2020 Top 10 Twin Cities Christmas Experiences

Top Ten Twin Cities Christmas Experiences

We wanted to give you a heads up to some of the most exciting Twin Cities Christmas experiences happening this year. Get out your calendar; here are our Top Ten that you won’t want to miss! For more holiday happenings, check our Christmas & Holiday Guide. It’s chock full of Santa sightings, festivals, theater and musical performances, Christmas lights displays, and Christmas shopping tips.

1-3) Christmas Trains

Night Trains | Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St Paul

Visit the imaginary town of Matlin. It has been buried in a blizzard, but the Night Trains are still running. The model railroad museum turns the lights down for this Christmas event so you can enjoy the soft warm glow of the buildings and street lights and the specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. Saturdays, October 31, 2020 to February 27, 2021., 6 pm-9 pm. $15/pp (discounts for families), kids under the age of 4 are free.

North Pole Express | Union Depot, St Paul
2020 Virtual Event
Take a one-mile train ride to the North Pole and write your letter to Santa on the way. Santa will board the train and ride back to the Union Depot, greeting kids and collecting letters with treats and other activities following. (This event historically sells out fast. Tickets are on sale now)

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
2020 Virtual Event

St. paul union depot
Courtesy Canadian Pacific

4-5) Christmas & Holiday Markets – Twin Cities Christmas Experiences

Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis
2020 Virtual Event
Minneapolis Craft Market brings in more than 20 vendors each weekend to Holidazzle. Shop local artists selling handmade treasures, then enjoy food & beverages, free ice skating, outdoor movies, visits with Santa, fireworks and lots more fun. Thurs-Sun, Nov 29-Dec 22, 2019. FREE admission and activities.

European Christmas Market | Union Depot, St Paul
2020 Virtual Event
Shop booths decorated for Christmas and modeled after those found in Munich and other Christkindlmarkts. The market kicks off with the Union Depot Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec 6. Stay for fireworks and a movie night double feature.

6) Swedish Christmas Traditions at American Swedish Institute

An extra/ordinary Holiday in Extraordinary Times| American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
This year’s event includes ASI’s annual Julmarknad Holiday Market running November 14 – December 20: featuring a virtual market, a selection of in-person artisan vendors at outdoor market stalls and a Virtual Day with chances to shop and connect further with artists. The Julglädje (Christmas Joy) join-in family performance will be offered online, in addition to a virtual Lucia Celebration concert.  Exhibition runs  Thursdays-Sundays, Nov 14-Jan 10, 2021, 10 am-4 pm, $6-$12 or FREE for ASI members or children under 5. Reservations required.

7) Santa Sightings

Holiday Walk in the Woods Open House | The Woods Gifts, Woodbury
Socially Distance Event Visit with Santa and his reindeer at this annual Holiday shopping event. Activities include, a visit from Santa and his reindeer, stories, face painting, and food demos. Saturday, Nov 21, 10am-4pm, FREE. Covid Safety Precautions are listed here.

8-10) Old Fashioned Holidays

Experience Christmas in the 19th century by celebrating the rich holiday traditions of the earliest settlers of Minnesota. Some of our favorite historical holiday events are make perfect outings for families:

Holidays at Twin Cities MuseumsChristmas in the Village | Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol comes to life in the village.  Stroll or drive around the holiday-decorated village, write a letter to St. Nick and post it in the mail.  Weekends Dec 5-13, 1-8pm.

Old Fashioned Holiday | Holz Farm, Eagan
Come visit Santa’s reindeer at this 1940s-era event. Also enjoy hayrides, a bonfire, carols, and treats.
Tickets MUST be purchased online before event. Dec 6, 2020 12-1:15pm or 1:45-3:30pm, $3/person

Holidays at Twin Cities Museums

Christmas at the Courthouse | Stillwater
Kick off the holiday season with Christmas at the Courthouse at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. In 2020, the event has been extended into a week-long festivity beginning on November 16 with the Story Stroll, activities throughout the week, and ending Friday, November 20-Sunday, November 22 with the Holiday Bazaar. Reservations for the Bazaar are required. Nov 16-22, $3/person

See our complete listing of Ye Old Holidays at Twin Cities Museums & Historic Sites.

14 thoughts on “2020 Top 10 Twin Cities Christmas Experiences”

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  7. Beautyhousepainting.com

    —the nationally traveling exhibition makes a stop at the Mansion this holiday season. Admission is $5–$10.

  8. Whenever Christmas comes every year, the whole world shines. This day is very special to me because we decorate all the house and meet our friends and family members.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Anna. Stay tuned for our 2020 list. We aren’t sure what it is going to look like, but we are excited to see.

  9. Kick-off the holiday season with Christmas at the Courthouse at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. This day is very special to me because we decorate all the house and meet our friends and family members. Thanks for sharing, Anna. Stay tuned for our 2020 list.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Steve! Are you part of the decorating committee and is this an annual tradition for your family. What a great way to celebrate.

  10. Hello
    Whenever Christmas comes every year, the whole world shines. This day is very special to me because we decorate all the house and meet our friends and family members.

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