Events

Everything You Must Do in the Twin Cities This Holiday Season

Updated On 12/13/2017 at 04:20PM EST Updated On 12/13/2017 at 04:20PM EST
Holidazzle
Holidazzle | courtesy of Holidazzle.com
November
Holidazzle
Holidazzle | Courtesy of Holidazzle.com
November
Monday - Sunday
Nov 20-Dec 17
Linden Hills
A little-known Sunday holiday market returns to Linden Hills’ Sunnyside Gardens this year with more than 60 local vendors. You can find handmade candles, jewelry, clothing, decor, and wreaths, along with food like Liege waffles, Twin Cities paella, and Bundy’s pure maple syrup.
Cost: Free
Monday - Sunday
Nov 20-Dec 24
Twin Cities Metro
Remember, the holiday season is all about giving (not getting) by volunteering your time for a good cause. For one, The Salvation Army needs volunteers to ring a bell by a red kettle. Your help can make the difference between an empty pot and one that provides a family with groceries, so consider signing up for a shift online.
Cost: Free
Monday - Sunday
Nov 20-Jan 7
Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Based on the popular book by Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas will be performed this year by a large cast of local student actors at the MIA’s Children’s Theatre. This kid-friendly version differs slightly from some adaptations, but still features the green guy coming around to save Whoville’s holiday.
Cost: $15 and up
Monday - Sunday
Nov 20-Jan 7
American Swedish Institute
Experience a true Nordic Christmas as the American Swedish Institute decks the halls of its historic Turnblad Mansion and hosts a multitude of activities. This year, adults can partake in spirited glogg drinking while kids can do crafts and participate in storytelling sessions.
Cost: $5 children/students, $7 seniors, $10 adults
Monday - Saturday
Nov 20-Dec 30
The Guthrie Theater
A Twin Cities holiday tradition in its 34th year at The Guthrie, A Christmas Carol is always the fastest-going ticket in town. Performed by a world-class cast at the scenic theater, attending calls for a splurge-worthy night out. Arrive early to catch cocktails or enjoy the view from the Endless Bridge.
Cost: $15 and up
Friday
Nov 17
Pantages Theatre
If your idea of holiday fun is more naughty than nice, catch A Drag Queen Christmas- The Naughty Tour, starring contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Expect holiday tunes, glittery costumes, and plenty of catwalk-strutting.
Cost: $26 and up
Friday - Saturday
Nov 24-Dec 23
Loring Park
For more than 20 years, the Holidazzle Parade downtown along Nicollet Mall was the event of the season. However, starting in 2014, the Minneapolis Downtown Council re-imagined the event, turning it into a multi-faceted winter wonderland. The new Holidazzle features local food, art, Santa, fireworks, and holiday movies.
Cost: Free
Friday - Sunday
Nov 24-Dec 31
Alexander Ramsey House
The Ramsey House, built for Minnesota’s first territorial governor in 1868, now plays host to an authentic Victorian Christmas. Travel back in time to see how the family celebrated the holidays, complete with period ornaments, gifts, music, and tours.
Cost: $8 children, $10 students/seniors, $12 adults
Saturday - Saturday
Nov 25-Dec 30
Flat Earth Brewing
Hop on a bus and hit the breweries in St. Paul this season. The Brews & Bulbs tours include tastings, holiday popcorn from Candyland, and souvenir steins. In between suds stops, you’ll cruise by twinkling lights, including those in Rice Park. The fun kicks off at Flat Earth with more breweries to be announced.
Cost: $75
December
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train | Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
December
Friday
Dec 1
Warehouse District
12 Bars of Christmas is the largest holiday pub crawl in the Twin Cities, and it’s for a good cause too, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota. In order to participate, pre-order a shirt or wristband. Both allow participants free cover and cheap drink specials at Warehouse District bars -- a true Christmas miracle.
Cost: $30
Friday
Dec 1
Union Depot
The fourth annual holiday tree lighting celebration will take place once again in St. Paul with music, holiday activities, and fireworks. Also beginning this day is the European Christmas Market with unique, handmade holiday gifts.
