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Seasons

Yes, it's cold here in the winter—but far from being a frozen tundra year-round, Minnesota has four distinct seasons. We enjoy beautiful springs with blossoming trees and early flowers, warm summers to appreciate our 10,000 lakes, and beautiful autumns ablaze with color. As for winter? It's mostly a matter of dressing right and being prepared for the extremes. With appropriate clothing and gear, you can be as active outdoors as you want to (although if you'd rather hibernate, that's OK too).

Here's a sampler of favorite things to do at Carleton year-round:

  • FALL:
    • Student Activities Fair, your opportunity to get acquainted with—and join—a dizzying array of student groups.
    • Apple picking at nearby Fireside Orchard.
    • Northfield's Defeat of Jesse James Days, which celebrates our little town's victory over the notorious James-Younger Gang, back in 1876.
    • Homecoming, which includes a whole menu of special events along with the traditional football game.
    • Walking, running, and biking in The Arb and on scenic country roads.
  • WINTER:
    • Broomball, arguably Carleton's favorite winter sport. Sure, it sounds silly: Hockey played with no skates and no puck?? But you'll have fun and work up a sweat, even on the coldest days.
    • Ice skating on the Bald Spot, if you can get those broomball players to give up some rink space.
    • Traying, a version of sledding that, while not officially approved (since it requires sneaking trays out of the dining hall), seems to keep on happening at Carleton anyway. Or you could take pity on our food-service staff and just get yourself a sled.
    • Midwinter Ball with its myriad of indoor and outdoor activities, including ice sculpting and dancing the night away.
    • Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Carleton's 880-acre arboretum.
  • SPRING:
    • Spring Concert,an annual outdoor music festival that's been a Carleton tradition for more than 30 years. What's better than warm weather and hot bands?
    • Mai Fete, a weekly gathering of seniors on scenic Mai Fete island.
    • Rotblatt, the world's longest softball game. A Carleton tradition since 1964.
    • International Festival, with food, songs, performances and cultural workshops representing many nations.
    • Outdoor movies on the Bald Spot.
  • SUMMER:
  • Emily Balczewski '16
    Winter isn't that bad! Coming from California, I bought the largest, puffiest, warmest coat I could find and it wasn't necessary. It's important to try to stay healthy, positive, and active during the overcast months: if you do, winter is a (slightly nippy, but completely bearable) breeze!
  • Anna Chance '15
    Freshman year in Watson, I received a package in the mail that had a lot of packing peanuts in it. I put it into recycling, but then—I walk out into the lounge and I find that my packing peanuts have been converted into SAND for a makeshift BEACH! There were towels scattered on the floor for "sunbathing" and residents had set up a small makeshift volleyball net. All players were wearing some form of swim gear and the 'volleyball' was a stuffed pineapple. There was even an "ocean" that people could dip their feet into, and cut-out pictures of waves taped to the windows! I suppose this just goes to show that Carls are pretty creative, spontaneous, fun-loving, and..a a little quirky. A Minnesota winter is not going to stop us from having a beach party!
  • Hammock time
    Suddenly, two trees have hammock potential.

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring
    Spring

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Winter Fun
    Winter Fun

    Photo:

    Maria Kjellstrand
  • winter
    winter

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Fall leaves in the Arb.
    Fall leaves in the Arb.

    Photo:

    Berett Wilber '14
  • fall
    fall

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • fall
    fall

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • winter
    winter

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • spring

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • At this year's Spring Concert, there was no shortage of muddy feet and muddy faces.
    At this year's Spring Concert, there was no shortage of muddy feet and muddy faces.

    Photo:

    Jolene Walter
  • International Festival
    Michele Cruz '11, Justin JP Perkins '11, and Ger Yang '11 during International Festival before both of their performances.

    Photo:

    LASO members
  • Winter in Spring

    Winter in Spring

    Date: 2013/4/23; Season: supposed to be SPRING (indicated by "Spring Term"; Location: NORTHfield, MN

    Photo:

    Jialun Luo '16
  • Introduction to Geology students and majors discussing the Mill Street conglomerate
    Introduction to Geology students and majors discussing the Mill Street conglomerate

    Photo:

    Nick Roberts
  • fall
    fall

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring Concert
    Spring Concert

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring Concert
    Spring Concert

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring fauna
    Peter Cottontail darts across outside your door.

