Art Shanties at Lake Harriet – Minneapolis, Minnesota - Atlas Obscura

Art Shanties at Lake Harriet

Direct, creative challenge to Mother Nature's winter wrath. 


Every time winter rolls around in Minnesota, hundreds of thousands of people are left with only two options: hibernate for the season or get on with living. Art Shanty Projects was born out of the latter mentality as a new take on the local sport of ice fishing, in which dedicated outdoorsmen and women trudge out into the cold, go sit on a frozen lake in a little shack, drink beer, and stare at a hole in the ice… for hours.

The shanties, built by artists, architects, makers and the like, are positioned on a frozen lake. Since 2004, Art Shanty Projects have playfully skewered ice fishing every year in January-February.

A rotating cadre of artists and their creations unite friends and families in outdoor whimsy during winter’s doldrums, with shanties offering a post office, karaoke, a landed spaceship, radio station, camera obscura, seed bank, and a human carwash.

You never know what you’ll encounter in the Art Shanties!

Know Before You Go

To ensure your experience on the ice is enjoyable, dressing for cold and snowy weather is strongly encouraged. Wear warm, waterproof shoes and clothing appropriate for spending a prolonged period in an icy, windswept environment.

Admission is free but donations are appreciated and accepted at the entrance.

In partnership with KAYAK

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