We wanted to give you a heads up to some of the most exciting Twin Cities Christmas experiences happening this year. We’ll soon have an all-encompassing list for your family, but here are our Top Ten that you won’t want to miss – get them on your calendar!
Night Trains | Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
Saturdays, Nov 3, 218-Feb 23, 2019 | 6 pm-9 pm | $15 (Discounts for families)
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.
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Christmas Markets – Twin Cities Christmas Experiences
Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis | Thursdays-Sundays, Nov 23- Dec 23, 2018
St. Paul European Christmas | Union Depot | Nov 30-Dec 2 & Dec 7-10, 2018
Grand Meander | Grand Ave, St. Paul | Dec 1, 2018
Reindeer Day | Linden Hills, Minneapolis | Dec 1, 2018
The Nutcracker – Twin Cities Christmas Experiences
Various locations throughout the metro
Nothing says Christmas like The Nutcracker ballet, and the Twin Cities is full of opportunities to experience this Christmas tradition.
11/30/18-12/1/18: The Great Russian Nutcracker | Orpheum, Minneapolis • Moscow Ballet presents the Nutcracker Ballet with hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls. • All Ages • Tickets $32+.
12/1/18-12/9/18: Continental Ballet Company The Nutcracker | Bloomington Center for the Arts • Tchaikovsky’s timeless tale of Clara’s voyage to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy with her magical godfather Drosselmeyer. • All Ages • Tickets $13-$25. Call 952-563-8562 for tickets.
12/1/18-12/2/18: A Nutcracker Story by St. Paul Ballet | The O’Shaugnessy, St. Paul | Tickets: $12-$37.
12/15/18-12/16/18: Classic Nutcracker with Live Symphony Orchestra | Metropolitan Ballet and Kenwood Symphony Orchestra @ Lindbergh Center Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Dr. Minnetonka • Minnesota’s only Nutcracker with a Full Symphony Orchestra. • All Ages • Tickets $39-$59. Check our Goldstar affiliate link for discounted tickets
12/14/18-12/23/18: Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy | State Theatre • More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals collaborate to create this annual Holiday show. • Tickets $30-$75. Check our Goldstar affiliate link for discounted tickets
12/22/18: Disney The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in Concert Live to Film | Minnesota Orchestra @ Minneapolis Convention Center • Disney film with a full symphony orchestra. • Ages 6+ • Tickets.
Julglädge! | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Sat, Nov 24 12 & 2 pm; Sun, Nov 25 1pm Tickets $5-$12/pp includes museum admission (advanced tickets recommended).
An annual tradition, hosted by Ross Sutter, who plays an energetic variety of American and Swedish tunes. This is an affordable experience for the whole family to enjoy.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Children’s Theatre Company | Nov 6, 2018-Jan 6, 2019
- Mary Poppins, Jr. | Stages Theatre | Nov 16-Dec 27, 2018
- A Charlie Brown Christmas | Steppingstone Theatre | Nov 30-Dec 22, 2018
- Elf, the Musical | Ordway Theatre | Dec 5-30, 2018
Gingerbread Wonderland | Norway House, Minneapolis
Nov 17, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019, $5/adult; Children FREE
Enjoy a European Christmas market, and make your belly happy with some delicious goodies. On Sunday, meet Father Christmas. Stroll along Summit Avenue to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.
Folkways of the Holidays | The Landing, Shakopee
Dec 1-23, 2018, $5-$8
Experience Christmas in the 19th century by celebrating the rich holiday traditions of the earliest settlers of Minnesota. Cultures represented are Norwegian, Swedish, German, Jewish, French Canadian, Irish, Czech/Slovak, Victorian, and Finnish. Ride in a horse-drawn trolley, watch folk performances, and cozy up to the fire in candlelit homes.
Orchestra Performances – Twin Cities Christmas Experiences
The sound of Christmas gets you into the seasonal mood quickly. It’s a super fun time to introduce your family to the orchestra! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Merry and Bright: A Big Brassy Christmas with Charles Lazarus
Orchestra Hall | Dec 15, 2018 8 pm
- Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Holiday Concerts | Check the link for concert listings, times and ticket information | Dec 2 & 9, 2018, 8 pm
- Bach’s Bradenburg Concertos
Temple Israel, Minneapolis | Dec 13, 2018, 7:30
Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul | Dec 15, 8pm
Benson Great Hall, Bethel University | Dec 16, 2pm
- A Christmas Oratorio | Orchestra Hall | Dec 8, 2018 8 pm & Dec 9, 2018, 2 pm
- Beauty and the Beast in Concert | Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium
Dec 22, 2pm & 7pm
- A Minnesota Orchestra Christmas: Home for the Holidays
Orchestra Hall | Dec 14, 2018 8pm, Dec 16, 2018 2pm, & Dec 20, 2018 11am,
- St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Handel’s Messiah
Basilica, Minneapolis | Dec 20, 2018 7:30pm; Dec 21, 2018 8pm
- St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Handel’s Messiah
Ordway Concert Hall | Dec 22, 8 pm & Dec 23, 2 pm
Star of Wonder — ReImagined | Minneapolis Institue of Art, Minneapolis
Dec 8, 2018, 9:30 & 11am | $15/adult; Free Ages 0-17 (with purchase of adult tickets)
This is the perfect concert for your whole family – including teddy bears! Guests are invited to sit up close to the singers and join in familiar carols.
For our master list of Christmas lights and holiday displays, look no further than here:
Gingerbread House Workshop
American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Saturday, November 24, 10:00 am & 1 pm. $35/house (up to 5 family members can decorate one house)
The fun of decorating your family’s gingerbread house without all the clean up? Yes, please! Bring it home and your own home will be instantly transformed for the Christmas season.
Music and Family Craft at American Swedish Institute runs Dec 1, 9, 16 & 23. Enjoy the holidays together at the American Swedish Institute by making crafts, listening to music, exploring the Christmas mansion, and at times the Christmas market.