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Footprints
    Footprints

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Hoarfrost clinging to Oak leaves in the Arb.

    Berett Wilber '14

    Photo:

    Berett Wilber '14
  • Huzzah
    Huzzah
  • Sledding
    "Me and some friends 'sledding' on Bell Hill." - Peter Schlesinger '12
  • spring

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring Concert
    Spring Concert

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring Concert
    Spring Concert

    Photo:

    Khant Khant Kyaw'11

    Tags:

    • Campus Life
    • Music
  • The Introductory Geology In The Field class in the Minnesota River Valley
    The Introductory Geology In The Field class in the Minnesota River Valley

    Photo:

    Timothy Vick
  • Canoes
    Canoes

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • fall
    fall

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • spring
    spring

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Spring Concert
    Sunglasses reflect the crowd at Spring Concert

    Photo:

    Ana
  • spring

    "Eat the Lawn" offers fresh herbs and vegetables to passersby.

    Photo:

    Maria Kjellstrand '15
  • Students going crazy at Spring Concert
    Students going crazy at Spring Concert
  • spring
    spring

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Stevie P. displaying his slacklining prowess on a beautiful spring afternoon

    Stevie P. displaying his slacklining prowess on a beautiful spring afternoon

    We were slacklining and happened to see Stevie P. cutting across the bald spot towards us... so naturally we insisted that he give it a shot. He wasn't too hard to convince.

    Photo:

    Tor Hagen '14
  • Morning

    Morning

    Did not catch up with sun rise...

    Photo:

    Jialun Luo '16
  • Welcome back spring

    Welcome back spring

    Eventually, Spring!

    Photo:

    Jialun Luo '16
  • Sunset

    Sunset

    Awesome sunset on May 2nd.

    Photo:

    Ian Fischer '15
  • Avians in April

    Avians in April

    gathering some quick snacks to tide them over through the chilly weather.

    Photo:

    Anna Callahan '13
  • The Perks of Puddles

    The Perks of Puddles

    "Quack!"

    Photo:

    Anna Callahan
  • At the end of the day.

    At the end of the day.

    It's beginning to warm up, and the snow is almost gone. With the pink light on the chapel, the sun is out and spring is coming!

    Photo:

    Schuyler Rowe '14
  • April (snow) showers

    April (snow) showers

    The morning after 8 inches of snow, the Bald Spot looks especially bald.

    Photo:

    Roy Wiggins
  • College St

    College St

    It's like Christmas in April!

    Photo:

    Roy Wiggins '13
  • Three Geese

    Three Geese

    These geese were standing at the top of the waterfall staring at the bridge. When I approached, they turned as one before swimming away.

    Photo:

    Alex Trautman '15
  • April Snow

    April Snow

    Although I want some grass as much as the next Carl, there is no denying the beauty of a fresh snowfall

    Photo:

    Anders Berglund '15
  • Pretty winter from GoodHue

    Pretty winter from Goodhue

    The peaceful, attractive beauty of a Thursday morning after snow leaves you thankful for the Carletonian landscape.

    Photo:

    Tawa Alabi '16
  • Moon

    Moon

    "Look at that moon. Potato weather for sure." -Thornton Wilder

    Photo:

    Maria Kjellstrand '15
  • Fall and fall under the charm

    Fall and fall under the charm

    In the air Fall has come, And under its charm you will fall

    Photo:

    Tawa Alabi '16
  • Psychedelic Ice

    Psychedelic Ice

    Anders uncovered a second layer of inception ice underneath the top layer of a frozen pond in the Arb.

    Photo:

    Ian Fischer '15
  • Snowy bikes

    Snowy bikes

    Carleton Spring term!

    Photo:

    Sarah price '13
  • The last fledglings

    The last fledglings

    Ducks gather on what is left of the ice

    Photo:

    Anna Callahan '13
  • Cannon (once again) River

    Cannon (once again) River

    No more ice!

    Photo:

    Anna Callahan '13
  • Feathered Friend

    Feathered Friend

    tweet

    Photo:

    Maria Kjellstrand '15
  • Ice Crystals

    Ice Crystals

    I came home one afternoon to find my window covered with these. Winter is cold, but at least it's pretty.

