Holiday Happenings 2018: All Events

One-stop gift shopping at Landmark Center

The 40th annual Landmark Center Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar is sure to offer a unique shopping experience Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.

With more with 70 artisans, the bazaar will feature items such as jewelry, decor, woven and wearable art, food items, children’s toys and more. Visitors can enter to win prizes donated by vendors. Festive music and delicious treats will add to the enjoyment of holiday shopping.

Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 29 and 30. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The cost is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are free.

For more information visit The center is located at 75 Fifth St. in St. Paul.


Holidazzle 2018

Holidazzle Village returns to Loring Park in Minneapolis for another year of holiday fun.

Running from Nov. 23-Dec. 23, the free village will include live music and shops. There will be Minneapolis-centric vendors providing options for prepared and packaged food, beverages, unique gift and craft items.

Enjoy outdoor skating in downtown Minneapolis at the Wells Fargo Minneapolis Winter Skate. The rink will be open daily throughout the winter skating season, including all Holidazzle operating hours. Musical performances from bands and choirs will take place as well as visits from Santa. 

The village is open Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit


Enjoy the holiday lights on tours departing from MOA

Take a tour of holiday lights within the confines of a warm motor coach. 

Gray Lines two-and-a-half hour tour of the Twin Cities’ spectacular holiday lights departs from Mall of America’s transit station —east side/lower level — at 6 p.m. Highlights of the tour include city streets, twinkling trees, holiday traditions of the city and residential lights.

Tours are on Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. Tickets are $35 for adults, $33 for those 65 and older, and $25 for children between 6 and 17. Children 5 and under are free.

Visit to purchase tickets and for more details. Call 1-800-472-9546 if you have questions.


Inver Grove Heights holiday happenings

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Inver Grove Heights kicks off its holiday events with a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. There will also be open swim in the newly renovated water park. The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Community Center, 8055 Barbara Ave.

There’ll be holiday VINGO on Friday, Nov. 30 from noon to 12:30 p.m. Bingo is taken to the next level with a custom game that combines awesome music, great visuals, trivia and lots of prizes! VINGO is easy to play and fun for all ages. A light lunch will be provided. Fee is $6 in advance or $8 at the door. 

Santa is coming for breakfast to the community center on Dec. 8. Families will enjoy light breakfast, be able to make a craft, visit with Santa and participate in a toy raffle. To be eligible for the toy raffle, participants must bring a pair of mittens or gloves to donate. There are two sessions available: 8:30 to 10 a.m., and 10:30 to noon. Cost is $6 in advance or $8 at the door.

There will be a Candy Cane Hunt from 1 to 2 p.m., Dec. 8 at South Valley Park, 2810 70th St. E. Participants of all ages are invited to search for a sleigh full of candy canes. There will be tons of candy canes hidden throughout the park. Find the “golden candy cane” and you will receive a special prize. Hot beverages and snacks will be provided. Cost is $2 in advance or $4 at the door. 

Santa visits the Veterans Memorial Community Center on skates on Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. 

Come to Holiday Cookies and Canvas on Dec. 15. This is open to children ages 6 and up with an adult. Cost is $6 per person and there will be two sessions: one starting at 9 a.m. and one starting at 10:30 a.m. Everything is provided. No walk-ins will be accepted.

Judging will begin for the Light up the Heights Holiday Light Contest Dec. 10, with winners announced Dec. 14. Enter your house into the lights contest. A map of participants will be available by Dec. 14. 

Countdown to the new year while swimming, jamming to music, playing bingo, ice skating and log rolling from noon to 3:30 p.m., at the community center. The cost is $6 for kids younger than 9 and $9 for those 10 and older. 

For more information about the events, visit


West St. Paul Secret Holiday Shop

Calling children of all ages: join West St. Paul for the ffith annual Secret Holiday Shop, where kids use tickets to buy gifts for loved ones. On Dec. 8 from 9 to 11 a.m., at Dakota Lodge in Thompson Park, 1200 Stassen Lane, kids can find gifts including jewelry, coffee mugs, home accents, children’s toys and more. Adults will enjoy refreshments while kids shop in the “No Parent Zone.” There will be other adults there to help kids shop, wrap and label all gifts. Gifts range from 50 cents to $12. For more information call 651-554-4154.



South St. Paul Lion’s Breakfast 

Visit Lincoln Elementary School, 357 Ninth Ave. S., on Dec. 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. for a range of holiday events for the whole family including a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. Santa will hand out treats and visit with the children. Pictures will be available to purchase. The SouthWest Lioness’ Santa Store will be open for children to shop for their special family gifts. Elementary children under 6 are free, and there is a modest free for adults. For more information, call the city’s parks and recreation department at 651-366-6200. No registration required.


Breakfast with Santa

On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., visit with Santa and have your picture taken.  Breakfast including pancakes, breakfast meat, milk, orange juice and coffee is available. 

