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.
find the best 2021 christmas & Holiday things to do in the Twin Cities
Twin Cities CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS & Early Holiday Events
Watch the trees light up to signal the start of the holiday season! Make sure to jump over to our complete list of Twin Cities Holiday Tree Lighting events to get all the times, activities, precautions and other details (Bonfires! Santa! Hot cocoa!) Communities are listed A-Z and cover the entire Minneapolis-St Paul metro area:
Afton: Village Holiday Tree Lighting (Dec 3)
Apple Valley: Holiday Tree Lighting – Nov 23
Anoka: Christmas Tree Lighting (Dec 4)
Burnsville: Winter Lighting Ceremony (Nov 24)
Chanhassen: Tree Lighting Ceremony
Eagan: Community Holiday Tree Lighting (Dec 7)
Edina: Tree Lighting Ceremony (Nov 26)
EXCELSIOR: Christmas in Excelsior Tree Lighting (Dec 4)
Inver Grove Heights: Holidays in the Heights Tree Lighting (Dec 2)
OSSEO: MiniDazzle Tree Lighting (Dec 3)
Saint Paul: Grand Meander Tree Lighting (Dec 5)
Saint Paul: Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony -( Nov 19)
Saint Paul: Union Depot Tree Lighting (Dec 4)
Savage: Tree Lighting Ceremony (Dec 2)
Shakopee: Holiday Fest Tree Lighting (Dec 4)
Shoreview: Holiday Lighting Event (Nov 15)
Stillwater: Twinkle Party and City Tree Lighting (Dec 4)
Taylors Falls: 37th Annual Lighting Festival (Nov 26)
Waconia: Community Tree Lighting (Nov 26)
Wayzata: Light Up the Lake Celebration (Nov 26)
To find our detailed listing of Minneapolis-St Paul (Twin Cities) holiday tree lightings and early holiday events, jump right over to our 2021 TWIN CITIES EARLY HOLIDAY LIST.
Christmas & Holiday Light Displays
Year after year our locals get out in Minnesota weather and put up displays for the community to enjoy. You would not believe how massive our holiday lights list is thanks to all who have added their display. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to add yours. Jump over to Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map!
Spirit of Winter – Festival of Lights | Waconia
All-ages walking stroll or trolley ride through holiday lights displays and more outdoor attractions plus food and beverage for purchase at the winery. $10/pp. Book your reservation online. Nov 20-Jan 2, 2022.
GLOW Holiday Festival | Minnesota State Fairgrounds
A one-mile drive-thru with a dozen seasonal scenes featuring over a million holiday lights, a 100-foot illuminated tree, icicle and art installations, a festive gingerbread house, and other attractions. After the drive-thru experience, guests will have the chance to purchase a selection of Minnesota State Fair food favorites. November 18, 2021 – January 2, 2022. Tickets $13-$21/pp.
Back to a walking tour that will dazzle with holiday lights, plus ice sculptures. Nov 19-Jan 2, 2022. $15/pp, under 15 FREE.
Valley Lights at Rock Point Church | Lake Elmo
100,000 LED lights choreographed to music you can listen to from your car. Nov 26-Dec 3, 2021, 5-10pm. Tune in to 97.9.
Sever’s Holiday Lights | Shakopee
A drive-thru tour of more than 2.5 million holiday lights Nov 26-Jan 2, 2022. $25-$35/car.
Comprised of 9 yards 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. TBA, 5-10pm.
PD Shimmers | Plymouth
The show covers 8 homes on Ithaca Lane featuring over 60,000 lights and 200 channels of computer animation. Synchronized to 90.9. Accepts donations for Parkinson’s Disease. Opens Thanksgiving Weekend 2021.
Plus 100+ family light displays across the Twin Cities on our master list!
where to find santa claus in the twin cities
Santa Claus has headed full speed into his busy public appearance time of year. That jolly old guy sure can get around! Here’s a sampling of some of the best places in the Minneapolis-St Paul Twin Cities area to run into the guy in 2021. For our full list of where to track down Santa, head over to Santa Claus is Coming To Town. You’ll find Santa sightings organized by region of the Metro.
Twin Cities Christmas Music & Holiday Performances
We all have our classic favorites – and the Twin Cities has so many opportunities to see and hear them live during the season. The sights and sounds of the holidays are tuning up all around us! Find out which holiday performances in the Twin Cities are best to introduce to kids.
Holiday shopping in the twin cities
more fun christmas and holiday events in the twin cities for families
These events at Twin Cities museums, historic sites and other attractions sound too much fun to pass up including in our Holiday Guide. Pick one or two that could become a new family tradition.