Weekend Best Bets: Nov. 30-Dec. 2

Todd about Town: This weekend around the Twin Cities, you’ll find choirs, comedy, soup and shopping on Grand Avenue, and more

1. Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting and Movie Night

Union Depot, St. Paul
Friday November 30, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Free to attend, cost for food and beverages

The annual tree lighting, at 7 p.m., enters its fifth year. Before that, at 5:45 p.m., local singer-songwriter Keri Noble performs holiday favorites. Many family-friendly activities will take place in the head house of the Union Depot, and stick around after the tree lighting to watch Elf. (Read about the European Christmas Market below.) Learn more.

2. European Christmas Market at Union Depot

Union Depot, East Plaza, St. Paul 
Dates:  November 30, December 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, and 10

If you have traveled during the holiday season to Germany, Austria, or other countries in Europe, you may have experienced the festive Christmas markets. The version in St. Paul has expanded this year, with new vendors selling handmade goods, decorations, one-of-a-kind gifts, and food items you would find in a traditional Christkindlmarkt. Learn more.

3. St. Olaf Christmas Festival: Good News of Great Joy

St. Olaf College, Northfield
November 29 and 30, December 1 and 2
Tickets: $35

The St. Olaf Christmas concert is one of the longest-running holiday music festivals in the country—an annual tradition since 1912. The concert includes five St. Olaf choirs, totaling more than 500 students, and you can catch it on radio or TV stations nationwide. Tune in to Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) or Minnesota Public Radio. Learn more.

4. Grand Meander

Grand Avenue, St. Paul
December 1, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Free to stroll

The Grand Meander has become a holiday tradition for those wanting to shop local and enjoy the quaint feeling of Grand Avenue. The day includes trolley rides, Christmas carolers, breakfast with Santa at Tavern on Grand, and the popular soup tasting competition, with samples up and down Grand Avenue at many restaurants. Learn more.

5. Delano Old-Fashioned Christmas

Historic Downtown Delano
December 1, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Free to attend, cost for food and beverages

Fill your day with family activities in this west-metro town, including a teddy bear tea party, train rides for toddlers, a world market, Christmas music, ornament-making activities, reindeer, food trucks, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Learn more.

6. U.S. Bank Stadium Basketball Classic

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
November 30, December 1
Tickets: $15-$35

This is the first basketball event ever held in U. S. Bank Stadium. There will be seven regional teams and a match-up between the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University. The event includes an opportunity to tour the Vikings Locker Room before the games begin. Learn more.

7. Lewis Black: The Joke’s on Us

Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis
November 30, December 1, starting at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $59.50-$85

Grammy-winning comedian Lewis Black brings raw energy to Minneapolis for a no-holds-barred, in-your-face, political stand-up show. In Black’s long career, his performances have sold out at venues throughout the United States and Europe. Learn more.

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