2019 Twin Cities Holiday Events Guide

Holiday Events Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective

During this holiday season, we are thankful for our friends at Metropolitan Pediatric Dental Associates! They’ve partnered with us to provide this holiday event guide, helping you find ways to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year. Whether you bundle up your family for a day of ice skating or you sit and enjoy the sounds of carols at a holiday show, we hope that these events help you to truly enjoy the wonder of this season!

We will continue to add to this list as new events are announced!

Bentleyville Tour of Lights November 23-December 28 | Times Vary America’s Largest Free Walk Through Lighting Display, Bentleyville invites guests to stroll under the glow of over 5 million lights in a 20-acre park situated on the shores of Lake Superior, while enjoying complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and roasted marshmallows!

Winter Lighting Ceremony (Nicollet Commons Park – Burnsville)November 27 | 6:00 pm Celebrate the kick-off to the holiday season in Burnsville’s Heart of the City, which will once again shine bright with more than 200,000 mini lights, 230 streetlight snowflakes and a 30-foot-tall tree. Ceremony attendees can visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, listen to entertainment by local school choirs, and witness the “flip of the switch” that lights up Burnsville’s downtown with holiday spirit through February.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (50th and France)November 30 | Times Vary Support our local business in the area by coming out for Small Business Saturday then stay for the lighting of our themed holiday tree! Enjoy warm refreshments, performances, and a visit from Mayor Jim Hovland!

Making Spirits Bright – Great Hall Tree Lighting Event @ MN Landscape ArboretumNovember 21 | 5:00 pm Join the Arb to kick-off the seasonal Winter Lights display with the lighting of the Great Hall 24′ Poinsettia Tree. Enjoy hot cocoa and warm cookies while you explore the Winter Lights display with new trails and Patrick Dougherty’s YouBetcha lit with glimmering lights.

St. Paul’s Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting + Movie Night: December 6 | 6:00 pm Join Union Depot for the exciting annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration + Movie Night! Enjoy a holiday performance, tree lighting ceremony, and showings of two holiday movies: Polar Express and Elf.

City of Inver Grove Heights Outdoor Tree Lighting & Open Swim: December 6 | 5:30 – 8:30 pm Come kick off the holiday season with our official tree lighting outside of the VMCC on the Northeast end of the building. Mayor Tourville will lead the ceremony while Simley Choir performs some of your favorite holiday tunes. You are then welcome to free swimming in our Water Park and Pools! No registration necessary.

Holiday Fest (Shakopee) : December 6 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm Free event of family fun including the Parade of Lights, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and a stellar firework show to follow. Not to mention Photos with Santa, holiday activity stations, and shopping you can’t miss! In addition, see Mrs. Claus in the Stans House from 5-8pm!

CSE Lightshow @ the University of Minnesota: Select dates between December 5-14 | Times Vary The CSE Winter Light Show is a student-designed 3D outdoor experience featuring more than 250,000 LED lights set to music written and recorded by University of Minnesota students. Now in its ninth year, the CSE Winter Light Show has become an annual campus tradition. This year’s show features new light installations, including two new signs, 10 two-foot lighted snowflakes, several lighted trees, and new music. FREE!

Twinkle Party (Stillwater)December 7 | 4:00 pm Bring the kids to our annual Twinkle Festivities at 4pm. Meet at the pedestrian plaza to the river side of Water Street Inn. The Teddy Bear band will be performing at the amphitheater. Keep your eyes open for strolling characters! There might be a princess sighing. Or perhaps an Olaf?

Anoka Christmas Tree LightingDecember 7 | 3:00 pm  Anoka welcomes all to its Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event held at Anoka City Hall River Plaza (2015 First Ave.) There will be horse-drawn trolley rides, holiday music, food vendors, bonfires and more! Santa Claus will welcome you to the Santa Shack to hear your Christmas wish list. PLUS, the tree lighting C-O-U-N-T-D-O-W-N!

Seward Winter Frolic (Minneapolis)December 7-8 | Times Vary Enjoy a weekend of culture, art, performance, music, food, beverage, and delight! The Seward Winter Frolic and Art Crawl events are FREE! Visit artist studios, demos, and group showings in local church and business throughout the neighborhood. Enjoy specials offered by local businesses and artists. At 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 6th, shoppers, residents, and businesses are invited to gather in Triangle Park (26th Ave. & E. Franklin Ave.) to light up the park, creating a symbol of our warm community spirit during the cold days of winter.

Tree Lighting (Excelsior)December 7 | Times Vary Christmas in Excelsior is a month-long series of events kicking off with Small Business Saturday the Saturday after Thanksgiving, followed by the tree-lighting on December 7th, carolers, hot cocoa, Santa visits, and sleigh rides the first weekend in December. Festivities continue each weekend til Christmas.

Tree Lighting at Fireman’s Park (Chaska)December 1 | 6:00 – 7:30 pm Enjoy an evening of FREE family fun as we light the 50 foot tree in Firemen’s Park. After the tree lighting, join us inside the Chaska Event Center for cookies, crafts and pictures with Santa.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony (Cottage Grove)December 4 | 5:45 – 7:00 pm Cottage Grove’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony will be on December 4, 2019 at 5:45 p.m. at City Hall. It will have music, cookies, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Santa will arrive before 6:00 p.m. to help start the countdown to light the tree and can be visited after inside City Hall.

Holiday in Lights (Anoka): December 13-15 | Times Vary This is a free family event where you can enjoy a hayride or walk through lighted displays, visit Santa, enjoy live entertainment, and food and beverages!

