Twin Cities Guide To Family Activities This Week: November 20-24, 2023


This guide covers Twin Cities family activities for the week of November 20-24, 2023 – including Thanksgiving. If you are in search of things to do with your family this weekend, jump over to our WEEKEND FAMILY GUIDE.

Weekend Family Guide - Family Fun Twin Cities Banner.

For more early winter inspiration you can check our NOVEMBER FAMILY GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR for more fun ideas on what to do this week in the Twin Cities with your kids – satisfaction guaranteed (or close to it!) 

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Monday, November 20, 2023 

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Let them bounce off someone else’s walls! Our list covers open gyms for tots across the Twin Cities where they can work their wiggles off either FREE or at a low cost to you.

TAKE NOTE! Several Twin Cities Tot Time Open Gyms are just getting started in the month of November. We’ve added several to our usual listings this week so make sure to check if your community has been included.


Tot Time Open Gyms on Monday:

MONDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: Plymouth Fieldhouse Open Play

When the temps dip, field house opens up for kids who need to run and scoot around indoors. Balls and objects for free play are provided – and inflatables for kids up to age 12 make a special appearance on Wednesdays. The fieldhouse is heated to 55 degrees so dress accordingly. November 22, 2023, 10:30am to 1:30pm, ages 12 & under, $5-$6/pp. 14800 34th Ave., Plymouth, MN 55447-1482.

Twin Cities storytimes on Monday:

MONDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Engineer Paul at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store

1665 West End Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55416
The beloved train shop is BACK in a new location, complete with Engineer Paul’s train-tastic storytime. Our littles grew up with Choo Choo Bob’s original shop in St Paul so this is happy news. (Photo from the old store until we can get to the new one!) November 20, 2023, 10:30am. FREE, note that the train tables are pay-to-play.

More family fun ideas for Monday: Try some outdoor ice skating!

Most community outdoor ice rinks aren’t quite flooded and ready for skating yet, but we’ve got a couple refrigerated options for you open this weekend if you’ve got the urge to lace up:

Roseville’s Guidant John Rose MN OVAL

2661 Civic Center Dr, Roseville, MN 55113
The OVAL is the largest outdoor refrigerated skating rink in North America. Skate outdoors November to March ($9/pp, skate rental available for $5). The rink is typically decorated with lights during the holiday season and is a beautiful place to skate outdoors. Thanksgiving break idea with the kids?

Get excited to ice skate outdoors this winter with our list of Twin Cities skating rinks!

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time open gyms across the Twin Cities are absolutely a saving grace for parents of squirrelly kids when playground season has come to an end.

Tot Time Open Gyms on Tuesday:

TUESDAY FEATURED TOT TIME: The Rookery Activity Center In Lino Lakes

Rookery Activity Center, 7690 Village Drive, Lino Lakes, MN 55014
A special Tot Time held in the gym for ages 1-10. Make sure your little ones wear socks for the bounce house! November 21, 2023, 9am-12pm,  $4/child.

Twin Cities Storytimes on Tuesday:

TUESDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: Family Storytime at Woodridge Park

9000 90th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Singing, literacy and playing are all part of this indoor storytime at the park followed by a related activity for kids up to age 6. November 21, 2023, 10:30-11am. FREE.

Twin Cities Holiday Events

It’s about time for the Twin Cities to sparkle! Several Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area communities are lighting up their holiday trees in grand style over the next few weeks. Featured community today is Apple Valley, Minnesota, and their annual tree lighting ceremony:

Apple Valley Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

7100 147th Street W, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Complete with caroling, cookies and cider. November 21, 2023, 6:15-7pm.

Prepare to shine on in the Twin Cities with our big list of community HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTINGS and our even brighter TWIN CITIES HOLIDAY LIGHTS GUIDE.

Twin Cities Holiday Lights - Map Your Route Banner

More family fun ideas for Tuesday:

Ballet Tuesday at Landmark Center

75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102
Join the Saint Paul Ballet as they perform excerpts from the company repertoire. It’s the perfect sample outing for budding ballerinas. While you’re at Landmark Center, stop for indoor fun and play with the instruments in the SCHUBERT CLUB MUSIC MUSEUMAn entire afternoon of free fun for young ones! November 21, 2023, 12pm.

