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

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

The holiday train continues to barrel through the Twin Cities, dispersing festive events to all corners of the metro. Here we’re focusing on what’s going on down in the Southeast – for more seasonal inspiration and cheer, hop 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 Southeast Metro

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

Where will St Nick be popping up this weekend? This is one of the last chances for littles to hand over their Christmas list. For further planning, check our Twin Cities Santa-finder page or check out the details below on our holiday festival calendar.

APPLE VALLEY: Bowl with Santa at Bogart’s

Bogart’s Entertainment Center, 14917 Garrett Ave, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Your ticket to some fun with Santa includes one game of bowling with shoes, a photo with Santa and a gift. Book your child’s time at 9, 10 or 11am. Must register online. December 16, 2023. $15/child.

EAGAN: Santa & Swimming

Goldfish Swim School – Eagan, 1278 Town Centre Drive #160, Eagan, MN 55123
Santa will be at this Family Swim and available for photos. Bring your own camera, a non-perishable food donation and your swimsuits. December 16, 2023; 1:30-3pm. $15/family. RSVP here.

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: 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.

December Family Weekend: Last Chance Holiday

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

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. Show your Magic of Lights ticket for 2 FREE hot chocolates at the Warming Haus.

MORE WINTER FUN AT VIKING LAKES: Even if you don’t plan to drive through the holiday lights display, there is Winter SKOLstice fun to be had at Viking Lakes. You can ice skate for free on the SKOLstice Market Rink (5-10pm Sat & until 9pm on Sun, BYO skates or rent a pair for $5) and shop the Winter Market until 8pm. 

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:

Skate the Twin Cities - Where to Find Free Outdoor Ice Rinks

For the whole sparkling scoop on the best holiday light displays in the Twin Cities, visit our 2023 Twin Cities Drive Thru Christmas Events and Walking Tours page.

Christmas Tree

OR – Design your own drive-thru holiday lights event! We have a simply dazzling 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. Here’s just a glimpse of some favorites in the Southeast Metro:

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

Twin Cities Southeast Metro weekend holiday stage spotlight

Nicholas at Open Window Theater

5300 S. Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Open Window presents the story of St. Nicholas of Myra and how he became a symbol of giving anonymous gifts. Recommended for ages 4+ (under 4 not allowed but onsite childcare is available). Tickets $28-$32/pp.

DiscountsRequest up to 4 FREE tickets through the Windows of Hope Program.

Bonus Fun: Arrive early to walk through a 4,000 square-foot display, featuring a unique St. Nicholas collection, Christmas village collection, Nativity collection, an abundance of festive lights and more. Open 60-minutes before showtime, during intermission and up to 30-minutes after the show.

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:

Let’s Go Owling at Lebanon Hills

860 Cliff Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Pick this evening activity for kids who can take a light outdoor hike for the chance to hear an owl in the wild. Please register online in advance. December 16, 2023, 4-6pm. $5/pp.

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

3265 Northwood Circle, #100, Eagan, MN 55121
Minnesota parents unite and agree – it’s essential to know where to escape the elements and still keep their kiddos burning off energy. 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 Good Times Park in Eagan. It has a unique outdoor feel with its jungle gyms, unwalled pillow jumper, basketball court and plenty of open turf for family games. You’ll forget there’s snow on the ground outside for a few hours, we promise. Purchase Play Today passes online in advance. A one-day pass is $10.95+tax per child under 18. Bonus for Mom & Dad: Good Times Park added a gourmet coffee station last year!

SPECIAL EVENT! Santa Visits Good Times Park

Your ticket gets you time spent and a picture with Santa plus unlimited playtime in the indoor park for the rest of the day. December 16, 2023, Santa from 10am-12pm. $11/child.


A group of kids hanging from the climbing web at Good Times Park in Eagan Minnesota

Soccer Shots Free Fun Day

Veterans Memorial Community Center, 2036 80th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Soccer fun and games for kids ages 2-5. Choose from four age-appropriate sessions of a half-hour each. Registration required in advance online at the link. December 16, 2023, 9-11:15am. FREE.

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