Santa Cop Night and Tree Lighting Ceremony (Savage): December 10 | 5:30 pm Join Mayor Williams and other city officials for a community holiday tradition. Come to the City Campus before heading to Santa Cop Night, and help count down the lighting of the holiday tree. Celebrate with activities for everyone to enjoy including hot cocoa, s’mores, a bonfire, and live holiday music.

Holidazzle VillageThursdays – Sundays November 29 – December 22 | Times Vary You and yours are invited to join in the festivities! Holidazzle is a special tradition that brings people from all over the region together to celebrate in a Winter Wonderland here in Downtown Minneapolis. It’s about stories of people, products and places that unite for a spectacular holiday event. Check out our 2019 Guide to the Holidazzle here for even more information!

Christmas at the Courthouse: November 22-24 | Times Vary  Experience the splendor of the holiday season with the 27th Annual Christmas at the Historic Courthouse! This 3-day event is full of holiday spirit and merry memories. All proceeds raised from this event benefit the Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund and help preserve this historic landmark. Whether you’re looking for a special date night or fun the whole family can enjoy, Christmas at the Historic Courthouse has memorable experiences for all!

Night Trains at Twin Cities Railroad Museum (St. Paul)Saturdays beginning November 2 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm Night Trains Season magic begins as the lights are turned down and the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of operating vintage passenger trains. The make believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations. Get your photo taken with Santa at the museum December 14th or 21st!

Excelsior ChristKindlsmarktNovember 29 – December 1 | Times Vary Inspired by the traditional German, open-air Christmas markets, Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt brings a cherished German tradition with local charm and a festive holiday atmosphere to Excelsior, Minnesota. The festival features German holiday foods, decor, gifts and entertainment for the entire family. It is the family event of the season and free and open to the public.

A Victorian Christmas (St. Paul): November 29-December 29 | Times Vary Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a Victorian Christmas in 1875 and discover how the Ramsey family and their friends, neighbors, and servants prepared for and celebrated the season. During this guided tour, guests can taste homemade cookies fresh from the wood-burning stove, listen to popular holiday music of the era played on the family’s 1875 Steinway grand piano, and view original family ornaments and Christmas gifts.

Home Depot Kids Workshop – Christmas Countdown Calendar: December 7 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Create your own countdown to the holidays, and have a blast with your child while doing it. Kids develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing and applying stickers. With help from parents and store associates, your child will make a merry memory this holiday season. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.

Holiday Hoopla (Hastings): November 30 | 9:00 am Meet Santa and Christmas shop on Small Business Saturday. Enjoy cookies, cider and events throughout the day and stay for the Annual Lighted Holiday Parade.

Holiday in HopkinsNovember 30 | 1:00 – 5:00 pm It’s the most wonderful time of the year – again! Join us in Hopkins on Small Business Saturday as for their 10th Annual Holiday in Hopkins (formerly Old Fashion Holiday). Kick off the season with a day of wagon rides, reindeer games, hot chocolate and, of course, Santa Claus. This is a family-friendly event for all ages.

20th Annual Christmas Tea (Anoka)November 30 – December 29 | Times Vary Please join us for our 20th Annual Christmas Tea! Established in 1999, the Mad Hatter Restaurant has been providing a unique dining experience for nearly 20 years. $45 per person, $55 for Gluten Free, $25 for children 10 & under, $30 children gluten free. Adult & Children’s Christmas Tea are different menus.

North Pole Express at St. Paul’s Union Depot: December 6-8 & December 12-15 | Times Vary Children and trains go together during the Holiday Season like colorful lights, brightly iced cookies, festively wrapped gifts, family and friends. Please join the nonprofit Friends of the 261 annual journey on the North Pole Express. Climb aboard this holiday train from the past that includes the North Pole and a visit from Santa himself!

Holiday Fest (Shakopee)November 30 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm  Shakopee Chamber & Visitors Bureau will be presenting their Annual Holiday Fest in Downtown Shakopee on Friday, November 30. Holiday Fest is an open streets celebration to kick-off the holiday season. The event will be held on the closed streets of 1st Ave E, Holmes St. S and Lewis St. S in Downtown Shakopee from 6 – 8 p.m. The second annual Parade of Lights will begin at 6 pm, followed by Santa who will join our Champion Sponsors Park Nicollet & Cub Foods under the River City Center Clock Tower for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Once the tree is lit, we will watch a spectacular holiday firework show and celebrate the evening with activities along the streets such as Photos with Santa, an ice sculpture show at the Pullman Club, holiday activities, and shopping specials throughout downtown. The festivities continue into Saturday with our petting zoo in front of Real Gem Jewelers from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., and Photos with Santa again at the Stan House over at the Scott County Historical Museum, and plenty of holiday activities and shopping at all your favorite downtown stores.

Reindeer Day: a Linden Hills Holiday Tradition (Minneapolis): December 7 | Times Vary Reindeer Day brings small-town holiday traditions to Linden Hills! Shoppers warm up and roast marshmallows over fire pits, Santa visits with the kiddos, carolers stroll the streets, and the 43rd and Upton merchants hold special in-store events. And what would Reindeer Day be without…live reindeer?!?

Holiday Open Haus (St. Paul)December 7-8 | 11:00 am – 4:00 pm This two-day event features authentic food and drink, local vendors selling gifts and handmade goods, and fun activities for all ages. Sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine) or a beer in front of the fire pit. Savor German food including bratwurst, soups, pretzels, and specialty cakes.

