Saturday, Dec 7
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.
American Swedish Institute, MinneapolisCost:
Included in museum admission: $12 adults; $8 seniors; $6 ages 6-18 and students; free for ages 5 and under and ASI membersWebsite: asimn.org
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.
Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. PaulCost:
$15 for individuals, special family ratesWebsite: tcmrm.org/special-events/night-trains/
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.
Grand Avenue, St. PaulCost:
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.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, ChaskaCost:
Free with gate admission: $15 for ages 16 and up, free for 15 and underWebsite: 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.
Loring Park, MinneapolisCost:
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.
Union Depot, St. PaulCost:
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.
Orpheum Theatre, MinneapolisCost:
From $33Website: hennepintheatretrust.org
Little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City.
SteppingStone Theatre, St. PaulCost:
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.
The Bakken Museum, MinneapolisCost:
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 MuseumWebsite: thebakken.org/events
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.
Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., MinneapolisCost:
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.
The Shoppes of Arbor Lakes, Maple GroveCost:
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.
Landmark Center, St. PaulCost:
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.
Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk RiverCost:
$60 per gingerbread kit/MNHS members save 20%Website: mnhs.org/event/7131
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.
Mill City Museum, MinneapolisCost:
Included with $6-12 museum admission/MNHS members freeWebsite: mnhs.org/event/7421
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.
The Conn Theatre, MinneapolisCost:
$7 to $15Website: youthperformanceco.org