Hot Air Affair

The two balloons inflated just as the snow started to fall on Sunday, Feb. 6. 

Hot Air Affair launch party

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14. 

Location: The Real Magic House, 904 Sixth Street. 

Cost: Free. 

Reservations: Space is limited and reservations are required. Visit for tickets. 

Hudson Hot Air Affair has announced its 2023 event theme of “Experience the Magic” for its 34th annual celebration held on Feb. 3-5. Known as the premier hot air balloon rally and winter festival in the Midwest, this family-friendly community event is presented by WESTconsin Credit Union and supported by hundreds of sponsors, partners and volunteers.

This year the Hot Air Affair starts with a countdown event, the “Experience the Magic” Launch Party at the Real Magic House. 

Enjoy this magical kick off to the Hudson Hot Air Affair featuring local artists, a scavenger hunt, live music and fun surprises around every corner. This is a free event for all ages. 

This magical celebration is all about the balloons. Plans are underway to bring over 30 hot air balloons to Hudson for mass ascensions and other ballooning events on Saturday and Sunday Feb. 4-5, weather permitting. The magic theme will be observed throughout the Hot Air Affair weekend, beginning with the Torchlight Parade on Friday night, Feb. 3, with pilots and parade units sporting a magic theme. There will be fireworks after the parade. You can expect some interesting magic themed costumes at the smoosh board competition on Saturday.

Other returning annual favorites include the popular Moon Glow/Field of Fire on Saturday evening, Feb. 4, the marketplace and craft fair, pancake breakfast, food drive, fat bike race, bingo, kite flying, kids ice fishing, the St. Croix River Dunk, the Taste of Hot Air Affair fundraiser and so much more.

A detailed schedule with all the events and magical happenings is available on the website,

Winter Willow River Hike.png

Frosty falls hike

Time: 10 a.m. 

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14. 

Location: Willow River Nature Center, 1034 County Highway A, Hudson. 

Cost: Free; snowshoe rental available. $7 per pair. Call 715-869-3695 or email at least two days in advance to check on availability. 

More information:

Join on a wintery walk to the Willow Falls. This is a spectacular time of year for viewing the frost covered falls. This will be a 4-mile round trip hike. Depending on the weather and depth of snow, it can be considered moderately strenuous with some hilly and rugged terrain throughout. Be sure to dress in warm layers, bring plenty of water and good hiking boots with ice cleats or snowshoes. 

Library books RTSA

A public library card is an entryway to books and more. 

Little learner storytime

Time: 10-11 a.m.  

Date: Thursday, Jan. 12, or Friday, Dec. 13.  

Location: Friday Memorial Library, 155 East First Street, New Richmond. 

Cost: Free.  

Julie hosts an indoor storytime at the library. Join along as she shares stories and songs and then invites you to play a fine-motor learning activity. Best for ages two through five.

The same program is offered twice a week, so pick the day that works best for you.

Girls Night Out

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14.  

Location: The Phipps Center for the Arts,John H. Potter Theater, 

Cost: Tickets start at $20.

More information:

“Girls Night Out” pays tribute to and celebrates the ladies who paved the way in country music. Performing hits from Dolly, Trisha, Shania, Martina, Miranda, and more. This high-energy, 9-piece band is composed of some of the most talented musicians in the Twin Cities. So, dust off those boots and get ready to stomp along, sing along, and dance along to all your favorite hits from the amazing women of country. 

Just Craftin’ Around

Time: 10 a.m. to noon. 

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14. 

Location: Hudson Area Public Library, room 219, 700 First St. 

Cost: Free. 


Come hang-out, chat and craft around. In January we’ll be making cards with Stampin’ Up. This program is for ages 16 and up.  

Carpenter Nature Center Wisconsin

Hike various trails on the Carpenter Nature Center Wisconsin campus and learn to identify birds. 

Bird hike

Time: 9-11 a.m.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14

Location: Al and Laurie Hein Visitor Center, 279 South Cove Road, Hudson. 

Cost: $5; free for Friends of the Carpenter Nature Center and St. Croix Valley Bird Club members.  

Register: Call 651-437-4359.

Hike various trails on our Wisconsin campus and learn to identify birds with local experts from the St. Croix Valley Bird Club.

Frosty hike

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 14

Location: Al and Laurie Hein Visitor Center, 279 South Cove Road, Hudson. 

Cost: $5; free for Friends of the Carpenter Nature Center and Frosty 40 registrants. 

Register: Call 651-437-4359.

Enjoy the Carpenter Nature Center trails with a group while working toward your mileage goal for the Frosty 40 event. Programs are exercise focused, so come prepared to elevate your heart rate. Snow conditions will determine if these will be regular trail hikes or snowshoe hikes. Bring your own snowshoes or a pair will be provided if needed.

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