Things To Do This Weekend: Twin Cities Northeast Metro, Dec 16-17, 2023

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 16-17. Not finding the city you’re searching for? We also cover fun family events in the areas of:

The holiday happenings continue around the Twin Cities this weekend – and we want to make it as jolly as possible for your family to discover them. We’ve kept an eye on some “last chances”, too. As always, for more seasonal inspiration and cheer, jump over to our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE, our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or our DECEMBER FAMILY GUIDE.

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

That jolly old guy sure can get around! You can find more 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.

BLAINE: Breakfast with Santa at Blaine City Hall

10801 Town Square Drive, Blaine, MN 55449
Parent and child breakfast with crafts and a photo with Santa. Children ages 10 & under, please. Registration required for specific time session: 9am-12:45pm. December 16th, 2023. $20/parent child pair. 

OAKDALE: Winter Wonderland

Oakdale Discovery Center, 4444 Hadley Ave N, Oakdale, MN 55128
All the classic holiday fun going on here: horse-drawn hayrides, petting farm, bonfire with smores, crafts, visits with Santa, candy cane hunt and more. December 16, 2023, 9am-1pm. FREE.

SHOREVIEW: Santa’s Workshop at Shoreview Community Center

4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview, Minnesota 55126
Kids ages 5-12 can visit with Santa over breakfast and a craft. December 16, 2023, 9am-12pm. $12/pp. Register online.

STILLWATER: Meet Santa at Aamodt’s Apple Farm

6428 Manning Ave N, Stillwater, MN 55082
The whole family is invited to the farm for free pictures with Santa plus live music from 2-5, and plenty of apple treats and cider to tide you over until orchard season next year. December 16, 2023, 11am-2pm. FREE.

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 23. Seatings at 8:30 & 10am, please call 651-653-6718 for reservations. Menu includes egg dishes, pancakes and french toast, breakfast meats, fruit, rolls and beverages. $19/adult, $13/child. December 16, 2023.

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 during the month of December. Our family had the free LED light show set to music all to ourselves one magical Friday night! Come see for yourself while exploring the charming downtown shops and places to grab dinner. 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 most impressive light shows. Here’s just a glimpse of what you can find:

Map it out over on: Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map!

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

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: Go on a winter scavenger hunt

Holly Jolly Scavenger Hunt at Willow River State Park

1034 Co Hwy A, Hudson, WI 54016
Take a hunt along the Hidden Ponds Nature Trail and solve riddles while you’re at it. December 16, 2023, 1-3pm. $5/pp or $10/family.

More scavenger hunts in the parks: There are several Twin Cities Northeast Metro parks and nature centers that tempt curious kids (and adults) outdoors with a treasure hunt of sorts. Scout them out ready-made at the following locations – or create your own!

  • SPRINGBROOK NATURE CENTER, Fridley: Offers a special winter scavenger hunt appropriate for young children. Click for the easy PDF.
  • WASHINGTON COUNTY PARKS: Include a simple winter scavenger hunt using the five senses and a winter BINGO page in their Winter Activity Packet. We recommend Northeast Metro parks such as Lake Elmo Park Reserve & Pine Point Regional Park (Stillwater).
  • WARGO NATURE CENTER, Lino Lakes: Anoka County Parks provides a very simple scavenger hunt that can be done in any season, including winter. And while you’re at Wargo, consider coupling your visit with a special event (see below).

Winter Recreation Sampler at Wargo Nature Center

7701 Main St, Lino Lakes, MN 55038
Try out some fun winter outdoor activities like kicksledding and snowshoeing without a full commitment. For ages 5 & up with an adult. Please pre-register. December 17, 1-3pm. $5-$7/pp plus vehicle permit of $7.

Two girls kicksledding on ice

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 or open gym

4580 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126
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 TROPICAL ADVENTURES INDOOR PLAYGROUND in Shoreview. My littles have had a ball climbing through the jungle-themed apparatus with its customary slides and caves. Make a day of visiting the Shoreview Community Center by hitting Tropics Indoor Waterpark (extra charges apply). $6.25-$6.75/child. FIND OUR ULTIMATE LIST OF TWIN CITIES-AREA INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS!

Tropical Adventures Play Area at Shoreview Community Center, Shoreview Minnesota

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

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 16, 2023, 10:15am-12:15pm. $2/child or $4/family.

Cozy up at an indoor storytime

Storytime at Forgotten Star

38 Northern Stacks Drive, Fridley, MN 55421
Author and illustrator team Cory Reski & Aly Rhodes read their children’s story followed by songs, crafts and the chance for littles to get bodies moving. Note this is held an hour before Forgotten Star opens, but beverages are served. Hosted by North Suburban Center for the Arts, a fine arts facility in Fridley. December 17, 2023, 11am-12pm. FREE.

Get crafty & creative this weekend

Lowe’s Kids Workshop – Holiday Delivery Truck

5888 Nova Scotia Ave, Oak Park Heights, MN 55082
Free Lowe’s kids workshops are geared towards your “mini-DIYer” about age 4-11. Caregivers will need to supervise. This month, create holiday memento. Learn more about Lowe’s Kids WorkshopsDecember 16, 2023, 10am. FREE.

Gril with Lowe's Kids Workshop Kit and Hammer

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