Joy Peters – co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.
Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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