The holidays are just around the corner! If you’re looking for family friendly events in the Twin Cities this December then be sure to check out the happenings listed below. From Holidazzle to Santa Saturday at the Minnesota Zoo, there’s a magical delight for everyone in the family.

Events in the Twin Cities this December

Holiday Light Tours in the Twin City Trolley
When: Starts December 1st, 2017
Where: Pick up at Ridgedale Center
Minnetonka, MN

See the holidays lights by trolley! Sign up today to schedule your tour of the holiday lights on a Twin Cities trolley. Pick up takes place at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka.

Santa Saturdays
When: Saturdays in December
Where: Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN

December is a great time to visit the Minnesota Zoo. If you’re looking for that perfect holiday photo, bring your family and camera to the Zoo on Saturday, December 2, 9, and 16 and meet Santa. He’ll be available for photos from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Christmas Traditions Guided House Tour
When: Various dates in December
Where: James J Hill House
240 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN

In the 1890s, St. Paul’s Summit Avenue was a holiday destination where friends and neighbors would gather together to celebrate the Christmas season and welcome the New Year. On this holiday tour, discover holiday celebrations of the past through the stories of those who lived and worked on Summit Avenue, including excerpts from Hill family letters and journals and rare historic photographs of the neighborhood.

Tours run 60 minutes with the last tour time at 3:30 pm.

The Shrine Circus
When: December 8th – 19th, 2017
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN

For nearly 100 years, Zuhrah Shriners have brought the Shrine Circus to Minneapolis as an affordable, fun and exciting family orientated event. This year will be no different. This year’s show will include everything from elephants, big cats, to the world famous Shrine Clowns, and other acts sure to thrill and excite you and your family.

Scuba Clause
When: December 9th, 2017
Where: Sea Life at Mall of America
120 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN

Are the thousands of sea creatures at SEA LIFE Minnesota nautical or nice this year? Santa Claus shall find out as he dives at SEA LIFE Aquarium at Mall of America® this holiday season. Scuba Claus and his trusty elf helpers will be diving into some of the 1.3 million gallons of water at the Aquarium. Kids of all ages will be delighted and surprised to see Santa really is everyone – even underwater!

Holiday Sampler: Tasting & Gift Fair
When: December 9th, 2017
Where: Mississippi Market
1500 7th Street West
St. Paul, MN

Brighten your season at our third annual family-friendly Holiday Sampler! This is a great chance to:

  • Meet local vendors
  • Taste festive flavors
  • Peruse local gifts
  • Sip on tasty mocktails and eggnog
  • Enjoy live piano music
  • Take part in a string-cheese-snowman kids’ craft
  • Splurge on limited-time-only holiday sales on favorites such as local cookies, cheeses, candles, and more
  • Receive a seasonal gift with purchase when you spend over $50, while supplies last

You’ll also be able to sample specialty holiday meats and place pre-orders for them, all of which will come with a co-op coupon. Plus, enter our meat raffle for your chance to win one of three sustainably-raised local meats for your holiday celebrations*.

Holidazzle in Loring Park
When: Now through December 23rd, 2017
Where: Loring Park
Minneapolis, MN

Get ready to enjoy a little North Country right here in Downtown Mpls.

The mpls downtown council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board are excited to partner together and bring Holidazzle to Loring Park. As downtown Mpls’ premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents, visitors and downtown employees for years. In 2017, this tradition is again bringing family-friendly programming to Loring Park and is free and open to the public. You and yours are invited to join in the festivities!

Gingerbread Wonderland
When: Now through January 7th, 2018
Where: Norway House
913 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

The holiday tradition of gingerbread houses, called pepperkake in Norway, has crossed the sea to Norway House. Create a special piece to display – a local Twin Cities landmark or inspired structure – or just come to admire, as dozens of creations are on exhibit for this multi-generational, magically festive event. Invite family and friends to join you in baking an exhibit piece, or spark a friendly competition for bragging rights. Gingerbread Wonderland also includes special displays from renowned local bakers. Professional submissions will be judged by a respected panel, and a “People’s Choice” award will honor the structure most admired by attendees.

When: December 21st – 23rd, 2017
Where: Science Museum of Minnesota
120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN

Gather your family and friends and celebrate light at the darkest time of the year! Illumination: Light Up the Night is our new winter tradition that brings light to Minnesota’s darkest season. We’ll dim the lights, give you a flashlight, and invite you to see the museum you love in a whole new way.

Explore things that glow, try your hand at light painting, make glow-in-the-dark slime and glowing light sabers, experiment with shadows and color, enjoy a glowing cocktail, and much, much more. Let’s Light Up the Night!