It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also the busiest time of the year! Don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy the sights, sounds, and joy of the season. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite events and activities to help you celebrate. You might need more than a day to explore the Twin Cities during the holidays, so book a hotel in perfectly positioned Roseville to make the most of your time here.
Shows & Music
One of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is to enjoy a festive show, and there are so many options near us this season! A perennial Twin Cities favorite is A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theatre. They produce this show every year, and it never disappoints fans both new and old. Other yearly favorite shows include Black Nativity at Penumbra Theatre which features exceptional lead vocalists and the outstanding Kingdom Life Church Choir; and for the third year, Home for the Holidays, a merry mix of storytelling, carols, and comedy by the Minnesota Orchestra. You can also catch the stage version of some of your holiday favorite movies with Elf: the Musical, JR. at Stages Theatre Company and Miracle on 34th Street at the Hanifl Performing Arts Theater. Lastly, if you’re looking for a true classic show Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasty is for you. You can also enjoy the sounds of the season with some incredible musical performances. Marvel at the talent of The Blenders, Ebony, Ivory, & Spruce, Sounds of Blackness, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Nothing puts us in the holiday spirit quite like some dazzling light displays. The biggest and most well-known display is Holidazzle in Minneapolis. Enjoy fireworks displays and holiday movies, go ice skating, meet Santa, shop for everyone on your list, and more. View the Holidazzle schedule for a listing of events. Visit the University of Minnesota campus to take in a winter light show set to music and designed by College of Science and Engineering students. You can also take in the lights from the warmth of a vehicle with a variety of available tours including a Trolley Light Tour, Festive Holiday Lights Tour, and even a Brews n Bulbs brewery and light tour!
Here in Minnesota, outdoor events get their own section even in the middle of winter. Roseville is home to the largest outdoor ice rink in North America. The Guidant John Rose MN OVAL is 110,000 square feet. Both the outdoor and indoor rinks host public skating and open hockey hours. Another fun outdoor event is Destination Winter at CHS Field which include the Well Fargo Winter Skate and Securian SuperSlide, a 40-foot-tall snow slide. After you’re done playing in the snow, you might want to visit Union Depot to take a train ride to the North Pole with Santa.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
You can also ring in 2020 at the OVAL’s annual New Year’s Eve on Ice which features a bounce house, face painting, magic show, and of course skating both indoors and outdoors! Other family-friendly celebrations include Sparklerama at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Noon Year’s Confetti Dance Party at Como Zoo, and New Year’s Noon at the Bell Museum. If an adults-only night out is more your style, head to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Roseville for New Year’s Eve with G.B. Leighton.
Of course, for many people, it’s not the holidays without a visit to Santa. Meet him at Rosedale Center’s Winter Castle. Download the free Rosedale Center Winter Castle app to see it come to life by positioning your device in the direction of marked holiday objects. The app allows you to take photos with a variety of holiday characters, add special effects, and share with your friends and family. A sensory-friendly Santa experience will be available December 8 from 6:30-8 PM. You can also take your pet to visit Santa 5-8 PM Wednesdays or 9-11 AM Sundays through December 18. Don’t forget to check the holiday events to plan your visit during one of the many holiday performances throughout the season including Minnesota Youth Symphonies, Out on a Limb Dance Company, and more!
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the season? Do you have a yearly tradition or do you try something new every year? Sound off in the comments below or find us on facebook, twitter, or Instagram to let us know.