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Family Fun Twin Cities Christmas Activities & Holiday Guide
Twin Cities Early Holiday Events
FFTC Family Guide to MEA Weekend

Family Fun Twin Cities Christmas Activities & Holiday Guide

Tis the season for never-ending holiday and Christmas activities around the Twin Cities. christmas activities

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:

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Twin Cities Early Holiday Events

10 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events

This post is sponsored by VocalEssence
Star of Wonder

Dec. 9 , 9:30am or 11am
Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis




 Is a visit with Santa a holiday tradition for your family? He begins greeting guests November 9 at local shopping centers:
Here Comes Santa Claus - Christmas in the Twin Cities

Here Comes Santa Claus

Night Trains | Twin City Model Railroad Museum | St Paul 

When: Ongoing Saturdays, Nov 4-Feb 24, 2018 | 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 4 | 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, Minnepolis

When: Begins Tuesday, Nov 7 – Jan 7, 2017
Cost: $15-$80/pp depending on seating and time of show
Details: One of CTC’s holiday classics!

Santa’s Arrival Ceremony | Mall of America

When: Thursday, Nov 9 | 5:30-6:30pm
Cost: Free
Details: The holiday season officially kicks off at Mall of America with Santa’s Arrival Ceremony. Santa will be greeted in holiday style with live performances.

Family Day: Fest! Merry Mansion | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Nov 11 | 10am-5pm
Cost: $5-$10/pp
Details: Explore Nordic holiday traditions, see the historic Turnblad Mansion decked out for the season, and join in family craft activities. Included with museum admission.

tm asi christmas

Holiday Open House featuring Santa & Albert’s Arrival and Annual Holiday Play | Bachman’s on Lyndale, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Nov 18 | 9:30am-3pm
Cost: Free
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.

Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony & WinterSkate | St Paul

When: Saturday, Nov 18 | 3:30-10pm
Cost: Free
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 6:30 and skating begins at 7:15.

Holiday Lights in the Park | Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul

When: TBA, runs nightly through Jan 1
Cost: $10 cash per vehicle at gate or $8 online ticket only
Details: All of the net proceeds from the event will be distributed to a community non-profit. 60 holiday light sculptures and animated displays entertain guests as they cruise through the park in the evening hours.

Winter Lighting Ceremony | Nicollet Commons Park
Nicollet Avenue and 126th Street, Burnsville

When: Wednesday, Nov 22 | 6-6:45pm
Cost: Free
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 24 | 5-10m
Cost: Free
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, 2017.

Holly Trolley | Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, Minneapolis

When: Saturday & Sunday, Nov 25-26, 12:30-3:30pm
Cost: $4/pp
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 2-3.

Taylors Falls Lighting Festival

When: Friday, Nov 24 – Sunday, Nov 26, 2017
Cost: Free
Details: Family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (11/24), Christmas at the Folsom House, storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides.

Tree Lighting Ceremony | 50th & France, Edina

When: Saturday, Nov 25
Cost: Free
Details: Holiday Market is open 12-5pm followed by tree lighting, carolers and visits with Santa.

Maplewood Mall Stocking Stroll

When: Saturday, Nov 25, 9-11am
Cost: $15/pp
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.

Want more holiday happenings? Try our Top 10 Twin Cities Christmas Experiences for 2017:


FFTC Family Guide to MEA Weekend

No School MEA Weekend








MEA Weekend is on the horizon, so if you like to plan ahead Family Fun Twin Cities has compiled a list for you to use as a starting point for this fabulous, fall four-day weekend.  If you plan more spur of the moment like me, these options will be on our October Family Events & Activities Guide for quick access.

 1) Be a farmer for the day

Harvest Days | Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
Oct 19-22, 10am-5pm, $6-$12/pp
I took my kids to Harvest Days on a blustery MEA day.  It was wonderful. We had a great time working with the bulls and visiting the house.  We made cornhusk dolls, explored the property and played with kittens.  Then, on the way out, we went Christmas shopping through their visitor’s center.  It was a blast! Expect even more to enjoy at the farm this year with their expanded visitor center. Read More

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