    Photo:

    Grace Mizen '14
  • Sunrise on the Hill of Three Oaks

    Sunrise on the Hill of Three Oaks

    Totally worth getting up early for.

    Photo:

    Grace Mizen '14
  • Townhouses
    Townhouses

    Photo:

    Marlena Hartman-Filson, '13
  • Fall Prairie

    Fall Prairie

    Samuel A. Ward would be proud.

    Photo:

    Berett Wilber '14
  • Warm up at Admissions!

    Come visit and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the Admissions office!

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • Anna Chance '15
    Anna Chance '15
  • First big snow of 2012
    First big snow of 2012

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • First big snow of 2012
    First big snow of 2012

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • First big snow of 2012
    First big snow of 2012

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • images from fall at Johnson House
    images from fall at Johnson House

    Photo:

    Jaime Anthony '06
  • images from fall at Johnson House
    images from fall at Johnson House

    Photo:

    Jaime Anthony '06
  • images from fall at Johnson House
    images from fall at Johnson House

    Photo:

    Jaime Anthony '06
  • images from fall at Johnson House
    images from fall at Johnson House

    Photo:

    Jaime Anthony '06
  • Snowy Day

                                                                                 Brrr -- Its Cold Out There!!

                                                                 Winter Survival Strategies of Arboretum Animals

  • Mai Fete

    Mai Fete

    Is it time for Mai Fete yet?

    Photo:

    Ellen Farnham '13
  • Sherbert

    Sherbert

    How to Enjoy Fall: A Visual-Tactile Lesson for the Year's Third Season at Carleton College: 1. Wait for October. 2. Walk in the Arb. 3. Look up.

    Photo:

    Berett Wilber '14
  • Arb in white 4

    Arb in white 4

    Taken in lower arb.

    Photo:

    Rose Chen '15
  • Someone must have enjoyed lying in the snow!

    Someone must have enjoyed lying in the snow!

    One big, one small. I couldn't help smile as I walked by, imaging a kid laughing, waving arms with mom or dad...

    Photo:

    Rose Chen '15
  • Winter's fun

    Winter's fun

    Down we slide with food trays! And the hardworking puppy is also cute!

    Photo:

    Rose Chen '15
  • Sky Blush

    Sky Blush

    Early stages of sunset over Lyman Lake.

    Photo:

    Samantha Sharpe '14
  • Summer Stillness

    Summer Stillness

    Summer at Carleton, as seen from the Hill of Three Oaks. If you look closely, you can see two people hanging off of the water tower, working on painting the new "C" on it's side.

    Photo:

    Hannah White '14
  • My Life at Carleton

    My Life at Carleton

    The rugby pitch

    Photo:

    Celia Segel '08
  • Carleton Snow Art

    Carleton Snow Art

    First snow of the year! I don't own a digital camera so I had to use my cell phone. Hope it works!

    Photo:

    Steven Kos '17
  • Early Yet in Spring

    Early Yet in Spring

    When it's cold outside it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the snow-covered campus. When it's warm, as it was early in this spring term (2011), the snow was a reminder of how beautiful the campus is at all times of the year.

    Photo:

    Kate Madison '11
  • Eat the Lawn!

    Eat the Lawn!

    Sunflowers at Eat the Lawn

    Photo:

    Lauren Alexander '13
  • Fall Leaves

    Fall Leaves

    Beautiful fall colors at Carleton

    Photo:

    Lauren Alexander '13
  • Evans before Sunrise

    Evans before Sunrise

    Taken before Sunrise on 5.18.13

    Photo:

    Ned Heckman '13
  • Games Outdoors

    Games Outdoors

    Who needs a table to play a card game?

    Photo:

    Alanna Bares '16
  • Sunshine and Frisbee

    Sunshine and Frisbee

    Barefeet, Frisbee, Sunshine.

    Photo:

    Emir Murathanoglu

    Tags:

  • Music

    Music

    Nothing calls for a jam session like the first warm Friday of the spring!

    Photo:

    Alanna Bares '16
  • Friends

    Friends

    Ran into some friends this afternoon!

    Photo:

    Alanna Bares '16
  • Signs of Spring

    Signs of Spring

    Even if the grass hasn't grown in yet, Carls love to spend time outside.

    Photo:

    Alanna Bares '16
  • Look Ma, No Hands!

