The Holidays are in full swing, soon enough 2023 will come to a close. Get out and enjoy these family friendly events in the Twin Cities this December. From tree lightings to holiday markets and ice skating, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this December in the Twin Cities!

Events in the Twin Cities this December

Twinkle Party Weekend
When: December 1st – 3rd, 2023
Where: Pedestrian Plaza
126 Water Street N
Stillwater, MN

Friday, December 1
This weekend lights the way to the Holidays! Stillwater’s Mainstreet and side streets feature a vast array of shops & restaurants of all flavors.
6:30-8:30 p.m – Enjoy holiday lights, sights & the sounds of Victorian Carolers strolling down main street Stillwater.

Saturday, December 2 – Twinkle Party & City of Stillwater Tree Lighting
4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. – Enjoy holiday lights, sights & the sounds of Victorian Carolers strolling down main street Stillwater.
4:00 p.m. – Bring your family and join the fun on Pedestrian Plaza (adjacent to the historic Liftbridge) for our Twinkle Party Celebration ~ Twinkle lights will be given out and feel free to wear your own lights to add to the fun!
Around 5:00 p.m. – Watch for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive!
5:30 p.m – Celebrate the official lighting of the City of Stillwater’s Christmas Tree on Pedestrian Plaza with music and more. Enjoy shopping & dinner at many of the shops and restaurants around town.

Sunday, December 3
2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. – Horse-drawn Wagonette Carriage – FREE to ride!
Dr Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
When: December 1st – January 7th, 2024
Where: The Children’s Theatre Company
2400 Third Ave S
Minneapolis, MN

The miserly, miserable Grinch has had enough of the Whos despicable Christmas joy! He conceives a dastardly plot, but when tiny Cindy Lou Who extends a hand of friendship, the course of Who-History – and the size of the old green guy’s heart – is changed forever.

Anoka Tree Lighting
When: December 2nd, 2023
Where: Anoka City Hall Plaza
2015 2nd Avenue N
Anoka, MN

Bring your family, friends and holiday spirit for this fun and festive hometown event. On Saturday, December 4th from 3:00-7:00 pm, come to Anoka and join in as all c-o-u-n-t-d-o-w-n to light-up the official City Christmas Tree.

It all takes place in front of Anoka City Hall Plaza at 2015 2nd Avenue North, historic downtown Anoka.

There will be free horse-drawn trolley rides, merry holiday music, and bonfires to keep you warm & toasty. Food and merriment will abound to bring back memories of an old fashioned Christmas. Bring the kids and see Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Santa Shack!

Be sure to come early and enjoy dinner at one of the many downtown restaurants and do some holiday shopping at some of the most unique shops in the Twin Cities.

Annie’s Swedish Coffee Parties
When: December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 2023
Where: Gammelgarden Museum of Scandia
20880 Olinda Trail North
Scandia, MN

Annie was the longest resident at Scandia’s Gammelgarden – “small farm.” We celebrate her tradition of a coffee party on the first three Saturdays in December. A 3-course Swedish coffee party is a perfect way to celebrate birthdays, Red Hat outings, a family get-together, or a special treat for yourself and a friend!

The three courses of food (along with your coffee) will include: Cardamom bread/butter, fruit-filled coffee cakes, sliced cheese and apples, rice pudding, and assorted Swedish Jul cookies. There will be Swedish Jul traditions and stories shared between courses.

Join us in the upper level of the Valkommen Hus which will be decorated for Jul time. Feel free to shop the Butik while you are there. We have many wonderful products for Jul time and year-round.

Please note: The coffee parties are not appropriate for children under 5 years old.

Christmas Tea Party
When: December 3rd, 2023
Where: Gustaf’s Eatery

Come enjoy a Christmas Tea in the historic Gustaf Anderson House. Private table seating. Includes full afternoon tea faire. Multiple teas, finger sandwiches, scones, soup, dessert. Ages 10 & above. $42 includes tax and gratuity. Reservations required. No cancellations but tickets are transferable.

