These Twin Cities early holiday events can get you started on your 2018 holiday family fun without the full-on pressure of late December.
2018 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events
When: Ongoing Saturdays, Nov 3-Feb 23 2019| 6-9pm
Cost: $15/pp, family rates available, children 4 & under FREE
Details: A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights.
Nature Arts & Crafts Fair | Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington
When: Saturday, Nov 3 | 10am-3pm
Cost: Free admission
Details: Local artisans of jewelry, felting, painting and more display their wares; afterward enjoy the park reserve. All vendor fees donated to the VEAP-Bloomington Food Shelf.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis
When: Begins Tuesday, Nov 6 – Jan 6, 2019
Cost: $15-$80/pp depending on seating and time of show
Details: One of CTC’s holiday classics! This sold out fast last year, so they’ve brought it back again this year.
When: Saturday, Nov 10 | 10am-5pm
Details: Explore Nordic and Czech holiday traditions, see the historic Turnblad Mansion decked out for the season, and join in family craft activities. Included with museum admission.
When: Saturday, Nov 17 | 9am-3pm
Details: Join Bachmans in welcoming Santa and his sleigh to kick off the holiday season! Kids can visit the reindeer corral and stop by the craft counter for crafts and activities. Cookies, juice, and coffee will be served. Don’t miss the annual Santa & Albert holiday play at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm.
Holiday Walk in the Woods | The Woods Gifts, Woodbury
When: Saturday, Nov 17 | 11am-3pm
Details: Visit with Santa and his reindeer at this annual Holiday shopping event. Activities include, a visit from Santa and his reindeer, stories, face painting, and food demos.
Christmas at the Courthouse Holiday Bazaar | Stillwater
When: Sat & Sun, Nov 17-18 | 10am-4pm
Details: Kick off the holiday season with Christmas at the Courthouse at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. This Holiday shopping event is free to attend. Santa will also make an appearance from noon to 3 p.m.
When: Saturday, Nov 17 | 5:30-10pm
Details: Rice Park will dazzle with thousands of twinkling lights throughout the winter. Come downtown to see the holiday tree lit and be among the first of the season on the skating rink. There will be music, fireworks at 6:45 and skating begins at 7:15.
When: Wednesday, Nov 21 | 6-6:45pm
Details: Making an appearance are local choirs, refreshments, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, 200,000+ lights, and a 30-foot-tall tree.
Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis
When: Begins Friday, Nov 23 | 5-10m
Details: Holidazzle has returned to Loring Park, offering free admission to all, and there will be vendors, activities, food, and fireworks galore. Holidazzle will run 5-9pm on Thurs, Fri until 10pm, Sat 11am-10pm & Sun 11am-7pm thru Dec 23, 2018.
When: Friday, Nov 23 – Sunday, Nov 25, 2018
Details: Celebrating “Our Wild and Scenic River”. Family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (11/24), Christmas at the Folsom House, storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides.
When: Saturday, Nov 24, 2018
Details: Come dressed in your favorite holiday colors for the annual Jingle Jam Event. Crafts, games, music, dancing and more
Tree Lighting Ceremony | 50th & France, Edina
When: Saturday, Nov 24, 2018
Details: Holiday Market is open 12-5pm followed by tree lighting, carolers and visits with Santa.
When: Saturday, Nov 24, 9-11am
Details: A wristband includes a holiday treat scavenger hunt and activities around the mall such as bounces houses, face painting, and a meet-and-greet with Santa. (This sold out fast last year).
Holly Trolley | Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis
When: Saturday & Sunday, Nov 24-25; Dec 1-2, 12:30-3:30pm
Details: Ride the rails with Santa in a streetcar decorated for the holiday. Then, warm up with a campfire and roast a marshmallow. The event also runs Sat & Sun, Dec 1-2.
Want more holiday happenings? Try our Top 10 Twin Cities Christmas Experiences for 2018: