Fargo, North Dakota: A Complete Winter Travel Guide

As the first snowflakes of North Dakota winter begin to swirl and settle, the state transforms into a winter wonderland, beckoning travelers to experience its unique beauty.

Nestled in the heart of the state, Fargo invites visitors to embrace the frosty season with a plethora of enchanting activities. From ice skating on glistening ponds to exploring snow-covered trails, Fargo’s North Dakota winter charm is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Charm of Fargo in the Frosty Season

Fargo’s winter landscape is a canvas painted with hues of white, silver, and sapphire. The city’s parks, gardens, and rivers transform into picturesque winter scenes, perfect for capturing unforgettable moments. As the snow gently blankets the city, a sense of tranquility and peace descends, creating a magical atmosphere.

Weather and Climate in Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota is a charming city located in the heart of the Upper Midwest. The city is known for its friendly people, vibrant culture, and beautiful natural scenery. However, Fargo is also known for its cold, snowy winters.

If you are planning a winter trip to Fargo, it is important to be prepared for the weather. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about Fargo’s winter climate, including average temperatures, snowfall patterns, and what to wear. You will also find information on winter activities in Fargo and tips for staying safe in the cold weather.


Fargo has a continental climate, which means that it experiences cold, dry winters and warm, humid summers. The average temperature in Fargo in January is 19°F (-7°C), and the average temperature in July is 75°F (24°C). Fargo receives an average of 40 inches of snow per year.

Understanding the Unique Winter Climate of North Dakota

North Dakota’s winter climate is influenced by several factors, including its location in the central United States, its proximity to the Arctic Circle, and the lack of mountains. 

North Dakota is located in the middle of the continent, far from any bodies of water that could moderate the temperature. This makes it susceptible to cold air masses from the Arctic. Additionally, North Dakota is relatively flat, so there are no mountains to block the cold air from moving south.

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Winter Fun in Fargo

Discover the best winter activities in Fargo to make the most of the chilly season:

Outdoor Adventures: Embrace the Snow

Ice Skating: Glide gracefully at the Fargo Civic Center Ice Rink or Scheels Arena. Learn from the pros or enjoy a leisurely skate. Bundle up in layers, don warm gloves, a beanie, and a scarf to stay cozy.

Wildlife at Red River Zoo: Witness animals in their winter coats. Lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and penguins are waiting to greet you year-round. Don’t forget to wrap up in a warm coat, beanie, and gloves.

Wolf pack seen yawning and stretching their limbs at Red River Zoo. (Photo Courtesy~ redriverzoo :ig)

Fargo Sculpture Park: Marvel at over 40 world-renowned sculptures set against a snow-covered backdrop. It’s a captivating winter wonderland. Remember to dress warmly.

Red River Parkway: Take a winter stroll or bike ride along the scenic Red River Parkway. It offers over 20 miles of paved paths for a picturesque winter experience. Wear a warm coat, beanie, gloves, and boots for comfort.

Oak Grove Park Adventures: Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing amidst woods and meadows. Rent equipment on-site and stay snug with layers, gloves, a beanie, and a scarf.

Morning sunlight enters the winter forest on a foggy morning. (Photo Courtesy: IStock)

Outdoor Adventures: Skiing, Fishing, and More

Trollwood Mountain: Ski or snowboard on family-friendly slopes with 22 trails catering to all skill levels. You can also enjoy snowshoeing and tubing. Dress in warm ski attire, complete with a helmet, goggles, gloves, and a hat.

Ice Fishing: Get hooked on ice fishing on the Red River. Catch various fish species, including walleye, northern pike, and crappie. Dress warmly with a hat, gloves, and boots, and bring along a heater or fire pit.

Ice fishing during extreme winters. (Photo Courtesy: Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)

Dog Sledding: Experience the thrill of dog sledding with local companies offering rides through the winter wonderland. Keep snug with warm clothing, including a hat, gloves, and boots.

Snowmobiling: Explore the groomed snowmobile trails at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre. Rent snowmobiles on-site and gear up with warm clothing, a helmet, goggles, gloves, and a hat.

