Our annual list of school-break sanity-saving ideas looks a little different this year, but would you really expect anything else out of 2020? Close out the year and keep the kids busy with our annual list of 16 things to do over Winter Break in the Twin Cities!
Cathedral Illuminated: The Manger | Cathedral of St Paul
Jump in the car for a drive-thru Christmas this year! The Christmas Story will be presented with large-scale light murals and projected on the front of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The show is 12 minutes long and shown between 6-9pm. Dec 17-19. And check our 2020 Drive-Thru Christmas list for more holiday light shows!
Tune in to Landmark Center’s Sundays at Landmark webpage and social media pages to hear an original Christmas story that is charming and engaging for all ages.
BE THE LIGHT WINTER SOLSTICE WALK | Westwood Hills Nature Center, St Louis Park
Celebrate the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year) with an illuminated walk towards spring. Make sure to register in advance to receive a start time. The nature center may not have re-opened for the walk, but you can learn more about Westwood Hills has to offer and get excited to visit next year. 5:30-8:30pm, FREE.
Before Santa’s gone…bring your Christmas list and visit him at Cabela’s in Woodbury. Please make your (free!) advance reservation to safely meet Santa and get a free 4X6 photo! Thru Dec 24 during store hours. Find our master list of where you can meet Santa in the Twin Cities!
Order some art to-go: Decorating for the holidays sparked a lot of cheer in our house. Consider ordering one of ArtStart’s new Holiday Creativity Kits (with curbside pickup) and spend the day crafting some keepsakes. You can feel good buying local, too; ArtStart is a non-profit based out of St Paul, Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is also offering Winter Break Art Kits for kids that include supplies, instructions and virtual support through Mia’s teaching artists. You can order the kits on the museum’s website through January 1, 2021.
Bake that last batch of cookies: Do your kids like to help in the kitchen as much as mine? Need a last-minute idea for the holiday cookie exchange? We’ve got some sweet and blessedly simple recipes to whip up sugar cookies and gingerbread cut-outs.
Merry Christmas if you celebrate! Got some down time after you’ve cleared away all the wrapping paper and gift boxes? Make it a craft day and stay cozy at home making these homemade ornaments for next year’s tree.
Take a holiday lights tour – and bring along this list of Minnesota Christmas Lights & Music Shows to find one near you. If you’re in the car destined to or from the relatives, maybe you’ll find a new display en route.
Lace up a pair of ice skates: Bring your skates to the Central Park Ice Skating Loop in Maple Grove or the canals of Centennial Lakes Park in Edina. Skating is free and the backdrops are lovely – just remember that skate rental and the warming houses are temporarily unavailable. Searching for ice closer to home? Use our Skate the Twin Cities list to find your nearest free outdoor ice rink.
Yeti story stroll | Edina
Embark on a self-guided Story Stroll in Edina Parks! Check the website to discover which park you’ll be tracking the Yeti at, then follow the signs to read pages from the book of the day. Keep an eye out for the 7-foot Yeti at the start of the stroll. 10am-2pm.
Dickens Holiday Classic | virtual via The Guthrie
The holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” may normally be best suited for families with older children, but since you are doing it in your living room for such a spectacular price, this year, you can share it with the whole family! Tickets $10 for unlimited viewing at your convenience.
Make it a cozy pajamas-and-Christmas movies kind of day. You might well have been doing this since Thanksgiving (we’ve already checked it off the list), but in case you need a few more classic suggestions…Gianna has laid out 32 Christmas movies to enjoy at home.
Read Make Do – Explore Animals in the Winter | via Ramsey County Libraries
Families with kids ages pre-K to grade 1 can register for 1 free story and activity kit (you pick up). Registration for this kit begins Dec 26.
Join the Museum in closing out a year we’ll never forget! Usually a paid event, this year the annual Sparklerama party will be virtual and FREE. Livestreaming begins at 7pm and lasts about 30 minutes. Registration is required.
Go sledding or snow tubing for New Years Day! But where to find the best hills? Our Twin Cities Sledding Hills Guide contains a long list of the best – in all shapes and sizes. Gianna’s Winter Break Survival Guide also has a great list of St. Paul & Minneapolis-area sledding hills along with spots to go snow tubing in the Twin Cities. Pictured below are a few of my absolute favorite kids on the giant hill Town & Country Club golf course in St Paul – free for all to sled on.
Now let’s look forward to a healing 2021!