2021 Christmas Music in the Twin Cities: Do You Hear What I Hear?

What I hear is the sound of families enjoying Christmas concerts together. We all have our classic favorites – and the Twin Cities has so many opportunities to hear them live during the season. The sounds of the holidays are tuning up all around us! How to choose from the live performances if we’re planning to bring children?

  1. Go Directly to Kid-Appropriate Nutcracker Performances
  2. Go Directly to Christmas Music Sing-A-Longs
  3. Go Directly to Family-Friendly Orchestra & Band Concerts

We have something for just about everyone in our Twin Cities Christmas & Holiday Guide: Santa, shopping, stage shows, sing-a-longs, sleighrides, sparkling light displays and special holiday events at sites across the Minneapolis & St. Paul metro area:

Christmas and Holiday Guide Twin Cities
Find more Christmas and Holiday Fun Here

Nutcracker Performances for the Holiday Season

Nutcracker Ballet by Pas de Deux Dance Studio, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nutcracker Ballet by Pas de Deux Dance Studio

A meaningful trip to the ballet is probably best reserved for kids who have a specific interest in dance and can weather a performance of up to two hours. The costumes and set pieces can be lovely eye candy for children, but it’s important to explain to them ahead of time that a ballet is a typically a story told completely through instrumental music – no sing-alongs here!

Here are a couple family-friendly choices we recommend that are also easier on the holiday budget:

Nov 20, 2021: Pas de Deux Backstage Nutcracker

St Paul U of M Student Union Theater, 2017 Buford Avenue, St Paul
The classic story with a few special twists, presented at the St Paul Student Union Theater. Shows at 1:30 & 4pm. Ages 4 & up only, $15/advance, $20/door.

Nov 30, 2021: Mini-Nutcracker

Lakeville Area Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044
This one-hour abbreviated version of the full-length A Minnesota Nutcracker is a delightful introduction for young children to the classic ballet. 11am & 6pm performances. All Ages. $12-$15/pp.

Find Our Full List and additional information: The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2021’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!

Family-Friendly Christmas Concerts: Orchestra, Band & Choral Performances

Brass Section of an Orchestra playing Christmas Music

We tried to keep these concerts at $20 or less so you can find a Christmas concert where you can afford to take the whole family. Many of these offerings are FREE and open to the public. Some will even be serving Christmas cookies afterwards.

Nov 19 & 20, 2021: Minnesota Sinfonia Happy Holidays Concert

First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade Street, St. Paul, 55106  (7pm on Friday)
Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1621 University Avenue NE, Minneapolis 55413 (2pm on Saturday)
Get a sneak preview of Minnesota Sinfonia’s Holiday season at this family-friendly concert. FREE.  If your kids enjoy this concert and want to do it again, you can find Minnesota Sinfonia’s remaining winter concerts on our performing arts calendar.

Dec 2, 2021: Holiday Band Concert

Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr N, Crystal, MN 55429
Traditional holiday music with refreshments. 7:30pm-8:30pm, FREE.

Dec 5, 2021: Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas! Concert

The Grove United Methodist Church, 7465 Steepleview Rd, Woodbury, MN 55125
East Metro Symphony Orchestra performs music from the musical by David Caldwell and Ernest Zulia and traditional carols. Followed by cookies and a meet & greet with orchestra members. 3pm, FREE.

Dec 5, 2021Share the Warmth Holiday Concert

Eden Prairie High School Auditorium, 17185 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346
Bring a non-perishable food item or warm clothing (like hats and mittens) to donate and celebrate the season with Eden Prairie Community Band. 4-5pm. FREE.

Dec 9-12, 2021: Disney on Ice – Let’s Celebrate

Xcel Energy Center, 199 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102
Okay, so this isn’t technically a Christmas concert, but its on ice and features the Frozen sisters not to mention a bunch of toys. I think it will get little kids in the Holiday spirit just fine. Celebrate with all your favorite Disney Characters on Ice – Sing with Elsa and the Frozen gang, Help Forky learn what it means to be a toy (“I don’t know”) and see over 50 Disney favorites on Ice. Tickets are $20.00.