Christmas in the Village (Farmington)December 7-8 and 14-15 | 1:00 – 8:00 pm Saturdays & Sundays An Old Fashioned Christmas in the Village is the theme for this year. The horse-drawn trolley will transport you through the village streets as you explore the traditions of Christmas 1900’s style. Join in the caroling, warm yourself by an inviting wood-burning stove, and delight in the demonstrations of woodworking and holiday cooking as our villagers prepare for Christmas.

Grand Meander (St. Paul)December 7 | Times Vary Grand Meander is a St. Paul tradition that captures the charm of historic Grand Avenue and the cozy neighborhood spirit of the holidays! Choose your Christmas tree, have breakfast with Santa, hear carolers as they meander from store to store, and hop on a classic trolley and ride the length of Grand Avenue.

North Saint Paul’s Holiday HopDecember 14 | 9:00 am Enjoy complimentary trolley rides, live music, drawings, crafts, food, visits with Santa, the Snowman and more.

Hometown Holiday (Chaska): November 30 | 1:00 – 5:00 pm Enjoy the holidays with Santa, music, crafts, bonfires and s’mores, reindeer, carriage rides, the Snow Sisters, Schram Haus Brewery, The Weenie Wagon, and the tree lighting! Plenty of shopping to celebrate Small Business Saturday!

A Norwegian Christmas at Eidem Homestead (Brooklyn Park): December 7 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm Celebrate the holiday season with some old-fashioned festivities, Norwegian traditions and a visit with St. Nick!

Holiday on Main (Lakeville)December 7 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Head to the Lakeville Mall to celebrate the festive season at the Holiday on Main celebration in downtown Lakeville— this FREE event features an ECFE Usborne book fair, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, trolley rides, live reindeer, singing, face painting, musical performances, refreshments and more!

Enchanted Frozen Sisters Tea Party: November 30 | 10:00 am Come meet the iconic Frozen Sisters featured in the blockbuster Frozen 2! This unique hour long experience will give you a one of a kind chance to have KinderCider in Arendelle, with the sisters. Families will have a chance to experience storytelling and games, featuring your favorite Frozen hits. Attendees will be given beverages and treats, door prizes, and a chance to win tickets to Frozen 2. Everyone will go home with a goodie bag full of Frozen 2 fun, and a photo with the sisters, Sven, and more Frozen friends.

Winter Wonderland & Carnival (Woodbury)December 8 | 5:30 pm Experience free outdoor ice skating, seasonal music and more as we celebrate the annual opening of the outdoor refrigerated ice rink at the HealthEast Sports Center. When you are ready to warm up, head inside for a mini winter carnival in the upstairs mezzanine. Tickets for the carnival are $6 and will be available online and sold onsite. All ticket purchased online will be picked up at will call at the event. Concessions will be sold onsite; skates are available to rent for $6 per pair.

Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm (Eagan)December 8 | 12:00 – 3:30 pm Gather the family and celebrate the holidays 1940’s style with an old fashioned holiday experience at Holz Farm. Remember a simpler time of singing carols by the fire, making s’mores, the smell of cookies baking, hot cider and spending time together. Bundle up with warm winter gear and enjoy a winter hayride, live reindeer, bonfire, cookies, cider and making magic reindeer dust.

Northfield Winter WalkDecember 12 | 5:00 – 9:00 pm Head to the 21st Annual Winter Walk celebration! Come experience downtown Northfield by candlelight. Stroll through unique shops, dine at fine restaurants, enjoy caroling, horse-drawn wagons, storytelling, luminarias, decorated storefronts, parade, fireworks, the Magic of Model Trains and so much more!

Prior Lake DecemBRRR DazzleDecember 6 | 6:00 pm Visit the FREE DecemBRRR Dazzle! Santa and a few of his reindeer will be on hand for photos with children in Lakefront Park along with ice carving demonstrations, bonfire with the fire department, mini golf and more.

Twin Cities Princess Holiday Ball (Maple Grove): December 7 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm Celebrate the holidays like royalty at the Princess Holiday Ball. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of dancing, live entertainment, making crafts, and so much more with everyone’s favorite fairy-tale characters. This is a great event for the entire family!

How to Prepare for Santa’s Arrival with Mrs. Claus (Woodbury): December 14 | Times Vary Santa will arrive soon and there is so much to do to prepare! Spend the morning with Mrs. Claus and her helpers to learn and prepare for “The Big Guy’s” arrival. Mrs. Claus and her helpers will explain the purpose of each activity through an interactive story while participants make a personalized stocking to hang with care, mix their own reindeer food to sprinkle on the sidewalk and create an ornament that sparkles to light up the tree for good visibility.

CP Holiday TrainDecember 5-11 | Times and Locations Vary The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop at various stations throughout the metro including: Hastings, Cottage Grove, St. Paul, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, and Minneapolis.

Toddler Tuesday at MOA: Nick Jr. Holiday Party: December 17 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Discover your tradition with your favorite Nick Jr. Characters! Celebrate the holiday season with Dora, Diego + Boots from 10 – 10:30 + 11 – 11:30 a.m. + SpongeBob + Patrick from 10:30 – 11 a.m. + 11:30 a.m. – Noon. Make the season bright with all your friends at Toddler Tuesdays! Grab a treat and enjoy some of your favorite holiday episodes!

