The holidays are just around the corner, and Inver Grove Heights is a festive place to celebrate the season!  From kid-friendly activities at Inver Grove’s own Holidays in the Heights to events throughout the Twin Cities, here’s your guide to holiday fun.

Holidays in the Heights

December 6-14, 2019

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Rec.

Do you love decorating for the holidays?  Enter your house in the annual Light up the Heights Holiday Light Contest for the chance to win prizes.  Registration forms are available online and are due by December 5, and a map of the entries will be available by mid-December.  Pack up a Thermos of cocoa and plan to tour them all!

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Rec.

Holidays in the Heights festivities kick off on Friday, December 6 with a tree lighting and open swim at Veterans Memorial Community Center (VMCC).  The tree lighting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.  Warm up afterwards with a plunge in the pool or a trip down a waterslide—all ages are welcome at the free open swim, which will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, December 7, there are Christmas-themed activities for kids of all ages.  Start the day with breakfast with Santa at the National Guard Gymnasium at the VMCC.  Seatings are from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and tickets are $6 in advance or $8 at the door.

Next up on Saturday, December 7 is a candy cane hunt at South Valley Park at 1:00 p.m. for $2 in advance or $4 at the door.  Candy canes will be hidden throughout the park, and finding the “golden candy cane” will earn you a special prize. 

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Rec.

Wrap up a day of holiday activities by skating with Santa!  Stop by the VMCC West Rink on Saturday, December 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door, and hot beverages and snacks will be provided.

On Saturday, December 14, create a holiday painting and enjoy a sweet treat at a Holiday Cookies & Canvas session at the VMCC—no painting experience required!  There will be sessions from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., and participants must be ages 6 and up.  The cost is $10 per person and pre-registration by Friday, December 6 is required (no walk-ins).

All ages are welcome at Holiday Vingo at the VMCC on Saturday, December 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The easy-to-play custom game will combine music, visuals, and trivia, plus lots of prizes!  Tickets are $6 in advance or $8 at the door and include a light lunch.

Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Parks and Rec.

For more details and to register for Holidays in the Heights events, call Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation at 651-450-2585 or check out their website.  Keep in mind that children must be accompanied by an adult for all events.

More holiday fun in the Twin Cities

The Santa Experience

Photo Credit: The Santa Experience

Visit with Santa in an intimate setting at the Santa Experience at the Mall of America from November 2, 2019 through December 24, 2019.  Sign up for a time slot online, and enjoy a family experience with Santa.  Special needs visits are available by request, and photos and other merchandise are available for purchase.

Soldiers 6 Pancake Breakfast with Santa

Spread some holiday cheer this season and support a local charity. Soliders 6 is welcoming those interested to the Wild Boar Bar & Grill in Oakdale for breakfast with Santa. Soldiers 6 is a local non-profit who provides service dogs to honorably discharged Veterans and Police Officers in Minnesota. Learn more here: 

Destination Winter Saint Paul

Photo Credit: Destination Winter Saint Paul

Kicking off on Friday, December 6, 2019 and running through February 22, 2020, Destination Winter Saint Paul offers three months of frozen fun at CHS Field for the whole family.  The Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink will be positioned at the ballpark’s third baseline, and skating is free of charge with skate rentals available for $5.  For some fast-paced thrills, plunge down the Securian SuperSlide in an innertube—the track starts above the field and ends at second base.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children for unlimited rides during a one-hour slot.


Photo Credit: Holidazzle

Downtown Minneapolis’ Loring Park will transform into a winter wonderland on Thursdays through Sundays, November 29 to December 22, 2019.  This year’s Holidazzle will include visits from Santa, live music, holiday movies, and a skating rink with a warming house and free loaner skates.  Vendors will be on hand with prepared and packaged foods, beverages, crafts, and holiday gift items.

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Photo Credit: Saint Paul Winter Carnival

For some post-holiday winter fun, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival runs from January 23 to February 2, 2020.  Events include parades, a winter run, live entertainment, an ice sculpture garden, ice bars, and more.

Inver Grove Heights

For a great place to stay this holiday season, book a room at one of Inver Grove Heights’ hotels.  Inver Grove Height hotels are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and offer complimentary parking, breakfast, and WiFi.  Book your room today!