Minnesota-Holiday-FestivalsGet ready to deck the halls and Fa-La-La all around Minnesota at one of these magical festive events of 2018

**Don’t miss our Minnesota Christmas Light Displays page to feel the spirit of the season from the warmth of your car


11/3 – 2/23 Winter Lights at the Arboretum, Chanhassen MN
See the Arboretum grounds aglow with outdoor and indoor lights.  Walk among 14 outdoor displays, warm up at the S’more Village.

11/3 – 2/23 Night Trains Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul MN
Running every Saturday evening from 6-9pm through 2/23/19. Night Trains Season comes to museum layouts in a magical way, the lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. Santa Comes to Night Trains Dec 15 & 22.

11/16 – 12/31 Hometown for the Holidays, Stillwater MN.
Experience the holidays like you remember. Historic Main Street Stillwater is alive with Christmas decorations, lights, and traditional events for a month-long celebration. Find joy in shopping and dining during the holiday season with many free family friendly events in November and December

11/23 – 12/23 Santa’s North Pole Experience, Eden Prairie MN
Santa Claus visits, real reindeer, Elf on a Shelf, snow globes, treats, handmade gifts, toys, face painting, picture frames, and toy donation drop site at the Eden Prairie Historical Society’s Cummins-Phipps-Grill House.

11/17 – 12/26  Bentleyville Tour of Lights, Duluth MN
America’s largest free, walk through light display.

11/17 – 12/24 Krueger’s Tree Farm, Lake Elmo MN
Cut-your-own tree, wagon rides, visit Santa, nature walk and warm apple cider.

11/19 – 12/24 Jan’s Christmas Tree Farm, Clear Lake MN
Visit with Santa, hay rides, campfire, and cut-your-own tree. Santa arrives by helicopter at special events.

11/24 – 12/16 Bachman’s Annual Holiday Play: “Santa’s Magical Music”, Minneapolis MN
This annual all-new holiday play has been a Bachman’s tradition for 30 years. It’s free to attend and great fun for families. Saturdays & Sundays only. Guests are encouraged to participate in a sing-a-long of holiday carols at the end, and stay to take pictures with Santa and Albert. Play lasts approximately 20 minutes.

11/19 – 12/23  Cupkie Christmas Village, Richville MN
Cut-your-own Christmas Tree farm. Enjoy the bonfire, concessions, Santa visits, pony rides, live reindeer, straw pyramid to climb on, train rides and a gift shop!

11/17 – 1/6 Gingerbread Wonderland, Minneapolis MN
Enjoy holiday treats at Also Ingebretsen’s and surround yourself in all things gingerbread.

11/23 – 12/23 Holidazzle Village, Minneapolis MN (Thur-Suns)
A free holiday festival in Loring Park. Meet Santa, listen to live music, dance, skate and more. Firework displays on several Friday & Saturday nights

11/17 – 12/24 Pinestead Tree Farm, Isanti MN
Cut-your-own tree, wagon rides, visit Santa, see the model train, bonfire, and gift shop. Lots of photo-ops, too!

11/24 – 12/9 B& J Evergreen,  Clear Lake MN
A cut-your-own Christmas Tree farm. Offering wagon & sled dog rides, Santa visits, petting zoo and more.

11/27 – 12/13  Rum River Tree Farm, Oak Grove MN
Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farm. Enjoy visits with Santa, Hayrides, petting zoo and pony rides, candy canes and coloring books!

Christmas Tree Minnesota

11/27 – 12/13  Hampton Hills Tree Farm, Randolph MN
Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farm. Enjoy visits with Santa, Hayrides, petting zoo and pony rides, candy canes and coloring books!

11/28 – 12/1 Fire Departments Santa Parade, Spring Lake Park, Blaine, Mounds View MN

11/21 – 12/30 Hill House Holidays, James J. Hill House, St Paul MN
The bustle and excitement of a Gilded Age Christmas is brought to life as the servants of the James J. Hill House prepare for the holidays.

11/23 – 12/2  A WWI Christmas, St Paul MN
Experience what Christmas was like for the Lindberghs during World War I. Meet costumed interpreters portraying Lindbergh family members and neighbors as they provide insights into early 20th-century holiday traditions and the challenges wartime presented. Learn about the impact of food rationing, create a Christmas decoration to take home, and write a note or draw a picture for a soldier as Charles Lindbergh might have done. Notes will be distributed to current Minnesota service members at Camp Ripley in time for the holidays.