Photo Courtesy :

Indoor Delights: Culture and Coziness

Plains Art Museum: Admire a vast collection of art, including paintings and sculptures. Keep warm clothing handy, as the museum can be a bit chilly.

Visitors in a Plains Art Museum gallery. Photo courtesy of Plains Art Museum

Theater Delights: Catch a show at the Fargo-Moorhead Opera Company or the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre. They offer a variety of productions, so dress in smart casual attire for a night out.

Fargo History Museum: Trace Fargo’s journey from a frontier town to a thriving city. Explore exhibits with artifacts, photographs, and documents while dressed in warm clothing.

Photo Courtesy :

Café Charm: Seek refuge from the cold in Fargo’s cozy cafes. Whether you’re a fan of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, you’ll find the perfect spot to warm up. Dress casually for comfort.

Embrace the winter season in Fargo with these exciting outdoor and indoor activities, all while staying snug and stylish.

Check accessories for men here | women here

Dressing for Success: Sustainable Winter Wear

Winter in Fargo, North Dakota, can be a time of beauty and wonder. However, it can also be bitterly cold and snowy, making “North Dakota winter” a true test of endurance. Dressing appropriately is essential for staying warm and comfortable during the winter months. This guide will provide tips on how to dress for success in Fargo winters, with a focus on sustainable winter wear.

The Importance of Technical Apparel in North Dakota Winters

Technical apparel is designed to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable in cold weather, especially during harsh North Dakota winters. It is made from high-performance materials that wick away moisture and insulate against the cold. Technical apparel is essential for any outdoor activity in Fargo winters, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating.

Base Layer for winter

Here are some key features to look for in technical winter apparel:

  • Waterproofing: Look for garments that are made from waterproof or water-resistant materials. This will help to keep you dry in snow and rain.
  • Breathability: Breathable fabrics will allow moisture to escape from your body, preventing you from overheating.
  • Insulation: Insulation will trap heat around your body, keeping you warm. The amount of insulation you need will depend on the activity you are doing and the weather conditions.
  • Layering: Layering is one of the best ways to stay warm in cold weather. Start with a base layer of moisture-wicking fabric, then add a mid-layer of insulation, and top it all off with a waterproof outer layer

Kosha’s Approach to Sustainable Winter Fashion

Mid layer for winter

Kosha is a sustainable winter apparel company that creates high-performance clothing from recycled materials. 

Kosha garments are designed to be durable, warm, and stylish. The company uses a variety of recycled materials, including post-consumer plastic bottles, wool, and down feathers. 

Kosha is committed to reducing its environmental impact and creating sustainable products that are made to last.

Outer layer for winter

Read more: Sapporo Travel Guide: Top Things To Do In Sapporo

Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

When it comes to winter getaways, Fargo, North Dakota might not be your first thought, but it’s time to think again. Beyond the city limits, a world of hidden gems awaits, promising a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and authentic experiences that will leave you enchanted and eager for more.

Serene Escapes: Winter’s Natural Beauty Unveiled

Find serenity in these hidden gems, each showcasing the winter beauty of North Dakota:

  • The Oxbow Park and Nature Center: This park is located on the banks of the Red River and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and birdwatching. It also has a nature center with exhibits on the local flora and fauna.
  • Wild Rice Refuge: This wildlife refuge is home to a variety of birds and animals, including bald eagles, waterfowl, and deer. Visitors can hike or snowshoe through the refuge to see the wildlife up close.
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park: This park is located just a short drive from Fargo, and it offers a variety of winter activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. Visitors can also learn about the park’s history and natural beauty at the visitor center.
  • Holmquist Nature Center: This nature center offers a variety of winter activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. Visitors can also learn about the local wildlife and ecology at the center’s interpretive exhibits.

Theodore national park during winter. Picture taken from

Charming Small Towns: Embracing Warmth and Heritage

Step into the heart of North Dakota’s small towns, where hospitality reigns and history comes to life:

  • Cass County Pioneer Village: Take a journey back in time at this charming living history village, where costumed interpreters breathe life into North Dakota’s frontier days.
  • Moorhead: Explore Moorhead’s lively downtown, adorned with festive winter lights, and indulge in the delectable local cuisine served in cozy cafes and restaurants.
  • Wahpeton: Uncover the unique charm of Wahpeton, nestled along the Red River Valley, and pay a visit to the historic Richland County Courthouse for a taste of the town’s rich history.

