Alternatives to Black Friday Shopping During Thanksgiving Weekend


To kick off their season opening, the Holidazzle festival will have fireworks on November 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Loring Park. The festival will continue Thursdays through Sundays until December 23 and will have skating, food and drinks from local businesses, interactive illuminated art installations, and a kids’ zone. Join the Holidazzle for their first movie in the park, Elf, on November 24 at 8 p.m. and make sure to check out the rest of the movie schedule here.

Rice Park Skating

Located in the heart of St. Paul, this artificially chilled rink is the perfect place to go skating this weekend with your family. Admission is completely free and skate rental is $4. Open skate is on Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The rink also has free skating lessons throughout December and January with specific dates and time sessions. The rink is sponsored by Wells Fargo. Find more information here.

James J. Hill House Christmas Saturdays

Starting on Saturday, November 25, the James J. Hill house will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday until December 30. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, $6 for ages 5-17, and free for children 4 and under. Admission will allow you to explore the Christmas-decorated mansion and make a Victorian cornucopia in the parlor.

Tree Lighting Ceremony & Winter Market on 50th & France

Enjoy a Winter Market and support local businesses and artists from the Edina Art Center November 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well as December 2, 9 and 16 from noon to 3 p.m. There will be food vendors located between Title Nine and Annika Bridal Boutique along with free childcare from College Nannies & Tutors, and gingerbread house making and cookie decorating in Lunds & Byerlys.

Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt

The 12th annual Excelsior festival, which celebrates German traditions, kicks off on Friday November 24 with a Grand Opening parade at 10 a.m. The weekend continues with a Biergarten, an open-air market with German treats, and a KinderWorld for children. The event is located in the parking lot behind the Excelsior Brewing Company. Visit their website for more information and full list of weekend festivities.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

For those who live in Northern Minnesota or are in Duluth for the weekend, do not miss America’s largest free walk-through light show. Located on the shores of Lake Superior and the Bentleyville Castle, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights is open weekdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from November 18-December 26. There’s complimentary cocoa, cookies, popcorn, and visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus. While admission is free, the festival encourages visitors to bring a non-perishable food item or new unwrapped toy. You never know, maybe you’ll start a new holiday tradition.