The Twin Cities are the perfect holiday destination: snow, festive holiday lights, and plenty to do indoors and out!  From family-friendly performances to the best holiday shopping for a girls’ getaway, here’s your guide to holiday fun in the Twin Cities.


A Christmas Carol, Guthrie Theater – November 3-December 29, 2018

The theatrical adaptation of Charles Dicken’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his visits with Christmas Past, Present, and Future is an annual holiday tradition at the Guthrie Theater.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children's Theatre Company

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children’s Theatre Company

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children’s Theatre Company – November 6, 2018-January 6, 2019

A musical version of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, the Grinch plots to destroy the Whos’ Christmas joy and Cindy Lou extends a hand of friendship.

The Great Russian Nutcracker, Orpheum Theater – November 30-December 1, 2018

Presented by the Moscow Ballet, performances include world-class artists, hand-painted sets, and unique Russian touches like nesting dolls.

Elf The Musical, Ordway Center for Performing Arts  – December 5-30, 2018

Based on the 2003 film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Buddy, a human raised by elves, and his quest to find his birth father in New York City.

It's a Wonderful Life - St. Paul Hotel

It’s a Wonderful Life – St. Paul Hotel

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, The Saint Paul Hotel – December 6-24, 2018

This radio play version of the classic 1946 Frank Capra film includes a three-course luncheon for matinee performances and three-course dinner for evening performances.

Markets & Shopping


This popular Inver Grove Heights garden center is a one stop shop for holiday decor, including indoor and outdoor lights, artificial trees of all sizes and price points, and tree toppers.  There’s also all the hardware you need to create an awe-inspiring light display and an impressive selection of holiday gift items.



Holidazzle – Thursdays through Sundays, November 23-December 23, 2018

Held in downtown Minneapolis’ Loring Park, this Northwoods-inspired holiday market includes an outdoor skating rink, musical performances, movies, and visits from Santa Claus.  Vendors offer a variety of Minneapolis-centric prepared and packaged food, beverages, and gifts.

Linden Hills Holiday Market – Sundays, November 4-December 23, 2018

The popular farmers market moves indoors to Sunnyside Gardens for the holiday season, with over fifty vendors offering locally made specialty foods and gifts.

European Christmas Market

European Christmas Market

European Christmas Market – Weekends, November 30-December 10, 2018

Inspired by the open-air Christmas markets of Germany and Austria, this market held at downtown St. Paul’s Union Depot features handmade holiday gifts and decorations, spiced mulled wine, and European-style food.


Skating with Santa Holidays in The Heights

Skating with Santa Holidays in The Heights

Holidays in the Heights

Inver Grove Heights’ holiday celebrations include a tree lighting and open swim, holiday VINGO, skating with Santa, a breakfast with Santa, a meet and greet with Sprinkles the Elf, a candy cane hunt, and a holiday cookies & canvas art project.  Dates and registration details are available on the Inver Grove Heights Parks & Recreation department website.

Grand Meander – December 1, 2018

St. Paul’s historic Grand Avenue gets into the holiday spirit with carolers, breakfast with Santa, and classic trolley rides.  Get a jump start on Christmas shopping at the neighborhood’s unique shops, and stop for lunch at one of the street’s many restaurants or cafes.

Night Trains

Night Trains

Night Trains – Saturdays, November 3, 2018-February 23, 2019

The model train layout at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum is transformed into a winter wonderland, with specially lighted trains, snow, and miniature Christmas lights and decorations.

Handmade Holidays – November 10, 2018-January 13, 2019

Celebrate the season at the American Swedish Institute’s historic Turnblad Mansion with decorated rooms that reflect the handmade Nordic holiday traditions of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland, plus a special exhibit from the Czech-American community.

Gingerbread Wonderland

Gingerbread Wonderland

Gingerbread Wonderland – November 17, 2018-January 6, 2019

The Norway House’s annual exhibit features Twin Cities landmarks made from gingerbread as well as homemade creations from amateur bakers.

A Victorian Christmas – November 23-December 30, 2018

Experience Victorian Christmas traditions at the Alexander Ramsey House with a tour that includes homemade cookies make on the wood-burning stove, holiday music played on the family’s 1875 grand piano, and antique decor.

Brews ‘n Bulbs Holiday Craft Brewery Tour – Saturdays, December 1-29

Enjoy beer tastings at 12welve Eyes, Bad Weather, and Flat Earth, plus fresh holiday popcorn from Candyland as you admire holiday lights from the comfort of a coach bus.   

Inver Grove Heights is closer than you think to holiday fun in downtown St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the rest of the Twin Cities.  Book your hotel room today in Inver Grove Heights!