Winter Solstice Celebration at ASI: December 20 | 6:00 – 10:00 pm Mark the shortest day and longest night of the year at ASI with our popular Winter Solstice Celebration. Since pagan days, solstice has traditionally meant the “year as reborn,” with ancient (and modern) Scandinavians fusing it into the longer “Jul” or Yule season. ASI celebrates this powerful seasonal juncture with fun, festivity and performance. FIKA Café will serve a special festival menu with small plates and warm glögg (Swedish mulled wine) available for purchase. The ASI Museum Store and Jul Shop holiday pop-up store will also be open late for all of your last minute gift needs!

Covered Bridge Farm (Forest Lake)Friday-Sunday beginning November 29 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

18655 Forest Blvd N
Forest Lake, MN 55025
(651) 464-0735

Giffords Tree Farm (Lakeville): November 29-December 24 | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

23240 Texas Ave
Lakeville, Minnesota 55044
(952) 461-3717

Hampton Hills Tree Farm (Randolph)9:00 am – 4:15 pm, pre-cut lot open until 4:30 pm

998 310th St Way
Randolph, Minnesota 55065

Hansen Tree Farm (Anoka): Opens November 23 | Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

7440 Alpine Drive NW
Ramsey, MN 55303
(651) 247-1952

Krueger’s Christmas Trees (Lake Elmo)Opens November 23 | Monday-Thursday 12:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday-Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

10970 43rd Street North
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Log Cabin Pines Christmas Tree Farm (Elko): Opening November 29 | Times Vary

6345 E. 240th Street
Elko, MN 55020
(952) 402-5437

Revak Nursery (Lakeville)Beginning November 23 | Weekends & Black Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Weekdays 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

24066 Pillsbury Ave.
Lakeville, MN 55044

Revak Nursery (Elko New Market)Beginning November 29 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Black Friday-Sunday November 29-December 1, Saturday-Sunday December 7-8, Saturday-Sunday December 14-15

6291 E. 240th St.
Elko, MN 55020

Rum River Tree Farm9:00 am – 4:30 pm, pre-cut lot open until 7:00 pm 

21050 Lake George Blvd
Oak Grove, MN 55303

St Croix Valley Trees: Opens November 29 | Black Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Tuesday CLOSED

458 Rice Lake Road
Somerset, WI 54025

Wolcyn Tree Farms: Open daily starting the day after Thanksgiving | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 

4542 Hwy. 95 NW
Cambridge, MN
(763) 689-3346

Santa and Albert’s Holiday Play “The Snowflake Dance” at Bachman’s: November 23-December 22 | Times Vary Kick off your holiday season at Bachman’s! Albert the Elf has been invited to the hottest dance at the North Pole, but there’s just one problem: He’s worried he can’t dance. Santa is ready and willing to dish out helpful tips on how to boogie, but Albert’s not sure he can trust his old friend for advice on the dance floor. Will Albert gather the courage he needs to bust a move with his best elves, or will his wavering confidence keep him from enjoying the most exciting event of the season? For more than 30 years, it has been a beloved Bachman’s tradition to host an annual holiday play. All ages are welcome. Following the play, guests are invited to participate in a sing-along of holiday carols and take their picture with Santa and Albert. (Bring your own camera. Play lasts approximately 20 minutes. Seating is first come, first serve.)

Rudolph the Musical: November 26&27 | Times Vary The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Elf the Musical Jr.: November 22-December 28 | Times Vary Join us this holiday season as we follow Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. After being raised as a would-be elf at the North Pole, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities causes him to embark on a new beginning to discover who he really is. Through his heart-felt determination to win over his new family, Buddy helps us all remember the true meaning of Christmas. Based on the beloved holiday film from New Line Cinema, this hilarious musical is filled with memorable music and lots of laughs for the whole family to enjoy.

The Stillwater Nutcracker: November 29-December 1 | Times Vary The Stillwater Nutcracker, now in its 29th year, is a family-friendly version, choreographed to the music of Tchaikovsky, and follows the traditional story line of the young girl named Clara and her Christmas dream. Our version includes a live narration and the exuberant dancing of children from the age of five through professional level dancers who grace the show with beauty and spirit.Performed by the dancers of Stillwater’s own, St. Croix Ballet.

Cinderella: Now-January 5 | Times Vary You’re invited to a beautiful Victorian Holiday party—but be prepared to check your coat, and all sense of tradition, at the door! Join us for this high-spectacle, glamorously shameless comedy where anything can happen. We’re really not supposed to say, but there may be… A kiss cam? Cake? T-shirt cannons? Jokes ripped straight from the headlines? Absolutely yes! With a track list filled with modern pop hits and an updated script that spins stunning elegance into madcap, sidesplitting comedy at high speed, this is one party you won’t want to miss!

A Christmas Carol at The GuthrieNovember 12-December 29 | Times Vary A miserly and miserable man, Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with “Bah! Humbug!” until he is visited one Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. Through a restless night, the spirits show him happy memories from his past, cruel realities from the present and a grim future should he continue his cantankerous ways. Charles Dickens’ timeless tale continues to be a perennial favorite and holiday tradition that invites audiences of all ages to celebrate the merriment of the season with their family and loved ones.

Mini NutcrackerNovember 26 | 11:00am & 6:00pm The “Mini-Nutcracker” is a delightful abbreviated version of Twin Cities Ballet’s classic, “A Minnesota Nutcracker,” designed to introduce children to the magic of this family favorite. This beloved holiday tradition with soaring music by Tchaikovsky promises to hold the attention of even the youngest theatergoer. Suitable for all ages, this version is less than an hour and is performed by cast members from Twin Cities Ballet’s full-length production. A perfect holiday mini-treat!

