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 2021:
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 METRO HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
Union Depot Tree Lighting | St Paul
Catch the giant tree light up through Union Depot’s Facebook page, then plan a drive-by later on. It will be lit through December on the North Plaza. TBA, 7pm.
Rice Park Tree Lighting Ceremony | St Paul
Rice Park will dazzle with thousands of twinkling lights throughout the winter. Catch the virtual tree lighting or drive by in your car. The holiday lights are traditionally up late November through February. TBA.
Holidazzle | Loring Park, Minneapolis
During a typical holiday season, 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. This year’s Holidazzle will be celebrated virtually. TBA
TWIN CITIES NORTHWEST METRO HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
TBA: 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.
TBA: 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 HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
TBA: Taylor Falls Lighting Festival
Family highlights include the Grand Lighting & Santa Parade (Fri 11/27), ornament-making kits at the Folsom House, snow sculpture contests and a family movie night. FREE admission & many free activities.
TBA: 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.
December 4, 2021: 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.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
TBA: Inver Grove Heights Holidays in the Heights
Start with the tree lighting outside the community center followed by swimming in The Grove Water Park ($5-$9/pp). 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).
TBA: Annual Community Tree Lighting | Eagan Community Center
Follow the community center on social media for time.
TWIN CITIES SOUTHWEST METRO HOLIDAY FESTIVALS & CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS
TBA: 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.
TBA: Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt
The annual weekend Christkindlsmarkt is packed with a grand parade, children’s activities in KidsWorld, a North Pole Trolley, music, food and other traditional activities.
TBA: 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.