Dec 10, 2021: Christmas Festival Concert

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 4801 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Exultate celebrates the joy of the Christmas Season with music to usher in Christmastide! The first half of the program will include the Christmas Portion of George Frederic Handel‘s MESSIAH. The second half of the program will be loaded with carols both old and newly written for choir and orchestra. Get Half-Price Tickets Through Our Affiliate Link: Friday, Dec 10, 2021 / 7:00pm | $25.00 $12.50

Christmas Festival Concert. Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 4801 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Christmas Festival Concert.
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Friday, December 10, 2021 @ 7pm.

Dec 11, 2021: Virtual Lucia Celebration Online Concert

Concert to celebrate light during the long winter featuring the singers of the ASI Lucia Choir. Watch live and/or receive a recording that you can watch until 12/19/21. $15. Learn more & register here.

Dec 12, 2021: Lucia Celebration Concert

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Concert to celebrate light during the long winter featuring ASI Lucia Choir. One hour performance in ASI’s Larson Hall. $20. Learn more & register here.

Dec 12, 2021: Minnetonka Senior Chorale and Youth Choir: Winter Concert

Minnetonka United Methodist Church, 17611 Lake Street Extension, Minnetonka, MN 55345
A FREE choral concert option. Open to all. 3pm.

Dec 16, 2021: Songs of the Season – Carols by Minnesota Composers

Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St., Saint Paul, 55101
The Schubert Club’s annual holiday program features carols and other winter songs composted by Minnesota songwriters and composers. 12pm & 7pm concerts. FREE

Dec 18, 2021: Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra: “In The Holiday Spirit”

Minnetonka Community Center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345
A FREE classical music orchestra concert option. Open to all. 3pm.

Dec 20, 2021: GTCYS Symphony Concert

Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Music and narration to “Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse,” from Leo Lionni’s  “Frederick’s Fables.” 7pm-8:30pm. Tickets $5-$12/pp.

FREE Option: The concert will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Northtown Mall FREE Holiday Concert Schedule

Northtown Mall, 398 Northtown Drive, Blaine, MN 55434
A series of live performances by local groups in Best Buy Court, may be the perfect dose for small children who can’t sit through a full concert yet.

  • Dec. 5, The Sleigh Belle Dancers & USA Dance MN, 1 pm
  • Dec. 8, Project Power, 7 pm
  • Dec. 9, Anoka Middle School for the Arts, 11 am
  • Dec. 9, Northdale Middle School Orchestra, 1pm
  • Dec. 10, Dancin Feet, 6:30pm
  • Dec. 16, Centennial High School Marimba Choir, 10:30 am & 12:30 pm
  • Dec. 17, Coon Rapids Middle School Orchestra, 1 pm
  • Dec. 17, Grace Lutheran School, 2 pm
  • Dec. 18, Hovland Conservatory of Music, 11 am
  • Dec. 19, The Sleigh Belle Dancers & USA Dance MN, 1 pm
  • Dec. 21, Westwood Middle School, 12 pm

Christmas Music Sing Alongs

What is better than a sing-along for getting kids in the mood for Christmas? Warm up your vocal chords and get ready to sing your Christmas favorites.

Nov. 27, 2021: Julglädge!

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55407
An annual tradition hosted by Ross Sutter, who plays an energetic variety of American and Swedish tunes. This is an affordable experience for the whole family to enjoy. Two shows: 11am & 1pm. Tickets $5-$12/pp includes museum admission (advanced tickets recommended).

Dec 5, 2021: Messiah Sing-Along

St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN
Sing along to Handel. Featuring guest organist Lynn Trapp, Kathy Rsdomey and the Minnesota Chorale.  6:30pm. FREE.

Dec 11, 2021: Virtual Lucia Sing Along

Sing along with the American Swedish Museum’s Lucia Choir Director, Ingrid Aune and learn some classic Lucia songs. $8. Learn more & register here.

Dec 16, 2021: Virtual Holiday Sing-Along with John Hoffacker

Minnesänger Director John Hoffacker will lead this virtual sing-along from the grand piano at the GAI Haus. Join in singing German Christmas Carols. Participants will receive a Zoom link and song sheets. I bet this will include Stille Nacht (“Silent Night”). 6pm-7pm. Register here.

Dec 19, 2021: Second Chances: Stories of Hope and Joy Restored

Prelude and Carol Sing at 4pm, followed by stories and music centered around second chances. Soup and cookies to follow. 4pm. FREE and open to the public.

