2022 Twin Cities Drive Thru Christmas Events and Walking Tours

Christmas Tree

For 2022, we have updated our list of drive-through light shows and Christmas events that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own car. We’ve also included outdoor walking tours. With a few exceptions, many of these outdoor light displays are free and if they have a cost, it usually covers the entire car. We note all this information in the entry.

Drive Thru Christmas Light Shows and Walking Tours

Stillwater Hometown for the Holidays

Downtown Stillwater, Stillwater MN 55082
The mile drive of Main Street is covered with snowflake decorations and rooftop lights. Drive it, walk it, shop it – all beautiful choices. Twinkle Party & Tree Lighting: Dec 3, 2022.

 

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318
Winter will be in bloom with lighted greenery and displays throughout the pathways of the arb’s gardens! Online ticket reservation required. November 17, 2022 through January 1, 2023. $25/adults 16+; Children 15 and under FREE (except on Family Nights when child admission is $5).

Special Family Fun Nights Dec. 1 & 15

Smaller capacity so participating families can enjoy an special extras, including crafts, cookies, cocoa and characters from The Northern Express.

Weeping Willow Sensory Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Winter Lights Show in Chaska, Minnesota
Weeping Willow Sensory Garden. Image courtesy of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

GLOW Holiday Festival

CHS Field, 360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101
CHS Field is converted to a walking tour of holiday decorations and Christmas delights. There will still be a parade of dozens seasonal scenes featuring a plethora of holiday lights, a 60-foot illuminated tree and an art-created mosaic flame, a festive Santa Land, and other attractions. Grab a map and follow the trai to find a “sElfie Plaza”, an enchanted forest, a s’mores station, concessions and more. Tickets: $12.75-$20.75/pp. November 23, 2022 – January 1, 2023.

GLOW Holiday Festival - The Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together Artwork Horizontal

Christmas In Color

Valleyfair, 1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee, MN 55379
This holiday season you can drive right into the amusement park to be entertained by 1.5 million lights synchronized to holiday music. You’ll need an FM radio to year the Christmas music and carols as you drive. November 25, 2022- January 1, 2023. Tickets: $35-$65/vehicle.

Family Fun Twin Cities Discount: FFTC Readers Save 15% with Discount Code TWINCITIES15.

Christmas in Color at Valleyfair in Shakopee Minnesota
Image courtesy of Christmas in Color – Use Code TWINCITIES15 to save 15% on tickets.

Sever’s Holiday Lights

Sever’s Festival Grounds, 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
Holiday light shows, Winter Carnivals, and more. November 24, 2022 – January 1, 2023; Sun & weekdays 5pm-9pm; weekends 5pm-10pm. $25-$55/vehicle.

Schultz Family Lights/Holiday Lights on York

1526 York Ave, St. Paul MN
Comprised of 9 family homes on both sides of the street dancing to holiday favorites you can listen to on your car radio. Synchronized to 91.5. Collecting food shelf donations for the holiday season (Also Halloween). Thanksgiving Weekend through December 31st, 5-10pm.

Holiday Lights on York

Valley Lights at Rockpoint Church

Rockpoint Church, 5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo MN
The lights will be on for a drive-thru showing. Free Wagon Rides from 6pm-8pm on Fridays & Saturdays — December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17, 2022. Tune in your radio to 97.9 and enjoy. Thursday, November 24th (Thanksgiving) – Dec. 31, 2022 (New Year’s Eve).

Christmas in the Village

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th Street W., Farmington, MN 55024
Buildings will be illuminated inside and out throughout the village. The public is welcome to drive through the Village any evening in December (3pm-8pm) to enjoy this holiday tradition, but there will be extra activities and reasons to get out of your car and walk around on Saturdays and Sundays – December 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th, 2022.

European Christmas Market

Union Depot, 214 4th Street, East, Saint Paul, MN 55101
Tour booths by local artists and vendors and enjoy live music and entertainment as you stroll. You might even get a chance to visit Santa. Nov 26-Dec. 18, 2022. FREE.

Create your own Drive Thru Christmas lights event!

We have an enormous list of homes around the Twin Cities that deck their halls up for the holiday: Jump over to Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map and get your family fill of giant candy canes, inflated snowmen, reindeer, Christmas tree displays and Santa Claus figures!

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner


Drive Thru Santa Letters

Dakota City Heritage Village Post Office

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th Street W., Farmington, MN 55024
Mail your Santa letters at the post box outside the Post Office in the charming historic village. Be sure to include your self-addressed envelope with stamp so St. Nick can send you a reply. Time this with a visit to enjoy the holiday lights on December 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th, 2022.

Santa’s Mailbox

Plymouth City Hall, 3400 Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth, MN 55447
Plymouth Ice Center, 3650 Plymouth Blvd, Plymouth, MN 55447
Plymouth Community Center, 14800 34th Ave N, Plymouth, MN 55447
Drop off letters to Santa (along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope) at either location and receive a personalized response. Letters accepted November 21st through December 2nd, 2022.

