2022 Twin Cities Early Holiday Events & Christmas Tree Lightings

Family Fun Twin Cities Christmas in the Twin Cities Early Holiday Events Banner

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 and your family plan for a festive holiday season! We will continue to update this list 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.


ST PAUL: Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony

Once again to signal the start of the holiday season in St Paul, Rice Park will dazzle with thousands of twinkling lights throughout the winter. Music, holiday photo ops, hot cocoa and more all included. November 12, 2022, 5:30pm.

ST PAUL: Union Depot Tree Lighting

Catch the giant tree light up at 7pm, Union Depot downtown St Paul. Holiday movie “Elf” to be screened at 7:30pm. December 3, 2022. Special anniversary observation event begins at 3pm.

ST PAUL: Grand Meander Tree Lighting

The holiday tree is lit outside Charlemagne Fine Jewelry around 5pm. The whole day has traditionally been filled with browsing the Grand Avenue shopping district, soup tasting, carolers, trolley rides and visits with Santa. December 3, 2022.


ANOKA: Christmas Tree Lighting

Enjoy horse-drawn trolley rides, holiday music, bonfires, strolling carolers, shopping discounts and Santa in addition to the big Christmas tree lighting. December 3, 2022.

BLAINE: Winter Celebration

Tom Ryan Park, 10802 Town Square Drive NE, Blaine, MN 55449
Lighting ceremony, holiday music, s’mores & hot chocolate by a bonfire and Santa and his reindeer. November 27, 2022, 4-7:30pm.

CHAMPLIN: Christmas at the Crossing

Mississippi Crossings, 307 East River Parkway, Champlin, MN 55316
Celebrate Champlin’s newest community gathering space with the inaugural lighting of a new animated 30-foot LED panel tree, 16-foot walk through ornament and 16-foot walk through gift box, plus 16 snowflake light pole fixtures. December 1, 2022, 5-8pm.

OSSEO: MiniDazzle Tree Lighting

Central Ave, Osseo, MN 55369
Light Parade and tree lighting at 6pm. Pictures with Santa, a bonfire and other entertainment follows. December 2, 2022, 6-8pm.

ROBBINSDALE: Holiday Tree Lighting & Sing-Along

The event will take place at City Hall and include sing along, Santa visit and refreshments. Dec 6, 2022, 6-6:30pm.

ROGERS: Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

All included: hot chocolate, cookies, caroling, and special activities beginning at 6:00pm with the tree lighting at 7:00pm. December 2, 2022.


Shoreview: Holiday Lighting Event

Shoreview Community Center, 4580 Victoria St. N, Shoreview, Minnesota 55126
The grounds of Shoreview Commons will be lit for the holidays. Music, cookies and cocoa included. November 14, 2022, 6-7pm.

STILLWATER: Twinkle Party and City Tree Lighting

Lowell Park, 201 Water St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
The city tree is lit at 5:30, part of the annual Hometown for the Holidays celebration. Festivities start at 4pm and special guest Santa Claus arrives around 4:30. December 3, 2022.

TAYLORS FALLS: Taylors Falls Lighting Festival

Downtown Taylors Falls, Minnesota
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. November 25-27, 2022.


AFTON: Village Holiday Tree Lighting

Downtown Afton
The village hosts a tree lighting ceremony in Town Square Park (Fri, 6pm), horse and wagon rides, a family photo booth and roving carolers throughout the weekend downtown Afton. December 2-3, 2022.

APPLE VALLEY: Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

7100 147th Street W, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Complete with caroling, cookies and cider. November 22, 2022, 6:15-7pm.

BURNSVILLE: Winter Lighting Ceremony

Nicollet Commons Park, 12550 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN 55337
The city’s central plaza shines with 200,000 mini lights, 230 streetlight snowflakes and a 30-foot-tall tree. Mr & Mrs Claus will be on hand to light things up. November 23, 2022.

COTTAGE GROVE: Hometown Holiday Tree Lighting

City Hall, 12800 Ravine Pkwy S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Inaugural event! There will be a festive holiday tree for photos along with Santa, bonfires and food trucks. November 30, 2022, 5-7pm.

EAGAN: Community Holiday Tree Lighting

Eagan Community Center, 501 Central Pkwy, Eagan MN
Complete with music & hot cocoa. December 6, 2022. 4:30-7pm.

HASTINGS: Street Snowflake Lighting & Holiday Tree Lighting

City Hall, 101 4th St E, Hastings, MN 55033
Shopping and family fun all day, followed by two lighting ceremonies at 5:15 & 5:30pm. November 26, 2022.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS: Holidays in the Heights Tree Lighting

8055 Barbara Ave, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Tree lighting at 6pm, entire event runs 5:30-8pm with free swimming with Santa games and treats. December 2, 2022.

SAVAGE: Tree Lighting Ceremony

City Hall, 6000 McColl Drive, Savage, Minnesota 55378
Cocoa, live music, a bonfire and ornament-making go with the lighting of the tree. December 1, 2022, 5:30pm.


