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.
2022 TWIN CITIES MINNEAPOLIS & SAINT PAUL TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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.
TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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.
TWIN CITIES NORTHEAST METRO HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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 Center, 501 Central Pkwy, Eagan MN
Complete with music & hot cocoa. December 6, 2022. 4:30-7pm.
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.
SOUTH ST PAUL: TREE LIGHTING EVENT
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.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888
More Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations to Watch for
MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL TREE LIGHTING EVENTS
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:
- 2022 Christmas Music in the Twin Cities: Do You Hear What I Hear?
- The Nutcracker and Beyond: 2022’s Best Christmas Shows Ever!
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:
- Support Your Local Shops on Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday
- Shopping Local: FFTC’s Guide to “Made in Minnesota” Gifts
- Holiday Shopping Events: Christmas in the Twin Cities 2022
- FFTC’s Local Holiday Bookshop
- The Best Twin Cities Independent Bookstores for Kids
- Twin Cities Toy Stores for Every Family
- If you are looking for Black Friday-worthy deals, hop over to Twin Cities Frugal Mom for her price comparison list.
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.