Although it may have started already for some, the Holiday Season kicks into high gear with the arrival of Thanksgiving. And in between Turkey in November and the final day of 2015, there are plenty of things holiday-related to do.
If you are looking for some holiday happenings, you’re in the right place. Our Guide is divided into three sections: Holiday Fun (holiday-related activities), Holiday Performances and Holiday Markets.
There truly is something for everyone this holiday season, and we appreciate the opportunity to bring you just some of what’s happening. Take a look, start planning, and have a great holiday season!
Holidazzle 2015 – Our city’s beloved Holidazzle is back for another year, this time in Loring Park. Brought to you by the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Holidazzle is a family-friendly holiday tradition that is completely free this year.
What can you expect? How about an outdoor skating rink, musical performances from local bands and choirs, visits from Santa Claus, holiday-themed movies and much more. It’s all at Holidazzle along with Minneapolis-centric vendors selling prepared and pre-packaged foods, beverages and unique products and gifts.
Holidazzle will run Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, November 27 through Sunday, December 20. The hours are 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 11:00 am until 9:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Opening Ceremony is happening on Friday, November 27 at 6:30 pm. For more information, please click here.
Holley Trolley – Bundle up and enjoy a 15-minute trolley ride from Lake Harriet to Lake Calhoun and back. Santa will come along for the ride, and the trolley will be decked out in full holiday cheer. You can ride on November 28 and 29 and December 5 and 6 any time between 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Tickets are $4 per person, and no advance reservations are required. Feel free to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, too. For more information, please click here.
CP Holiday Train – Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train rolls into towns throughout Canada and the northern U.S. with the mission to entertain the community while collecting food and money for local food banks. It will be making several stops in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas December 9 through 11 and at each stop, you can enjoy the performances of cappella group Kira Isabella and Doc Walker.
The CP Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars. They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs. To find out when and where the Holiday Train will be making stops in the Twin Cities, check out the schedule by clicking here.
Holiday Lights in the Park – Open nightly from November 24 – January 1, 2016, Holiday Lights in the Park is a joint venture between the St. Paul chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the St. Paul Police Foundation. It’s a fun and affordable family event with a mission to raise money to help people in need. Net proceeds will be distributed to a community non-profit partner, the Saint Paul Police Foundation and the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy.
The cost is $8 per vehicle if purchased online in advance or $10 at the gate (cash only!) and visitors will experience more than 60 holiday-themed light displays located on a driving path. The lights are illuminated from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm nightly. For more information and to get your tickets, please click here.
A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House – take a step back in time and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of a Victorian Christmas. You can see original family ornaments and family gifts, hear music played on the 1875 Steinway piano and taste holiday cookies made in the wood stove. Tours of the house are offered November 27 through January 4; for more information, please click here.
Macy’s Santaland – For more than 50 years, families have headed to the 8th floor of Macy’s (previously Dayton’s and Marshall Fields’s) for the annual holiday display. Although the themes have differed throughout the years, since 2008 visitors have seen “A Day in the Life of an Elf,” which is the story of how Santa’s elves prepare for the upcoming holiday.
Visitors will walk through the elves’ bunk room, kitchen, school, toy factory and Santa’s mailroom as they prepare for the big man’s big night.
What’s more, after spending some time with the elves, visitors can write a letter to Santa. For every letter received, Macy’s will make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition, visitors can pick up a pre-paid, pre-addressed SharePackage to fill with goodies for local children in the hospital over the holidays. Macy’s Santaland is open during store hours.
White Christmas at The Heights Theater – This year marks the 16th year that The Heights Theater will show the holiday classic, White Christmas, on their screen. In addition to the movie, you will also be treated to a special 20 minute concert by Maud Hixson who will be singing many of your holiday favorites. She will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on the piano as well as a bouncing ball sing along. And let’s not forget Harvey Gustafson who will be at the keyboard of the Heights Mighty Wurlitzer.
All screenings are sold out except for the December 7 screening at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10 and you can purchase yours by clicking here.
Bachman’s Holiday Ideas House – Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own home or you just love holiday decorations, you will enjoy seeing what the designers have done to the historic Bachman house on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis. They’ve repainted, refurnished and redecorated the entire home with a mix of new items, repurposed gems and a touch of vintage. And you can see it all on a self-guided tour.
Tours are available seven days a week through December 13 and are $5. They are sold in 30-minute increments during the following times: Monday – Wednesday 9:30 am through 4:00 pm, Thursday & Friday 9:30 am through 6:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am through 5:00 pm, Sunday. 10:30 am through 4:30 pm. For more information and to get tickets, please click here.
The Trump Who Stole Christmas at the Brave New Workshop – In the words of the presidential candidate himself, this show “is the greatest show ever. It’s fantastic!” And in fact, the Brave New Workshop’s holiday show is a cherished tradition that people look forward to every year. This year’s show involves the audience who work with a veteran crew of improv actors and actresses to make Christmas great again.
The show runs now through January 30, 2016 and tickets range in price from $28 to $36. For more details, please click here.
A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater – It’s a holiday tradition 41-years strong at the Guthrie. See what happens when a miserable man who greets everything with “bah humbug” is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. Whether you’ve seen it before or are seeing it for the first time, it is a cherished production to share with friends and family.
The show runs through December 27 and ticket prices vary. In addition, you are invited to bring a non-perishable food item or household item for The Food Group (formerly the Emergency FoodShelf Network). For more information, please click here.
