Top Ten Twin Cities’ 2016 Christmas Experiences

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We wanted to give you a heads up to some of the most exciting 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!

This post is sponsored by VocalEssenceve_sow_family_fun_twin_cities_ad_final
Star of Wonder

Dec 10, 9:30am or 11am
Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

Night Trains @ Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul 
Saturdays, Nov 5-Feb 25, 2017 • 6 pm-9 pm • $15 and up

“Night Trains Season comes to museum layouts in a magical way, the lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. The make believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations.”

-Twin City Model Railroad Museum website


the nutcrackerThe Nutcracker, 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.


julgladje_tomte_kids_asiJulglädge! @ American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Sat, Nov 26, 12 & 2 pm; Sun, Nov 27, 1pm • tickets $3-$6 (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. Stories will be told as well by Rose Arrowsmith-Decoux.


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever @ Steppingstone Theatre, St. Paul
Fri, Dec 2- Fri, Dec 23 (no shows on Mondays and Tuesdays) • FFTC special: Tickets $9 when you use the code FFTC2016.

This is the last season of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever until further notice.  Make sure you check it out this season!
 Specialized Shows:

  • Sunday, Dec 4th, 4:00 pm- Pay as You’re Able
  • Saturday, Dec 10th, 2:00 pm- Audio Described
  • Sunday, Dec 11th, 2:00 pm- ASL Interpreted



Holiday Open Haus @ Germanic American Institute, Saint Paul
December 3 & 4 • FREE

Meet Father Christmas enjoy a European Christmas market and make your belly happy with some delicious goodies.  Plus, you’ll be on Summit Avenue, so you can enjoy all the beautifully decorated Victorian houses.


historical christmasFolkways of the Holidays @ The Landing, Shakopee
Dec 3 & 4, 10 & 11, and 16-18 • $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

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:


VocalEssence Star of WonderStar of Wonder @Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
Dec 10, 9:30 & 11am • $3-$17 • get 10% off tickets when using the code STAR16

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.



La Natividad @ In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Minneapolis
Dec 15-18 &, Dec 20-22, 6:30-9:30pm • $17-$23/ticket

Performed in English and Spanish, join Mary and Joseph as they journey among the streets trying to find shelter. La Natividad is based on the Mexican tradition La Posada, and viewers will participate in the journey as well following the couple to four sites within the community.


tomteHomemade Christmas

Gingerbread House Workshop
American Swedish Institute • 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis
Friday, November 25, 10:30 am-11:30 am & 1 pm-2:30 pm• $25-$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.

Elves Workshop
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park • 10360 W River Rd, Brooklyn Park • December 17, 1 pm-4 pm • $8
You MUST register by December 13

Help your little elves create handmade gifts for your loved ones.  Birdfeeders and other crafts will have supplies at the ready in this workshop.  Kids under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

christmas-multicultural-kids-tree-21989228More Holiday Fun in the Twin Cities

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids--Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.


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