Nov 20 – Dec 11, 2021: Santa & Albert’s Holiday Play

Santa & Albert’s Holiday Play will be available virtually this year beginning November 20, 2021. There will also be a limited amount of FREE tickets available for the in-person sing-alongs. Several dates have already sold out. Reserve your tickets here.  In the meantime, check out last year’s videos and print activities at the link above.

Bachman's Santa & Albert Rock Christmas Holiday Play and Sing-Along, Bachman's on Lyndale Garden Center, Minneapolis, Minnsota

Strolling Carolers

Nov 28, 2021: Blaine Winter Celebration

Tom Ryan, 10802 Town Square Drive NE, Blaine, MN 55449
Costumed Carolers will be entertaining the crowd from 5:45pm to 6:45pm followed by the Red Rock Swing Band from 7pm-8pm.

The Mistletones at Woodbury Lakes

9020 Hudson Road, Woodbury, MN 55125
Enjoy Christmas carols, courtesy of the Mistletones, who will stroll the mall singing your favorite holiday carols on these select dates:

  • December 4: 10am-1pm
  • December 11: Noon-2pm
  • December 18: Noon-2pm
  • December 19: 1pm-3pm
  • December 24: Noon-2pm

Dec 18, 2021: The Mistletones at The Dayton’s Project

700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402
The Mistletones will also be visiting the Dayton’s project on Saturday, December 18th from 3pm-5pm.

Splurge-Worthy Big Kids & Adult Holiday Concerts

Maybe not for the smaller kids, we’ve rounded up a few bigger ticket and more mature Christmas concerts you can attend with your music-loving big kids and teens.

Nov 27, 2021Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Start the Holiday season with some steamroller. Purchase online, by phone (800-982-2787) or at the Box Office: Tickets: $44.50-$65.50.

Dec 3-5, 2021Love Divine – 2021 St. Olaf Christmas Festival

St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057
Start the season with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a century-old tradition of the college. With seven participating ensembles led by five conductors, this concert features world-renowned choirs and orchestras.  Tickets go on sale to the general public on November 15. $35.00.

Dec 10-11, 2021: Christmas Live Concerts: The Earth Adorned

The Basilica of St. Mary, 88 17th St N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
National Lutheran Choir (NLC) Christmas Festival “contemplates the consistent yet ever changing allure of the world.” Adults $33.00; Kids Free, Students Pay What You Can with school ID.

Dec 27, 2021: Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Xcel Energy Center, 199 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102
If you don’t mind waiting until December 27th, Trans-Siberian Orchestra must be leaving the best cities for last!  Single Tickets via Tickmaster: $36.50-$79.50.

Black Friday Deal: Get Discounted Tickets through our Goldstar affiliate link!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve & Other Stories Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, MN) Multi-platinum, progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the group’s landmark album "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" with this year’s multi-sensory extravaganza Winter Tour. Certified 3X platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America® for selling three million copies in the U.S., "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" is one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time. Including the mega-hit "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," the album spawned the bring-the-whole-family rock holiday tradition that has now played to more than 17 million fans all across the nation. A product of the vision and imagination of TSO’s late founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" follows a story set on Christmas Eve when a young angel is sent to Earth to bring back what is best representative of humanity. Following favorite TSO themes of “strangers helping strangers” and “the kindness of others,” "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" takes listeners all over the world to help reunite a young girl with her distraught father. The album and tour feature such fan-favorites as “Ornament,” "Promises To Keep," "This Christmas Day," "O’ Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy,” and the epic “Old City Bar.” The rock opera also features such TSO classics as "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24." Additionally, the tour will enjoy a second set containing some of TSO’s greatest hits and fan-pleasers including "Christmas Canon,” “Wizards In Winter” and many more. Since its touring debut, TSO has played more than 2,000 Winter Tour shows for approximately 17 million fans and has sold in excess of 12 million albums and DVDs. Year-after-year TSO hits the upper reaches of the domestic and worldwide tour charts. In 2009, "Pollstar" ranked TSO at No. 20 on the “Top Tour(s) of the Decade” and "Billboard" placed TSO at No. 25 on its “Top Touring Artists of the Decade.” Monday, Dec 27, 2021 / 3:00pm (Doors Open at 2:00pm) | $55.50 Monday, Dec 27, 2021 / 8:00pm (Doors Open at 7:00pm) | $55.50

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