Ballet Tuesdays at the Landmark Center
Ballet Tuesdays

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Tot Time Open Gyms in the Twin Cities Minnesota this week

Tot Time Open Gyms on Wednesday:


Twin Cities storytimes on Wednesday:

Twin Cities holiday tree lightings

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 22, 2023, 6pm.

More family fun ideas for Wednesday: Turkeys & Thanksgiving

Heartfelt Preschool Festival: Thankful Festival

4306 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
The seasonal festivals offers a simple craft or two for the kids and their adult plus
a wholesome snack. To get an idea of Heartfelt’s winter & holiday craft lineup, browse here. November 22, 2023. $24/first child, $12/additional. Please register in advance.

Heartfelt Parties

Turkey Bingo & Turkeys on Ice

St Louis Park Rec Center Banquet Room, 3700 Monterey Drive
Play BINGO for prizes (and learn a thing or two about turkeys – must register, ages 6-12) then stay for ice skating, skate rental included. If you choose not to register for BINGO, ice skating is free from 12-1:30pm and for all ages. November 22, 2023, 11am-12pm. $8-$11/child.

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving in the Twin Cities

We highlight some festive events to get you in the spirit in our ideas for Thanksgiving Week post. Or, if you’re just looking for some ideas to keep the kids entertained over school break (mine always get an ENTIRE WEEK off!) we’ve got suggestions for those, too in our ideas for a peaceful Thanksgiving at home (think snacks, crafts, games).

Fun things to do in the Twin Cities on Friday, November 24, 2023

Twin Cities Storytimes on Friday:

FRIDAY FEATURED STORYTIME: November Story Stroll at Fort Snelling State Park

Fort Snelling State Park Visitor Center
In conjunction with Free Park Day, take a short hike that travels page-to-page of a children’s story. November 24, 2023, 10am-4pm. FREE. 

Twin Cities holiday tree lightings & community festivals

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 24-26, 2023.

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. November 24, 2023, 6pm.

Wayzata Light Up the Lake Celebration

Downtown 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 24, 2023.

Where can I find Santa in the Twin Cities today?

Someway, somehow, Santa manages to keep up with a very busy appearance schedule all over the Twin Cities during the holiday season. We keep a close track on his calendar on our list of WHERE TO FIND SANTA CLAUS IN THE TWIN CITIES. Friday we are highlighting the following:

Santa & Elves at European Christmas Market

Union Depot, 214 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101
Santa along with his elves and reindeer will be at Union Depot’s European Market. Kids can also go on a scavenger hunt and families can stroll through the market full of handcrafted goods and a selection of food. Fridays-Sundays, November 24

Strolling Santa at Woodbury Lakes

Woodbury Lakes Shopping Center, 9020 Hudson Road, Woodbury
Santa will be strolling Woodbury Lakes and available to pose for selfies

OPENS TODAY! Gingerbread Wonderland at Norway House

913 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Norway House’s annual signature Holiday tradition Gingerbread Wonderland returns for its 7th Anniversary. It’s a city made of gingerbread, how sweet is that? November 24, 2023, $15/pp ages 13+; 12 and under FREE. 

Gingerbread Wonderland at the Norway House

More family fun ideas for Friday: Skip Black Friday shopping!

Free Park Friday at Minnesota State Parks

Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are free on the Friday after Thanksgiving! Activities usually include free naturalist programs. You can also take a hike, relax in the woods with some good reads, or (possibly) take in a free wild turkey sighting. Explore our list of 9 Twin Cities Metro-Area Minnesota State Parks within an hour’s drive of the city center to start planning your trip.

Find more Black Friday alternatives in the Twin Cities!

Boy walking outside in the late fall. "Instead of BLACK FRIDAY #optoutside Buy Nothing Day Green Friday."


Too many fun things to list here, I’ll tell you that. So we publish a separate guide each weekend with up-to-the-last-minute ideas for spending family time together. 


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