Central Square Community Center, 100 – 7th Avenue North, South St Paul MN
Complete with cocoa, caroling and the lighting of the holiday tree. November 27, 2022, 5:30pm.


CHANHASSEN: Tree Lighting Ceremony

City Center Park Plaza, 7700 Market Blvd, Chanhassen MN
The tree lights up at 5pm – plus Santa, refreshments and all the rest. Then, take the driving tour through the Chanhassen Tour of Lights. December 3, 2022.

CHASKA: City Square Park Tree Lighting

Featuring crafts, outdoor games, hot cocoa and cookies & pictures with Santa Claus. December 4, 2022, 6pm.

EDINA: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Along with the holiday tree lighting with be chorale singers, horse-drawn trolley rides and Santa Claus. Held at the 50th & France shopping district. November 26, 2022, 3-6pm.

EXCELSIOR: Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt Tree Lighting

 249 Water St, Excelsior, MN 55331
Annual tree lighting  plus bonfires, carolers, Santa, and carriage rides. November 25, 2022.

SHAKOPEE: Holiday Fest Tree Lighting

Downtown Shakopee, MN 55379
Carolers, Santa, a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. December 3, 2022.

WACONIA: Community Tree Lighting

City Square Park Gazebo, 100 E Main Street, Waconia, MN 55387
Hot cocoa, a bonfire and a visit with Santa included. Nov 25, 2022, 6pm.

WAYZATA: Light Up the Lake Celebration

Downton Wayzata, MN 55391
Holiday music, an enhanced holiday lights display, warm fire pits, and Santa visits Wayzata in the annual Parade of Lights, 5:15pm. November 25, 2022.

Twin Cities Early Holiday Events – 2022

Night Trains at Twin City Model Railroad Museum

668 Transfer Rd Ste. 8, St Paul, MN 55114
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. Saturdays, Oct 15, 2022- Feb 25, 2023. $15/pp.

Northern Clay Center Holiday Open House Workshop

2424 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
A hands-on workshop and holiday shopping event. Our family attended a couple years ago and the kids were able to make homemade clay gifts to give to family for Christmas. November 13, 2022.

Festival of Trees at the Mall of America

North Atrium, Level 3, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN 55425
A benefit for the Special Olympics of Minnesota. walk through this indoor winter wonderland decorated with Christmas Trees. Nov 16-Jan 4, 2022.

Stillwater Christmas at the Courthouse

Washington County Historic Courthouse, 101 W. Pine St., Stillwater, MN 55082
Enjoy the historic courthouse decked out for the season while you shop the Holiday Bazaar Saturday, November 19 & Sunday, November 20, 2022.  

Christmas at the Courthouse

Holiday Walk in the Woods Open House

The Woods Gifts | 15825 95th Ave N., Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369 and 8300 Tamarack Village Ste 110, Woodbury, Minnesota 55125
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. November 19, 2022, 9am-3pm.

Gingerbread Wonderland

Norway House, 913 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Tour the gingerbread houses and even make your own to display (due Nov 9-19; free kits available while they last*). November 22, 2022 – January 8, 2023. $7/Ages 13+; Kids 12 and Under Free.

*These kits move fast, so Norway House encourages you to reserve a kit by email: info@norwayhouse.org.

Julglädje at American Swedish Institute

American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
An ASI holiday tradition, back in-person with live musical performances.  November 26, 2022. Morning & afternoon performances. $5-$15/pp.

St. Lucia Celebration at the American Swedish Institute

Bachman’s Santa & Albert’s Annual Holiday Play

6010 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Have fun interacting with Santa and Albert! We are hoping to see the duo perform in this year’s edition of Bachman’s annual holiday play. The plays are about 20 minutes long and include caroling and photo opps with Santa & Albert. Starts November 19 and runs weekends through December 18, 2022. 

Sundays at Landmark: Holiday Stories

75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Tune in to Landmark Center’s Sundays at Landmark webpage and social media pages for “Christmas Stories with J.B. Eckert.” December 4, 2022 (also Dec 11th live during Santa’s Workshop).


Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. Minneapolis, MN 55403
Our favorite downtown Holiday tradition, Holidazzle will once again begin Thanksgiving Weekend in 2022. Expect the return of the Holidazzle Yeti, fireworks, live entertainment and definitely Santa Claus. Fridays 5-9pm, Saturdays 12-9pm & Sundays 12-6pm, November 25th – December 18, 2022.

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


That jolly old guy sure can get around! Santa starts accepting visitors as early as the beginning of November at department stores and malls. 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.

Mailboxes all over the U.S. will be accepting Santa letters. They will be uploaded to Operation Santa where they can be adopted by volunteer teams of Santa helpers. Address your letters to:

Santa Claus
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

More Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations to Watch for


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.

Live Entertainment for the Holidays:

Get in the holiday mood with live entertainment from local theaters, musicians and more. Many of these shows start in early November:

Holiday Shopping Season: Black Friday & Beyond

Several opportunities pop up during November for early Holiday shopping with local artists and local businesses who often offer unique and high quality gifts:

Family Fun Twin Cities Holiday Shop on Amazon

If you still haven’t filled out your gift list, 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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