Claire Schrantz

4 Lesser-Known, Family-Friendly Minnesota Holiday Happenings

Claire Schrantz
4 Lesser-Known, Family-Friendly Minnesota Holiday Happenings

The Holidazzle parade and Macy's Santaland are rites of passage for a Minnesota holiday, but these lower-profile activities shouldn't go unnoticed.


Gingerbread Wonderland at Norway House

Living in the Twin Cities could only get sweeter if it were made out of Gingerbread, like it is at Norway House this holiday season. Novice and expert bakers alike contributed decadent structures from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area - and the results are absolutely drool-worthy. 

From left to right: The Cathedral by Colette Bartkowski (Edina), the State Capitol by Honey & Rye Bakehouse (St. Louis Park), Mill City Museum by Sweet Retreat (Edina) 
Images via

Now through January 6, Monday-Friday 10AM -4 PM, Sunday 11AM - 3PM in Minneapolis (map)
$5 for adults, free for children 12 and under


Celtic Holiday Hooley

Minnesota is home to a relatively small, but proud, community of Irish heritage. Join them in celebrating the Celtic Holiday Hooley, back to audiences' delight at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Stars of this O'Shea Irish Dancers show include the Grinch, Santa and more Christmas icons. 

2014 promo video via Natalie O'Shea 

Thursday, December 22 at 8:15PM, Friday, December 23 at 1PM and 8:15PM in Chanhassen (map)
Buy tickets


Skate with Santa at Neill Park

For good, old-fashioned Minnesota fun this holiday, visit Neill Park in Burnsville. Skate with Old Saint Nick and enjoy a bonfire, holiday music, candy cane hunt, hot chocolate and a photo op with Father Christmas himself.

Thursday, December 22 from 6PM - 8PM (weather permitting) in Burnsville (map)
Free and open to the public


A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House

Charles Dickens' 1843 A Christmas Carol has led most of us to wonder at some point or another what Christmas would be like in the 19th Century. You can now get a taste of what the holidays must have been like way back when. Visit the Ramsey family home and take a 60-minute guided tour, during which you'll be treated to warm cookies fresh off a wood-burning stove and cheerful music from the Ramseys' piano. You'll learn about how this household navigated the holiday season - and even see original ornaments and Christmas gifts. This activity doubles as a spot to get your last-minute shopping in, thanks to the Carriage House gift store. 

Now through Saturday, December 31 from 10AM - 3:30PM; Sunday, January 1 from 12PM - 3:30PM (tours leave every half hour) in St. Paul (map)