These hidden gems in Fargo, North Dakota promise an exceptional and unforgettable winter experience. They invite you to discover the serene beauty of nature, immerse yourself in local culture, and embrace the warm hospitality of the Dakotas.

Venture beyond the city limits and embark on a journey of discovery, uncovering the hidden treasures that await in the heart of North Dakota’s winter wonderland.

Check out Kosha’s winter jackets for women here | men here

Savoring the Flavors of Winter: Hearty and Nourishing Dishes

In the heart of North Dakota, where winter’s chill descends upon the land, comfort food takes on a special significance. These dishes are not just about satisfying hunger; they are about warmth, togetherness, and a deep appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.

North Dakota comfort food is characterized by its hearty ingredients, rich flavors, and generous portions. It is a cuisine that reflects the state’s agricultural heritage and the resilience of its people. From savory stews to decadent desserts, these dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

Exploring North Dakota’s Culinary Heritage

North Dakota’s culinary traditions are firmly grounded in the use of locally-sourced ingredients. From fresh produce to meats and grains, these local elements come together to create dishes that are not only delicious but also deeply authentic. 

Here are some of the most beloved comfort foods that showcase North Dakota’s culinary prowess:

Knoephla Soup: A cherished staple of North Dakota cuisine, this hearty dumpling soup is a comforting delight. Crafted from chicken or beef broth, tender dumplings, a medley of vegetables, and a blend of aromatic spices, it’s the perfect remedy for a chilly winter’s day.

(Photo by Holly A. Heyser)

Beef and Barley Stew: This timeless stew features tender chunks of beef, wholesome barley, an array of vegetables, and a luscious gravy. It’s a hearty and fulfilling dish ideal for a family gathering.

Photo Courtesy : Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Hotdish: A quintessential casserole-like creation composed of ground beef, noodles, vegetables, and a creamy sauce. Its versatility allows you to customize it with your preferred ingredients, making it a beloved crowd-pleaser.

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing: A classic salad showcasing crisp iceberg lettuce wedges, rich blue cheese dressing, savory bacon bits, and succulent tomatoes. This dish serves as a refreshing side or a delightful light meal.

Photo Courtesy : Meet Meggan

Prairie Pie: An indulgent dessert featuring a buttery crust, a luscious filling of dried fruits and nuts, and a delectable crumble topping. This traditional treat is perfect for marking special occasions.

Image taken from Ig : prairiepie

Beyond these iconic dishes, North Dakota offers a diverse array of regional specialties worth exploring. From hearty German-inspired dishes in the Missouri Slope to the Scandinavian-influenced fare of the Red River Valley, the state’s culinary landscape is both rich and varied.

Tips for Savoring North Dakota Comfort Food

To savor the best of North Dakota comfort food, consider the following tips:

  • Visit Local Eateries: Numerous local restaurants and cafes serve up authentic North Dakota fare. Exploring these establishments is a delightful way to experience the state’s genuine flavors.
  • Attend Community Events: Potlucks and community gatherings often feature an array of North Dakota comfort foods. These events provide an excellent opportunity to sample a variety of delicious dishes.
  • Cook at Home: Many North Dakota comfort food recipes are straightforward to follow. You can easily recreate these classics in the comfort of your own kitchen.
  • Share with Loved Ones: Comfort food is best enjoyed in the company of family and friends. Gather around the table and relish the delectable flavors together, creating lasting memories along the way.

The Spirit of Community: Fargo’s Winter Events

Fargo is a city that knows how to celebrate winter. Throughout the season, the city hosts a variety of events that bring people together. These events are a great opportunity to experience the community spirit of Fargo and enjoy the winter weather.

