Things to do in the Twin Cities Northwest 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 Albertville, Andover, Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Crystal, Elk River, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Otsego, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Rogers & St Michael.

This guide covers the weekend of December 9-10, 2023. Not finding the city you’re searching for? We also cover fun family events in the areas of:

Holiday happenings are tucked into every corner of the the Twin Cities metro area this weekend. Let us help make it as  jolly as possible for your family to located 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.

Shopping around for your perfect Christmas tree? Our very own Joy took care of this a couple weeks ago when she brought her family out to a Christmas tree farm. Think the memory of cutting your own fresh tree sounds like a recipe for good memories? She’s compiled 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 Northwest Metro Family Fun Calendar

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro

Twin Cities holiday tree lighting events & festivals this weekend in the Northwest Metro

COON RAPIDS: Tree Lighting Festival

Boulevard Plaza, 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Bundle up to celebrate the lighting of Coon Rapids’ community tree. Enjoy signing and bonfires. Both food shelf and toy donations will be accepted. Holiday tree lighting countdown and fireworks at 5:30pm. December 9, 2023, 3:30-6pm.

GOLDEN VALLEY: Storytime with Sprinkles the Elf

Brookview Golden Valley, 316 Brookview Pkwy S, Golden Valley, MN 55426
A special visit from a special elf for kids ages 3-9 – elfin storytime, letter writing, holiday singalong and the best reindeer games. Must pre-register. December 9, 2023, 10am. $15-$18/pp.

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 Northwest Metro holiday lights displays

Plymouth Holiday Lights at the Hilde

3500 Plymouth Blvd. Plymouth, Minnesota 55447
The grounds of Hilde Performance Center are lit with holiday lights starting December 2 for the public to view at their own leisure. 

Create your own holiday lights driving tour in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro! We’ve put together a dazzling 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 Northwest Metro

Tri-City Santa Parade

The cities of Crystal, New Hope & Robbinsdale have banded together this year to present the Santa Parade through town. The parade prominently features Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, the Grinch and Cindy-Lou Who plus city police and firetrucks. December 9, 2023, starting at 5pm in Robbinsdale.

COON RAPIDS: SantaFest at Riverdale Village

12709 Riverdale Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 55448
TODAY ONLY! A free family event – meet Santa and take free photos, plus holiday music, crafts and a petting zoo. December 9, 2023, 12-4pm. 

ELK RIVER: Skate with Santa

1000 School St. NW, Elk River, MN 55330
A totally free Skate with Santa event, skate rental included. December 10, 2023, 3:45-5:15.

OTSEGO: Santa Day

13400 90th St NE, Otsego, MN 55330
It’s a trip to the “North Pole” – right in here in Otesgo complete with Santa & his missus, reindeer and carolers. December 9, 2023, time slots between 10am-1pm. Free, but registration is required. 

ROGERS: Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

20200 Rogers Drive, Rogers, MN 55374
Make your reservation to meet with Santa and get a free photo! Plus, browse Santa’s Toy Shop and take in the other fun attractions at Cabela’s. Now-December 24, 2023.

For further planning, check our Twin Cities Santa-finder page. It is wall-to-wall Santa encounters all across the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area!

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

The following is just a sampling of all we’re keeping track of across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. 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:

Outdoor Skate with Santa at Central Park

Central Park, 12000 Central Park Way, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Skate with Santa to holiday music at Maple Grove’s Central Park. Bring a camera if you want photos with Santa. December 9, 2023; 5pm-8pm. FREE. (Skate rentals $7.50/pair).

Skaters warming by the firepit at the Central Park Ice Loop in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Free Family Fun Day at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
This weekend, meet the various animals that call the visitor center home. While you’re in the park, make sure to cross the exciting Coon Rapids Dam to get a close-up view of the rushing Mississippi River. December 10, 2023, drop in between 1-3pm. FREE.

Featured Park: Mississippi Gateway -- Small girl marveling over Coon Rapids Dam at Mississippi Gateway Park

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

Need indoor activity ideas? Try a new indoor playground

Plymouth Community Center, 14800 34th Avenue North, Plymouth, MN 55447.
For Minnesota parents it’s a must to know where to escape the elements and still keep those kids active and having fun. During the months of November through March we feature the best indoor playgrounds in the Minneapolis-St Paul area in the hopes of helping you discover something new: This weekend we highlight the KUBE Indoor Playground in Plymouth. Kids Ultimate Backyard Experience (or KUBE) brings backyard fun indoors with playhouses, ramps, slides towers with ladders. Best for ages 2-12. $5-$6/child. 

FIND OUR ULTIMATE LIST OF TWIN CITIES-AREA INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS!
Kids Ultimate Backyard Experience (KUBE) in Plymouth, Minnesota

Craft the day away

Rumriver Art Center Make-and-Take Saturday

2665 4th Ave #103, Anoka, MN 55303
Not able to attend next weekend’s Free Family Art Day? Next best thing is Rumriver’s Make-and-Take-Saturdays. This weekend kids can make a popsicle-stick tree ornament to hang on the tree for just $5. December 9 , 2023, 12-2pm.

Art Stories at Maple Grove Library

8001 Main St. N, Maple Grove, MN 55369
All ages can participate in a special storytime followed by an art project hosted by the Maple Grove Arts Center, all materials provided. December 9, 2023, 9:30-11am. FREE.

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