Events happening across the region on New Year’s weekend

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If you’re looking for New Year’s Eve events or things to do across the region this weekend, there are multiple activities planned. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has compiled a list below.

Keep in mind extra patrols will be out on the roads this weekend looking for drunk drivers. As previously reported, Metro Transit bus and trains are available for free from 6 p.m. until the end of service on all routes Saturday night.

In addition, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is also offering free rides from 6 p.m. until the end of service. It’s important to note that MVTA Connect rides aren’t included in the promotion.

New Brighton Ice Castles

The ice castles at Long Lake Regional Park will open to the public Saturday at 5 p.m. This will be the earliest the ice castles have opened since 2012.

Visitors can go to the site six days a week – the attraction is closed Tuesdays. Tickets are needed to visit the ice castles and can be bought HERE.

Bobber Drop in St. Paul

While New York City has the world’s most famous Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve, Minnesota has the bobber drop! Saturday night, Midway Saloon in St. Paul will hang it about 55 feet in the air as part of its patio party, which includes live music on New Year’s Eve.

The bobber weighs about 45 pounds, is made of plastic and metal and is about six feet in diameter. The idea was in the works for years but is finally coming together for the first time this weekend. Click on the video above to see the bobber.

Polar Bear Drop in White Bear Lake

In White Bear Lake, an 80-pound polar bear will be dropped from a 30-foot flagpole at midnight to mark the New Year outside of the Best Western Plus and Rudy’s Redeye Grill.

There will also be a special menu at the restaurant, and the rooftop will be open for drinks. There is also a kids’ bash, which runs from 6-9 p.m. Saturday. Click on the video above to see the polar bear.

Buck Hill

Skiers and snowboarders are invited to ring in 2023 from Buck Hill. In addition to the ski hills, there will be live music, food and fireworks.

First Day Hikes

If your New Year’s resolution includes getting into shape, state parks in Minnesota will offer First Day Hikes on Sunday.

The hikes include snowshoeing at Wild River, Mille Lacs and Lake Bemidji state parks, a candlelit hike at Mystery Cave State Park, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing at Frontenac State Park and more. CLICK HERE for a full list of hikes happening at Minnesota parks.

In Wisconsin, hikes are planned at Interstate State Park and Straight Lake State Park in Polk County, Havenwoods State Forest in Milwaukee, Mirror Lake State Park in Sauk County, Red Cedar State Trail in Dunn County, New Port State Park and Whitefish Dunes in Door County as well as both Lapham Peak and Pike Lake in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. CLICK HERE for details on those events.