Lorie Line 30th Anniversary TourNovember 29 | Times Vary This year’s Christmas tour will celebrate 30 years of touring for Lorie Line. It’s all about beautiful music and glamorous costumes! And of course, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas. This will be the most magical and special year of all, so make plans now to spend the evening with Lorie Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra. This will be held in Mound, MN.

Moscow’s Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker (Orpheum Theater): December 6-7 | Times Vary  This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. The New York Times, “Hot Ticket!” Celebrate this cherished holiday tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score.

Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky: December 6-22 | Times Vary When a brick is thrown at a menorah set in a child’s window for Hanukkah, community leaders of all faiths come together to help spread a message of tolerance and peace, and 10,000 families display menorahs on Christmas. Based on true events that occurred in 1993 in Billings, Montana, this family play, commissioned by MJTC in 2004, is newly adapted for anyone 6 & up.

Handel’s Messiah: December 19-22 | Times Vary Celebrate the holidays with one of classical music’s most beloved traditions and join the SPCO for our extremely popular annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. Jory Vinikour and the SPCO will be joined by an all-star roster of vocal soloists, including returning countertenor Reginald Mobley and renowned vocal ensemble The Singers in what is sure to be a wonderful musical experience for the whole family this holiday season.

Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment: December 5-8 | Times Vary Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney•Pixar’s Cars race across the ice! Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom. The toys are back in town with heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from Sunnyside Daycare and race for home in their most daring adventure! Plus, enter the wintry world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love comes from within. From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

A Minnesota Nutcracker (Burnsville – Ames Center)December 13-15| Times Vary With a Minnesota twist on the holiday classic, A Minnesota Nutcracker promises delightful entertainment for the whole family, from ballet novices to loyal patrons alike!

The Blenders Holiday Soul TourDecember 12-15 | Times Vary The Blenders have spent over 25 years touring the U.S. with their unique style of vocal, harmony-based music. They have appeared with such acts as Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Savage Garden, Blues Traveler, Chicago, The Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls, Chuck Berry and many more. They have appeared on a variety of national and regional television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show (FOX), The Today Show on NBC, Crook and Chase (TNN), and WGN. Don’t miss the return of their magnificent Holiday Soul Tour at the intimate Pantages Theatre.

KS95’s “Clouds” Choir for a CauseDecember 13 | 6:00-7:00pm Please join Crisco, Dez & Ryan for KS95’s 7th Annual “Clouds Choir” for a Cause, powered by SPIRE Credit Union, on Friday, December 13th, 6-7pm. We’re looking for school choirs, church choirs, groups and families to register and come out to create the largest choir for a cause singing holiday songs and Zach Sobiech’s ‘Clouds’ live at the Mall of America Rotunda! Upon his diagnosis of terminal cancer in May 2012, Zach turned to music in a big way – writing and performing songs to say goodbye to friends and family.

Minnesota Ballet Presents The Nutcracker (Eden Prairie High School)December 13-15 | Times Vary Enjoy the holiday season with Twin Cities most authentic Russian classical version of Nutcracker, set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, performance is faithful to the original Marius Petipa choreography.

A Minnesota Orchestra Christmas: Home for the HolidaysDecember 14, 15, & 19 | Times Vary Now in its third year, this merry mix of storytelling, carols and comedy speaks to the meaning of family, Christmas and home, with a uniquely Minnesotan twist. Celebrate the season with a hilariously heartwarming event featuring Minnesota’s favorite storyteller, Kevin Kling. Led by Sarah Hicks, the Minnesota Orchestra, Kling and special local guest performers illuminate the joy of the season through music, only-in-Minnesota traditions, the power of family and the story of a lost mitten.

Jim Brickman: A Christmas CelebrationDecember 7 | 7:30pm Jim Brickman returns to Minneapolis this Christmas to wow the crowd with his uplifting, family-friendly, holiday concert tradition. The best-selling piano artist of our time, Jim Brickman and his special guests will dazzle audiences with holiday favorites, number one hits, vibrant vocals, laughter and joy in this bright, festive winter’s night celebration that the Dallas Morning News calls “Pure Entertainment.”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Xcel Energy Center)December 28 | 3:00pm & 8:00pm The multi-platinum, critically-acclaimed progressive rock group, has announced its highly-anticipated “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” Winter Tour.

Santa is Coming to Sota! (St. Louis Park): December 8 | 12:00 – 5:00 pm Santa Claus is coming to sota clothing! We have many fun things happening on Sunday, December 8th including FREE photos with Santa Claus, live reindeer, Christmas cookies, ornament crafting, and most importantly shopping!

Free Photos with Santa at all Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops: November 16-December 24 | Times and Days Vary Free photo with Santa with crafts and activities.

Crafting with Santa (White Bear Lake): November 23 | 12:00 – 3:00 pm This family fun event includes: cookies and cocoa with Santa, free digital photo download, make and take holiday craft, and a Toys for Tots Drive.

Santa’s North Pole Experience (Eden Prairie): Beginning on November 23 | Times Vary Getting pictures with Santa Claus traditionally meant long lines, irritable children and a rushed visit. We wanted something different. Something FUN. Something memorable. And we think we created that! You can enjoy some treats from the food wagon in the heated tent. Play games or watch a Christmas movie, purchase a “make an ornament” and make your gift in the comfort of the tent. In the house, get a face painting, color or watch a Christmas show.

Visit Santa and His Reindeer (Eagan): December 7 & 14 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Bring your own camera and join Santa and his reindeer at center court outside market hall at the Twin Cities Premium Outlets.