11/23 – 12/30 A Victorian Christmas, St. Paul MN
Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a Victorian Christmas in 1875. During this guided tour, guests can taste homemade cookies fresh from the wood-burning stove, listen to popular holiday music of the era played on the family’s 1875 Steinway grand piano, and view original family ornaments and Christmas gifts. Discover how the Ramsey family, friends, neighbors, and servants prepared for and celebrated the Christmas season.

11/22 -1/6 Celebrate the Light of the World Christmas Display, Willmar MN
The show will run nightly 4:30 PM -11 PM. As usual the lights will run all night on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!Dec. 1st Drive-In Movie showing Elf at 6:30pm
Dec. 2nd Drive-In Movie showing Alvin and the Chipmunks at 6:30pm with fireworks after movie at approx. 8:00pm
Dec. 9th Pictures with Santa Clause & decorating cookies from 4-8pm

12/3, 12/8-10 U of M Light Show,  Minneapolis MN
Join the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) during the first two weekends in December for a dazzling light show designed by students. The high-tech light show is bigger and better this year featuring more than 100,000 LED lights and laser projection set to music, some of which is written and recorded by University of Minnesota students.

11/29-12/2 North Pole Express Holiday Train, St Paul MN (Union Train)
Guests will enjoy the experience of a real steam train, Santa and his elves, and holiday fun for all.

11/30-12/2 European Christmas Market at Union Depot, St Paul MN
The market is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season.



Christmas Festival Twin Cities

11/18 Christmas City of the North Parade, Duluth MN
A holiday tradition since 1958. Parade starts at 6pm.

11/21 Winter Lighting Festival, Bursville MN  Attend the ceremony and stroll through the lights.  There will be a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus as well as entertainment by local choirs.

11/20-21 Hip Hop Nutcracker, St Paul MN
A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography.

11/22              THANKSGIVING

11/23 Hudson Light up the Night Hudson, WI
Santa arrives with Elves in town, music in the air, candy canes and much more. With a wave of his hand, Santa turns the dark of night into the festive glow of the holiday lights. A sparkling evening in Downtown Hudson for kids of all ages. Downtown Hudson, 7pm.

11/23 Forest Lake Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Forest Lake MN
Join us for The City’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!  Movies, Ice Sculpting Santa Claus, Performances and more.

11/23-25 Christkindlsmarkt, Excelsior MN
A celebration of the holiday season for the whole family. An open air market, puppet shows, face painting and more.

11/23 Light Up the Lake, Wayzata MN
Join the fun for Community Tree Lighting and festive activities, such as Santa’s reindeer, hot cocoa, s’mores, holiday music, and horse drawn wagon rides

11/23 – 25 Lighting Festival, Taylors Falls
Craft show, bonfire, food, parade and lighting ceremony.

11/23 Christmas at the Fort, Alexandria MN (Runestone Museum)
Enjoy carolers, children’s choirs, Santa and Mrs. Claus, free snacks and beverages and music. At dusk a local student will flip the switch to light up the entire historic downtown district with lights.

11/23  Old Fashioned Christmas Stroll, Redwing MN
Pancake breakfast, caroling, lighted parade, cookie decorating, photo booth, Santa, horse drawn wagon rides and reindeer in Red Wing!

11/23  Lighted Horse Parade*, Pelican Rapids MN
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving the Pelican Rapids Minnesota Chamber of Commerce sponsors a lighted horse parade to get the holiday season off to a fun start.

11/23  Here Comes Santa Claus, Rochester MN
The magical evening kicks-off with a thrilling rooftop rescue by the Rochester Fire Department.  Santa will make his dramatic rooftop landing and grand downtown debut. This will be followed by the tree lighting ceremony and complimentary photos with Santa.

11/23  Parade of Lights, New Ulm MN
60+ units, brightly lit with thousands of colored lights, travel along Minnesota Street from 4th South to 4th North.  The historic downtown is lined with real Christmas trees, and real garland hangs from above.

11/24  Hastings Holiday Hoopla, Hastings MN
Vendor fair, pictures with Santa, Reindeer rides, gourmet smores, ice carving and more!

11/24  Santa and Reindeer at Valley Creek Mall, Woodbury MN                        
Santa and Live reindeer from 10a-12p

Santa Elves Minnesota

11/24  Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony ,Edina MN
50th & France’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Visit with Santa, enjoy holiday songs performed by strolling carolers and performances by Platinum Dance Center. Sip on complimentary coffee or cider provided by Caribou Coffee!

11/24 Christmas Festival, Wadena MN
Feature crafters, music, food, and even a special visit from Santa & Mrs. There are over 100 booths with products that will delight young to old.

