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

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 16-17, 2023. Not finding the city you’re searching for? We also cover fun family events in the areas of:

All kinds of holiday happenings around the Twin Cities this weekend! Our mission is to try and make it as jolly as possible for your family to discover them. Holiday light displays, Santa visits and general seasonal cheer await you in our 2023 ULTIMATE TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE, our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR and our DECEMBER FAMILY GUIDE. Continue here for events in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro.

Holiday events this weekend in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro

That jolly old guy sure can get around! His public appearance schedule continues to be packed – find all the 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.

ANOKA: Selfie with Santa at Rumriver Art Center

2665 4th Anoka MN 55303
Santa will be at Rumriver’s Holiday Show and Shop and available for photos. Bring your own camera. While there, do a Make and Take project ($5/project) and check off some holiday shopping. December 16, 2023; 12pm-2pm.

BROOKLYN PARK: Breakfast with Santa at Hy-Vee

9409 Zane Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Kids eat FREE with Santa with purchase of an adult breakfast. December 16, 2023, 9-11am.

COON RAPIDS: Santa’s Wonderland at Riverdale Village

12709 Riverdale Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 55448
Bring your own camera to capture a moment with Santa. Admission is is $24.95 (or save $2 the first two Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the holiday season) per nuclear family or up to 3 friends. Now-December 23, 2023.

COON RAPIDS: Santa Breakfast at Bunker Hills Event Center

12800 Bunker Prairie Road NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Make your reservations for a pancake breakfast with Santa plus photos and letter-writing for last minute holiday wishes. Reservations required. December 17, 2023, 9am-1pm. $13.95-$21.95. SOLD OUT.

COON RAPIDS: Photos with Santa at Lowe’s

2700 Main St NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Book your spot to take pictures with Santa between 11am-2pm. December 16, 2023. FREE.

SPRING LAKE PARK: Santa Visits Blue Sun Soda Shop

1625 Highway 10 Service Rd NE, Spring Lake Park MN
Santa visits the ultimate gourmet soda-and-candy shop today (and next Saturday, Dec 23) for pictures and Christmas lists. December 17, 2023, 12-4pm.

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!

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. 

Design your own holiday lights driving tour in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro! We’ve put together an illuminating list of the area’s most awesome light shows. Here’s just a glimpse of what we think is worth jumping in the car:

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

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

More holiday events in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro

Farmers’ Christmas Celebration at Oliver Kelley Farm

15788 Kelley Farm Rd. Elk RiverMN 55330
Discover how late nineteenth-century farmers observed the Christmas holiday – with horse-drawn sleigh rides, homemade cookies, parlor games, crafts and yes, even some chores. December 16, 2023, 10am-4pm. $8-$12/pp.

Holiday Skate with Rocky

Coon Rapids Ice Center, 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd NW
The skating school exhibition runs from 4:20-5:30. Skate with Rocky follows from 5:30-7:30pm. December 17, 2023. $5-$6/pp, skate rental not included.

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: Follow a wintery trail

Christmas-caching at Eidem Farm

4345 101st Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Has your family tried this type of techy treasure hunt yet? Here’s a new way to explore the historic farm grounds – geocache on the trails, then warm up at the bonfire with hot cocoa. Register online. December 16, 2023, $5/pp.

Free Family Fun Day at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
This weekend, take a (possibly) snowy story walk in the park while following pages of the children’s book “In the Snow”. Spread some seeds for the animals and scout out some tracks. December 17, 2023, drop in between 1-3pm. FREE.

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

Free Family Fun Day at Eastman Nature Center

13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Help decorate luminaries to be placed along the park’s Winter Solstice luminary trail (return Dec 21 to see yours lit). There’s a host of other indoor exhibits to check out at EASTMAN NATURE CENTER, too. Drop in anytime between 1-3pm. December 17, 2023. FREE.

Eastman Nature Center

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

Need indoor activity ideas? Try a new indoor play space

10 Coon Rapids Boulevard, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
3580 Holly Lane 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’re talking up URBAN AIR ADVENTURE PARK with two Northwest Metro locations in Coon Rapids and Plymouth. A lovely reader suggested we add this adventure hub to our list. Packed with trampolines, laser tag, mini golf, bowling, ropes course, zip line, ninja obstacles – wow! We recommend saving this indoor park for a splurge day. For younger ones seeking an indoor play area, the Tubes Playground fills that bill. $12/child under 5; $27-$42/pp 5+


Get crafty & creative this weekend

Lowe’s Kids Workshop – Holiday Delivery Truck

11651 Ulysses St NE, Blaine, MN 55434
2700 Main St NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
3205 Vicksburg Ln N, Plymouth, MN 55447

Free Lowe’s kids workshops are geared towards your “mini-DIYer” about age 4-11. Caregivers will need to supervise. This month at kids can create a holiday delivery truck at three Lowe’s locations in the Twin Cities Northwest Metro. Learn more about Lowe’s Kids WorkshopsDecember 16, 2023, 10am. FREE.

Gril with Lowe's Kids Workshop Kit and Hammer

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