Things to do in the Twin Cities Southeast 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 Afton, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, West St Paul & Woodbury.

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

We’ve been very busy little elves here at FFTC, trying to keep up with so many holiday happenings around the Twin Cities this weekend. Our goal is to make finding them as merry as possible for your family to find them! For more festive inspiration and seasonal cheer, hop over to our2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE, our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or our DECEMBER FAMILY GUIDE.

Thinking about starting a new tradition this holiday? How about scouting out and cutting your own fresh Christmas tree? Our teammate Joy did just that a couple weeks ago and lived to tell the tale in her 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 Southeast Metro Family Fun Calendar

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

Twin Cities Southeast Metro Christmas & holiday festivals this weekend

Christmas in the Village

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th St W, Farmington, MN 55024
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life in the quaint and charming historic village. Guests will enjoy the illuminated buildings, sleigh rides, treats in the drugstore and can drop a letter to Santa at the post office – include a self-addressed envelope so he can reply. December 9-10, 2023. $5/pp.

Dakota City General Store decorated for Christmas with wreaths and lights.

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

COTTAGE GROVE: Breakfast with Santa at River Oaks Golf Course & Event Center

11099 South Highway 61, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Call to make your reservation to dine with Santa (scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, muffins, etc), take photos and go for a sleigh ride around the grounds. December 10, 2023, 9:15am-12:15pm. $19/adult, $13/child. SOLD OUT.

FARMINGTON: Holiday Skate with Santa

Schmitz-Maki Arena, 114 West Spruce St, Farmington MN
Games, prizes and Santa Claus – skate free with a non-perishable foodshelf donation. December 10, exhibition: 12–1:15 p.m & Santa open skate: 1:30–3 p.m. 

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS: Breakfast with Santa

8150 Barbara Avenue, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Enjoy a North Pole morning with Santa, including a light breakfast. Register to save on admission. $6-$10/pp. December 9, 2023.

WOODBURY: Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

8400 Hudson Rd, Woodbury, MN 55125
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.

WOODBURY: Paint with Santa

Color Me Mine Woodbury, 9140 Hudson Rd – E511, Woodbury, Minnesota 55125
Parent child event – create a handprint keepsake plate with Santa. December 9, 2023. $15/pp plus pottery piece.

WOODBURY: Strolling Santa at Woodbury Lakes

9020 Hudson Road, Woodbury, MN 55125
Take a pause from holiday shopping to grab a selfie with Santa Claus this weekend – both Saturday and Sunday. He’ll be out roving among the stores between noon-5pm. December 16-17th, 2023.

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

Shine on: Christmas & holiday lights events in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Cottage Grove & Hastings
When the decked-out holiday train rolls into the station the onboard band plays a 45-minute concert. Two Twin Cities Southeast Metro locations this weekend: Hastings – 500 East Second Street, CP Depot, Hastings (Dec 9, 8:15pm) and Cottage Grove  – 7064 W Point Douglas Rd S # 201 (Dec 10, 5:15pm). For the full Twin Cities schedule, check the link.

Trains

Magic of Lights at Viking Lakes

2685 Viking Circle, Eagan, MN 55121
The shine is most certainly still on the newest drive-through Christmas light experience in the Twin Cities. Expect it to bring the glitz – like a see-it-to-believe Holiday Barbie display, prehistoric dinos and a giant lit monster truck.  Now thru December 31, 2023. Starting at 5:30pm nightly. $25-$35/car.

Sever’s Holiday Lights

Sever’s Festival Grounds, 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
Holiday light shows, Winter Carnivals, and more. Drive through glowing tunnels and view over two million twinkling lights. Now – January 2024; Sun & weekdays 5pm-9pm; weekends 5pm-10pm. $25-$55/carload.

Shakopee Winter Wonderland

921 Shakopee Ave East, Shakopee MN 55379
There are often Santa visits, crafts, cookies and hot cocoa in the garage along with a dazzling lights display. Now thru December 24, 2023, 6-9:30pm. FREE.

Create your own holiday lights driving tour in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro! We’ve compiled a giant list of the area’s biggest and brightest light shows. Here’s just a glimpse of our favorites:

We have an enormous list of homes around the Twin Cities that deck their halls up for the holiday: 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

Twin Cities Southeast Metro weekend holiday stage spotlight

Madeline’s Christmas

Dorothy K. Merrill Fine Arts Center, 380 Rivertown Drive, Woodbury, MN 
Based on the books by Ludwig Bemelmams and adapted for stage by Jennifer Kirkeby. A lovely holiday story for all ages. Tickets run $8-$22/pp. December 9 & 10, 2023, 2pm.

A Minnesota Nutcracker

Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville, MN 55337
Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota performs the holiday classic with a Minnesota twist, including iconic Minnesota characters and landscapes. December 9th at 2:00pm & 7:00pm and December 10th at 1:00pm & 4:30pm. Tickets: $32.50-$49.50.

Kids participating in interactive theater program: "Kid-Friendly Theater, Music and Performing Arts in the Twin Cities"

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

We’re bringing you the scoop on dozens of outdoor activities this weekend in Twin Cities parks carefully curated on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR. Here’s a sampling of our top picks in your area of the metro:

Some fun family ideas for this weekend: Try outdoor ice skating

Outdoor ice rinks in the Southeast Metro for the most part aren’t yet flooded and ready for skaters. But if you just can’t wait to skate, there’s a refrigerated option for you open this week:

GET EXCITED TO ICE SKATE OUTDOORS THIS WINTER WITH OUR LIST OF TWIN CITIES ICE SKATING RINKS!

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

Need indoor activity ideas? Try a new indoor play space

12425 River Ridge Boulevard, Burnsville, MN 55337
When it’s no longer park & playground weather, the parents and kiddos of the Twin Cities still need sanity-saving play spaces where energy can be expended followed by a good naptime (or bedtime) for all. During the months of November through March we feature the best indoor playgrounds in the Minneapolis-St Paul area on our site, hoping to help you discover something new. This weekend we highlight Grand Slam Sports in Burnsville. This is a particularly good indoor play option if you have a span of ages in your family. My older kids enjoy Grand Slam for the trampolines, laser tag, batting cages, bumper cars and pirate-themed mini golf (whew). We like the Daytime Special – $12.95 for unlimited Play Zone, trampolines and mini golf, Mon-Thurs, 12-4pm. Some blackout dates apply.

Boy practicing hitting at the Grand Slam Sports batting cages, Burnsville, MN
Grand Slam Sports
Scroll to Top