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, European Christmas markets, stage shows, singalongs, sleighrides in a winter wonderland, sparkling light decorations and special historical events at sites across the Minneapolis & St. Paul metro area.
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Find the best 2023 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 2023 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 1)
APPLE VALLEY: HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING (Nov 21)
ANOKA: CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING (Dec 2)
BURNSVILLE: WINTER LIGHTING CEREMONY (Nov 22)
CHANHASSEN: TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY (Dec 2)
COTTAGE GROVE: HOMETOWN HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING (Nov 29)
EAGAN: COMMUNITY HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING (Dec 5)
EDINA: 50TH & FRANCE TREE LIGHTING (Nov 25)
EXCELSIOR: CHRISTMAS IN EXCELSIOR TREE LIGHTING (Nov 25)
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS: HOLIDAYS IN THE HEIGHTS TREE LIGHTING (Dec 1)
OSSEO: MINIDAZZLE TREE LIGHTING (Dec 1)
SAINT PAUL: GRAND MEANDER TREE LIGHTING (Dec 2)
SAINT PAUL: RICE PARK TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY (Nov 10)
SAINT PAUL: UNION DEPOT TREE LIGHTING (Dec 2)
SAVAGE: TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY (Nov 30)
SHAKOPEE: HOLIDAY FEST TREE LIGHTING (Dec 2)
SHOREVIEW: HOLIDAY LIGHTING EVENT (Nov 13)
SOUTH ST PAUL: TREE LIGHTING EVENT (NA)
STILLWATER: TWINKLE PARTY & CITY TREE LIGHTING (Dec 2)
TAYLORS FALLS: 38TH ANNUAL LIGHTING FESTIVAL (Nov 24)
WACONIA: COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTING (Nov 24)
WAYZATA: LIGHT UP THE LAKE CELEBRATION (Nov 24)
To find our detailed listing of Minneapolis-St Paul (Twin Cities) holiday tree lightings and early holiday events, jump right over to our 2023 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!
9950 North Shore Road, Waconia, Minnesota 55387
All-ages walking stroll or trolley ride through holiday lights displays and more outdoor attractions plus food and beverage for purchase at the winery. Admission tickets: $10/pp. Trolley tickets are $5/pp available only onsite. November 17-December 30, 2023.
CHS Field, 360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101
A one-mile walk-thru experience 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. November 16. 2023 – December 31, 2023. Tickets: $12.75-$20.75/pp.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318
Family fun and more at this annual event. Nov 16-Dec 31, 2023. $25/pp ages 16+, under 15 FREE. (On Family Nights kids are $5 and adults $30)
5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
100,000 LED lights choreographed to music you can listen to from your car. Nov 24-Dec 31, 2023, 5-10pm. Tune in to 97.9.
3121 150th Street West, Shakopee, MN 55379
A drive-thru tour of more than 2.5 million holiday lights November 23, 2023-December 31, 2023. $40-$55/car.
1526 York Ave, St Paul, MN 55106
Comprised of 11 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. November 24, 2023-December 31, 2023, 5-10pm.
4320 Ithaca Ln N, Plymouth, MN 55446
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. Opening TBD.
Plus 100+ family light displays across the Twin Cities on our master list
Where to find Santa Claus in the Twin Cities
Santa Claus (and sometimes his reindeer) 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 2023. For our full list of where to track down Santa, head over to Santa Claus is Coming To Town. You’ll find Santa sightings, sleigh ride opportunities, and fun Christmas traditions organized by region of the Metro.
Twin Cities Christmas music & holiday performances
From A Christmas Carol to The Nutcracker, we all have our classic favorites – and the Twin Cities has so many opportunities to see and hear carols and see holiday shows 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
Ideas for crafts kids can make for gifts at local studios around the Twin Cities.Find our favorite places to make unique gifts during the Christmas Season
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.