Things To Do This Weekend: Twin Cities Southwest Metro, Dec 23-24, 2023

Things to do in the Twin Cities Southwest 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 Bloomington, Chaska, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Richfield, Shakopee, St Louis Park, Victoria & Waconia.

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:

We’d like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas this weekend if you choose to celebrate! In the case that you’re seeking some last-minute holiday inspiration we urge you to check out 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 Southwest Metro

Find Santa this weekend in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

Just a few last-minute appearances by Santa this weekend before he flies off for another year. We’ve been tirelessly tracking his social calendar – here in the Southwest Metro and across the greater Minneapolis-St Paul area. Find all of his appointments on our official Twin Cities Santa-finder page.

The Santa Experience at Mall of America

Mall of America Level, 2131 Lindau Lane, Bloomington, MN 55425
FINAL WEEKEND! Book your appointment with Santa Claus before he skips town. Packages for purchase. December 23 & 24, 2023.

More Southwest Metro malls to meet Santa thru December 24:

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

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318
We recently visited the Arboretum for this magical Winter Lights display and were dazzled by the lighted greenery and displays throughout the pathways of the arb’s gardens. Indoors you’ll find a towering Christmas tree crafted out of poinsettias, a cozy snack bar and live music on weekends.  Online ticket reservation required. This weekend – Tickets: $25/pp, kids under 16 free.

Weeping Willow Sensory Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Winter Lights Show in Chaska, Minnesota
Weeping Willow Sensory Garden. Image courtesy of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

SHAKOPEE: Sever’s Holiday Lights

3121 150th St W, Shakopee, MN 55379
2.5 million dancing holiday lights along a half-mile driving route you can enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle (in PJs if you’d like). All weekend, 5pm-10pm. $25-$55/car.

WACONIA: Spirit of Winter –  Festival of Lights

Sovereign Estate, 9950 N Shore Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
Get in the holiday spirit at this all-ages stroll through holiday lights displays and more outdoor attractions such as Candy Cane Lane, pallet maze, boot hockey arena (though we can’t promise snow) and a Nativity display. Santa will make a visit nightly. Food and beverage available for noshing. Runs now-December 30, 2023. Tickets $10/pp plus booking fee or $15/door.

Create your own holiday lights driving tour in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro! We’ve compiled a giant list of the area’s stand-out light shows. Here’s just a peek of what’s in store, much more on our enormous 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!

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

Performing arts & entertainment this weekend

Cinderella: A Musical Fairy Tale For All Ages

Sidekick Theatre, 11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington, MN 55437
A musical version of the Cinderella fairy tale great for all ages. One show this weekend only – December 23, 2023, 1pm. Tickets $14-$19/pp.


Kids participating in interactive theater program: "Kid-Friendly Theater, Music and Performing Arts in the Twin Cities"

Fun outdoor activities in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro parks this weekend 

We’ve got the details on dozens of outdoor activities presented by local, county and regional park systems across the greater Twin Cities. The following are a few of our best suggestions for activities near your neighborhood this weekend. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or peruse the links below to seek out local outdoor things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.

Some fun family ideas for this weekend: Get ready for winter break

Spending time outside doing winter activities is, in our opinion, one of the best parts of winter break: ice skating, snowboarding and snow tubing spots are up and buzzing 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, many in the Southwest Metro – they’re FREE! Or try an outdoor ice skating rink if the community sites are flooded (weather hasn’t been so optimal yet this year).

Snow tubing in the Twin Cities Southwest Metro

More than a decade (!) ago, when we started this venture known as Family Fun Twin Cities, our oldest children were more than happy for the chance to slide down the neighborhood bunny hill. These days, many of them would rather hunt down something a bit more thrilling. Sound familiar? Then you might find our roundup of the best spots to snow tube in the Twin Cities  to be helpful. See here our pick for the most convenient to communities southwest of Minneapolis & St Paul.

Bloomington’s Hyland Hills Ski Area 

During the winter months in Bloomington, Hyland Hills is a premiere family skiing and snowboarding destination. The terrain of the park is full of innovative features and offers some of the best snowmaking and grooming in the Midwest. Lessons are offered if you’re just getting started on skis or want to sharpen your skills. Find current ski prices here. Learn more about HYLAND HILLS SKI AREA in Bloomington.

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

More activities in Twin Cities Southwest Metro parks

Pond Dakota Mission Park: Popcorn & Cranberries

Pond Dakota Mission Park, 401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
A hands-on living history program fun and free of charge. This weekend, right before Christmas, create an old-fashioned garland to hang on your tree. December 23, 2023, drop in between 1-4pm. FREE.

Get the Kids Out of the House at Lowry Nature Center

7025 Nature Center Dr, Victoria, MN 55386
Activities to beat boredom over winter break: indoor games like nature ring toss, a scavenger hunt, crafts and live animal encounters. Or, take the fun outdoors with your hunt on the trails. December 23, 2023, drop in from 1-3pm. FREE.

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