The holiday season seriously descends on the Twin Cities this weekend. SO many free events to choose from — tree lighting, holiday movies, sleighrides, an art crawl, exploring local businesses and shopping small this season, lights shows and more.
Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting, European Christmas Market, and Free Holiday Movie Night: “Elf”
@ Union Depot Lot B, 200 Kellogg Blvd E, St Paul
When: Tree lighting takes place Dec. 4 • 5:30-7:30pm and the market runs Dec. 5-6 & 11-13 • find times here. The movie will be shown in the Waiting Room of Union Depot at 7:30pm.
Cost: Free admission
Details: Union Depot will be the hub of many special holiday activities this year including the European-style Christmas market, the arrival of the North Pole Express and Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, a Holiday Movie Night and the lighting of the 50-foot holiday tree. Get all the details here.
U of M College of Science & Engineering Winter Light Show Premiere
@ Civil Engineering Building Plaza, 500 Pillsbury Dr. S.E., Minneapolis
When: Premiere party Friday, Dec. 4, 5:30, 6 & 6:30pm
After Friday, Dec. 4, shows will run at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. as follows:
- Saturday, Dec. 5
- Thursday, Dec. 10
- Friday, Dec. 11
- Saturday, Dec. 12
Details: Our family discovered the student-designed Winter Lights Show put on by the University of Minnesota’s College of Science & Engineering last year. Each show is about 20 minutes long and features lights and laser projection set to fun music.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
@ Grand Avenue businesses between Dale Street & Fairview Avenue, St. Paul
When: Saturday, Dec. 5 • events 8:30am-5pm
Details: Explore one of St. Paul’s best shopping districts, sample from local restaurants, have breakfast with Santa, take a trolley ride down the avenue, and much more at this annual winter tradition. Get the full event guide with participating businesses here.
When: Saturday, Dec. 5 • events begin at 9am
Details: Take a reindeer-drawn sleighride, visit with Santa, decorate cookies and explore the local shops along Como Avenue in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.
When: Saturday, Dec. 5 & Sunday, Dec. 6
Details: Local businesses will host open houses, kids activities, holiday cardmaking, offer samples, tours and more. Get the complete schedule of participating vendors here.
** Metro Transit is offering free rides to Holidazzle on Saturday, Dec. 5. To get your pass for each rider, click here. **
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6
Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm
4665 Manor Park, Eagan
When: Sunday, Dec. 6 • Noon-3:30pm
Details: Celebrate the holidays 1940’s style at this free event at Holz Farm. Enjoy hayrides, carolers, a bonfire, refreshments, reindeer and a visit from Santa.
Details: Bundle up for a holiday classic shown outdoors; arrive early or stay late for free skating on the outdoor rink.