Top 10 Family Picks: November in the Twin Cities
Family Fun Twin Cities has hand-picked 10 events for families we believe are worth checking out in the month of November!
For more things to do with your family this month:
1) Kick off the holidays early with Julglädje | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
There are many reasons to be in good spirits at American Swedish Institute. First of all, you’re in a castle. Second, it has incredibly kid friendly exhibits in addition to plenty for adults to feast their eyes on. And going further, it is a beautiful place to be over the holiday season: explore the decked-out mansion. Included with museum admission of $5-$12/pp, 5 & under free.
2) Birthday party for a business we love!
We are huge fans of Snapology Minneapolis and are super excited to celebrate the indoor play center’s first year in business. Join them for fun activities and games, food and drinks and more! 2649 Lyndale Ave South, Mpls. 11/17/19, drop in between 2-6pm.
3) Rice Park Tree Lighting & Grand Opening
The switch flips November 23 and Rice Park in St Paul will again dazzle with thousands of holiday lights and its traditional Christmas tree. Grand opening activities start at 3:30 with music and photo ops, fireworks follow at 6:30
Please note that the popular Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink has moved to CHS Field for 2019. Free skating is back for the holiday season and will begin Dec 6.
For similar ways to stretch the season, check our calendar of Twin Cities Early Holiday Events.
4) 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:
11/29/19 & 11/30/19: Taylors Falls Lighting Festival
The festival begins Friday and runs all weekend; family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade, Christmas at the Folsom House, storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides. 6pm.
11/30/19: Tree Lighting Ceremony | 50th & France, Edina
Holiday Market is open 12-5pm followed by tree lighting, carolers and visits with Santa.
12/6/19: The annual Tree Lighting & Movie Night at Union Depot, St Paul will take place this year on Dec 6. Entertainment begins at 5:30, fireworks and tree lighting at 7pm and a holiday movie follows.
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. Cookies, juice, and coffee will be served. Don’t miss the annual Santa & Albert holiday play at 10 & 11:30am and 1 & 2:30pm. 11/23/19, FREE.
6) National Family Volunteer Day
Giving back as a family can be a wonderful way to feel thankful for what you have and to pass that value on to your kids. We have rounded up a number of opportunities in our guide to Places in the Twin Cities to Volunteer with Kids. These positions include:
- Packing meals with Feed My Starving Children (ages 5+) & Second Harvest Heartland (ages 8-12+ depending on location)
- Cookie baking for Habitat for Humanity (can be done right in the comfort of your own kitchen!)
- Assembling care packages for Meals on Wheels
- Ringing bells for the Salvation Army collection kettles
National Family Volunteer Day is November 22, but any time of the year – and, we believe, especially around the holiday season – is a great time to get involved giving back with your family.
7) A long Thanksgiving weekend
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 the weekend. Or, perhaps you have relatives in town and want to show off what our amazing Twin Cities has to offer. Either case, Joy has put together 10 Thanksgiving Break Ideas for you – a list she originally created as an alternative to avoid Black Friday shopping crowds. It’s packed with good stuff. And most of it’s FREE.
8) Holidazzle begins in Loring Park | Minneapolis
The festivities begin Fri, Nov 29 and include the ceremonial opening and fireworks (7pm) followed by an 8pm screening of A Christmas Story. Santa will be greeting families from 5-10pm. Bring your skates down to the WinterSkate at Loring Park (a limited amount of free loaners will be available), tackle the obstacles in the Kids Zone, and interact with the art installations. All activities are FREE.
9) 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 their programs such as Rescue Readers or Furry Tales Story Time.
Furry Tales takes place once a month and is FREE but due to the popularity of the program, you must register in advance.
- Golden Valley: Second Wednesday of each month, 10–10:45 a.m.
- Woodbury: First Thursday of each month, September-May only, 10–10:45 a.m.
10) Indoor open 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 Twin Cities spaces:
- Braemar Field, Edina: Tot time in the Dome starts Nov 4. Ongoing Mon & Wed, 9-11am, $5/child. Family Night begins Nov 6, runs Wednesdays, 6-7pm $5/pp.
- Plymouth Fieldhouse: Youth Open Play begins Nov 1. Ongoing Mon, Wed & Fri 10:30am-1:30pm. Best for ages 3-5, $4-$5/child.
- Savage Sports Center: Tot time begins Nov 5. 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 7. Ongoing Tues-Fri, 9:30-11:30am, $2/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!
Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!