Holiday Lights Around Minnesota

On Friday I mentioned one of my favorite holiday traditions, the holiday lights and ice-skating rink in St. Paul’s Rice Park. I don’t know what it is about holiday lights, but they just make everything feel celebratory. Well, no matter where you find yourself in Minnesota this season, turns out you won’t be very far from holiday lights (or parades or festivals). We sure like to light it up this time of year.

Bentleyville Holiday Lights Display, Duluth (through December 26): The Midwest’s largest holiday lights display. Constructed out of wire and nearly three million sparkling lights, Bentleyville is a “holiday village” set up in Duluth’s Bayfront Park. Stroll along at your leisure, grab hot chocolate, cookies, and roasted marshmallows, and take the kids to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. (I can’t do it justice with words; watch the video below from last year.)

Sertoma Winter Wonderland, Brainerd (Thursday-Saturday, November 22-January 1): Drive through more than 80 colorfully lit animated displays set up at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. Other periodic events include a walking-sledding-skiing evening, visits from Santa, hay rides, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Taylors Falls Lighting Festival (November 23-25): A weekend full of holiday events, the Lighting Festival includes an arts and crafts fair, lighted parade, medallion hunt, bingo, theater performances, and an outdoor showing of Polar Express.

Holiday Stroll, Red Wing (November 23): This evening brings out the folks to stroll the streets of Red Wing. Catch a live nativity, spot Santa, hear carolers, take horse-drawn wagon rides or reindeer-drawn sleigh rides, watch the lighted parade, shop for gifts, and more.

Even more cities, such as New Ulm, Detroit Lakes, Cannon Falls, and Bemidji also host lighted parades this coming weekend.