Our Favorite Ways to Spend the Holidays Around Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN

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The Twin Cities. If you will be here in this corner of the nation during the holiday season, whether as a visitor, returnee, or local, you’ll be delighted to know they punch above their weight for events and activities here in Minneapolis. Year-round, with the growth of the area, the parties and celebrations here only grow more numerous and broader in attendance, there’s something here for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite ways to spend the holidays around Minneapolis-St.Paul.

Julmarknad Handcraft Market & Festival

True to Minnesota’s strong Scandinavian heritage, the Julmarknad Handcraft Market & Festival is a holiday season highlight reminiscent of the Christmas markets of northern and central Europe. This is a great activity for couples, families, groups, and solo travelers alike, with so much to see and do. Get Christmas shopping done early or pick out some choice souvenirs with over 60 regional artists at pop-up booths selling one-of-a-kind wares, or indulge yourself in a number of festival fare and Scandinavian treats, such as Danish rye sandwiches, Swedish meatballs, and mash, or fika pastries! Accompanying these are also numerous live music shows, dance performances, and sports tournaments, providing plenty of entertainment options. There’s something for everyone at the Julmarknad Handcraft Market & Festival, so bring the whole party and get to meet Minnesotan small businesses, Scandinavian heritage, and holiday spirit all in one location!


Holidazzle is a great holiday season attraction for travelers of all ages and interests, an open-air marketplace in downtown Minneapolis complete with ice skating, live music, and dance, fireworks, and movies! This is a solid option for holiday photos, any last-minute Christmas shopping sprees, and outings for a number of situations. The proximity to the other attractions and institutions of downtown Minneapolis makes this an easy addition to travel itineraries, providing access to a larger number of dining and nightlife options for those who want to keep the party going.

Winter Lights at the Landscape Arboretum

Enjoy the wealth of gardens around the Twin Cities at the Landscape Arboretum, an enchanting walk through some sixteen outdoor light displays between the curated collection of the University of Minnesota and the brisk winter air. This is a great addition for those visiting the University of Minnesota campus, and comes as a complete experience, with music, food, and crafts accompanying the sights! Ice sculpture, light shows, s’mores, and marshmallow roasting are just some of the things you can do on this charming nighttime tour. Keep an eye out for special event nights as well, with special events for photographers, couples, families, and a New Year’s Eve party! Whether as a family, in a group, for a couple, or the solo traveler, all will find so much to do at the Winter Lights spectacle, here at the beautiful Landscape Arboretum.

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