December Weekend Family Fun: Hitchin’ a Ride

Things to do in Minneapolis-St Paul this weekend!

DECEMBER 8-9, 2018

Whether it be by train, trolley, carriage or wagon, catch a ride this weekend at holiday events across the Twin Cities. For more inspiration and seasonal cheer, hop over to our Twin Cities Christmas & Holiday Guide our Family Fun Events Calendar or our December Twin Cities Family Events Guide.


One you can actually hop on and take a ride, the other is just for pretty – but it’s pretty amazing!

St. paul union depot

Courtesy Canadian Pacific

Sun, Dec 9: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train | Hastings

Now arriving at the following Twin Cities-area stations: a decked-out holiday train and rockin’ live performances! This is a fun Christmas tradition for many local families and offers a chance to give back during the season. Food banks will be accepting donations at each site, click the above link for the train’s route and detailed station locations.

  • 12/9 – Hastings, arrives 8:30pm
  • 12/10 – Cottage Grove, 5:15pm
  • 12/10 – Union Depot, St. Paul, 6:45 pm
  • 12/11 – New Hope, 3:35pm
  • 12/11 – Golden Valley, 4:50pm
  • 12/11 – St. Louis Park, 6pm
  • 12/11 – Minneapolis, 7:55pm

Sat, Dec 8 & Sun, Dec 9: Santa’s Train Shop | Minnesota Transportation Museum, St Paul
The museum is transformed into Santa’s Train Shop with live music, face painting, train rides on the Holiday Express, pictures with Santa, and lots more fun. 10am-4pm | $5-$12/pp


Trot back in time with a horse-drawn trolley ride at weekend festivals across the Twin Cities:

Fri, Dec 7: Winter in the Village | St Anthony Village
The annual event invites you to take part in
trolley rides, visit Santa, hang out around the bonfire and enjoy samples offered by the shops. 4-8pm

Sat, Dec 8: Winter Fest | Downtown White Bear Lake
Have your photo taken with Santa and take a horse-drawn trolley ride around downtown. Rides run from 11am-2:45pm. FREE.

Sat, Dec 8 & Sun, Dec 9: Folkways of the Holidays | The Landing, Shakopee
Folk art performances, a horse-drawn trolley, and tours dressed in 19th century decorations. Dress for the outdoors. Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm | $5-$8/pp

Sat, Dec 8 & Sun, Dec 9: Christmas in the Village | Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington  Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life in the village with a horse-drawn trolley, caroling, holiday cooking, demonstrations, a visit with St. Nicholas and other turn-of-the-century traditions. 1-8pm, $4-$7/pp.


Sleighs will be gliding through the streets of Minneapolis en route to the Holidazzle festival in Loring Park. Catch one at 6th & Nicollet and Willow & Grant every 20 minutes Thurs-Sun. Free! And there’s so much more to enjoy at the festival: free outdoor ice skating, movies, kids zone and visits with Santa.


Take a wagon ride through the park with sleigh bells ringing:

Sat, Dec 8: Old Fashioned Christmas | Plymouth Creek Park
Santa, his Missus, the elves and reindeer will all be in attendance. Take a hay ride around the park, then warm up at the fire with refreshments. 2-5pm, FREE.

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