Here are some of the most popular winter festivals and gatherings in Fargo:

  • Frostival: This six-week festival features a variety of winter activities, including sledding, ice skating, human curling, and cardboard sled races. It is a great way to get some exercise and have some fun in the snow. Recommended clothes: Warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf, snow boots.
  • Fargo Winterfest: This annual festival is held in downtown Fargo and features live music, ice sculptures, food trucks, and a bonfire. It is a great way to celebrate the winter season and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Recommended clothes: Medium coat, hat, gloves.
  • Moorhead Frostbite Festival: This festival is held in Moorhead, Minnesota, and features similar activities to the Fargo Winterfest. It is a great way to experience the winter fun in a different setting. Recommended clothes: Medium coat, hat, gloves.
  • Christmas at Bonanzaville: This event features a variety of holiday activities, including carriage rides, carolers, and a visit from Santa Claus. It is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Recommended clothes: Warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf.
  • Fargo Chinese New Year Celebration: This event is held at the Fargo Civic Center and features traditional Chinese food, dance, and music. It is a great way to learn about Chinese culture and celebrate the Lunar New Year. Recommended clothes: Dressy attire.

Courtesy of:

Celebrating the Season: Holiday and Cultural Events

In addition to the festivals listed above, Fargo also hosts a variety of holiday and cultural events throughout the winter season. These events are a great way to experience the diversity of the community and enjoy the winter weather.

Here are a few examples:

  • Hanukkah at the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre: This event features a menorah lighting, traditional Jewish food, and music.
  • Kwanzaa Celebration at the Fargo Public Library: This event features a Kwanzaa kinara lighting, storytelling, and drumming.
  • Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert: This concert features a variety of holiday music, including carols, waltzes, and marches.
  • Plains Art Museum’s Winter Festival: This event features family-friendly activities, such as art making, crafts, and live music.

Supporting Local Initiatives and Businesses

Adopt eco-friendly habits, to help sustain the environment. In addition to adopting eco-friendly habits, you can also support sustainable practices in North Dakota by supporting local initiatives and businesses. Here are a few ideas:

  • Donate to local environmental organizations. These organizations are working to protect the environment and promote sustainability.
  • Shop at local businesses that sell eco-friendly products. This includes businesses that sell organic food, recycled clothing, and energy-efficient appliances.
  • Support renewable energy projects. There are a number of renewable energy projects underway in North Dakota. You can support these projects by purchasing renewable energy credits or investing in renewable energy companies.
  • Get involved in local environmental advocacy efforts. Attend town hall meetings, write letters to your elected officials, and participate in protests or demonstrations.

Layering Techniques and Must-Have Winter Accessories

In Fargo, North Dakota, winters can be long and cold. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style to stay warm. With the right layering techniques and must-have winter accessories, you can create stylish and functional outfits that will keep you comfortable all winter long.

Layering Techniques

Layering is the key to staying warm in the winter. By wearing multiple layers of clothing, you can trap heat and stay cozy. Here are a few tips for layering effectively:

  • Start with a base layer. A base layer should be made from a moisture-wicking fabric, such as merino wool or synthetic materials. This will help to keep you dry and comfortable.
  • Add a mid-layer. A mid-layer should be made from an insulating fabric, such as fleece or down. This will help to trap heat and keep you warm.
  • Top it off with an outer layer. An outer layer should be made from a windproof and water-resistant fabric, such as Gore-Tex or nylon. This will protect you from the elements.

Check out Kosha’s base layer for men here | women here

Expert Tips

Here are a few expert tips for staying warm and stylish in the Fargo winter:

  • Wear natural fabrics. Natural fabrics, such as wool, silk, and cotton, are better at insulating than synthetic fabrics.
  • Choose the right fit. Clothes that are too tight will restrict your circulation, making you feel colder. Clothes that are too loose will let in cold air.
  • Don’t forget your extremities. Your hands, feet, head, and ears are the first places to lose heat. Make sure to keep them covered in warm clothing.
  • Take breaks from the cold. If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, be sure to take breaks indoors to warm up.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make you feel colder.
  • Stay active. Exercise helps to generate heat. So even if you’re staying indoors, try to get some exercise each day.

