Things To Do This Weekend: Twin Cities Northeast Metro, Dec 2-3, 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, Forest Lake, Fridley, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Oakdale, Scandia, Shoreview, St Anthony, Vadnais Heights & White Bear Lake. 

This guide covers the weekend of December 2-3, 2023. Not finding the city you’re searching for? We also cover fun family events in the areas of:

With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re rolling headlong into the holidays this weekend with festive events and Christmas tree lightings in the Twin Cities Northeast. We’ve curated some festive events to get you in the spirit – for more family weekend ideas hop over to our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE, our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or our DECEMBER FAMILY GUIDE.

Trimming our family’s Christmas tree is at to top of our to-do list this weekend. FFTC teammate Joy accomplished this task last weekend and literally went the extra several mile to bring her family to a Christmas tree farm so they could cut down their own. Think that sounds like fun adventure for your family? She’s collected a list of the best places in the Twin Cities to cut your own holiday tree if the idea appeals.

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

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Northeast Metro

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

Time to sparkle and shine, Twin Cities! Lighting up their holiday trees this weekend are a few of our Northeast Metro communities. Here’s just a small sampling; find our huge list of Twin Cities Tree Lighting Events and Holiday Festivals for the whole sparkling scoop.

FOREST LAKE: Hometown Holiday

Lakeside Memorial Park, 95 East Broadway Avenue, Forest Lake, MN 55025
FRIDAY NIGHT! A holiday tree lighting ceremony accompanies smores and hot cocoa, holiday musical favorites and a petting zoo. Free with non-perishables or new toys accepted for donation. December 1, 2023, 4:30-7pm.

LAKE ELMO: Light Up Lake Elmo

Downtown, Lake Elmo MN 55042
Celebration leading up to tree lighting ceremony. The holiday tree will remain lit evenings after the event. December 2, 2023. Event runs 4-6pm, tree lighting at 5pm.

NORTH ST PAUL: Holiday Hop

City-wide holiday activities in honor of the city’s 10th annual holiday festival. Most activities are free. December 2, 2023.

STILLWATER: Twinkle Party & Tree Lighting

Lowell Park, 201 Water St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
Free twinkle lights to pass out for kids 12 & under, music by the Teddy Bear Band, free cookies and warm drinks, trolley rides & the city’s tree lighting ceremony. December 2, 2023; 5pm.

WYOMING: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Railroad Park, 26755 Faxton Avenue WyomingMN  55092
Lighting of the holiday trees plus light displays, a Santa meet, refreshments and entertainment. December 2, 2023, 4:30-6pm.

Shine on: Twin Cities Northeast Metro holiday lights displays

Create your own drive-thru holiday lights event! We have an enormous list of homes around the Twin Cities that deck their halls up for the holiday, many of them in communities of the Northeast Metro. 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

MAHTOMEDI: Photos with Santa 

Mahtomedi District Education Center, 1520 Mahtomedi Avenue, Mahtomedi
Free photos with Santa and a sweet treat hosted by the American Legion. December 3, 2023, 10am-2pm.

MOUNDS VIEW: Cookies with Santa

5394 Edgewood Dr, Mounds View, MN 55112
Grab your picture with Santa Claus, decorate a holiday cookie and make a seasonal craft. December 2, 2023, 10am-12pm. FREE.

ROSEVILLE: Cookies & Cocoa with Kris Kringle

Cedarholm Community Building, 2323 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
Register to bring kids ages 2-10 to visit Santa & enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. Parents can bring a camera to take photos of the kids with Santa. Decorate a cookie and create a festive craft. December 2, 2023; 9am-12pm. $12/pp. Registration required.


Vadnais Heights Commons, 655 E County Road F., Vadnais Heights, MN 55127
FRIDAY NIGHT! This family event features Santa Claus, games, treats and more. Kids are encouraged to wear pajamas. December 1, 2023, 6pm-8pm. Pre-registration is required. $10/family residents; $20/family non-residents.


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.

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: Try outdoor ice skating

Most community outdoor ice rinks aren’t quite flooded and ready for skating yet, but there’s an impressive refrigerated option for you open this week if you’ve got the urge to lace up in the Northeast Metro:

  • JOHN ROSE MINNESOTA OVAL, Roseville: The largest outdoor refrigerated skating rink in North America. $9/pp, skate rental available for $5. 2661 Civic Center Dr, Roseville, MN 55113.

Old Fashioned Holiday Decorating at Sally Manzara Nature Center 

Sunfish Lake Park & Sally Manzara Nature Center, 3554 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
This weekend, kids can help make old-time crafts like paper chains, string cranberries and puffcorn to decorate the nature center and create bags of feed for the park’s birds. Kids will enjoy the indoor exhibits too. December 2, 2023, 9am-noon. FREE.

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

2007 O’Neil Rd, Hudson, WI 54016
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 The Giggle Factory, just across the border in Hudson, Wisconsin. It’s a multi-level play structure with a bunch of fun features including slides and a giant ball pit. A dedicated space for kiddos ages 3 years and under, too. Sat/Sun: 9am-2pm. Passes must be pre-purchased online. $8/day pass. 


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

Home Depot Kids Workshops

99 Northtown Dr NE, 5650 Main St NE, Fridley, MN 55432
Kids can put together simple DIY projects the first Saturday of the month for free at Northwest Metro Home Depot locations. In December, put together a gingerbread house. December 2, 2023, 9am-12pm.

North Suburban Center for the Arts Kids Bookmaking Event

110 77th Way NE, Fridley, MN 55432
A children’s book author and early childhood specialist will guide kids through the bookmaking process complete with inspiration for illustrations and text. This could make a wonderful holiday keepsake gift! For ages 5-12. Registration required. December 2, 2023, 10am-12pm. $10/child.

World's Largest Snowman in North St. Paul, Minnesota
World's Largest Snowman in North St. Paul

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