Santa, Mrs. Claus, & Reindeer (Gertens – Inver Grove Heights): November 29-30, December 1 & 7-8 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm They’re back! Gertens is proud to have Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Reindeer visiting with us this season. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. $6 per child, $12 per family.

Santa and His Reindeer! (Eagan): December 1 | 2:30 – 4:30 pm Come see Santa and His Reindeer this holiday season at Central Park Commons!

Meet Mrs. Claus at the Historic Stans House (Shakopee): December 6 | 5:00 pm Stop by the historic Stans House during Shakopee’s Holiday fest! Get your photo taken with Mrs Claus, nibble some homemade cookies, and tour the Stans House decorated in historic holiday splendor. Free!

Santa’s Train Shop (St. Paul): December 7,8,14,15,21,22 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Get a photo with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, enjoy train rides, food, music, activities, and more!

Cookies & Crafts with Santa (Woodbury): December 7 | 9:00, 10:00, 11:00am, and Noon Santa will be taking a break from making toys and wants you to join him and a few of his helpers in decorating cookies, making a fun holiday craft and taking pictures. Bring your own camera and a big smile for Santa! $8 a child. Must register online, ages 2 and up.

Breakfast with Santa (Macy’s Restaurants): Various Dates in December | 9:00 am Celebrate the season with the big guy! Breakfast with Santa at the Southdale Lakeshore Grill or the  Ridgedale Lakeshore Grill. Reserve your seats online.

Breakfast with Santa (Chanhassen)December 8 | 8:00 – 11:30 am Join the Chanhassen Rotary for our annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa. Come to the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, eat pancakes, sing along to live holiday music, plus have a photo taken with Santa!

Sunrise Banks Santa Day (St. Paul)December 7 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Bring your family and friends for holiday fun including sleigh rides and photos with Santa!

Santa Brunch featuring Anna & Elsa of Frozen at Lord Fletcher’s: December 15 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Join us for Santa Brunch featuring Anna & Elsa from Frozen on December 15th from 10am to 1pm! $24.95 (adults) and $12.95 (kids 2-12), Kids ages 2 and under eat FREE. Brunch includes a complimentary mimosa, champagne or orange juice.

Light the Grove (Maple Grove): December 5 | 5:00 – 7:00 pm Maple Grove Hospital invites you and your family to see Santa and his reindeer, horse drawn trolley rides, hot cocoa, smores, and more!

Santa Visits the Chaska Community Center: December 6 | 4:30 – 6:30 pm A Chaska Fire Truck will deliver Santa to the CCC front door, and Santa will visit form 4:30-6:30pm. Refreshments will be served, and crafts will be available. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Free musical entertainment by Leslie Hurcules’ Chaska Music Studios.

Dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Claus (St. Paul): December 6 | 5:30 – 7:00 pm Join Mr. & Mrs. Claus at Urban Growler Brewing Company for a pasta dinner with salad and bread. Coffee, water and lemonade are complimentary with the meal, additional beverages available for purchase. Activities include dinner, craft, decorate your own cookie and face painting. Bring your camera to take a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

Cookies & Cocktails with Santa at Royal Foundry (Minneapolis)December 8 | 3:00 – 5:00 pm Santa Vern is making his way back to Royal Foundry for a fun-filled afternoon of cookie decorating, cocktails, face painting, balloon artistry and more!

Santa Paws Day at Fawn-Doe-Rosa: December 14-15 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Santa will be visiting each day! Bring your camera and have your picture taken with Santa – pets are welcome for this event as well. Even though the animal park will be closed – we will have a small Critter Corral set up with some furry friends to pet, see and feed. The cookies will be out and the cider will be on… Looking forward to seeing you and your family for our Annual Santa Paw Days at FAWN-DOE-ROSA! This is a free event.

Photos with Santa (Stillwater)December 14 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm Bring your camera and let your kids tell Santa what they really want for Christmas!

Santa’s Workshop (St. Paul)December 15 | 1:00 pm Come for a free photo with Santa. Stay for games and be an elf for a day while you make a gift for a loved one.

Breakfast with Santa and Friends (Maplewood)December 8 | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Enjoy a hearty breakfast* catered by the Maplewood Area Historical Society volunteers. Then meet Santa Claus, give him your list and then create some holiday crafts in our rustic barn basement on the Bruentrup Heritage Farm! There are 4 seatings for the meal, which will be served in the historic farm house at 9am, 10am, 11am and noon. Get your tickets early because there are only 30 seats available at each seating. Bring your camera and take a photo with Santa! Dress warmly, as our barn is unheated. One price covers all activities. *Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs, hash browns, muffins, coffee, juice and milk.

Santa, Mrs. Clause and His Reindeer Visit AlbertvilleDecember 7th&14th | 10:00am-12:00pm Santa and his Reindeer will be visiting Albertville Premium Outlets. Join Santa, Mrs. Clause, and their live reindeer in Plaza B, near Starbucks!

Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt: November 29-December 1 | Times Vary At Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt, there is a little bit of fun for everyone! KinderWorld is a main attraction for the children, where they can enjoy story-telling, face painting, parades and more! Adults can keep the fun going even after the events end at the Biergarten.

Plate & Parcel Holiday Market: Every Saturday & Sunday Now – December 22 | 10:00am Minneapolis Craft Market and Linden Hills Farmers Market come together to host the very best craftspeople, artisan food producers, and ready-to-eat food makers the North has to offer. Guests will be able to shop a fabulous and well-rounded selection of over 60 different vendors every weekend. The market will take place in the greenhouses at Wagner’s Garden Center which will be bustling with Christmas trees and festive winter home and garden decor, making it the Twin Cities’ most charming one-stop shop for unique holiday gifts, decadent gourmet treats, and home goods. The market is FREE to attend and family friendly!

