Just what you need to help you decide what to do during Winter Break!
The Twin Cities are lit up this weekend with special holiday events. Find our picks here or check our Family Fun Calendar for more en”light”enment!
TREE LIGHTING SPOTLIGHT: Shop Excelsior & Grand Meander, St. Paul
12/3: Christmastime Shop Excelsior, Main Street, Excelsior • 12-7pm • Details: The big tree lights up at 7pm on Water Street, plus sleigh rides, Santa and carolers lend a holiday air. Also runs 12/10 & 12/17. FREE.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS SPOTLIGHT: CSE Winter Light Show, Minneapolis & Holiday Lights in the Park, St. Paul
12/3: CSE Winter Light Show @ U of M Minneapolis • 15-min shows at 5:30, 6 & 6:30pm • Details: Students have arranged their annual display of 250,000+ LED lights that dance in sync with tunes. Additional shows will be 12/8-10. FREE.
12/3-4: Holiday Lights in the Park @ Lake Phalen Park, St. Paul • 5-10pm • $8/vehicle online, $10/gate • Details: The half-mile drive twinkles with more than 60 light sculptures and animated displays. All net proceeds from the event will go back into the community. Runs nightly thru 1/1/17.
For a complete listing of holiday twinkles throughout the metro area, try our list of Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays.
HOLIDAY FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT:
12/3: Twinkle Party, Lowell Park Gazebo, Stillwater • 4-6pm • Family highlights: The party – which includes the city tree lighting, Teddy Bear Band, free cocoa and cookies, Santa Claus, trolley rides and fireworks – is just slice of Stillwater’s Hometown for the Holidays celebration, running Nov – NYE.
12/3-4: Holidazzle @ Loring Park, Minneapolis • 11am-9pm • Family highlights: Weekend highs of this dazzling free festival: Illuminated art displays, visits with Santa, ice skating, fireworks (Sat, 6:30pm) and an outdoor movie (Sun, 5pm).
12/3-4: Seward Winter Frolic, Minneapolis • Family highlights: Local businesses exhibit arts (including a free Studio Art Day at Articulture – come craft holiday cards), food and drink samples, tours and demos. Tree lighting at Triangle Park takes place Saturday, 5pm followed by Santa and hay rides.
For further holiday planning, check our Holiday Festival Calender.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPOTLIGHT: Reindeer Day & Grand Meander
Reindeer Day, Linden Hills, Minneapolis • Sat Dec 3, 10am-2pm • Details: Hop a free trolley ride to area business bustling with marshmallow roasting, Santa and his reindeer, carolers and in-store events.
Grand Meander, Grand Avenue, St. Paul • Sat Dec 3, events run starting 8:30am through the afternoon • Details: 20 blocks of local shops, samples, specials, Vulcan fire truck rides, carolers and multiple venues to visit with Santa. FREE.
Making that list and checking it twice? Let us offer some inspiration with our 2016 Christmas Shopping Guide featuring many of our favorite homegrown businesses:
HOLIDAY STAGE SPOTLIGHT: Santa & Albert’s Annual Holiday Play: “Santa & Albert Rock Christmas” @ Bachman’s on Lyndale, Minneapolis • Sat 10 & 11:30am, 1 & 2:30pm and Sun 11:30am, 1 & 2:30pm • Details: Find out if Albert gets to meet his musical idol, “Elfus” this year! Stay for caroling and photo opps with Santa. FREE.
TWIN CITIES DECEMBER SPECIAL EVENTS – FREE
12/2: Forever Wild Family Friday: Scavenger Hunt @ Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, Eagan • 7-8:30pm • Details: Drop in for smores and a nighttime hunt.
12/3: First Free Saturday: Walker Open House @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis • 10am-3pm • Details: Activities are geared towards kids ages 6-12, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your littler ones! Free gallery admission for the whole family. Read More
We were super excited when Blooma invited Family Fun Twin Cities to try a yoga class, specifically a prenatal yoga class. Don’t get any ideas. Nobody on the FFTC team is pregnant, but yoga is fun. You don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy it. So I found a time on my calendar and made my way over to the new Plymouth location they share with yogamn.
It doesn’t have to break the bank to entertain the family away from home in the Twin Cities, especially during that often spendy holiday season! You’ll find December’s seasonal and monthly sponsor ongoing events and activities listed here that all cost $5 or less per person to attend. For more ideas on budget and FREE family outings, check our Family Fun Calendar or hop over to our Free Twin Cities December Family Events & Activities page.
TWIN CITIES DECEMBER SPECIAL EVENTS – $5/PP OR LESS
12/10: TMORA Family Day @ Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis • 12-3pm • $8 donation/family • Details: Storytelling, music and activities for the whole family.
12/10: Brickmania Toyworks Open House, Minneapolis • 10am-4pm • $5/pp or $10/group of 4 • Details: Intricate LEGO train layouts, hands-on LEGO activities and displays. This popular event is held the 2nd Saturday of each month. Read about a trip to the open house here.
Tis the season for never-ending holiday and Christmas activities around the Twin Cities. Whether you are looking for traditional events or you want to start a new tradition with your family, we have something for just about everyone: Santa, shopping, stage shows, singalongs, sleighrides, sparkling light displays and special historical events at sites across the Minneapolis & St. Paul metro area:
The Twin Cities offers more than the Nutcracker ballet and The Christmas Carol at the Guthrie for holiday shows. Though these are classics, we have plenty of options for families with every age of child.
While we couldn’t possibly cover every Holiday show in the Twin Cities, we’ve rounded up what we believe to be the best family friendly Christmas shows this season.
Insider Tip: Many of these shows have discounted tickets available through our affiliate partner, Goldstar.*
Thanks to the awesome Prairie Lights website for help with this list of Christmas light displays & music shows! Our family discovered the student-designed Winter Lights Show put on by the University of Minnesota’s College of Science & Engineering. Who knew there were this many displays out there? Please, we beg you, personally confirm the details of these light shows before heading out! Read More