If you missed the gala tree lighting at Rice Park, don’t worry the first weekend of December is filled with many other tree lighting and holiday gatherings to get you and your family in the festive mood including visits from Santa and his reindeer, music, parades and caroling. Below is a list of some of the many holiday events and tree lightings for the weekend of December 1-3.
- The Union Depot in St. Paul will have its FREE Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. (tree lighting at 7:00 p.m. on the North Plaza). The celebration will begin in the Waiting Room with a musical performance and holiday activities. Following the tree lighting will be the FREE holiday movie night, showing Elf on large screen in the Waiting Room. Download a FREE ride on Metro Transit for each person.
- Celebrate the holidays with a stroll down Grand Avenue in St. Paul for the Grand Meander on December 2. Activities include FREE breakfast with Santa from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., FREE holiday petting zoo from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., FREE soup tastings from 12 – 3 p.m., FREE trolly rides from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., art shows from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. musical performances and carolers throughout the day, and live reindeer from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Click here for a detailed event guide.
- Celebrate the holidays with Afton Village Holiday, December 1 from 5 – 9 p.m. and December 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday is Candlelight night, with FREE horse and wagon rides, strolling carolers, lighting of the village Christmas tree and ice skating. Saturday is Family Day with breakfast and photos with Santa and children’s crafts. Click here for a complete schedule.
- Annual Anoka Christmas Tree Lighting, December 2, 3 – 7 p.m., Anoka City Hall River Plaza, FREE event, holiday music, Santa Claus in the Santa Shack, bonfires, FREE horse-drawn trolley rides, click here for schedule of events.
- Bring the family to participate in Stillwater’s Twinkle Celebration on December 2 starting at 4 p.m., North Lowell Park, FREE twinkle lights passed out to the first 1200 kids, enjoy the annual lighting of the Christmas tree, dance to the Teddy Bear band, eat cookies, drink hot cocoa, ride the trolley (FREE rides) and end with family friendly fireworks.
- Chanhassen will host its Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 2 at 5 p.m., including refreshments, a bonfire, gingerbread house displays, live reindeer and a special visit from Santa at the City Center Park Plaza.
- Brooklyn Center jumps into the holidays with Holly Sunday on December 3 from 1:30 – 5 p.m. Festivities include visit from Santa, hayrides, bingo, magic shows, face painting, candy cane walk, music and the holiday tree lighting at 5 p.m at the Brooklyn Center Community Center, FREE and open to the public.
- The German American Institute is having their FREE Holiday Open House December 2-3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The two-day event will feature local vendors selling German Christmas gift items, model trains, festive food and drink and a visit from St., Nikolaus on Sunday.
For more holiday cheer go to the holiday section at TwinCitiesonthecheap.com for a listing of FREE holiday concerts.