Navigating North Dakota Winter Driving

Winter driving in North Dakota can be challenging due to the state’s harsh winter climate. Snow, ice, and cold temperatures can create hazardous conditions on the roads. To stay safe while driving in North Dakota during the winter months, it is important to be prepared and to follow these winter driving tips:

  • Slow down. This is the most important tip for winter driving. The faster you are going, the less time you have to react to hazards.
  • Increase your following distance. It takes longer to stop on icy or snow-covered roads. Double the following distance you would normally keep in dry conditions.
  • Avoid using cruise control. Cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle if you hit a patch of ice or snow.
  • Brake early and gently. Be careful not to slam on the brakes, as this can cause your vehicle to skid.
  • Use your anti-lock brakes (ABS) if you have them. ABS can help you to maintain control of your vehicle when braking on slippery surfaces.
  • Turn your headlights on a low beam. This will help you to see and be seen by other drivers.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for black ice, snowdrifts, and other hazards.
  • Yield to snowplows and other road maintenance vehicles. They are working to keep the roads safe for everyone.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Carry an emergency kit in your car in case you get stranded.

Vehicle Preparation for Harsh Winter Conditions

In addition to following winter driving tips, it is also important to prepare your vehicle for harsh winter conditions. Here are some tips for preparing your vehicle for winter:

  • Install winter tires or snow chains. Winter tires provide better traction in snow and ice. Snow chains can also be helpful, but they should only be used on snowy or icy roads.
  • Check your tire pressure. Tires tend to lose pressure in cold weather. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Top off your fluids. Check your antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid levels.
  • Test your battery. Cold weather can strain your car battery. Have your battery tested to make sure it is in good condition.
  • Fill your gas tank. If you get stranded, you will want to have a full tank of gas.
  • Carry an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should include items such as a flashlight, blankets, food, water, and a first-aid kit.

By following these tips, you can stay safe on the roads in North Dakota during the winter months. Remember, the best way to avoid accidents is to slow down, be patient, and use caution.


Q: How cold does it get in North Dakota in the winter?

A: North Dakota winters are known for being very cold, with average temperatures ranging from 2°F in the north to 17°F in the southwest. Temperatures below zero are common, and wind chill can make it feel even colder.

Q: How much snow does North Dakota get in the winter?

A: North Dakota receives an average of 13 to 20 inches of snow per year, with the most snow falling in the eastern part of the state. Heavy snowstorms can create dangerous driving conditions and cause power outages.

Q: What should I wear to stay warm in North Dakota winter?

A: It is important to dress warmly when going outside in North Dakota winter. Be sure to wear a heavy coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and snow boots. Layering your clothing is also a good way to stay warm.

Q: What are some fun things to do in North Dakota winter?

A: There are many fun things to do in North Dakota winter, such as skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and ice skating. You can also visit one of the state’s many winter festivals.

Q: How can I prepare for a North Dakota winter?

A: There are a few things you can do to prepare for a North Dakota winter, such as:

*Make sure your car is winterized.

*Stock up on food and supplies in case of a power outage.

*Have a snow shovel and other winter essentials on hand.

*Be aware of the latest weather forecast and road conditions before heading out.


As we conclude our winter guide to Fargo, North Dakota, let us reflect on the unique beauty and charm of this season in the Upper Midwest. Despite the frigid temperatures and snow-covered landscapes, winter in Fargo offers a world of possibilities for adventure, exploration, and joy.

From gliding across the ice at the Red River Zoo to cozying up by a warm fireplace at Bonanzaville Pioneer Village, Fargo’s winter activities provide something for everyone. Whether you are a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, you are sure to find ways to embrace the magic of winter in Fargo.

Fargo’s winter is a time for creating lasting memories with loved ones. Whether you are building snowmen in the park, sharing laughter around a bonfire, or simply enjoying a quiet evening by the hearth, these moments will be cherished for years to come.

So, as you prepare to embrace the magic of winter in Fargo, remember to open your heart to the wonders of the season. Bundle up, step into the cold, and let the winter spirit fill you with joy. Fargo awaits, ready to offer you a winter wonderland unlike any other.

For any queries related to wearing thermals, base layers, or winter wear in general, visit Kosha’s store and get a free consultation! While you’re at it, check out Kosha’s website for the wide range of thermals and jackets available at Kosha.

This blog article is written by Kosha Team Member – Kauravki Bansode



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