    Look Ma, No Hands!

    Slacklining on the Bald Spot at the start of spring.

    Photo:

    Alanna Bares '16
  • Relaxing

    Relaxing

    Good relaxing on the Bald Spot.

    Photo:

    Peter Varnum '08
  • Sidewalk Chatter

    Sidewalk Chatter

    A busy thoroughfare on a Friday afternoon.

    Photo:

    Peter Varnum '08
  • Fall at the Hill of Three Oaks

    Fall at the Hill of Three Oaks

    Fall frisbee practice is always great, but it doesn't hurt to have a gorgeous sky and some warm weather.

    Photo:

    Anders Berglund '15
  • Festival of lights
    Festival of lights

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • Traditional Aztec dance
    Traditional Aztec dance

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • Quiet

    Quiet

    Silence

    Photo:

    Kaylin Land '15

    Tags:

  • Knightly Glow

    Knightly Glow

    The Knight of the glowing Pumpkin. Description by Tanquesha Mills (Prospie).

    Photo:

    Teddy Donnell and Laura Somppi '17
  • Archery Practice

    Archery Practice

    Bullseye.

    Photo:

    Maria Kjellstrand '15
  • Autumn Color

    Autumn Color

    Found on a walk.

    Photo:

    Natalie Sturd '17
  • Warm

    Warm

    The cold reminds me of the warmth of the Men and Women Color Retreat

    Photo:

    Tiffany Thet '17
  • An Afternoon in the Fall

    An Afternoon in the Fall

    Afternoon sun adds warmth to the colorful leaves in the fall.

    Photo:

    Agnes Tse '16
  • Apple picking in Northfield
    Apple picking in Northfield

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • One day at 7 am

    One day at 7 am

    I never see anyone sitting around this spot, yet I see it the most serene.

    Photo:

    Kayla Toney '17
  • An afternoon at Bell Field

    An afternoon at Bell Field

    Women's soccer team practicing at Bell Field on a beautiful autumn afternoon.Blue sky, colorful trees and green grass creates such a pretty background.

    Photo:

    Ruisu (Rose) Chen '15
  • Chapel at sunset

    Chapel at sunset

    I was waiting to see the meteor shower on the balcony of 7th Watson when I captured this moment.

    Photo:

    Ruisu (Rose) Chen '15
  • Night Hooping

    Night Hooping

    A long-exposure shot of a very talented hoola-hoop artist and first-year Carl.

    Photo:

    Joseph Slote '16
  • Sunset

    Sunset

    In the Arb

    Photo:

    Claire Ferguson '15
  • Dusk on the Lyman Lakes

    Dusk on the Lyman Lakes

    This is what makes the walk to Goodhue worthwhile.

    Photo:

    Robbie Emmet '16
  • Carleton Winter

    Carleton Winter

    Carls' Card the only postcard club at Carleton

    Photo:

    Suyu Meng '15
  • Field
    Field

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • Evans Hall
    Evans Hall

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • Hi Galaxy!

    Hi Galaxy!

    Night life with bonfire and gorgeous galaxy!

    Photo:

    Jialun "Julian" Luo '16
  • President Steve Poskanze
    President Steve Poskanze

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17
  • Hey now, you're an ALL STAR

    Hey now, you're an ALL STAR

    Carls rocking on to Smash Mouth at Spring Concert 2013

    Photo:

    Shavi '13
  • Mud games

    Mud games

    After late-afternoon rain, a dance party by the DJ both progressed into a mud fight. Nonetheless, the 147 inning softball game continued.

    Photo:

    Harper Makowski '14
  • Rotblatt

    Rotblatt

    Sun, rain, mud, Rotblatt.

    Photo:

    Roy Wiggins '13
  • Here It Comes/There it Goes

    Here It Comes/There it Goes

    Minnesota Weather... need I say more?

    Photo:

    Olivia Fantini '14
  • winter by Julia
    winter by Julia
  • winter by Julia
    winter by Julia
  • footprints
    footprints
  • First big snow of 2012
    First big snow of 2012

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • First big snow of 2012
    First big snow of 2012

    Photo:

    Kendra S - Admissions Counselor '10
  • Take that, winter!

    Undeterred by the cold, Carleton students bundle up and take to the outdoors for a snowball fight.

    Photo:

    Hettie Stern '17