9 Twin Cities Early December Holiday Events

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Whether we’re ready or not the Twin Cities is preparing to kick off Christmas events in the upcoming weeks. Here are 9 you might want to mark your holiday calendar for:


Holiday Crafts from the Mississippi: Sand Candles and Straw Ornaments
@ Carl Kroening Interpretive Center, 4900 Mississippi Ct, Minneapolis

When: Thursday, Dec. 3 • 10am-noon
Cost: $5/pp, reservations required by Dec. 1
Details: A candle cast from river sand or ornaments made from prairie grasses could make a great holiday gift for someone. Refreshments provided. Reservations required by December 1.

Tree-Lighting-300x105[1]Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting & European Christmas Market
@ Union Depot Lot B, 200 Kellogg Blvd E, St Paul

When: Tree lighting takes place Dec. 4 • 5:30-7:30pm and the market runs Dec. 5-6 & 11-13 • find times here.
Cost: Free admission
Details: Union Depot will be the hub of many special holiday activities this year including the European-style Christmas market, the arrival of the North Pole Express and Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, a Holiday Movie Night and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Get all the details here.

tm winter lights

U of M College of Science & Engineering Winter Light Show Premiere
@ Civil Engineering Building Plaza, 500 Pillsbury Dr. S.E., Minneapolis

When: Premiere party Friday, Dec. 4, 5:30, 6 & 6:30pm

After Friday, Dec. 4, shows will run at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 5
  • Thursday, Dec. 10
  • Friday, Dec. 11
  • Saturday, Dec. 12

Cost: Free
Details: Our family discovered the student-designed Winter Lights Show put on by the University of Minnesota’s College of Science & Engineering last year. Each show is about 20 minutes long and features lights and laser projection set to fun music.

GrandMeander_0[1]Grand Meander
@ Grand Avenue businesses
between Dale Street & Fairview Avenue, St. Paul

When: Saturday, Dec. 5 • events 8:30am-5pm
Cost: Free
Details: Explore one of St. Paul’s best shopping districts, sample from local restaurants, have breakfast with Santa, take a trolley ride down the avenue, and much more at this annual winter tradition. Get the full event guide with participating businesses here.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
@ Steppingstone Theatre for Youth Development, 55 Victoria St N., St. Paul

When: Shows Dec. 4-6, 9-13, 16-23, find times here.
Cost: $16/adults, $12/students. Pay-what-you-can performance will be held on Saturday, December 5, 4pm show only.
Details: A holiday classic. Visit with Santa after the show!

Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm
4665 Manor Park, Eagan

When: Sunday, Dec. 6 • Noon-3:30pm
Cost: Free
Details: Celebrate the holidays 1940’s style at this free event at Holz Farm. Enjoy hayrides, carolers, a bonfire, refreshments, reindeer and a visit from Santa.

Children’s Holiday Storytime
@ Fillebrown House
, 4735 Lake Ave., White Bear Lake
When: Thursday, Dec. 10 • 6:30 pm
Cost: $2/pp
Children are invited to the Fillebrown House to sit by the magnificently decorated Christmas tree and listen to holiday poems and stories.  Hot or cold cider and cookies will be served.
Reservations required:  office@whitebearhistory.org or 651-407-5327.

bachmans2Bachman’s Annual Holiday Play: “Santa’s Magical Music”
@ Bachman’s on Lyndale, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

When: December weekends through Sunday, Dec. 20 • Saturday shows at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm & 2:30pm and Sunday shows at 11:30am, 1pm & 2:30pm
Cost: Free
Details: Arrive early for a good seat to see the annual Santa & Albert holiday play and stay after for pictures with Santa. The show lasts about 20 minutes.

Folkways of the Holidays
@ The Landing, 2187 Highway 101 E, Shakopee

When: December weekends starting Dec. 5-6 • 10am-4pm
Cost: $8/adults, $5/ages 2-17 & seniors, under 2 free
Details: Discover the holiday traditions of 19th century Minnesota through folk art performances, a horse-drawn trolley, tours of homes decorated with heritage crafts for the season.

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.


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