Ski Free at Lutsen Mountains & Experience Small Town Charm in Grand Marais on Black Friday

LUTSEN MOUNTAIN – That blast of winter wonderful has dumped four inches of snow on Lutsen Mountain which is being added to the base of man-made snow to provide a good start for the ski season.

This weekend, you are invited to Cook County for a weekend of fun and snow.

If you want to get away from the Black Friday crowds and enjoy the fresh snowfall, head north for a North Shore Holiday themed weekend in Grand Marais, Minn. Nov. 25 – 27 and Lutsen Mountains for FREE skiing on Black Friday.

Outdoor enthusiasts are preparing for the day after Thanksgiving, when lift tickets at Lutsen Mountains will be FREE. People who don’t ski can take a free gondola ride to the Summit Chalet and scenic overlooks on Moose Mountain. Guests who come for the long weekend can take advantage of Lutsen’s Half Price Holiday packages – with the Free Friday, essentially skiing three days for the price of one.

Visitors can enjoy an old-fashioned holiday themed weekend in Cook County, Minn., where they can shop local establishments, take in a show, watch a tree-lighting ceremony, a holiday parade, and enjoy fireworks over the Grand Marais harbor.

Last year REI stores across the country eschewed the craziness of Black Friday shopping, closed their stores and encouraged employees and customers to #OptOutside.  It became a movement, and 1.4 million people spent the day enjoying the outdoors.  Now in its second year, #OptOutside is gaining momentum, Minnesota State Parks have joined the movement with free access to all 75 parks, and now Lutsen Mountains is a proud supporter offering a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov, 25.

“Skiers and snowboarders are outdoor enthusiasts, a perfect community to engage in the movement,” says Jim Vick, marketing director at Lutsen Mountains.  “The ideal of #OptOutside encourages people to reflect on friends and family and what’s truly important.  Outdoor experiences create memories that last a lifetime.”

Lift tickets at Lutsen Mountains will be free on Friday, Nov. 25 for all who attend.  People who don’t ski can take a free gondola ride to the Summit Chalet and scenic overlooks on Moose Mountain.  Guests who come for the long weekend can take advantage of Lutsen’s Half Price Holiday packages – with the Free Friday, essentially skiing three days for the price of one.

To participate in the #OptOutside movement, Lutsen Mountains encourages guests to visit, take the pledge, share with friends and family, and join us for a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov. 25.

Small town holiday shopping and festivities in Grand Marais

Skiers and their families are less than a half an hour from Grand Marais, Minn. The town will welcome visitors with a variety of old-fashioned holiday experiences. “The holidays in Cook County offer a truly authentic small town shopping experience,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County.  “You’ll find handmade crafts from small mom-and-pop shops, technical gear from a specialty shop, and one-of-a-kind works of art from a local gallery.”

Friday, Nov. 25: parade, Santa with Sled Dogs and music on a mountain

Everyone is encouraged to come and see the quirky small town Scandinavian heritage holiday parade, with a tree-lighting ceremony, caroling and fireworks over the harbor to follow.  The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m., and can be viewed from Harbor Park in downtown Grand Marais.  Santa and his sled dogswill be at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply prior to the parade on Friday. After the parade, fireworks will be displayed over Grand Marais Harbor.

The New Standards Holiday Show, now in its 10th year, has become a beloved yuletide institution in the Twin Cities and beyond. Their first performance of the season takes place Friday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. on Papa Charlie’s intimate stage at Lutsen Mountains.

Saturday, Nov. 25: Shopping, carols and tree lighting

Shop Local Saturday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the downtown Grand Marais Christmas Village.  Many of the stores will have sales and specials for visitors.  There will also be a Holiday Market at Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen; with Christmas carols and traditional tree lighting at 5 p.m.

For more info, see:

About Lutsen Mountains: Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is just a few miles from Grand Marais, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel Magazine in 2015. It’s new gondola transports visitors to the highest peak along the North Shore for unparalleled views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. For additional information, visit or follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at