Out & About


Minnesota Parent welcomes information about events for families throughout the state of Minnesota. Calendar listings are FREE and can submitted here.

You can submit a listing at any time, but the deadline for possible inclusion in the print publication is six weeks prior to the month of the publication. (For example, June 15 for the August issue.)

All events are subject to change. Be certain to check with the event sponsor either by visiting the website or calling, to ensure the featured event is still viable.

Events taking place for more than one weekend in length will be listed in our "Ongoing" area.

Julmarknad, ASI's Holiday Market & Festival
There will be handmade items for sale by more than 40 talented local and regional artists. The celebration continues throughout the Mansion with special performances by Nordic music and dance groups. Families can make handcraft projects to take home and enjoy holiday story time.
Where: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
Cost: Included in museum admission: $12 adults; $8 seniors; $6 ages 6-18 and students; free for ages 5 and under and ASI members
Website: asimn.org
Night Trains
The lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. The make-believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations.
Where: Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
Cost: $15 for individuals, special family rates
Website: tcmrm.org/special-events/night-trains/
Grand Meander
Choose your Christmas tree, have breakfast with Santa, hear carolers as they meander from store to store, and hop on a classic trolley and ride the length of Grand Avenue.
Where: Grand Avenue, St. Paul
Cost: FREE
Website: grandave.com
Winter Lights
Stroll through the gardens in expanded botanically-themed winter light displays. Buy a s'mores kit to use over a roaring bonfire, warm up with cocoa in the Oswald Visitor's Center and admire the Arboretum's 25-foot poinsettia tree, as well as towering decorated evergreen trees with botanical decor and thousands of fairy lights.
Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
Cost: Free with gate admission: $15 for ages 16 and up, free for 15 and under
Website: arbwinter.umn.edu
As downtown Minneapolis' premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents, visitors and downtown employees for years. The Kids Zone features a climbing wall, slides, maze, tunnel, hay bales and more.
Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis
Cost: FREE
Website: holidazzle.com
St. Paul European Christmas Market
This event is based on the traditional open-air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink Gluhwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European-inspired food and delicacies.
Where: Union Depot, St. Paul
Cost: FREE
Website: stpaulchristmasmarket.org
The Great Russian Nutcracker
Presenting world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian snow maidens, and jubilant nesting dolls, Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages.
Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis
Cost: From $33
Website: hennepintheatretrust.org
Annie Jr.
Little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City.
Where: SteppingStone Theatre, St. Paul
Cost: $14-$18
Website: steppingstonetheatre.org/series/annie-jr/
Discovery Days: Coding
Code is everywhere. It touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Join us as we peek behind the curtain and try to understand the code that makes machines work. Try your hand at using code to control robotic creatures, program a light show, and create music.
Where: The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis
Cost: Included with museum admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors 62+, $8 ages 12-24, $5 ages 4-12, free for children 3 and under and members of The Bakken Museum
Website: thebakken.org/events
Santa and Albert
Celebrate the season with Santa and Albert with a new holiday play, The Snowflake Dance. Guests are encouraged to participate in a sing-a-long of holiday carols at the end of the performance, which lasts about 20 minutes. Stay to take pictures with Santa and Albert. Bring your own camera. Seating is first come, first serve.
Where: Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Cost: FREE
Website: bachmans.com
Holiday Ball
Child guests are encouraged to come dressed up for a royal ball. Adult guests are welcome to come in fancy wear, even Disneybound attire, but please refrain from cosplay and princess gowns; please reserve character dressing up for the kids.
Where: The Shoppes of Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove
Cost: $5-$60
Website: eventbrite.com/e/holiday-ball-vip-tea-party-tickets-62126283386
41st Annual Old Fashioned Holiday Bazaar
70+ booths of handcrafted gift items will include jewelry, wreaths, paintings, woven and wearable art, handmade lotions, soaps and more, along with festive music and treats. Shoppers have a chance to win one or more of 70+ items, each donated by the artists.
Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul
Cost: $5
Website: landmarkcenter.org
Gingerbread Farm
In this two-hour workshop, make a holiday farm scene by building a barn and other structures out of prebaked gingerbread and then make and decorate gingersnap farm animal cookies to populate your farmyard. All materials are supplied. Fee is per gingerbread farm. This program is for families with children ages 6-14.
Where: Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
Cost: $60 per gingerbread kit/MNHS members save 20%
Website: mnhs.org/event/7131
Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest Winners
Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune kicks off the day in the Baking Lab with a presentation about the cookie contest, how it is judged, and what makes a great holiday cookie. Taste samples of the winning recipes and enjoy hot cider and coffee from 1-3 pm. Vote for your favorite cookie to help select a winner for the visitor's choice award, which will be announced at 3 pm.
Where: Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Cost: Included with $6-12 museum admission/MNHS members free
Website: mnhs.org/event/7421
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
First grader Junie B. Jones is super-excited about the upcoming holiday sing-along and Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. Recommended for all ages.
Where: The Conn Theatre, Minneapolis
Cost: $7 to $15
Website: youthperformanceco.org