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Light Up the Holiday Season in Minnesota: Festivals and Holiday Events to Discover this Winter!

There’s nothing like celebrating the holiday season in Minnesota surrounded by snow, beautiful lights and decorations, and wonderful communities. And the holiday season is made even better by all of the events, festivities, and gatherings that communities and cities across the state put on. Many events feature light displays of all varieties where you can venture out to see beautiful holiday lights and displays while enjoying other festivities and activities. Here are a few light events, parades, and festivals to visit this holiday season in Minnesota and celebrate with holiday spirit and fun!

family exploring MN waterfall

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The Taylors Falls Lighting Festival in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, is a three-day holiday season festival running from November 25th to the 27th. After getting your Thanksgiving celebrations in on the 24th, you can enjoy a weekend of holiday cheer and festivities to get you in the holiday spirit. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival all feature their own events, so be sure to check the schedule so you can make it to everything you want to attend. Some of the highlights of the festival include: the Grand Lighting of the Village and Santa Parade on Bench Street in Taylors Falls on Friday night, the Medallion Hunt on Saturday, and much more! There will be opportunities to get holiday treats like kettle korn, mini donuts, and cocoa and cookies as well as to meet Santa and visit historical attractions all dressed up in holiday decorations.

family exploring MN waterfall

Photo by Vesnaandjic

Come to Anoka, Minnesota, for the Anoka Hometown Holiday event on December 3rd! Support the local shops and small businesses this holiday season by buying gifts for everyone on your list. Plus head to the Anoka City Hall River Plaza in the evening and enjoy some free, festive activities before the lighting of the Anoka Christmas tree.

Pipestone Falls

One of downtown Minneapolis’ premier holiday celebrations, Holidazzle is an excellent way to get in the holiday spirit this season. Join in on the fun Fridays through Sundays from November 25th through December 18th in Loring Park. The event is free, including free fireworks displays, entertainment, Santa visits and photos, and more. Plus, there will be local foods, beverages, and gifts for sale, so you can check off everyone on your gift list and support local business owners this holiday season. Little ones will love the amusement rides, and everyone will love the Interactive Illuminated Installation and activities at the Fulton Beer Garden.

Niagara Cave

Photo by Zoom Travels

See an amazing show of lights and beautiful floral displays during Winter Lights 2022 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on select nights from November 27th to January 1st. This beautiful and spectacular event features outdoor light displays that showcase the flowers, trees and beauty of nature. This year the 25-foot Poinsettia Tree will return, created using more than 500 red, white and pink poinsettias. The arboretum will also have special theme nights and a live Music Series where you can hear holiday tunes from local performers. End the night at S’mores Village where you can warm up near a fire, buy s’mores kits, and roast marshmallows.

Niagara Cave

Looking for a magical event this holiday season? Look no further than one of the largest walk-through lighting displays in Minnesota, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. The event costs just $10 for parking, and the rest is free! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making an appearance. In addition to bonfires for roasting marshmallows, there will also be popcorn and hot cocoa. Children under age ten will receive a free knit hat and a packaged bag of cookies after their visit with Santa.

Niagara Cave

Photo by Getty Images

Sever’s Holiday Lights are back this November 24th through January 1st in Shakopee, Minnesota! This wonderful holiday tradition at Sever’s Festival Grounds is a magical holiday experience for the whole family. This year there will be more than 1,200,000 lights to drive through along the half-mile course, synchronized to classic holiday songs for all to enjoy. There will also be a giant light-up Yeti. Concession stands will sell mini donuts, cider, and caramel corn. Visitors also have the opportunity to do something good by bringing an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.

Plan your trip with free travel guides.

For personalized assistance, you may contact our Travel Counselors at explore@state.mn.us, or 1-888-VISITMN (1-888-847-4866).

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