11/24 Midway Holiday Pop-Up Shop, St. Paul MN
You’ll find dozens of local businesses, crafters, artisans and artists—all from in and around the Midway area—selling a wide range of local goods and gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Bring the kids to share their wishes, and come enjoy live music and carols, ornament decorating, holiday stories, holiday baked goods and more—all while you support our local businesses, and fill your holiday list with gifts from close to home.

11/24 Deck the Falls, Cannon Falls MN
This holiday celebration will warm your heart and help you kick off the holiday season plus support local businesses by taking part in “Small Business Saturday”.  Events include store open houses, Deck the Falls parade, holiday music, bake sales, and more.

11/24. Lighting Up Longville, Longville MN
“Lighting Up Longville” Offical Christmas Tree Lighting downtown Longville. Horse-drawn wagon rides, hotdogs, hot chocolate, and cookies — and it’s all FREE! Christmas carols and a bonfire!

11/25 International Holiday Festival, Minneapolis MN
At the Ukrainian Center. Folk dancing, music, lunch, bake sale and craft sale.

11/28  Grand Parade of Lights, Detroit Lakes MN
Parade in Downtown Detroit Lakes!

11/29 Lighted Holiday Parade, Owatonna MN
Annual lighted parade at 6pm

11/29-12/2 North Pole Express Holiday Train, St Paul MN (Union Train)
Guests will enjoy the experience of a real steam train, Santa and his elves, and holiday fun for all.

11/30 Union Depot Tree Lighting, St Paul MN (Union Depot)
The Holiday Tree Lighting celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Waiting Room with entertainment and holiday activities. At ~ 7:00 p.m. guests will move outside for the tree lighting celebration, followed by fireworks and a movie.

11/30-12/1 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Minneapolis, MN
For one day only, the ballet company will be in Twin Cities to perform one of the greatest holiday dance theatricals. The sets are spectacular and the costumes stunning. But the grace and skill of the dancers in this tale of a young girl, her jealous brother, and a fantasy nutcracker prince create a breath-taking performance.

11/30-12/1 Afton Holiday Village, Afton MN
The village will “light up” with holiday lights and torches.  Horse & Wagon rides, Community Christmas Tree Lighting, Strolling Carolers, Holiday Gift Boutiques, free wine tasting, live music, food/drink specials, bonfires with complimentary warm beverages and more.


Christmas Events Minnesota

12/1 Reindeer Day in Linden Hills, Minneapolis MN
Reindeer Day brings small-town holiday traditions to Linden Hills. Shoppers can warm up and roast marshmallows over fire pits in the parking lot behind Heartfelt and Zumbro Café. Santa will be mingling with young shoppers, and the 43rd and Upton merchants will hold special in-store events.

12/1 Tree Lighting Ceremony, Chanhassen MN
Come and enjoy the lighting of the holiday tree, refreshments, live reindeer, gingerbread house displays and, of course, a special visit from Santa Claus!

12/1-2, 8-9 Christmas in the Village, Farmington MN (Dakota County Heritage Village)
Visit our village with buildings decorated and lit up inside and out. Trolley rides. Santa will be in the depot and Mrs. Santa will be in the village library to help children write letters to Santa, Choirs and more.

12/1 Grand Meander, St Paul MN
Breakfast with Santa, Santa’s reindeer, soup tastings, art shows, caroling and trolley rides.

12/1 Christmas Tree Lighting, Anoka MN
We’ll have bonfires, Santa will meet FREE with children, free horse drawn carriage rides are available and of course we’ll light up the tree. It’s a great event for the whole family!

12/1 Pioneer Christmas, Forest Lake MN
Enjoy pioneer crafts, visit with Santa, carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides, food, and much more.

12/1 Holidays on Main, Lakeville, MN Celebrate the season with visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, carols, crafts and sleigh rides.

12/1-2 Holiday Open Haus, Minneapolis MN
The GAI’s mansion will be decorated for the season, with vendors featuring crafts and goods from German and local artisans, model trains, and a visit from St. Nikolaus on Sunday.

12/1 Hometown Holiday, Chaska MN Come enjoy treats, activities, reindeer, Santa and Mrs Claus along with carriage rides, bonfires and many more fun holiday memories.

12/1 Twinkle Parade, Stillwater MN
Free coffee, cocoa, cookies, & popcorn. Free Twinkle Lights for children 12 and under while supplies last. Feel free to dress up in your own lights too! Let’s light up the parade route. Entertainment, tree lighting, and a short kid-friendly fireworks display to follow.

