Our Holiday Festival Guide is full of hometown festivals at their holiday best. Whether it’s a holiday tree lighting, a skating event or a full-on festival with fireworks and movies, we think this is quite simply the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in 2019:
We’ve organized our holiday festival calendar into regions of the Twin Cities Metro to make it easier to find one close to home (or explore a new destination!) All holiday events are FREE unless noted.
MINNEAPOLIS & ST PAUL 2019 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Nov 29-Dec 23: Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis
Holidazzle offers free admission to all, vendors, activities, food, visits with Santa, outdoor movies, sleighrides and fireworks. Loring Park is also home to Minneapolis WinterSkate and hosts free skating (and loaner skates) throughout the winter. Festival runs Thurs 5-9pm, Fri 5-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm & Sun 11am-7pm.
Dec 6: Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting | St Paul
Including live music, fireworks and holiday movie double feature. Event begins at 6pm, tree lighting at 6:30.
Dec 7: Grand Meander | Grand Avenue, St Paul
20 blocks of samples, specials, Vulcan fire truck rides, carolers and multiple venues to visit with Santa. Events run starting 8:30am through the afternoon.
Dec 7: Reindeer Day at Linden Hills | Minneapolis
Hop a free trolley ride to area business bustling with marshmallow roasting, Santa and his reindeer, carolers and in-store events. 10am-2pm.
Dec 7-8: Seward Winter Frolic | Minneapolis
Neighborhood businesses exhibiting arts (including a free Studio Art Day at Articulture), food and drink samples and specials, tours and demos.
TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO 2019 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Dec 6: Osseo MiniDazzle Celebration | Boerboom Veterans Park
Start off with the Light Parade. Then, pictures with Santa, take a fire truck ride, warm up at the bonfire and watch the Christmas tree lighting. 6-8pm.
Dec 7: Anoka Hometown Holiday
The tree will be lit, the carols will be sung, and Santa will be taking visitors. Plus horse-drawn trolley rides and bonfires to keep warm. 3-7pm.
Dec 7: Holiday Harbor Lights & Tree Lighting | Downtown Blaine
Community tree lighting, visits with Santa, free refreshments and a display of lighted and decorated boats at Blaine Harbor Visitor Dock. 4:30-7pm.
Dec 7: Plymouth Old Fashioned Christmas | Plymouth Creek Park
Visit Santa, his missus, the elves and his reindeer. Catch a hayride, cookies and holiday tale time. 2-5pm.
TWIN CITIES NORTHEAST METRO 2019 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Nov 22-Dec 28: Hometown for the Holidays | Stillwater
Main Street lights up with Christmas decorations and traditional events for a month-long celebration from November to New Year’s Eve.
Nov 29-Dec 1: Taylor Falls Lighting Festival
Family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (Fri 11/29), Christmas at the Folsom House ($2-$4/pp), storytime with Mrs. Claus and wagon rides. FREE admission & many free activities.
Dec 7: Stillwater Twinkle Party & Tree Lighting
Free twinkle lights to pass out for kids 12 & under, music by the Teddy Bear Band, free cookies and warm drinks, trolley rides & the city’s tree lighting ceremony. 4-6pm.
Dec 14: North St. Paul Holiday Hop
City-wide holiday activities. 9am-3pm, most activities are FREE.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO 2019 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Dec 5: Eagan Community Tree Lighting | Eagan Community Center
The tree will be lit at 6pm followed by holiday tunes, hot chocolate and an outdoor lighted trail. Admission to The Blast Indoor Playground is free during this event. 5-7pm.
Dec 6-7: Inver Grove Heights Holidays in the Heights
Start with the tree lighting outside the community center followed by free swimming in The Grove Water Park. 5:30-8:30pm with tree lit at 6. Saturday brings Breakfast with Santa ($6-$8/pp) & a candy cane hunt for kids ($2/advance).
Dec 6-7: Afton Village Holiday
The village Christmas tree is lit Friday eve; both days bring horse and wagon rides, carolers and festive activities throughout local shops. Fri 5-9pm, Sat 9am-4pm.
Dec 7: Holiday on Main | Lakeville
Find Santa and Mrs. Claus, hop a trolley ride, take in a musical performance and more along Lakeville’s main drag. 9am-2pm.
Find more holiday festival ideas at Twin Cities museums, historic sites and cultural centers! The venues love to get dressed up for the holidays and offer special Christmas tours, activities and decorations.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO 2019 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Nov 29: Light Up the Lake Celebration | Wayzata
Tree lighting ceremony, pictures with Santa, a candy cane hunt for the kids and a parade of lights. 4-7pm.
Nov 29-Dec 1: Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt
The annual 3-day Christkindlsmarkt is packed with a grand parade, children’s activities in KidsWorld, a North Pole Trolley, music, food and other traditional activities.
Nov 30: Hometown Holiday Celebration | Chaska
Treats, activities, reindeer, carriage rides, the Clauses, bonfires, face painting, balloon animals, cookies and cocoa. Culminates in the City Square Park tree lighting at 5. 1pm-5pm, FREE
Dec 1: Chaska Firemen’s Park Tree Lighting
Come for the lighting of the 50-foot tree, treats, crafts & Santa. 6pm.
Dec 6: Holiday Fest | Shakopee
Carolers, visits with Santa, a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks. 6-8pm.
Dec 7: Chanhassen Tree Lighting Ceremony | City Center Park
An annual holiday event with a tree lighting followed by refreshments, live reindeer, gingerbread house displays, and Santa Claus. 5pm.
Dec 7, 14 & 21: Christmas in Excelsior
The big tree lights up at 7pm on Water Street, plus sleigh rides, Santa and carolers lend a holiday air.
Dec 7: Delano Old-Fashioned Christmas
Breakfast with Santa, Girl Scout Santa Shop, Teddy Bear Tea, Holiday Character Hunt, music, sleighrides and Santa parade. 8:30am-9pm, FREE admission, some activities have fees.
Dec 10: Savage Tree Lighting Ceremony | Savage City Hall
Treats, smores, live music and a big countdown to the tree lighting. 6-8pm.
More Holiday family fun: 2019 Family Fun Twin Cities Christmas & Holiday Guide
12/7/18: Winter in the Village | St Anthony Village
Free carriage rides, treats, crafting, a visit with Santa, and a chance to explore the local shops. 4-8pm.
12/7/18: Winter in the Village | St Anthony Village