Cost is a cash donation or donation of non-perishable food items for the Neighbors, Inc. food shelf. This event will take place at Faith United Methodist Church, 1530 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul.  For more information contact 651-457-5686 or visit 



Historic estate full of holiday fun

The historic LeDuc Estate, 1629 Vermillion St. in Hastings, invites everyone to enjoy the elegantly decorated estate this holiday season.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m., the LeDuc Historic Estate will host a tea celebrating the main era during which the LeDuc family lived in the house.  Costumed reenactors will abound at these teas, performing some readings to entertain. The house will be decorated for the season, highlighting the beauty of this Gothic Revival home and setting the stage for an interpretive program on the Victorian era beginnings of many Christmas traditions. A three-course meal with a variety of teas paired with your food will be served.

Cost is $40, and reservations can be made by calling 651-438-8480. Seating is limited, so call early.

For more information about all the events visit


Area Holiday Concerts

“On this Winter’s Night with You” will offer lovers of choral music everywhere an uplifting blend of nostalgic melodies and contemporary harmonies by one of Minnesota’s choral groups. This concert takes listeners on a sonorous “Sleigh Ride” from the past, from a “Carol of the Bells” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” to the present with works by famed contemporary composers  Dan Forrest, Mack Wilberg, Bruce Sled and Gordon Lightfoot. Performances will be held at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 at Salem Lutheran Church, 11 Bernard St. W., West St. Paul and 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9 at Oak Grove Presbyterian, 2200 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. Goodwill contributions are accepted and tax deductible. For more information, go to

The Mississippi Valley Orchestra, under the baton of Artistic Director Ho-Yin Kwok, will present “Season of Bells,” a concert of holiday music for the entire family. The festive concert will be in collaboration with Bells of the Lakes handchoir. There will be refreshments served at this free concert. Fudge will be available for sale. The concert will begin at 3 p.m., Dec. 2 at Augustana Lutheran Church, 1400 S. Robert St., West St. Paul.

Get in the holiday spirit by attending the 16th annual Sounds of Christmas concert featuring the Inver Hills Community Band on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 3535 E. 72nd St. in Inver Grove Heights. This entertaining concert will feature music from the  Nutcracker Suite, A Gospel Christmas, African Holy Night, and holiday classics  by featured vocalist Vicki Kueppers. This same concert will also be given on December 9 at 4 p.m. at Advent United Methodist Church, 3945 Lexington Ave. So., in Eagan.


St. Paul Ballet to perform “A Nutcracker Story”

This holiday season, enjoy a sweet treat with the performance of St. Paul Ballet’s “A Nutcracker Story” at the O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave.

A fantastic adventure through the eyes of young Maria to a land of dancing snow, swirling flowers and colorful characters. The memory-making traditional for the entire family is designed for all ages. The 90-minute length performance with intermission is a perfect way to introduce young children to the beauty of classical dance told with wonder to Tchaikovsyk’s familiar score for “The Nutcracker.”

• Saturday, Dec. 1, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m. 

There is an abbreviated School and Senior Show Friday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. For tickets, contact St. Paul Ballet by calling 651-690-1588 or emailing

There will be a Q&A with the cast immediately following the Saturday and Sunday matinees.  Tickets range from $22 to $37 and are available through The O’Shaughnessy website, or by calling the box office at 651-690-6700.


Holiday tours of the governor’s mansion

Holiday tours of the Minnesota governor’s residence will once again be available this season. The house will be open Dec. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Dec. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m., and Dec. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for holiday tours. No reservation is required; tours will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no fee for the tour, but attendees are encouraged to bring a monetary donation or nonperishable food item for Second Hand Harvest.

During the tours, volunteer docents from the Women’s Auxiliary of the Minnesota Historical Society will be available to answer questions in each room of the first floor and lower level of the residence. Proceeds from the sale of available merchandise will help support the historic residence. A 25-foot evergreen tree and 400-feet of garland will be on display on the front of the Residence with over 15,000 colorful lights.

The governor’s mansion is located at 1006 Summit Ave., in St. Paul.

For more information call 651-201-3464 or visit


Free Sinfonia concerts

The Minnesota Sinfonia will have a series of free, holiday-themed concerts coming up in the first week of December. The concerts will include carols, waltzes, show tunes and familiar classics. The concerts will also feature the 2018 Young Artist Competition Junior Division winner Kana Aihara, who is 13 years old. Aihara, a Roseville resident, has been studying violin since the age of six. More information can be found at Concerts will be taking place on:

•  Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.; Metropolitan State University, Founders Hall, 387 

Maria Ave.

• Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.; Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

• Sunday, Dec. 9 , 1:30 p.m.

Sholom Home West Senior Living Community, 3620 Phillips Parkway, St. Louis Park

(Limited seating)

The community band concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about the band visit


East Side Arts Council art sale

The East Side Arts Council will have a holiday art sale on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its gallery located at 977 Payne Ave. The sale will include pieces from local artists like Stacie Brown Forbes, Tamina Muhammed, Gem Russell, and Caron Bell. Cash or check only, credit cards not accepted. 