Handmade for the Holidays: November 24 | Noon Minneapolis Craft Market is thrilled to bring our bustling holiday markets back to La Doña Cervecería, a unique brewery, taproom and entertainment space fusing Latin culture and The North, in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis. With 10,000 square feet of warehouse space, the La Doña Cervecería has a spacious taproom, event area, active space, art gallery, patio and prep kitchen where local Flagsmash serves delicious eats.

Thanksgiving Weekend Winter Markets: November 29-December 1 | Noon Minneapolis Craft Market returns to Sociable Cider Werks for our annual **outdoor** winter markets on Thanksgiving weekend! Friday, November 29 is Plaid Friday, a shop local alternative to Black Friday and Sociable Cider Werks’ anniversary party. Saturday November 30 is celebrated nationally as Small Business Saturday. Sunday is December 1 and we’re keeping the small biz vibes running all weekend! Again this year we’re bringing food vendors by our friends at Frank & Ernest Markets & Events to the marketplace, so you can get all your handcrafted and gourmet holiday goods in one place. We have a different lineup of makers each day, so get the whole family (including your furry friends) together and spend the weekend with us!

Minneapolis Craft Market at Holidazzle: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 29-December 22 | Times Vary Bring the family to enjoy the ice rink, visit Santa, watch the fireworks or an outdoor movie, sip hot chocolate or enjoy a beer, and lots of other free activities throughout Loring Park! Our marketplace will be packed full of local artists and makers selling handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories, woodwork, home decor, prints, fiber art and more! The lineup of artists is different each day, so visit us throughout the season and you’ll always find something new.

Hygge Holiday Market: Every Sunday in December | 4:00pm Head to Lawless Distilling in South Minneapolis, for a series of cozy and warm Sunday evening markets in December, during Miracle at Lawless. Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday libations in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday decor and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest Grinch in the holiday spirit.

North Loop Holiday Bazaar: December 1 | Noon Minneapolis Craft Market is returning to Modist Brewing Company in the North Loop for one of our biggest indoor holiday markets of the season! 35 vendors will fill the taproom and warehouse space at one of Minneapolis’ most innovative breweries for the second annual North Loop Holiday Bazaar! It’s a festive one-stop shop for visitors to pick up high quality, artisan-made gifts and relax with a beer.

Pryes Brewing Holiday Market: December 5,12,19 | 6:00pm Minneapolis Craft Market is heading to Pryes Brewing Company for a series of cozy and warm Thursday evening markets. Join us in the taproom to pick up all your handmade holiday gifts from local makers and enjoy a pint or two while you shop!

A Handmade Holiday Market at Lakes and Legends: December 7,14,21 | Noon Minneapolis Craft Market returns to Lakes & Legends Brewing Company in downtown Minneapolis. Join us at the beautiful Loring Park tap room to visit with local artists and makers while sipping delicious farm-to-table Belgian-style beers with holiday cheer! The market is a one-stop shop for gift buyers to pick up their presents and relax with a beer! The market will feature a new lineup of artists each Saturday on December 7, 14, and our special Procraftinate edition for all you last-minute Lucys on December 21. The market is FREE to attend, and is kid and dog-friendly.

Betty Danger’s Bizarre Bazaar: December 7-8 | 10:00am Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar has created a reputation over the past four years for being the quirkiest around! Betty hosts this event for artists as an expression of her love for NE Mpls. This is your opportunity to purchase a fantastic variety of gift items including jewelry, sassy needlepoints, knitted cacti, festive florals, silk screen ties, and other creative/clever/weird/kooky crafts. Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar is open to all ages and free to attend!

A Very Vintage Holiday Market: December 8 | 11:00am Join us for the December edition of Minneapolis Vintage Market as return to the Machine Shop with our largest indoor marketplace of the year! This beautiful venue has room for even more wonderful vintage vendors, making it a mini-city packed with pre-loved goodies. Pick up vintage treasures for everyone on your gift list.

Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkateOpens November 29 | Times Vary Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate in Loring Park (1382 Willow Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402) offers you a chance to skate under the downtown Minneapolis skyline. Join us for one of Minnesota’s favorite winter activities. The skating rink will be open once again during the 2019-20 winter season beginning November 29 and running through the beginning of March. Skating on the rink is free, and complimentary skates are available during warming house hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Sizes and quantities vary.

Ice Skating at Centennial Lakes:  Opens mid-December | Times vary  Visitors can skate across 10 acres of carefully maintained ice or take a spin on one of the Park’s Norwegian ice sleds. Afterwards, guests can relax by one of the Hughes Pavilion’s three fireplaces while sipping a cup of hot chocolate from the concession stand. For the convenience of Park visitors, Centennial Lakes rents figure and hockey skates for children and adults.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate (St.Paul): Opens December 6 | Times Vary  With the WinterSkate rink located along the 3rd baseline of the field, visitors are invited to skate free of charge amidst the unique setting of the St. Paul Saints’ state-of-the-art ballpark. This gorgeous field in Saint Paul’s historic Lowertown will provide a beautiful backdrop for noontime skate breaks, after-school groups, free skating lessons, youth hockey teams, broomball, corporate events and family skating—it’s everything you’ve always loved about Wells Fargo WinterSkate, just a few blocks away from Landmark Plaza location.

