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
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Watch the trees light up to signal the start of the holiday season! Some will be virtual, some will require a drive-by, but all will dazzle. 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. Please note that in-person gatherings are restricted through mid-December; we have listed the dates these communities will light up their holiday trees. Enjoy!
- Saint Paul: Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony – TBA (usually mid-November)
- Burnsville: Winter Lighting Ceremony – TBA (November 24th is a good guess)
- Apple Valley: Holiday Tree Lighting – Nov 23
- Wayzata: Light Up the Lake Celebration – TBA
- Taylors Fall: 37th Annual Lighting Festival – Nov. 26-28
- Saint Paul: Union Depot Tree Lighting – TBA
- Inver Grove Heights: Holidays in the Heights – Dec 2
- Osseo: MiniDazzle Celebration – TBA
- Chanhassen: Tree Lighting Ceremony – TBA
- Eagan: Community Tree Lighting – TBA
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 through holiday lights displays and more outdoor attractions plus food and beverage for purchase at the winery. $7.50/pp. Online pre-registration required. TBA.
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 $TBA.
Gate admission: $15/adult (extra on special days). More lights this year at this drive-thru dazzle. TBA.
Valley Lights at Rock Point Church | Lake Elmo
100,000 LED lights choreographed to music you can listen to from your car. TBA. Tune in to 97.9.
Sever’s Holiday Lights | Shakopee
Holiday light shows, Winter Carnivals, and more. TBA.
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. TBA.
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! Remember, Santa is probably going to be keeping his distance this year. Here’s a sampling of some of the best places to run into the guy – many from the comfort of home.
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.
Events with Santa Claus – 2021
Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s | Woodbury
Pick up a free pass in store to meet with Santa and get a free photo. Reservations are required in advance. Santa arrives Nov 7 at 5pm! See website for complete hours and schedule. TBA.
This year, a virtual performance of Bachman’s tradition is offered via Facebook page at 10am, Saturday mornings. If you want your picture taken with Santa & Albert, you can still visit Bachman’s and take a photo with cardboard cutouts. TBA.
Take a visit to the North Pole by train. TBA
Tune in for 4 streamings of The Holidazzle Show featuring a visit from Santa! TBA.
The museum is transformed into Santa’s Train Shop with live music, train rides, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Weekends Dec 4-19, 10am-4pm, $7-$15/pp; Family Package $45.00 Pre-purchased tickets required