Winona, Minn.

Film buffs can see the world through film during the Frozen River Film Fest Wed.-next Sun. at Winona State University and other venues. Dozens of full-length, short and documentary films, plus speakers and workshops, will be offered. Tickets are $12-$70 (

Hudson, Wis.

During the Hot Air Affair, Fri.-next Sun., balloonists will float over the St. Croix River Valley. The annual festival begins at 10 a.m. Fri. with button sales and prizes offered at area businesses, plus bird-watching and other activities. At 7 p.m. Friday, a parade sets off from the Wells Fargo parking lot and proceeds down 2nd Street. Fireworks over Lakefront Park will cap off the night. On Saturday, balloon launches are at 7:35 a.m., 3 and 6:30 p.m.; Sunday’s launch will be at 7:35 a.m. (All are weather-permitting.) Other events include a pancake breakfast, smooshboarding, a chili cook-off, ice carving, children’s ice fishing and music (


Cook County, Minn.

Snuggle up or get outside to celebrate winter during the Hygge Festival, Fri.-Feb. 16 in Grand Marais and other spots along the North Shore. The annual event highlights ways people can relax and enjoy winter in Cook County. Activities include a countywide fireplace tour, snowshoeing, nighttime cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, shopping, stargazing, games and more (

Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Enjoy more wintertime fun during Polar Fest Fri.-Feb. 16. Events kick off with an Ice Palace lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Thu. Also, a curling tournament, sledding, snow sculpting, fireworks and the 24th annual Polar Fest Plunge at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 (

Colleen A. Coles