Letters to Santa

Shakopee Community Center, 1255 Fuller St. S., Shakopee, MN 55379
A special North Pole mailbox will be at Shakopee’s community center. Kids can send a letter to Santa. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a return letter. Letters accepted December 1-11th. Return letters should be received the week of December 19, 2022.


Living Christmas Nativities – Both Walking & Driving

Come to the Stable: A Living Nativity

Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 5426 12th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417 (corner of 11th Ave S and W 54th St)
Guests are invited to the Stable for a family-friendly afternoon featuring a live nativity complete with Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, live animals, and, of course, baby Jesus. Learn more here. December 11, 2022; 3pm-6pm.

Drive-Thru Living Nativity

SouthCross Community Church, 1800 County Rd 42 E, Burnsville, MN 55337
Drive through the nativity while staying work in your car. Monday December 12 and Tuesday December 13, 2022. 6:30-8:30pm. FREE. Food donations for 360 Community food shelves will be accepted if you are able. Questions call: 952-432-4286.

Living Nativity

St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1965 Co Rd E East, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Includes music and live animals on the South Stage. December 17, 2022.

Drive Thru Hot Chocolate

I was hoping to find more locally-owned drive through options for cocoa and sweets. If you have a favorite place to get cocoa without leaving your car, leave us a comment and we’ll share with the family.

Mudslingers Drive-Thru Coffee

2154 Lexington Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
This adorable little hut has a double drive through and hours that are NOT going to help you for an evening drive, but I included it anyway because maybe you’ll want to grab some hot cocoa on your way to ice skate at the Roseville Oval or something. Hot chocolate is on the menu, as well as smoothies and kids steamers.

Caribou Drive-Thru

Caribou conveniently offers a Drive-Thru filter when searching for a coffee shop near you. Find all the local Caribous with Drive Thru windows here.

Fun Christmas Roadtrips for a Drive-Thru Experience

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bayfront Festival Park, 700 Railroad St, Duluth, MN 55802
Distance from the Twin Cities: Approximately 2 1/2 hours.
This is one of Anne’s picks for 10 Best Things To Do in Duluth Over Winter & Holidays. November 19th – December 26th, 2022; Sunday-Thursday: 5-9pm; Friday-Saturday: 5-10pm. General Admission: FREE; Parking $10.

Kids standing at the entrance to of Bentleyville Holiday Lights in Duluth, Minnesota
Bentleyville, Duluth Minnesota

Kiwanis Holiday Lights

Sibley Park, 900 Mound Ave, Mankato, MN 56001
Distance from the Twin Cities: Approximately 1 1/2 hours
Visitors can participate by bus, walking or driving tour. Santa is available for visits on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5-9pm. Free and open to the Public from Friday, November 25-December 31, 2022.

Best day to visit: Opening Night (November 25, 2022) includes a parade at 6pm.

Sam’s Christmas Village

710 Spring St suite c, Somerset, WI 54025
Distance from the Twin Cities: Approximately 45 minutes.

Kids can visit with Santa and his live reindeer every night, reserve a s’more cabin and see beautiful lights. Both walk through and drive through tours are available. Admission is $10 for Kids and $20 for adults. Cabins start at $119 for the evening (but not overnight).

Sertoma Winter Wonderland at the Northland Arboretum

Northland Arboretum, 14250 Conservation Dr, Baxter, MN 56425
Distance from the Twin Cities: Approximately 2-hour drive.
A drive through event from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. 2022 Schedule – 5:30pm – 8:30pm; November 24-26, 30, December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-31.

Sportsman Park, 1000 3rd Ave NW, Sleepy Eye, MN 56085
Distance from the Twin Cities: Approximately 2-hour drive.
Families can choose to drive or walk through the exhibits. Tune your FM radio to 89.1 to hear music synced to the light shows. Some years they have offered horse-drawn carriage rides, but it looks like it will be a tractor-drawn hay wagon ride in 2022. Reserve seats here if you want to guarantee a spot. Thanksgiving through New Years Day.

More Beautiful Holiday Experiences: You May also enjoy exploring the downtown areas of our favorite Christmas Towns.

More 2022 Holiday Fun:

Find more Holiday options in our Holiday Guide.

December Banner Christmas

4 thoughts on “2022 Twin Cities Drive Thru Christmas Events and Walking Tours”

    1. Thank you, Beth. For readers visiting New Ulm, Sippet is open until 3:30pm on weekdays, 2pm on Saturdays and noon on Sundays. The address is 701 North German Street, New Ulm, Minnesota 56073.

  1. For readers coming to visit us here at SouthCross Community Church, I am sorry to say that there will be no free chili or hot chocolate this year. Please read this corrected description of our Living Nativity:
    SouthCross Community Church, 1800 Co. Rd. 42 East in Burnsville, presents its 26th Annual Outdoor Living Nativity on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 12th & 13th from 6:30-8:30 PM, regardless of weather! Drive through in the warmth of your car. Voluntary donations of non-perishable food or cash will be accepted for area food shelves. Add this to your FREE Holiday activities and see the “Reason for the Season”. Call 952-432-4286 if you have questions!

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