Cost: Free
Saturday
Dec 2
Orpheum Theatre
A classic holiday experience, the Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker is in town for just one night. The performance promises larger-than-life props, a 60-foot Christmas tree, and Russia’s best ballerinas.
Cost: $32 and up
Saturday - Saturday
Dec 2-16
Minnesota Zoo
The Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis closed this year, leaving a hole in the Twin Cities Santa scene. Fortunately, the Minnesota Zoo is hosting Santa Saturdays where kids can meet the jolly guy and you can snap a photo.
Cost: $12 children/seniors, $18 adults
Monday
Dec 4
Xcel Energy Center
Every year Twin Cities radio station KDWB brings a star-studded tour to St. Paul that offers an alternative to holiday hits. This year, the Jingle Ball 2017 Tour features Fall Out Boy and Kesha as headliners.
Cost: $36 and up
Friday - Sunday
Dec 8-10
University of Minnesota
Watch the Twin Cities excellent Gay Men’s Chorus perform both classic (i.e. "Feliz Navidad") and original (i.e. "I Want a Lumbersexual for Christmas") holiday tunes. This year’s performance is a celebration of holiday music from around the world, including songs from Europe, Africa, and Mexico.
Cost: $25 and up
Saturday
Dec 9
Lion's Park, Columbia Heights
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train starts its journey this year in New York and travels all the way to Canada, stopping in Minneapolis for just one night. After the festive, lighted train pulls in, you can help local food banks who will be onsite to accept donations for those in need.
Cost: Free, with food or monetary donations encouraged
Saturday - Sunday
Dec 9-17
Highland Park
The family-friendly play Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins tells the story of Hershel, who arrives in a village where goblins have been conspiring to stop the holiday. Spending eight nights in the old synagogue, Hershel must try to bring Hanukkah back.
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Thursday - Sunday
Dec 14-17
Basilica of Saint Mary & The Ordway
One of the season’s most well-known orchestral pieces, Handel’s Messiah will be performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in two scenic locations: The Basilica and The Ordway. It’s a can’t-miss Christmas favorite featuring the well-regarded, 40-member vocal ensemble The Singers.
Cost: $5 children, $12 and up adults
Sunday - Sunday
Dec 10-31
Twin Cities Metro
We all know those houses that go all out with holiday lights -- and so does Total Luxury Limo. They offer chauffeur-driven tours where you can bring your own music and food/drink. There's a two-hour minimum on tours and they’ll offer area suggestions, or you're free to weigh in as well.
Cost: Varies, contact for info
Saturday
Dec 16
Honey Bar
Celebrate Hanukkah with this party for young professionals in Northeast Minneapolis. An open bar, Menorah lighting, donuts, and latkes all help celebrate the festival of lights in style.
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Tuesday
Dec 19
Northeast Minneapolis
The Minnesota Vikings' Kyle Rudolph and 612Brew are launching their limited-edition beer together -- 52 by 612 -- and their launch promises to be a laid-back, fun, drink-fueled party. Rudolph will be on hand for autographs and photo ops, and the food will be catered by Lord Fletcher's. A percentage of ticket sales will also be donated to Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone -- a hospital space at the University of Minnesota's Children's Hospital.
Cost: $100
Wednesday
Dec 20
North Loop
Going to class may not be everyone's idea of a happy holiday, but we can probably make an exception when those classes involve wine. North Loop Wine & Spirits, one of the top wine stores in the area, will run through the top five B's in vino: Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barbaresco, Barolo, and Brunello -- named for their respective regions in Europe. You can expect a lesson on history and samples from all of them.
Cost: $65
Sunday
Dec 31
Union Rooftop
The retractable rooftop hosts their fourth annual New Year’s blowout, which this year will be Gotham City-themed. Expect to see more than one Batman, Robin, and Joker with three levels of decor, costumes, and spectacularly nerdy entertainment.
Cost: $30
Sunday
Dec 31
The Lumber Exchange Building
Dress to kill at The Pourhouse’s secretive New Year’s Eve party. There’s not a lot of information out there about the event yet, but then again, it is billed as top secret. There will be bottle service, should you choose to accept it.
Cost: Currently $150 for VIP all-access