Arboretum Applehouse Holiday Boutique
When: December 1st – December 21st, 2023
Where: Applehouse
7485 Rolling Acres Rd
Victoria, MN

The Arboretum’s popular AppleHouse — located at 7485 Rolling Acres Road, Victoria, 1.5 miles west of the Arboretum’s main entrance — becomes a Holiday Boutique in November and December. Find everything you need to make the holidays special, including seasonal decor, gifts and gourmet goodies for your holiday meals. Apples and Arboretum-grown squash will also be available while supplies last.

Fun activities and beautiful artisanal crafts return to the MN Waldorf School’s free and open-to-the-public 40th annual Holiday Fair and Artisan Market on Saturday November 18th, 2023. Join us for a full day of wintery festive fun, with children’s activities, puppet shows, food trucks, live music, a silent auction and of course visits from our sneaky Pocketeers! Shop over 30 local artisans in our vendor market place and pick out something truly unique.

Hometown for the Holidays
When: December 1st – 31st, 2023
Where: Historic Main Street
Stillwater, MN

Experience the holidays like you remember. Historic Main Street Stillwater is alive with Christmas lights and decorations and events for a month-long celebration. Kicking off on Black Friday through New Year’s Eve, check the schedule for carolers, B&B tours, free horse-drawn victorian wagonette rides along the river, shopping specials, twinkle parade with live music and santa, live reindeer, breakfast with santa, holiday cooking classes, and more. Get in the old-fashioned holiday spirit!

Handel’s Messiah
When: December 16th and 17th, 2023
Where: Ordway Concert Hall
345 Washington Street
St Paul, MN

Celebrate the holidays with
one of classical music’s most beloved traditions and join the SPCO for our
extremely popular annual performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah.
Dmitry Sinkovsky and the SPCO will be joined by an all-star roster of vocal
soloists and renowned vocal ensemble The Singers in what is sure to be a wonderful musical
experience for the whole family this holiday season.

Winter Lights Teas
When: December 1st – 17th, 2023
Where: MN Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN

Celebrate the holidays with a classic afternoon tea amid festive seasonal decorations. Served in the Snyder Building’s charming Tea Room and Fireplace Room, a selection of traditional teas will be accompanied by soup, finger sandwiches, pastries, and other delightful treats. Teas will take place from 1-3 p.m. on select dates.

Little Explorers at the Como Zoo
When: December 1st – December 28th, 2023
Where: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN

Lil’ Explorers is a free program designed to connect children to plants and animals through age appropriate educational activities, stories and playtime.

GLOW Holiday Festival
When: December 1st – December 31st, 2023
Where: CHS Field
360 N Broadway St.
St. Paul, MN

GLOW is returning this 2023 winter season to CHS Field in Downtown St. Paul. Tickets are on sale now. This 2023 season, GLOW will run from November 16 to December 31 on select dates. Each evening, the event will be open from 5:00PM – 9:00PM

GLOW features over a million lights, sElfie Plaza, Enchanted Forest, Bright Bikes, Tremendous Tree, the GLOW Spectacular, and so much more!

The elves have a lot up their sleeves this year with new exhibits and, of course, tons of lights to make your holiday shiny & bright.

Wintertime in Stillwater
When: December 1st – February 29th, 2024
Where: Downtown Stillwater
Stillwater, MN

Discover the beauty and fun of Wintertime in Stillwater!
Starting in December, the traditional experiences will continue outdoors including Hometown for the Holidays, carriage rides, carolers, Winterfest and the lighting of the Main Street Christmas Tree. Some new outside experiences being considered: A Fat Tire Rally, a downtown ice-skating rink, Fire & Ice Hot Air Balloons, Ice Cream Social, European Market, a mini Ice Castle with a maze inside, outdoor firepits, hockey and boot hockey games and more.