Skate the Star at Mall of AmericaOpens December 14 | Hours vary Mall of America invites you to Skate the Star! Bring your friends, family + coworkers to skate at the MOA® north entrance around the iconic star sculpture. Skating on the rink is free if you bring your own skates. Skate rental will be available for $5 per person, per pair. Limited quantities + sizes available. Skate rental will stop 30 minutes before close. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

Central Park Skating Loop (Maple Grove)Opens after Thanksgiving, Weather Permitting | Times Vary Huge outdoor skating loop at Central Park! The Phenow Pavilion offers concessions, boot cubbies and a cozy fireplace for chilly evenings. The LED lit refrigerated ice loop is 20 feet wide and 810 feet long, designed for leisure skating (no hockey sticks or pucks). Skating is free and skate rental is available.

Skate with Santa (Inver Grove): December 6 | 6:30pm Carve the ice with the big man in red! $6 in advance, $8 at the door.

Skate with Santa (Maple Grove): December 14 | 5:00pm It may be busy at the North Pole, but Santa and his helpers are making a special stop in Maple Grove! Join them for a fun evening of skating and holiday music. The event is free. Bring a non-perishable food item to donate to CROSS and receive a free hot chocolate courtesy of Maple Grove Hyvee. Skate rentals are available for $6 a pair. Don’t forget a camera for fun photos with Santa!

Skate with Santa (Elk River): December 15 | 3:45pm Skate with Santa is an Arena tradition for the whole family. Skating is free, and rental skates are available for $2.00. Donations are accepted for the CAER food shelf.

Holiday Skate with Santa (Farmington): December 15 | Noon Games, prizes, and of course Santa.  All Ages Welcome. FREE with a food shelf donation.

{SOLD OUT} We are excited to invite your families to our fourth annual holiday family event, Donuts with Santa, happening this year on Saturday, December 7th at Breck School! We invite your families to join us as we spend the day with Santa and Mrs. Claus! This year’s event will have two different sessions: 9:30-11:00am and 11:30-1:00pm. Each session will have a smaller, more intimate experience as you enjoy donuts and a visit with Santa! Click HERE to join our waitlist.

Caring Santa at Southdale Center: December 1 | 9:00am Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. We will make the necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.

Sensory Friendly Santa at Rosedale Center: November 24 | 6:30pm All families with children with autism and other special needs can enjoy the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa, in a more subdued and calm environment. Sensory-friendly Santa events are free and keepsake photo packages will be available for purchase. Please RSVP to reserve your spot today!

Santa Cares at Burnsville CenterDecember 8 | 9:00am People within every spectrum of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa.

Sensitive Santa at Northtown Mall: December 8 | 9:00am Sensitive Santa is coming to Northtown on Sunday, December 8th in Burlington Court from 9-11 AM. Join us for a sensory-friendly Santa experience for families with sensory sensitivities. There will be a variety of calm activities and snacks for everyone to enjoy while meeting Santa before the hustle and bustle of regular mall hours.

Sensitive Santa at Maplewood Mall: December 8 | 9:00am Check off a visit with Santa from your family’s holiday wish list, because Sensitive Santa is coming to Maplewood Mall!  Join us for a sensory-friendly experience for children and families like yours. Register to meet the man of the hour and create magical holiday moments for the whole family.

Sensory Friendly Mornings at Como Zoo: December 8 and 11 | 9:00am Spend time exploring exhibits, and activities designed for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Use the “social narrative” and the “create your own visual schedule” to help prepare you for your Autism Friendly Early Entry day.

Elf the Musical Jr. Accessible Performances: November 30 | 10:00am Join us for a SENSORY FRIENDLY PUBLIC PERFORMANCE this holiday season as we follow Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. After being raised as a would-be elf at the North Pole, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities causes him to embark on a new beginning to discover who he really is. Through his heart-felt determination to win over his new family, Buddy helps us all remember the true meaning of Christmas. Based on the beloved holiday film from New Line Cinema, this hilarious musical is filled with memorable music and lots of laughs for the whole family to enjoy.

Sensory Friendly Play at Urban Air Adventure Park: | Select days, see event calendar An event specifically designed for children with Autism and special needs to enjoy time at the park without loud music, flashing lights and to have a lot of fun! See calendar for timing and details.

Sensory Jump Night @ Pump It Up: Third Tuesday of Every Month | During this evening event, the play areas are reserved for kids on the autism spectrum and their families. Kids have a great time meeting new friends. Jump, slide and play with sensory-friendly games in a safe and controlled atmosphere.

Sensory-Friendly Story Time: Second Thursday of Every Month | 9:30am Story Time will take place before the store opens to the general public. No music until after the store opens…except for the songs we’ll sing together! Small fidget objects will be available for children to hold if they choose. There will be a clear schedule for story time with visual cues. As with all of our storytimes, this is a no judgment zone! We all have unique needs and ways of expressing ourselves, and we at Wild Rumpus welcome and celebrate those differences.

TPT Second Saturdays Sensory-Friendly Hour  | Each month TPT opens up our studios in Lowertown St. Paul for a morning of PBS Kids cartoons on the big screen, meet & greets with PBS Kids characters like Daniel Tiger, Sid the Science Kid, and Buddy the Dinosaur, and fun activities like instrument making and carnival games. If that weren’t enough, the SciGirls squad are always on hand with all sorts of STEM-related games and activities to educate your child.

Sensory-Friendly AMC Movies: Second and Fourth Saturday of Every Month | Times Vary AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month.

2019 Holidazzle Guide | Twin Cities Mom Collective
Letting Go of the Perfect Christmas | Twin Cities Mom Collective


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