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 2023 TWIN CITIES CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY GUIDE. It’s chock full of Santa sightings, festivals, theater and musical performances, Christmas lights displays, and Christmas shopping tips.
Game Show Studio is a 60-minute immersive game show experience led by our trained hosts and producers! You’ll enjoy three fun-filled games in a Hollywood-style studio while you compete against friends, family, or coworkers. Price Starting at $39.95/ticket
Twin Cities Christmas Trains
Twin City Model Railroad Museum, 668 Transfer Rd Ste. 8, St Paul, MN 55114
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 21st, 2023 to February 24, 2024, 3 pm-7 pm. $15/pp, kids under the age of 4 are free.
Union Depot, 214 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101
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 for Dec 1-3 & Dec 7-10, 202e.
Tickets $36 Coach; $61 First Class Sold Out. Unfortunately, this event sells out every year. Tickets go on sale in early October, mark your 2024 calendar now!
Always a Holiday favorite. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be stopping at Twin Cities locations from December 10th through December 13th in 2023.
Twin Cities Festive Holiday Lights Displays
The Minneapolis-St Paul Twin Cities metro area absolutely sparkles during the holiday season with dazzling outdoor light displays. For our master list of Christmas lights and holiday displays, look no further than here. Also includes community Christmas Tree lightings! Some of our favorites include:
CHS Field, 360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101
CHS Field is converted to a walking tour of holiday decorations and Christmas delights. Dozens of seasonal scenes, a 60-foot illuminated tree and an art-created mosaic flame, a festive Santa Land, and other attractions all await. Grab a map and follow the trail to find a “sElfie Plaza”, an enchanted forest, a s’mores station, concessions and more. Tickets: $12.75-$20.75/pp. November 16 – December 31, 2023.
1526 York Ave, St. Paul MN
Comprised of 9 family homes on both sides of the street dancing to holiday favorites you can listen to on your car radio. Synchronized to 91.5. Collecting food shelf donations for the holiday season. Thanksgiving Weekend through December 31st, 5-10pm.
Create your own drive-thru holiday lights event! We have an 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!
Christmas & Holiday Markets – Twin Cities Christmas Experiences
Union Depot, 214 4th Street E, St Paul MN
Shop booths decorated for Christmas and modeled after those found in Munich and other Christkindlmarkts. The market kicks off on Friday, November 24, 2023 and hosts the Union Depot Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec 2. A total of four weekends leading up to Christmas.
We’re not certain how Santa can maintain such a busy social calendar, but he’s simply everywhere this year! You can search for sighting by region of the Twin Cities metro area by skipping over to our HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS guide.
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:
Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th St, Farmington, MN 55024
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, warm up with treats at the drugstore, take a sleigh ride and more. Weekends Dec 2-3 & 19-10, 2023. Admission has traditionally been around $4-$6/pp.
Holz Farm, 4665 Manor Dr, Eagan, MN 55123
Come visit Santa’s reindeer at this 1940s-era event. Also enjoy hayrides and self-guided tours of the farm site. Dec 3, 2023. Noon-3pm, FREE.
See our complete listing of Ye Old Holidays at Twin Cities Museums & Historic Sites.
Twin Cities Holiday Shopping Events
It’s much more fun to explore a local shopping district than to click around on Amazon! We make it easy to find holiday shopping events around town in our TWIN CITIES SHOP LOCAL – HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENTS GUIDE. Here’s a sample of a local shopping event we love:
Grand Avenue, St. Paul
Wander the length of Grand Avenue, explore the shops for holiday gifts, sample soups, visit Santa, listen for the roving carolers and more to get you in the spirit. One day only! Dec 2, 2023, 9am-5pm.
Catch some holiday spirit onstage
Here’s a sampling of where some of the family-friendliest stages if you’re considering bringing kids to the theater, the ballet or to a live musical performance this holiday season in the Twin Cities:
- Madeline’s Christmas | Merrill Community Theatre | Dec 2-10, 2023
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Children’s Theatre Company | Nov 7 2023-Jan 7, 2024
Jump over to our complete listing of Nutcracker and other holiday performances: The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2022’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!