Edit ModuleShow Tags

Turning on the Holiday Lights in St. Paul's Rice Park


I’ve never been to New York City, but if (no, when) I go, I hope to travel there around the holidays because I think Rockefeller Plaza, with its huge tree and ice-skating rink, seems pretty awesome. That said, I feel so lucky to live in the Twin Cities, where we celebrate the holidays in pretty awesome ways, too. Throughout the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll find theater, dance, music, parades, horse-drawn carriage rides, and many more traditions. We even have our own winter wonderland, reminiscent of Rockefeller Plaza, and it’s one of my most favorite winter traditions.

Downtown St. Paul pulls out all the stops around the holidays. Each year, Rice Park, set in the center of the capital city, comes to life with millions of sparking lights. The lights flip on November 24 with a grand opening ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. Then the lights stay on 24/7 through January 1. It makes for a lovely stroll before or after dinner at the St. Paul Grill or seeing Elf The Musical at the Ordway. Even better, we have our own skating rink, too!

The WinterSkate rink set adjacent to the historic Landmark Center offers open skating throughout the winter. Open daily, complete with a warming house, hot chocolate and skate rentals (bring your own skates and it’s free!), the rink offers a fun experience of skating amongst the downtown backdrop. As an added bonus, Rock the Ice brings live music to the rink (Dec. 7, 14, 21, 22, 23 & 28), engaging local music fans and skate lovers alike. It's truly a family friendly, fun-filled outdoor experience.

Other activities to consider: During the lighting ceremony on November 24, Landmark Center is open and offers complimentary hot cocoa and cotton candy, a bouncy castle, and fun with Legos. Also in St. Paul, Lake Phalen’s Holiday Lights in the Park starts November 20.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: December

Sue Z.'s ideas for giving back this holiday season include donating food while taking in the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train—and perusing food trucks

Join the Fun at the Best of Minnesota Party 2017

Celebrate the best of Minnesota with food, drinks, live music, and games downtown Minneapolis November 30.

"So Bright the Star": Singing in the St. Thomas Christmas Concert

The University of St. Thomas sings at Orchestra Hall this Sunday

Alternatives to Black Friday Shopping During Thanksgiving Weekend

Skip the Black Friday crowds this year and celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with one of these family-friendly events.

Minnesota Love in 3 New Books

The Boundary Waters, First Avenue, and fun facts about Minnesota—all highlighted in these recent publications

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Around the Twin Cities

While counting your blessings on Thanksgiving, think ahead to helping others in December by volunteering your time at one of these locations around the Twin Cities metro.

What Else To Do on Black Friday: Alternative Plans across the State

Things to do on Black Friday in Minnesota—other than shop

Where to Run a Turkey Trot in Minnesota This Thanksgiving

Burning off those Thanksgiving Day calories is a great way to start the day before giving thanks for what you have. Join one of these fun (and local) turkey trot races on Thanksgiving morning.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: November

Sue Z.'s ideas for getting charitable this month include baking with North Minneapolis teens and the annual Taste of the NFL

Finding Neverland Brings the Story of Peter Pan to Life

There was never a dull moment during the performance of Finding Neverland, the story of how Peter Pan came to be.

Drag Queens Fill First Ave for Puerto Rico

Flip Phone and drag queen Phi Phi O'Hara team up for a First Avenue show in Minneapolis with all proceeds benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria

Photos from Nigeria: A Series with a Cause by a MN Resident

MN photographer Bre McGee's series "Stolen Lives: The Lost Futures of Nigeria's Trafficked Youth" raises money for victims of child labor and sex trafficking

Calhoun, Mud Lake, and Pig’s Eye: A Brief History of Renaming Minnesota Places

Lake Calhoun is on its way to becoming Bde Maka Ska, but it's only the latest in the history of Minnesota place renamings, which includes N-word lakes, Pig's Eye, and a middle school almost named after Prince

Staging a Magazine: A Storytelling Pop-Up in St. Paul

St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater hosts a "live magazine"—where journalists become performers
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags