There aren’t a lot of in-person holiday events taking place this year due to the pandemic. Restaurants and bars are closed and gathering for any length of time is not recommended, but that doesn’t mean the holiday season is a wash. There are plenty of online holiday events to participate in, as well as many events you can attend in your vehicle.

Events in the Twin Cities this December

Sever’s Holiday Lights
When: Now through January 3rd, 2021
Where3121 W 150th Street
Shakopee, MN

Gather your family (or those in your bubble) in the car to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Sever’s Holiday Lights, presented by T-Mobile. This year the half-mile course, located at Sever’s Festival grounds in Shakopee, is packed with even more lights (1.2 million!) and a giant lit up yeti! All the lights are set to holiday music favorites mixed to an upbeat track. Stay in the safety and comfort of your own vehicle while enjoying this one-of-a-kind magical display. Enjoy concessions including mini donuts, cider and caramel corn. It’s the perfect holiday treat for all ages! “Especially this year, we are excited to provide a safe way for families to get out of the house to experience a vibrant, memorable activity that we hope will become a new holiday tradition for years to come,” says Nicola Peterson with Sever’s Festivals.

Each vehicle at Sever’s Holiday Lights will also receive a swag bag provided by UCare® and filled with coupons, candies and other surprises from sponsors. Guests are also encouraged to help bring the joy of the holidays to children everywhere by dropping off an unwrapped toy while visiting Sever’s Holiday Lights, which is a proud partner of Toys for Tots.

All is Bright Holiday Lights Bus Tour
When: Now through December 23rd, 2020
Where: Microtel Inn & Suites
5681 Bishop Avenue
Inver Grove Heights, MN

Don’t let this cold and crazy winter stop you from having fun, Minnesota! In this unusual year, let’s be bold, embrace the cold and make your holidays brighter in the Twin Cities’ only open-air fun bus. We have holiday lights, music, AND Santa and a lively Elf will be at your service. It’s a perfect outing for families. Choose your date and time slot to book the bus for your private party!

Glow Holiday Festival
When: Now through January 3rd, 2021
Where: MN State Fairgrounds
1256 Snelling Avenue N
St. Paul, MN

GLOW Holiday Festival is Minnesota’s newest holiday light experience and must-see holiday attraction at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds this winter.

The Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together is a one mile drive-thru with a dozen stops featuring over a million holiday lights, illuminated trees, icicle and art installations, a festive gingerbread house, plus a State Fair food court finale!

Timed entry every 15 minutes 4:30-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 4:30-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Arboretum Applehouse Holiday Boutique
When: Now through December 20th, 2020
Where: 7485 Rolling Acres Road
Victoria, MN

The Arboretum AppleHouse you know and love has become the AppleHouse Holiday Boutique. Find fabulous specialty food items, beautiful home decor, winter wear, Minnesota baskets, puzzles, children’s clothing and gifts, vintage signs, lighted trees, gifts baskets and more for holiday entertaining and giving. Hand-crafted items from the Arboretum Auxiliary are also for sale, as well as limited varieties of the Arboretum’s famous apples. Enjoy holiday shopping at the Arboretum without making a reservation to the Arboretum grounds!

Arboretum members get a 10 percent discount daily, and enjoy a double discount (20 percent!) from Nov. 19-Dec. 6, but you don’t need to be a member to shop!

Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life”
When: Thursdays – Sundays, December 3rd – 27th, 2020
Where: Online Event

We are excited to present this annual holiday favorite as an at home experience including an interactive radio drama and a box of merriment!

You may ask yourself, how is listening interactive??? Imagine listening at your leisure – possibly while making your annual fruit cake or ironing socks and then stopping a moment to open one of the many surprises that await you. Accompanying each recording will be a Box of Merriment to be opened and interacted with during the radio drama! This should be a fun, quirky, and uplifting holiday experience that brightens your season as the year comes to a close. Experience the show with treats, props, and even scents!

Orders need to be placed before December 15 for delivery. Anticipated arrival/delivery will be December 19. You will be able to listen to the radio drama and open your box at any time that is most meaningful for you!

Wintertime in Stillwater
When: Now through February 28th, 2021
Where: Downtown 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.

Christmas in Color
When: Now through January 3rd 2021
Where: Valleyfair
One Valleyfair Drive
Shakopee, MN

Drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive-by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways, and more. Take your time enjoying this lighting extravaganza – we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window!

Nature Illuminated
When: Now through January 17th, 2021
Where: MN Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN

This winter, there’s a magical world waiting for you at the Minnesota Zoo. Join us for Nature Illuminated: a one-of-a-kind drive-thru experience featuring stunning light work and larger-than-life animal art installations. Nature Illuminated invites you on a spectacular journey into a world of art, awe and light, all from the comfort of your own vehicle. Join us as we shine the spotlight on some of the world’s most endearing and endangered animals, and learn how our collective actions can help save our planet’s wildlife. All tickets must be purchased in advance and online. Tickets for the event are not for sale at the Minnesota Zoo.

Thank you for your support of the Minnesota Zoo and our mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife.