2021 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events & Christmas Tree Lightings

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These Twin Cities early holiday events can get you started on your holiday family fun without the full-on pressure of late December.

We want to help you plan for a festive holiday season even in the midst of this global pandemic we are living in. We will continue to update this as event details become available. Please keep coming back to check it out.

For our complete guide to holiday happenings in the Twin Cities, jump over HERE.

2021 TWIN CITIES TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

ST PAUL: Union Depot Tree Lighting
Catch the giant tree light up through Union Depot’s Facebook page, then plan a drive-by later on. It will be lit through December on the North Plaza. TBA, 7pm.

ST PAUL: Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony | St Paul
Rice Park & Mears Park will dazzle with thousands of twinkling lights throughout the winter. Catch the virtual tree lighting or drive by in your car. TBA.

TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

OSSEO: Osseo MiniDazzle Tree Lighting | Boerboom Veterans Park
Light Parade and tree lighting at 6pm. Pictures with Santa, a bonfire and other entertainment follows. Dec 3, 2021, 6-8pm.

TWIN CITIES NORTHEAST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

TAYLORS FALLS: Taylors Falls Lighting Festival
The annual tree lighting takes place at 6pm downtown. Festival highlights include the Santa Parade, Christmas at the Folsom House, storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides. Nov 26-28, 2021.

STILLWATER: Twinkle Party and City Tree Lighting
The city tree is lit at 5:30, part of the annual Hometown for the Holidays celebration. Dec 7, festivities start at 4pm. Dec 4, 2021

TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

APPLE VALLEY: Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Complete with caroling, cookies and cider. November 23, 2021, 6:15-7pm.

BURNSVILLE: Winter Lighting Ceremony | Nicollet Commons Park
The annual event is streaming live this year from the park. TBA (likely November 24, 2021), 6-6:45pm. 

EAGANEagan Community Tree Lighting | Eagan Community Center
Date and details TBA.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS: Holidays in the Heights Tree Lighting
Tree lighting at 6pm, entire event runs 5:30-8:30pm with free swimming with Santa, holiday storytime, games and treats. TBA.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

CHANHASSEN: Tree Lighting Ceremony
The tree lights up at 5pm – follow along virtually on their social media page. TBA.

WAYZATA: Light Up the Lake Celebration | Plaza Park, Wayzata
Holiday music, an enhanced holiday lights display, warm fire pits, and Santa visits Wayzata in the annual Parade of Lights, 5:15pm. TBA.


Twin Cities Early Holiday Events

Night Trains | Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St Paul
A special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, the Night Trains season magically transforms the museum layouts. Buildings and street lights glow, and throughout the museum the layouts are adorned with Christmas lights. Ongoing Saturdays, TBA.

Christmas lights at the American Swedish Museum
image courtesy of American Swedish Museum

Julmarknad Holiday Market & Julglädje | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Details TBA

Holiday Open House | Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis
Shop for handmade gifts and pick up out hands-on activities to do at home. TBA, FREE.

Christmas at the Courthouse | Stillwater
Holiday Bazaar Saturday, November 20 & Sunday, November 21, 2021.  More TBA.

Christmas at the Courthouse

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. TBA.

Santa & Albert’s Annual Holiday Play
See the duo perform in “Christmas Magic Mischief”, this year’s edition of Bachman’s annual holiday play. Tune into Bachman’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, Nov 21-Dec 19. Have fun interacting with Santa and Albert! TBA. FREE.

Virtual Sundays at Landmark: Holiday Story Series
Tune in to Landmark Center’s Sundays at Landmark webpage and social media pages for “Christmas Stories with J.B. Eckert.” Local storyteller Eckert has written three original Christmas stories that are engaging for all ages. TBA. FREE.

Holidazzle
The tradition has gone virtual this year with The Holidazzle Show offered Nov 27, Dec 3, 10 & 17. The show features a visit from Santa, holiday project ideas, entertainment, and gift ideas. TBA.


Map out your holiday lights tour: Light It Up: Twin Cities Christmas & Holiday Light Displays

WHERE TO FIND SANTA IN THE TWIN CITIES

That jolly old guy sure can get around! Santa starts accepting visitors as early as the beginning of November. You can find many early Holiday events featuring Santa appearances over on our Santa Claus is Coming to Town page, including visits at community holiday festivals and at area malls and shopping districts.

More Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations to Watch for

MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

Grand Meander Tree Lighting | St Paul
The holiday tree is lit outside Charlemagne Fine Jewelry around 5pm. The whole day is filled with browsing the Grand Avenue shopping district, soup tasting, carolers, trolley rides and visits with Santa. Usually the first Saturday of December

Seward Tree Lighting Ceremony | Minneapolis
Light up Triangle Park, part of the annual Seward Winter Frolic. Usually the first weekend of December. Tree lighting at 5pm.

TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

ANOKA: Christmas Tree Lighting | Anoka City Hall River Plaza
Enjoy horse-drawn trolley rides, holiday music, bonfires, and Santa. Usually the First Saturday of December, 3-7pm.

ROGERS: Rogers Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. TBA.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

AFTON: Afton Village Holiday Tree Lighting | Town Square Park
The village hosts a tree lighting ceremony (Fri, 6pm), horse and wagon rides, a family photo booth and roving carolers throughout the weekend downtown Afton. Usually the first weekend of December.

SAVAGE: Savage Tree Lighting Ceremony | Savage City Hall
Smores, live music and a big countdown to the tree lighting. TBA, 6-8pm.

SHAKOPEE: Holiday Fest Tree Lighting | Shakopee
Carolers, Santa, a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. Usually the first Saturday of December, 6-8pm.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

CHASKA: Firemen’s Park Tree Lighting
Featuring crafts, refreshments & Santa Claus. TBA, 6pm.

EDINA: Tree Lighting Ceremony | 50th & France, Edina
No tree lighting has been announced, but there are other events listed – including artist-designed Nutcracker Window displays. TBA.

EXCELSIOR: Christmas in Excelsior Tree Lighting
Annual tree lighting (7:15pm) plus bonfires, carolers, Santa, and carriage rides. Usually the first Saturday of December.


Family Fun Twin Cities Holiday Shop on Amazon

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, we can help you with our Holiday Shop on Amazon. We have carefully selected gift ideas to help you get a super fun gift for the littler ones in your life.

Amazon links are affiliate links and Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on sales through our site.

Want more holiday happenings? Try our Top 10 Twin Cities Christmas Experiences

 

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