Things To Do This Weekend: Twin Cities Southeast Metro, Dec 23-24, 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 23-24, 2023 — including Christmas Eve. Not locating the city you’re looking for? We also cover tons of fun family events in the areas of:

If you’re celebrating Christmas this weekend, a very merry one to you from us! Those still looking for some final seasonal 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

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 newest drive-through Christmas light experience in the Twin Cities adds some glitz to the Viking Lakes complex in Eagan. Featuring a see-it-to-believe Holiday Barbie display, prehistoric dinos and a giant lit monster truck you’ll want to catch this before closing out the year.  Now thru December 31, 2023. Starting at 5:30pm nightly. $25-$35/car. Show your Magic of Lights ticket to warm up with 2 FREE hot chocolates at the Warming Haus.

FIND MORE WINTER FUN AT VIKING LAKES: It’s not necessary to visit the Magic of Lights display to enjoy Winter SKOLstice fun 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. Ice is tentatively scheduled to be open starting December 22 due to weather conditions.

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 & Walking Tours page.

Christmas Tree

OR – we’d love to help you design your own drive-thru holiday lights event! We keep a simply dazzling list of homes around the Twin Cities that get all decked out for the holiday season: Jump over to Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map. Here’s just a taste of some efforts in the Southeast Metro:

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

St Nick is pretty close to over and out this weekend. It’s last chance for littles to hand over their Christmas list! For more appearances around the Metro, check our Twin Cities Santa-finder page or check out the details below on our holiday festival calendar. It appears Santa is scheduled to visit Woodbury this weekend:

Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

8400 Hudson Rd, Woodbury, MN 55125
FINAL WEEKEND! 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.

Strolling Santa at Woodbury Lakes

9020 Hudson Road, Woodbury, MN 55125
FINAL WEEKEND! Take a pause from holiday shopping to grab a selfie with Santa Claus on Saturday. He’ll be out roving among the stores between noon-5pm. December 23, 2023.

Also, see below for Buck Hill’s Slide with Santa event if you think that snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding with your family sounds like fun this weekend!

December Family Weekend: Last Chance Holiday

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 may available for the 2pm show for $20/child. Reserve online.). December 23, 2023, shows at 2pm & 7:30pm. Tickets $28-$32/pp.

Bonus fun: Arrive early to walk through a 4,000 square-foot holiday display featuring a St. Nicholas collection, Christmas village, Nativity, tons of festive lights and more. Open one hour 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: Outdoor activities

Spending time outside doing winter activities is a hallmark of our winter break: ice skating, snowboarding and snow tubing spots are up and humming with activity already. If we finally see some white stuff this weekend, make sure to consult our huge list of the best sledding hills in the Twin Cities – they’re FREE! Try one of these refrigerated outdoor ice skating rinks if the community sites aren’t yet open:

Snow tubing in the Twin Cities Southeast Metro

Ten-plus years ago, when we began this adventure called Family Fun Twin Cities, our oldest kiddos were more than satisfied with the neighborhood bunny sledding hills. Now, as many of them would rather hunt down something a bit more thrilling. Sound familiar? Then you might benefit from our roundup of the best spots to snow tube in the Twin Cities – a couple of which are convenient to communities southeast of Minneapolis & St Paul.

Trapp Farm Park Tubing Hill

841 Wilderness Run Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
75 tubes or so craft are available to rent for this designated tubing-only hill. Make sure to pre-register online for 2-hour time slot. This weekend’s hours: Sat, Dec 23 – 12-8pm & Christmas Eve, 12-4pm. $5 per person.

Buck Hill

15400 Buck Hill Rd, Burnsville, MN 55306
Families can also enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Buck Hill. There is an onsite restaurant for your warm-up and snack-craving needs. Book in 2-hour increments. Wed-Fr $12-$29 and Sat-Sun $14-$29.

SPECIAL EVENT! Slide With Santa at Buck Hill

Santa will visit Buck Hill one day only – catch him if you can on the ski slopes, on the lifts or on the snow tubing lanes. Regular prices apply. December 23, 2023, 11am-1pm.

Snow Tubing For the Family - Best Hills in the Twin Cities - Family Fun Twin Cities

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

ARM YOURSELF…for winter break 

So many of us are on break from our regularly-scheduled programs – school, extra-curriculars, perhaps work outside the home – a few years we assembled a list of 16 THINGS TO DO OVER WINTER BREAK IN THE TWIN CITIES to keep ourselves sane at home during this time. And, for extra armor, we’ve beefed up our annual WINTER FUN SURVIVAL GUIDE – stocked with activity ideas both indoors and out.

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