December Weekend Family Fun: Light It Up!

The Twin Cities are lit up this December weekend with special holiday events. Find our picks here or check our Family Fun Calendar for more en”light”enment!
december weekend


Trees will be twinkling this weekend at these hometown holiday festivals:

Fri, Nov 30 & Sat, Dec 1: Afton Village Holiday | Fri 5-9pm, Sat 9am-4pm | The village Christmas tree is lit Friday eve; both days bring horse and wagon rides, carolers and festive activities throughout local shops.

Fri, Nov 30: Holiday Fest | Fri 6-8pm, Sat 10am-1pm | Carolers, visits with Santa, a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks.

Sat, Dec 1: Anoka Hometown Holiday Celebration | Historic downtown Anoka is merry with horse-drawn trolly rides, holiday music, bonfires and Santa Claus. Countdown to the tree lighting at City Hall. 3-7pm.

Sat, Dec 1: Christmas in Excelsior | Main Street, Excelsior | 12-7pm | The big tree lights up at 7pm on Water Street, plus sleigh rides, Santa and carolers lend a holiday air. Also runs 12/10 & 12/17. FREE.

Sat, Dec 1: Blaine’s Christmas Tree Lighting & Harbor Lights | Community tree lighting, visits with Santa, free refreshments and a display of lighted and decorated boats at Blaine Harbor Visitor Dock. 4:30-7pm.

DANCING HOLIDAY LIGHTS: CSE Winter Light Show, Minneapolis

Fri, Nov 30: CSE Winter Light Show Premiere | U of M Minneapolis | 15-min shows at 5:30, 6 & 6:30pm | Students have arranged their annual display of 250,000+ LED lights that dance in sync with tunes. Additional shows will be 12/1/18 & 12/6-8. FREE.

For a complete listing of holiday twinkles throughout the metro area, try our list of Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays.

Light It Up - December Weekend Family Fun


Sat, Dec 1: Twinkle Party | Lowell Park Gazebo, Stillwater | 4-6pm | The party – which includes the city tree lighting, Teddy Bear Band, free cocoa and cookies, Santa Claus, trolley rides and fireworks – is just slice of Stillwater’s Hometown for the Holidays celebration, running Nov – NYE.

Fri, Nov 30-Sun, Dec 2: Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis | Fri 5-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-7pm | Weekend highs of this dazzling free festival: Illuminated art displays, visits with Santa, ice skating, fireworks (Sat, 7pm) and an outdoor movie (Sun, 5pm).

Sat, Dec 1 & Sun, Dec 2: Seward Winter Frolic | Minneapolis | Local businesses exhibit arts (including a free Studio Art Day on Saturday at Articulture – come craft holiday cards), food and drink samples, tours and demos. Tree lighting at Triangle Park takes place Saturday, 5pm followed by Santa and hay rides.

For further holiday planning, check our Holiday Festival Calender.

LIT HOLIDAY SHOPPING: Reindeer Day & Grand Meander

Sat, Dec 1: Grand Meander | Grand Avenue, St Paul | Events run starting 8:30am through the afternoon. 20 blocks of local shops, samples, specials, Vulcan fire truck rides, carolers and multiple venues to visit with Santa. FREE.

Sat, Dec 1: Reindeer Day at Linden Hills | Minneapolis, 10am-2pm | Hop a free trolley ride to area business bustling with marshmallow roasting, Santa and his reindeer, carolers and in-store shopping events. FREE.

Making that list and checking it twice? Let us offer some inspiration with our 2018 Christmas Shopping Guide featuring many of our favorite homegrown businesses:

Local and Ethical Shops make you feel good about Christmas Shopping.


Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Children’s Theatre Company

We keep coming back year after year for this feel-good holiday classic. Read our review at the link, plus tips on bringing your youngest theater-goers. AND we have a special link for a 20% discount on tickets – but you’ve got to hurry! The offer expires Dec 1.


photo by Kaitlin Randolph

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