Holiday Activities in Minneapolis, MN
Mall of America is a sight to see, even before the holidays hit. With its Underground Aquarium, 520 stores, four department stores, 50 restaurants, miniature golf course, movie theatre and Nickelodeon Universe theme park in the mall’s center, it’s a family’s delight. But during the holiday season this spectacular mall turns festive with extensive lights, decorations and events such as the Holiday Music Festival which brings in talented performers and groups to entertain Mall goers. The top attraction though is the arrival of Santa Claus. Families are never disappointed with the authenticity of this jolly man. In fact, people travel from near and far to see this jolly ol' man who spend the entire day greeting children. Calling ahead and scheduling an appointment is the best route to take, but shoppers can still opt to wait in line to visit the man in red. But don't be surprised if there is a long wait.
Bundle up the family for the annual Target Holidazzle Parade, one of the most festive and popular holiday events in the city. Marching every holiday season since 1992, this Nicollet Mall weekend show offers dazzling lights, marching bands and colorful floats featuring favorite storybook characters. The Target Holidazzle Parade runs down Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis and across the heart of the central business and shopping district. Families can park for free with Do the Town Parking at designated ramps by using vouchers from a participating store or restaurant. If you wish to avoid traffic, opt for the Metro Transit buses or light rail for easy in and out downtown access. Consider upgrading your seats to the "hot seats" which are reserved seats in a heated tent located on Nicollet Mall between 11th and 12th Streets. The family will enjoy the complimentary hot cocoa and cider.
If you've never been to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres add it to your holiday list of things to do. As the nation's largest Equity (professional status) dinner theatre company you will not be disappointed in the high quality and entertaining shows and plays presented here. Over the holidays, Plaid Tidings, the special holiday edition of the musical Forever Plaid is performed featuring the Plaid Boys: Sparky, Smudge, Frankie and Jinx. This evening really is fun for the entire family. Some of the acts will be familiar as the Plaid boys present their version of Vienna Boys Choir, The Ed Sullivan Show, the Rockettes, the Chipmunk.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has been the Twin Cities icon for over 100 years. A zoo, small theme park and gardens attract visitors over the warmer months, but during the Christmas season the Holiday Flower Show in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's Sunken Garden is what draws holiday . This scenic spot is filled with hundreds of colorful poinsettias. The Sunken Garden features an ice and frost theme showcasing the cultivars Ice Punch, Ice Crystals, Ruby Frost, Red Glitter. The Conservatory is also proud to display 5 red poinsettia cultivars that are new to the market: Protégé Dark Red, Viking Red, Encore, Bravo Bright Red and Jubilee Red. Dusty Miller plants, which often resemble snowflakes, will be interspersed to add to the seasonal menagerie. This time of year is also terrific for viewing the indoor animal exhibits. Admission is free, but a small donation is recommended.
Sometimes residential shows are the best of all and that’s certainly the case for Christmas at the Fischer's Place in suburban Minneapolis. This annual Christmas display is quite extensive. Lights "dance to music" via computer-controlled programming. The best part is the songs are broadcasted over an FM frequency- station 103.3 - which means families don’t need to roll down their windows to hear the music. Just tune-in and cozily enjoy the show as you admire the show. Be prepared to spy some iconic characters from the Peanuts clan and other traditional seasonal symbols.