Winter Wonderland: 8 Holiday Events

Take part in one of these local holiday events, and your season is sure to be merry and bright.

Old Fashioned Holiday Bazaar (Dec. 5 & 6): Now in its 36th year, this annual event at Landmark Center features 75 booths of handcrafted items, including jewelry, wreaths, paintings, woven and wearable art, lotions, soaps, and more, plus festive music and treats.

Grand Meander (Dec. 6): Enjoy the charm of St. Paul’s Grand Avenue in full force, as on this day you can pick out a Christmas tree, have breakfast with Santa and meet one of his reindeer, listen to Elizabethan carolers, take a trolley ride, and browse arts and crafts, concluding the day with a tree lighting ceremony.

Hill House Holiday (first three weekends in December): On Summit Avenue in St. Paul sits the former home of railroad baron James J. Hill, where you can see a Gilded Age Christmas brought to life. Costumed actors portraying the family’s servants prepare for the holidays, using a script based off of letters and oral histories of the actual workers.

The World War I Christmas Truce of 1914 (Dec. 8 & 9): Also at the Hill house, listen as popular historian James Neagbour recounts the truce that broke out along the front line between English, French, and German troops during World War I through photos and testimonies.

An Eventually Christmas: Holidays at the Mill (Dec. 18-20): A different part of history is displayed at Mill City Museum, where, on a Flour Tower elevator ride, “the ghost of mill city past” will guide you through a look at the 1920 Washburn Crosby holiday party, based off real stories from the company’s employee newsletter.

Macy’s Santaland (through Dec. 24): A Minnesota tradition since 1963, it doesn’t feel like the holidays around here unless you venture to the eighth floor of the downtown Minneapolis Macy’s store and journey through the Santaland display. Visiting Santa is a must, but you can also experience A Day in the Life of an Elf, as animated displays show them waking up, making toys, and everything in between.  

A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House (through Dec. 31): Tour the Victorian-era home of our second governor, Alexander Ramsey, listen to music played on the family’s Steinway piano and of the era, taste cookies fresh baked in the wood burning stove, and see the family’s original ornaments and gifts.

Rice Park & Wells Fargo WinterSkate (through Jan. 1): This time of year Rice Park transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with a tree that rivals the one in New York City, millions of twinkling lights and a skating rink where you can glide along with the beautiful Landmark Center as your backdrop.

You might also consider these other holiday event options:
Minneapolis Holiday Market and Holidazzle Village
University of Minnesota Winter Light Show
Bentleyville Tour of Lights
Christmas at the American Swedish Institute