12/2 & 9 Sensitive Santa at Northtown Mall, Blaine MN
A special time for children with autism and their families to visit Santa. 8a-10a

12/2 Sleighbells and Sparkle Parade, Maple Grove MN
Begin the holiday season with a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus and holiday-themed floats from local businesses. Parade at 5pm

12/3 Santa and the Elf Workshop, Eden Prairie MN
Santa visits from 2-5!

12/6 Winter Walk, Northfield MN
Experience downtown Northfield by candlelight. Stroll through unique shops, dine at fine restaurants and enjoy caroling, horse and reindeer-drawn wagon rides, luminarias, decorated storefronts and more

12/7 Decembrrr Dazzle, Prior Lake MN
Santa and his reindeer will be on hand for photos with children in Lakefront Park and many other events are planned.

12/7-8 Osseo Minidazzle, Osseo MN
Fire truck parade, Bonfire, Santa, Carolers. 6pm-8pm

12/7 Santas Workshop Maplewood, Maplewood MN
We’ll have a visit from Santa, games, musics, movies, arts and crafts, holiday stories and much more!  Bring an unwrapped girft for Toys for Tots and you’ll receive a special prize.  Ages 3 and up. Call to register, space is limited.

12/8 Old Fashion Christmas, Plymouth MN Participants can visit with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves; meet reindeer; snack on cookies; roast s’mores; take a horse-drawn sleigh ride; and enjoy choir songs and holiday tales. The event will also include a PRISM toy drive, which accepts new, unwrapped toys for children from birth to age 18.

12/8 Skate with Santa, Inver Grove Heights MN
Santa visits the Community Center on skates where families can enjoy the holidays on ice!  Hot beverages and snack provided!

12/8 Breakfast with Santa at Tria Restaurant, North Oaks MN
Bring the family to Tria Restaurant from 10am-2pm for Brunch with Santa, a Carriage Ride with Horses and the Morgan’s breakfast! Call to make reservations.

12/8 Warden’s House Holiday Event, Stillwater MN
Have a truly unique holiday shopping experience while meeting local authors, sipping coffee and enjoying live holiday songs at our annual book sale. Not to mention that some of our most popular titles will be up to 50% off their normal price!

12/8 Christmas Winter Ball, Maple Grove MN
Come to our enchanted event where you will meet and interact with princesses, perhaps a pixie, surprise guests, and Santa Claus! This event features dancing with princesses to music with a live DJ, face painting, games, goodie bags, live performances, and activities for the whole family.

12/8 & 15 Winter Brunch with Santa Chanhassen MN (Arboretum)
Bring the kids for a fun visit with the Jolly Old Elf himself! Visits are free with gate admission.

12/9 Santa’s Workshop, St Paul MN (Landmark Center)
Sundays at Landmark is a series of cultural and art events that are designed to entertain, enrich and educate an audience. All programs begin at 1 pm unless otherwise noted and are free and open to the public!

12/9 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, Wabasha, Hastings & Winona MN
Every year, our Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

12/10 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, St Paul and Cottage Grove MN
Every year, our Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

12/10 Winter Party in the Park, Inver Grove Heights MN

12/11 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, New Hope, Golden Valley, St Louis Park, NE Mpls MN
Every year, our Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

12/12 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train,  Loretto, Buffalo, Annandale, Eden Valley
Every year, our Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

12/13 Very Merry Santa Day at Jerry’s Foods, Woodbury MN
We are partnering with the Woodbury Rotary club to bring Santa to Jerry’s for the 1st Annual Very Merry Santa Day at Jerry’s Foods. Santa will be taking FREE photos. Kids can collect festive cookies at the Holiday Cookie Walk and participate in other FREE activities! 11a-2p

12/14 Tomte Solstice Magic, Minnetrista MN (Gale Woods Farm)
Experience the magical Scandinavian Tomte tradition. Listen to a story, make a craft and search for the Tomte hiding in the barn with small gifts. Visit the animals and sample hot porridge. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Drop in anytime.

12/15 Candy Cane Hunt St. Anthony, MN (Silverwood Park)     Christmas Minneapolis Candy Cane
Search for candy canes hidden by Santa’s elves, find 3 and get a prize. Look for canes with golden ribbons for larger prizes.  Enjoy warm treats, arts, winter games, and photos with Santa.  Hunts for children ages 0-4 begin at 1:30pm and 2:30pm; hunts for children ages 5+ begin at 2:00pm and 3:00pm

12/16 Folkways by Candlelit, Shakopee MN (The Landing)
Discover the holiday traditions of 19th-century Minnesotans.  Watch folk art performances and tour homes with culturally-distinct decorations and crafts.

Christmas Twin Cities

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