Things to do in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro this weekend – with kids & family!

the Twin Cities at different seasons

This Weekend Family Guide includes events and activities near the Twin Cities, Minnesota, communities of Blaine, Centerville, Forest Lake, Fridley, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Oakdale, Scandia, Shoreview, St Anthony, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights & White Bear Lake. 

This guide covers the weekend of December 9-10. Not finding the city you’re searching for? We also cover fun family events in the areas of:

As holiday happenings fill Twin Cities calendars this weekend, we want to make it as merry as possible for your family to find them. For more inspiration and seasonal cheer, hop over to our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE, our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or our DECEMBER FAMILY GUIDE.

We haven’t managed to get our Christmas tree up yet and I’m feeling way behind my teammate Joy, who brought her family to a Christmas tree farm a couple weeks ago so they could cut their own fresh tree. Think that sounds fun? She enjoyed the outing enough to put together a list of the best places in the Twin Cities to cut your own holiday tree.

Dad carrying Christmas Tree into House as Kids Cheer -Where to Buy Real Christmas Tree in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities Northeast Metro Family Fun Calendar

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

Twin Cities Northeast Metro holiday festivals this weekend

CENTERVILLE: Christmas in the Park

6970 LaMotte Drive, Centerville, MN 55038
A free holiday festival in the park for the community with Santa photos, horse-drawn trolley rides, a bonfire, a free lunch and a Santa parade to follow. December 9, 2023, 3-6pm.

STILLWATER: Hometown For the Holidays

The 3-week long seasonal celebration includes special events such as a downtown gingerbread scavenger hunt (kick off in Lowell Park, 10-11am), Victorian carolers on Main Street (11:30am-1:30pm) and free horse-drawn wagonette rides (2-4pm). Water Street Inn offers a Breakfast With Santa on Sunday, call 651-439-6000 to reserve. December 9, 2023.

WHITE BEAR LAKE: WinterFest

Complete with horse-drawn trolley rides, carolers and ice sculptures in downtown White Bear Lake. Also a part of Winter Fest, the Festival of Trees at White Bear Lake Armory offers beautifully decorated trees, activities and Santa. December 9, 2023.

Trot on over to our Twin Cities Holiday Festivals page for more details – many Twin Cities-area communities are hosting their own downtown galas, complete with roving Santas, carolers and sleigh bells.

Shine on: Twin Cities Northeast Metro holiday lights displays

Wintertime in Stillwater Lights Display

Chestnut Street in historic downtown Stillwater becomes a pedestrian winter wonderland where our family had the free LED light show set to music all to ourselves one magical Friday night! Highlights in December 1-31, 2023, 5-10pm nightly.

We had the Wintertime in Stillwater light show all to ourselves!

HUGO: Adelaide Landing Neighborhood Holiday Exterior Illumination

5562 130th St N Hugo, MN 55038
Over 30 homes in one neighborhood with Christmas light displays, each with its own Christmas song, movie or book theme. Guess the theme and then scan the QR code to get the answer and answer a trivia question. Taking food shelf donations. 4:30-10pm nightly.  New in 2023: Mail your letters to Santa! There will be a red mailbox at 5755 130th Ln N starting the day after Thanksgiving. Find more Twin Cities Santa mailboxes here.

LAKE ELMO: Valley Lights at Rockpoint Church 

5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo MN 55042
Over 100,000 LED lights to enjoy. Tune your car radio in to 97.9 to experience in your vehicle. Now thru December 31, 2023, 5-10pm. FREE.

Create your own holiday lights driving tour in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro! We’ve collected a huge list of the area’s stand-out light shows. Here’s just a glimpse of what’s in store:

Jump over to Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map!

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

CENTERVILLE: Santa Parade

6970 LaMotte Drive, Centerville, MN 55038
Following the Christmas in the Park event, a Santa Parade kicks off. December 9, 2023, 6pm.

HUDSON, WI: Camp St Croix Breakfast with Santa

532 County Road F, Hudson, WI 54016
Visit and take photos with Santa, make crafts and holiday wreaths plus musical entertainment and a pancake-and-sausage breakfast. Must reserve your space online as may sell out. December 9, 2023, 9am-1:30pm, $12/pp.

MAPLEWOOD: St Nikolaustag on the Farm

2170 County Rd D E, Maplewood, MN 55109
Learn all about this German holiday tradition and meet St Nikolaustag at the historic farm property. In years past there have also been hayrides, games, music, a Christmas Market, food trucks, sweets and a Christmas tree forest December 9, 2023, 12-5pm. FREE.

ST ANTHONY: Santa on a Fire Truck

St. Anthony Fire Department and Santa will be collecting donations for Toys for Tots and Nourish 282. December 10, 12 & 13, 2023. See link for locations.

WHITE BEAR LAKE: Breakfast with Santa at Rudy’s Redeye Grill

4940 US-61 N White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Dining with Santa will also take place on December 16 & 23. Seatings at 8:30 & 10am, please call 651-653-6718 for reservations. $19/adult, $13/child.

FIND MORE SANTA SIGHTINGS AT: HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS IN THE TWIN CITIES.

That jolly old guy sure can get around! Santa starts accepting visitors and offering photo opportunities as early as the beginning of November at department stores and malls. You can find many early Holiday events featuring Santa appearances over on our Santa Claus is Coming to Town page, including visits at community holiday festivals and at area malls and shopping districts.

Twin Cities Northeast Metro Live Nativity

New Brighton Christian Church Nativity Drive-Thru

1500 29th Ave. NW, New Brighton, MN 55112
Free and open to all who would like to experience a living nativity. December 9, 2023, 5:30-8pm. FREE.

Fun outdoor activities in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro parks this weekend 

We keep tabs on all kinds of outdoor activities hosted by local, county and regional park systems across the greater Twin Cities. The following are just a few of our suggestions this weekend. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.

Some fun family ideas for this weekend: Make some art in the parks

Puppet Art Adventures at Silverwood Park

Silverwood Park, 2500 County Rd E, St Anthony, MN 55421
Take in a puppet show followed by make-and-take nature-inspired art OR take a guided hike with a naturalist around the trails and sculptures. So much outdoor fun to choose from at Silverwood Park. December 10, 2023, 1-3pm. FREE.

Holiday Nature Crafts at Willow River State Park

1034 Co Hwy A, Hudson, WI 54016
Use natural materials to create a Christmas ornament or mural. All supplies provided at the park. You might want to explore the outdoor trails if weather permits. Please register. December 9, 2023, 10-11am. $5/pp or $10/family.

More ideas for things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with kids – Northeast Metro

Need indoor activity ideas? Try a new indoor playground

New Brighton Community Center, 400 10th St NW, New Brighton, MN 
For Minnesota parents it’s essential to know where to escape the elements and still keep the kids active and happy. During the months of November through March we try to highlight the best indoor playgrounds in the Minneapolis-St Paul area in the hopes of helping you add a new space to your list: This weekend we feature Eagles Nest Indoor Playground in New Brighton. Kids will go nuts for the web tower, slides, playable giant piano keys, a tight rope, and a hanging foam forest. There’s a dedicated space for toddlers and crawlers, too. Admission $8/child up to age 12.

FIND OUR ULTIMATE LIST OF TWIN CITIES-AREA INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS!

Indoor Playgrounds in the Twin Cities, Minnesota - Child Playing in a Ball Pit

Family Tot Time Open Gym at Hayes Elementary

615 Mississippi St NE, Fridley, MN 55432
As it cools off outside, heat up indoors with large-motor activities such as balls, hoops, scooters and jump ropes. December 9, 2023, 10:15am-12:15pm. $2/child or $4/family.

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