A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol at the New Century Theatre – A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol is the sequel to the wildly successful A Don’t Hug Me Christmas. It takes the familiar story and puts a Minnesota twist on it and includes 17 original songs. It runs from November 27 through January 3, 2016. Tickets range in price from $24 to $27. For more information and get your tickets, please click here.
The Christmas Cone of Silence: Miss Richfield 1981’s Holiday Show at Illusion Theater – Join Miss Richfield 1981 for her 16th annual Holiday Show as she discusses many things, including many forbidden topics including family, politics, religion, medical issues and more. Once the Cone of Silence is lowered, anything goes during the show, including riotous videos, twisted sing-a-longs, audience interaction and a few holiday surprises.
The show runs Thursdays through Sundays Starting December 4 until December 20. Tickets begin at $32. For more information and to get tickets, please click here.
The Academy or Russian Ballet’s Nutcracker – This year marks the Academy’s 14th annual presentation of the holiday classic. This year, as it has been every year, is performed by Academy of Russian Ballet dancers and is faithful to the original enduring Marius Petipa choreography.
The show is happening December 18, 19 and 20 at Eden Prairie High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets run from $26 to $32. For more information, please click here.
A Charlie Brown Christmas at Stages Theater – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic animated TV special as it comes to life on stage. Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the whole Peanuts gang as they try to understand the truly meaning of Christmas. It’s a holiday tradition year after year.
The show runs through December 29. For more information and to get tickets, please click here.
Black Nativity: A Tradition of Love and LIght at Penumbra Theatre – This holiday tradition focuses on compassion, connection and community. It suggests that the “work of Christmas” actually begins after the holidays and we all go back to our everyday lives. This work is “to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among brothers, to make music in the heart.” What makes your heart sing? How will you dedicate your energies during the New Year?
The show runs December 3 through December 20, with a post-play discussion on December 10 and 17. For more information and to get your tickets, please click here.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Steppingstone Theatre – Another holiday tradition, this production follows the mischief and antics of the six Herdman children as they prove they are not the worst kids in the world, much to the surprise of many people in town. They are participating in this year’s Christmas pageant and in the process, learn respect while the townsfolk learn not to judge a book by its cover.
The show runs December 4 through the 23 and tickets are $12 for students/seniors and $16 for adults. For more information and to get your tickets, please click here.
Purple Door Potters Pottery Sale – This year marks the 19th year of this group of potters holiday sale. Taking place on Thanksgiving weekend – November 27, 28 & 29 – you can peruse the works of a dozen local potters. Speak with the artists and get a feel of what went into the pieces that you’re drawn to. The sale is happening at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis. The times vary each day and for more information, please click here.
Made Here Holiday Market – If you are looking for locally-made jewelry, home decor, apparel, art and more, check out the Made here Holiday Market. More than 30 Minnesota artists will be on hand at the Minneapolis City Center atrium on December 3 from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm, December 10 from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm and December 17 from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.
Old Fashioned Holiday Market – Stroll and peruse the wares of 75 local artisans at the 37th annual Old Fashioned Holiday Market at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. You will find wearable art, lotions and soaps, tasty treats and more. And as you stroll through the market, you can enjoy festive music and delicious treats. It’s happening December 3 and 4 from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm and December 5 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Admission is $5; kids 12 and under are free.
Holiday No Coast Craft-O-Rama – It’s a holiday tradition and it’s happening at Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. You’ll find plenty of handmade holiday shopping along with plenty of entertainment and plenty of good eats. Check it out on December 4 from 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm and December 5 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Holiday Craft Hop – More than 50 Minnesota artisans will gather at the Grain Belt Brewhouse for the annual Holiday Craft Hop. Find handmade holiday gifts, participate in a knitting activity and enjoy free hot cider, too. Put on by the American Craft Council, the Holiday Craft Hop is happening on December 5 from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
Tattersall Holiday Market – Tattersall Distilling is hosting a holiday market featuring iconic Minnesota brands and craft cocktails at the historic Thorp Building in Northeast Minneapolis. Have a drink and shop vendors including Faribault Woolen Mills, Woodchuck USA, LeMond Bikes, MPLS / STP Clothing Co., Lanona Shoe Co., Intelligent Nutrients, William Rogue & Co., Sanborn Canoe Co., Oak Tree Arts, Tread Light, Marked, Inc., Beth Homa-Style, and more.
It’s happening on December 12 from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm at Historic Thorp Building, 1620 Central Ave. NE in Minneapolis.
Casket Arts Holiday Market – Casket Arts is kicking off a new Northeast tradition with their first annual Holiday Marketplace. Over 40 Northeast Mpls artists and makers will line the first floor hallway for you to peruse. Whether you plan on celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or Festivus – what better way to finish your holiday shopping than while supporting local artists in a fun, festive setting! Come for the arts, and stay for the festivities: live music all day + tasty treats from Groveland Confections , Cookie Cart , and Mojo Coffee.
It’s happening on December 12 from 10:00 am until 6:0o pm at 681 17th Ave NE in Minneapolis. This family-friendly event is free and open to all.
Women’s Art Festival – Peruse the work of over 130 local women artists selling their art work including jewelry, photography, ceramics, textiles, painting, and more, as well as live music all day. Food and beverages will be available, provided by Sisters’ Sludge Coffee Cafe and the Kabomelette Food truck. Plus, new this year is a special youth artist section featuring girls ages 10 – 18 selling their handmade work.
It’s happening on December 12 from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm at Colin Powell Center, 2924 4th Ave S. in Minneapolis. Go early, stay late, dance to live music and enjoy!
Know of a holiday happening that should be included here? Let us know if the comments section or drop us a line by clicking here.