a couple years ago it was not much fun.  My hubby tried to teach me, but it ended up being more frustrating than helpful.  I think he had too much faith in my abilities.
  4. Snowmobiling – Haven’t been out in years, but it can be pretty fun.
  5. Ice fishing – This year I tried it for the first time… read below for more about my experience!


Ice fishing – Ice conditions were finally good enough to venture out last weekend.  My hubby has been getting more into ice fishing, and I figured I’d see what the hype was all about.  We went 2 days.

Day 1:

Supplies: minnows, wax worms, tip ups, rods, ice auger, bucket, sled, scoop, fish marker, bottled water, general fishing box with supplies

Outcome: Cold.  Didn’t mark any fish.  Hungry.

Day 2:

Supplies: same as day 1… except… we got a pop-up tent/shanty, and brought a propane heater.  I also dressed warmer.

Outcome: 1 small fish,  several bites, so much more enjoyable with the shanty and heater. Packed a bunch of snacks… left them in the garage at home hahaha.

The views were pretty

Winter activities - snow covered trees
Winter activities – snow covered trees

It takes awhile to get everything set up.

Winter activities - tip up
Ice fishing – tip up


Winter activities - ice fishing set up
Winter activities – ice fishing set up

Minnows for the tip ups

Winter activities - minnows
Winter activities – minnows


I definitely enjoyed ice fishing enough to go out again.  Next time I’ll remember to bring some food.  Personally though, I think I’m bigger on the idea of cross country skiing or snowshoeing… but maybe that will change if I have better luck catching fish next time.


Things to remember:

  • Dress in layers, & bring more than you think you’ll need
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks
  • If going out on the ice – check ice conditions and warnings, be informed & safe!


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