10 Best Things To Do: November in the Twin Cities

Each month, Family Fun Twin Cities hand-picks 10 of the best things to do with kids and family in the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area. In November, we’re excited about getting things dressed up for the holidays.

For more things to do with your kids & family this month:

Kick off the season with holiday tree lighting festivals

The Twin Cities illuminates with early holiday tree lighting festivals during the month of November. Here are five picks we think really shine (find more in our complete guide to TWIN CITIES TREE LIGHTING FESTIVALS, covering the four corners of the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area:


The annual event is both in-person and streaming live this year from the park. November 23, 2022. 6pm.


Along with the holiday tree lighting with be chorale singers, horse-drawn trolley rides and Santa Claus. Held at the 50th & France shopping district. November 26, 2022, 3-6pm.


The annual tree lighting takes place at 6pm downtown. Festival highlights include the Santa Parade, Christmas at the Folsom House, storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides. Nov 25-27, 2022.


Holiday music, an enhanced holiday lights display, warm fire pits, and Santa visits Wayzata in the annual Parade of Lights, 5:15pm. November 25, 2022.

Have Thanksgiving Break Ideas handy

Rejoice, panic or both? Often times after we emerge from our holiday food coma we find ourselves unsure of how to entertain the kids for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend. Or, perhaps you have relatives in town and want to show off what our amazing Twin Cities have to offer. Either case, our FFTC team has put together a THANKSGIVING BREAK GUIDE, a list originally created as an alternative to avoid Black Friday shopping crowds. It’s packed with good stuff. And most of it is FREE! We thought that might be appreciated right before the holidays.

Celebrate a Peaceful Thanksgiving at Home - Happy Thanksgiving on a background of Thanksgiving Decor

Our favorite holiday festivals are back!

We’re so excited that holiday festivals are back and filling calendars now through the New Year. One of our very favorites, the MINNEAPOLIS HOLIDAZZLE FESTIVAL in Minneapolis, is slated to set up back in Loring Park weekends from November 25 through December 18, 2022. The Holidazzle Yeti will also return. Oh, and find more TWIN CITIES HOLIDAY FESTIVALS taking place in November.

Give back as a family during the holiday season

National Family Volunteer Day – November 19, 2022

Giving back as a family can be a wonderful way to feel thankful for what you have and to pass on that value to your kids. We’ve rounded up a number of opportunities in our guide to THE BEST PLACES IN THE TWIN CITIES TO VOLUNTEER WITH KIDS. These positions include:

National Family Volunteer Day is November 19 in 2022 but any time of the year is a great time to get involved giving back with your family.

Thank You!

Indoor drop-in play spots open

Colder weather moves the play indoors for many families. The month of November begins open gym and tot times at the following indoor Twin Cities spaces:

  • PLYMOUTH FIELDHOUSE: Youth Open Play – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday – geared towards toddlers/youth (ages 12 and younger). $5-$6/pp.
  • SAVAGE SPORTS CENTER: Tot Time ongoing Tues & Thurs, 9-11:30am, ages 5 & under, $3/child. Ages 6 & up are invited to Open Play after school hours, Mon-Fri, $5/pp. 
  • ST LOUIS PARK REC CENTER: Little Tot Playtime begins Nov 15, 2022. Ongoing Tues-Fri, 9:30-11:30am. $3/child ages 1-5. 

These locales join our master list of OPEN PLAY, GYM & SWIM SPOTS FOR TOTS IN THE TWIN CITIES. Comes with a near-guaranteed naptime for all!

Top 10 Family Picks: November in the Twin Cities

National Animal Shelter Week

National Animal Shelter Week is celebrated on the first full week of November each year. Celebrate by learning more about the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota (did you know families can drop in and play with pets up for adoption?) or participating in one of their public programs such as Rescue Readers.

Animal Humane Society of MN


Small Business/Shop Small Saturday

We’ve all heard about Black Friday, but are you familiar with Shop Small Saturday? Yes, it’s a thing and it’s a very good thing at that to support small, local businesses this holiday season. The date to keep in mind is Saturday, November 26 (Thanksgiving weekend). Here’s our top pick of holiday shopping events in the Twin Cities, with more to discover on our TWIN CITIES HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENTS page.

Freebies in November

Who doesn’t like a whole lot of FREE right before dropping cash on the holiday season? In our house, we tend to tighten up our outings in November and extra appreciate when we can find free admission to something fun. Here’s a sampling of savings this month:

  • FIRST FREE SATURDAY AT WALKER ART CENTER (totally fun for families – NOV 5)

Bachman’s Holiday Open House & Play

Join Bachmans in welcoming Santa and his sleigh to kick off the holiday season! Kids can visit the reindeer corral and stop by the craft counter for crafts and activities. Don’t miss the annual Santa & Albert holiday play at 10 & 11:30am and 1 & 2:30pm. November 19, 2022.

More Ideas for Things to Do in November:

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