Christmas at the Monastery

Christmas at the Monastery is the annual fundraiser supporting the ministries of the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Paul’s Monastery. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 3 to 7 p.m. at St. Paul Monastery, 2675 Benet Road. The event will include a collection of gifts through a silent auction, wine wall, mystery gifts, handmade crafts and ornaments, and the Benedictine Bakery and Candy Shoppe. Funds raised will help support the Benedictine Center, Maple Tree Monastery Childcare Center, Sisters’ Healthcare Center and personal ministries in education, parishes, local nonprofits, prayer, social justice, art exhibits, and hospitality both onsite and throughout the Twin Cities. Tickets are $40 per person if ordered before Dec. 1. Starting Dec. 2, tickets are $50 per person. For more information visit or call Annette Walker at 651-777-6850.


Community Holiday Dinner

Hazel Park Recreation Center, 945 Hazel St. N., is inviting community members to a holiday dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. or until supplies run out. There will also be a small holiday craft project for the kids. Please R.S.V.P by Dec. 7 by calling 651-501-6350.


Santa’s workshop

Kids may stop by the Hazel Park Recreation Center, 945 Hazel Ave. N., on Dec. 11, 5:30 to 8 p.m. to come to Santa’s workshop to purchase gifts for their parents, siblings and friends. All gifts will be under $1 with a limit of $10 per child. Participants will be chaperoned by staff, St. Paul Police officers and Harding High School ROTC members, who will help kids wrap their gifts. This event is open to kids ages 17 and under. For more information call the recreation center at 651-501-6351.


Bethel Lutheran Church living nativity​

On Saturday Dec. 15, come to the Living Nativity at Bethel Lutheran Church in St. Paul to experience events surrounding the very first Christmas. For the sixth year in a row, Bethel is providing a short skit, a live petting zoo, and warm beverages and treats. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first skit will begin at 6 p.m. The event will conclude at 8 p.m. This event is for everyone of all ages. Bethel Lutheran Church is located at 670 West Wheelock Parkway — on the corner of Maywood and Wheelock.There is a parking lot for the church on St. Albans on the west side of the church. No tickets necessary and the event is free. For more information, including a map to Bethel, please go to


Twin City Model Railroad Museum

“Night Trains” season is back. This special holiday tradition returns to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum and will run every Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. through Feb. 23, 2019.

Night Trains season comes to the museum’s dozens of model railroad layouts in a magical way: 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.

This year Santa will be visiting the museum on Dec. 15 and 22. He will have a sack of goodies for good girls and boys. Bring the camera and tell Santa about the train you want for Christmas. There’s no additional admission to see Santa.

Night Trains takes place at the museum’s location at 668 Transfer Road, suite 8 in St. Paul. Directions to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum can be found on the museum’s web site, Admission to this special show is $15 per person and free for children age four and under. Discounted group rates are also available for groups of three or more, up to 10 people.


Union Depot is the Hub for the Holidays

Union Depot is the place to be this holiday season with a range of events for the whole family. Below is a list of holiday happenings at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.

• Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony:  Nov. 30 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; guests will enjoy a live musical performance by Keri Noble at 5:45 p.m., followed by the ceremonial lighting of the Union Depot Holiday Tree at 7 p.m. on the North Plaza and a spectacular fireworks show. At 7:30 p.m., warm up inside the Waiting Room with Movie Night featuring the holiday favorite, “Elf!” Concessions will be avaiable for purchase including popcorn. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or folding chairs for extra seating.

• European Christmas Market: Weekend Holiday Outdoor Shopping, Nov. 30 from 4 to 9 p.m.; Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 2 from noon to 6 p.m.; Dec. 7 from 4 to 9 p.m.; Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 9 from noon to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 10 from 4 to 9 p.m. The market is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open-air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Guests can shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations, taste European-inspired foods and drink Gluhwein — spiced mulled wine. This event is free to attend.
• Holiday Bake Sale:  On Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Sixth Annual Holiday Bake Sale will take place at Union Depot, featuring dozens of Twin Cities bakeries selling festive and delicious baked goods and confections. Guests also will enjoy live cooking and baking demonstrations and other entertainment. New this year, there is no fee to enter. Holiday Bake Sale themed boxes will be available for purchase. 

• North Pole Express Train rides: Back by popular demand, families will have the opportunity to ride a train with Santa, see his village and elves at work, then return to Union Depot for refreshments. The North Pole Express rides will take place Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, and Dec. 5 to 9. For ride times and tickets visit The Friends of the 261 at

• Canadian Pacific Holiday Train: The train will make a stop Dec. 10 for a musical performance. Attendees are encouraged to bring a cash or healthy food donation to benefit Keystone Community Services. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. Purchase $10 VIP tickets, which all proceeds go to Keystone Community Services., and be granted access to a preferred viewing area closest to the stage.

For more information about Union Depot holiday events, visit or Ride to the
Depot for free using Metro Transit. Download the pass the day you are attending and show when boarding the train or bus.

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