Family Holiday Fun in Minneapolis

With the first snowfall already under our belts, holiday season is upon us. When busy schedules get in the way and hibernation is at the back of your mind, it’s time to get out and have some fun! Minneapolis has got all you and your family need to get into the holiday spirit.

Looking to get out of the house but want to keep your little (or bigger!) ones with you? We've compiled a list of family-friendly holiday activities to get you moving. From theatrical shows to outdoor events, there is an endless amount of family fun to be had in Minneapolis during the holidays. Still looking for the perfect gift? Take the whole family to one of many Minneapolis holiday markets this season! Or want to take the gang to the theater? Minneapolis is home to plenty of holiday shows too!

You can relax knowing that Metro Transit makes it easy and affordable to travel from place to place! They even offer deals such as museum discounts and free rides. 

​ Black Nativity at Penumbra Theatre

November 21st – December 22nd, 2019
Times Vary
Penumbra Theatre

This timeless holiday tradition is treasured by families across the Twin Cities. Today, kids who grew up with Black Nativity are returning with their own families. Under the direction of Lou Bellamy and the musical direction of Sanford Moore, this homegrown Christmas show returns with exceptional lead vocalists, the outstanding Kingdom Life Church Choir, and the stirring choreography of Alanna Morris-Van Tassel. Join Penumbra for an experience full of joy, community, and spirit.

Santa and Albert's Holiday Play "The Snowflake Dance"

November 23rd-December 22nd, 2019
Times vary
Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden on Lyndale

Albert the Elf has been invited to the hottest dance at the North Pole, but there’s just one problem: He’s worried he can’t dance. Santa is ready and willing to dish out helpful tips on how to boogie, but Albert’s not sure he can trust his old friend for advice on the dance floor. Will Albert gather the courage he needs to bust a move with his best elves, or will his wavering confidence keep him from enjoying the most exciting event of the season?

Gingerbread Wonderland

November 23rd, 2019 - January 5th, 2020
10:00am-4:00pm Tue-Sun| Closed Mondays
Norway House

Norway House’s annual signature Holiday tradition Gingerbread Wonderland returns to the Galleri in all of its cinnamon coziness. All are encouraged to enter their dream cookie creation, regardless of their baking level!

2019 Live Holiday Music

November 23rd, 2019 - December 31st, 2019
Times vary
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Free holiday music for Arboretum members and guests. Arboretum admission is $15 for ages 16+, 15 and under are always free. Become a member and deduct your entrance fee. Don't forget to check out their winter light displays while you're at it!

Christmas Traditions Guided House Tour

November 27th-December 29th, 2019
Times vary
James J. Hill House

Get in the holiday spirit with a guided tour and learn about Christmas traditions for the Hill family. Guides bring visitors through the basement, first and second floors while sharing family stories and memories, including Mrs. Hill's lavish seven-course holiday meal in 1910, how the servants kept their own holiday traditions, and family stories and memories that still resonate today.

Holidazzle

Thursdays-Sundays, November 29th-December 22nd, 2019
Thursdays from 5:00-9:00pm | Fridays from 5:00–10:00pm | Saturdays from 11:00am–10:00pm | Sundays from 11:00am–7:00pm
See full schedule
Loring Park

As downtown Minneapolis’ premier (and free to attend!) holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents and visitors for years. Enjoy food, drinks, holiday shopping and activities for all ages! A skating rink (open daily), dedicated movie nights, firework displays, interactive art installments and even Santa Claus are just a few *holidazzling* activities waiting for you.

A Victorian Christmas

November 29th-December 29th, 2019
Times vary
Alexander Ramsey House

Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a Victorian Christmas in 1875 and discover how the Ramsey family and their friends and neighbors prepared for and celebrated the season!

Festive Holiday Lights Tour

November 30th-December 29th, 2019
Times vary
Minneapolis & St. Paul

Treat yourself to the magic of the holidays by viewing beautiful light displays on this 2 hour tour! Your expert guide will escort you to your warm, heated coach bus where you’ll ride in comfort while viewing twinkling lights and nibbling on holiday treats. The brightly decorated streets of the Twin Cities are sure to get you in the spirit of the season!

Skate the Star at Mall of America

December 2019 - January 2020
Mall of America

The Mall of America is bringing to life a magical experience for shoppers and visitors this holiday season. Bring your own skates or rent a pair, and skate your way along the mall's new, custom-built ice rink at the North entrance. Free and open to the public during select mall hours, 100% of rental skate proceeds go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

*All skaters must complete waivers before skating. Minors under the age of 18 must have waiver signed by a parent or guardian

1850s Holiday Party

December 1st, 2019
12:30-3:30pm
Ard Godfrey House

Take a guided tour of the charming yellow Ard Godfrey house with docents dressed in 1850s period costume!The house is decorated for the holidays in the modest style of the era. Enjoy free admission, apple cider and cookies during your visit.

Photos with Santa

December 2nd & 9th, 2019
Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden on Lyndale

Bring your own camera and take your child’s photo with Santa and Albert in Santa’s workshop! This photo opportunity is ideal and recommended for infants and toddlers, and does not include a performance of Santa and Albert’s play.

CSE Winter Light Show

December 5th-14th, 2019
Civil Engineering Building
on the University of MN campus

The CSE Winter Light Show is a student-designed 3D outdoor experience featuring more than 250,000 LED lights set to music written and recorded by University of Minnesota students. Now in its ninth year, the CSE Winter Light Show has become an annual campus tradition. This year the shows are bigger and better than ever!

Reindeer Day

December 7th, 2019
43rd and Upton Avenue South in Linden Hills

Reindeer Day brings small-town holiday traditions to Linden Hills! Shoppers warm up and roast marshmallows over fire pits, Santa visits with the kiddos, carolers stroll the streets, and merchants hold special in-store events. And what would Reindeer Day be without…live reindeer?

Holiday Flower Show Opening Weekend

December 7th-8th, 2019
10:00am each day
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

The Holiday Flower Show tradition began in 1925 and continues to be the most anticipated and visited flower attraction at the Conservatory today. The 2019-2020 Holiday Show will feature the Ice Punch Poinsettia along with Kalanchoe Cher, Eucalyptus and Persian Shield. Visit the show in its duration, from December 7th, 2019 - January 12th, 2020!

Holiday Tea at Brit's

December 8th, 15th & 22nd, 2019
12:30pm
Brit's Pub

Come to Brit's for a delectable display of Holiday treats especially prepared to help you celebrate the season! Savouries, pastries, bread, sweets and loose leaf tea will be offered and Victorian carolers will be at the pub between 1:00 and 3:00pm. The event is family-friendly!

2019 Holiday Bake Sale

December 14th, 2019
10:00am-5:00pm
Union Depot, St. Paul

Union Depot’s 7th Annual Holiday Bake Sale will host the top Twin Cities bakeries for a day of cookie, candy and holiday shopping! Festivities will include baking and cooking demonstrations, cooking ideas, musical performances, food and drink pairing workshops, cake walks and more. This is a free event and open to the public!

Winter Solstice Celebration 2018

December 20th, 2019
6:00-10:00pm
American Swedish Institute

Mark the Winter Solstice at ASI, a moment when the earth’s tilt causes the shortest day and longest night of the year. Since pagan days, solstice has traditionally meant the "year as reborn," with ancient (and modern) Scandinavians fusing it into the longer “Jul” or Yule season. ASI celebrates this powerful seasonal juncture with fun, festivity and performance during extended hours. FIKA Café will serve a special festival menu with small plates and warm glögg (Swedish mulled wine) and the ASI Museum Store and Jul Shop will also be open late for all of your last-minute gift needs!