The holiday season is almost here!
And thinking of the holiday season, we LOVE holiday light displays and family events!
Here are events that I’ve found statewide, as well as DISCOUNTS for several of them:
Thank you to Adorable Memories for sponsoring this guide! Check them out for beautiful balloons for all occasions, including Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, weddings and more.
Mention “Twin Cities Frugal Mom” for a discount! Visit their website here.
This list has been so popular that I’ve created a FREE printable 6-page Christmas Road Trip Activity Set that includes a scavenger hunt and other activities for kids to do while you’re driving around looking at Christmas lights!
Sign up here to get the set PLUS my FREE Christmas Sanity Saver Pack! You’ll be subscribed to my weekly email newsletter for MORE freebies and deals and you can unsubscribe anytime.
(Note: Be sure to check each event before you go in case there are any changes or cancellations.)
Armatage Holiday Light Tour – Minneapolis (Free)
Friday, December 9 – Sunday, December 18
5:00 – 8:00pm every night
Enjoy the colorful city streets and light displays of the Armatage Neighborhood this holiday season! The self-guided tour map will be available here by December 8 so you can plan your route.
Drive from decorated address to address.
Celebrate the Light of the World – Willmar (FREE – donations requested)
November 24 – January 1
5:00pm – 10:00pm each night
Willmar is about 1 hour west of the Twin Cities, on highway 12.
Celebrate the Light of the World kicks off Thursday, November 24th!! The show will run every night from 5:00pm – 10:00pm from November 24th through January 1st, 2023!
Havana Lights Drive-Thru Display – Owatonna (Free – donations requested)
November 24 – after New Years
2048 Havana Road
Owatonna, MN 55060
We are open every day from dusk – 10:00 p.m.
There is a free will donation of money, or cat/dog food, kitty litter. Place in the containers provided.
Holiday in Lights – Anoka (Free)
Anoka County Fairgrounds
December 9 – 11, 2022
Explore the beauty of the annual Holiday in Lights display at the Anoka County Fairgrounds! Catch the joy of this beautiful display from Dec. 9-11 from 5-9 p.m.
We went the last few years and it was super cute.
Holiday Lights on York Avenue – St. Paul (FREE- donations requested for Merrick Food Shelf)
November 25 – December 31
5:00pm – 10:00pm each night
This is a big light display on a residential block that you can drive through in St. Paul. Their lights start on Friday, November 25th!
Check their website for updates.
Holidazzle – Minneapolis (Free)
November 25th – December 18th (Fridays to Sundays)
Food, gift vendors, Santa, interactive art exhibits, and much more.
Fridays from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. (with fireworks at 7:15 p.m.)
Sundays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Take Metro Transit FREE on Saturdays to the event, or park cheap at Minneapolis College. Park at their ramp (1420 Hennepin Avenue, entrance on Laurel Avenue) and take the short walk along Maple Street to enter Loring Park. Minneapolis College will offer $5 or less parking during all Holidazzle hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Shop local small retail businesses, including Minneapolis Craft Market vendors
- Entertainment and holiday music performances on stage
- Free amusement rides including carousel and a large slide
- Visits and photos with Santa
- Fulton Beer Garden
- Yeti: a 17-foot-tall Interactive illuminated art installation
- Fun holiday Instagram backdrops
Kiwanis Holiday Lights – Mankato (Free, but cash and nonperishable donations requested for those in need)
November 25th – December 31, 2022
Sunday–Thursday 5:00–9:00 PM
Friday & Saturday 5:00–10:00 PM
Free and open to the public!
This is BOTH a walk-through and a drive-through event. You can just drive through it if you wish.
Light Up Princeton – Princeton (Free)
November 26 – January 1
See the map on their website with all the decorated addresses.
Drive around looking at decorated businesses and houses!
November 26th KICK OFF event: Santa to visit at the Great Northern Depot from 2-5pm , Mini Dazzle starting at 5:30pm down 1st street, lighting ceremony to take place in Riverside Park at 6pm.
Light Up the Night – Marshall (Free – donations requested)
E Lyon St.
Marshall, MN 56258
November 25th – December 18th
5:00 – 9:00pm
Light Up the Night is at Independence Park in Marshall, starts November 25th and is every Friday, Saturday & Sunday through December. Walking, hay rides, trolley rides or carriage rides through the winter wonderland of lights. The holiday carolers, concessions, Santa, Elves, skating, sledding.
This is a walk-through AND drive-thru event.
Drive thru option available only on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5:00pm-7:00pm (weather permitting).
Donations requested for Prairie Home Hospice.
Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights in Motion Drive-Thru – Sleepy Eye (Free – donations accepted)
Thanksgiving through New Year’s
5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sleepy Eye is about 2 hours southwest of the Twin Cities.
TUNE YOUR FM RADIO DIAL TO 89.1 prior to entering the park to enhance your drive thru experience.
Nightly from 5:00 – 10:00pm.
Check their website for any updates.
Valley Lights Drive-Thru Display – Lake Elmo (FREE)
November 24 – December 31
The drive-thru takes about 4 minutes. They also have free wagon rides from 6-8pm on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17.
100,000+ LED lights choreographed to music you can listen to from your car. Come out and enjoy this spectacular Christmas display! Valley Lights is open to all and is an awesome opportunity for you to invite your family, friends, and neighbors. Who doesn’t love a great light show during Christmas time? The best part is: it’s totally free!
Bentleyville Tour of Lights – Duluth
November 19 – December 26, 2022
Sun – Thurs 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Fri to Sat 5:00pm – 10:00pm
We’ve loved visiting Duluth and walking through Bentleyville throughout the years. This year it will be a walk-through experience again!
Here we are visiting a previous year:
Admission is FREE! However, parking is $10 per vehicle.
Christmas in Color Drive-Thru – Shakopee
November 25th, 2022 – January 1st, 2023
Sun to Thurs 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Fri to Sat 5:30pm – 10:30pm
This holiday attraction is back at Valleyfair, and you can enjoy it from the safety of your car!
It’s called Christmas in Color, and it’s a mile-long, drive-through light and music display. It will be in Valleyfair’s massive parking lot.
Cost for Christmas in Color in Shakopee is $35 – $55 per vehicle, but you can save with these discounts!
You have two options.
Use my code FRUGALMOM15 on their website to save 15% on general admission tickets.
Last year we visited on opening night.
Christmas in the Village – Farmington
Dakota City Heritage Village
Dec. 3-4, and 10-11, 2022
If you like an old-fashioned Christmas, this is the event not to miss! It’s the first 2 weekends in December.
We’ve got holiday fun for the whole family at Dakota City’s Christmas in the Village! Experience the spirit of this warm, holiday event through the village’s dazzling lights, Christmas music in the Church, the scent of wood burning stoves and the sound of horses and their jingle bells as they pull trolleys through the village. Warm up with a cup of soup or mug of hot cocoa in the Drug Store. Check out demonstrations of early 1900s wintertime chores in the Millinery and Harris House. There will also be old-fashioned candy and goods will be for sale at the Gift Shop and General Store. After you send your letter to Santa at the Post Office, you can visit him at the Depot! New this year is a model railroad display with holiday themed trains running around a festive winter scene in the village library.
Cost last year was $5 per person (children 5 and under Free). Tickets will be available at the gate. This is a cash only event!
GLOW Holiday Festival Light Experience – St. Paul
November 23, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Entry times are hourly between 5:00pm and 8:00pm each night
GLOW features over a million lights, sElfie Plaza, Enchanted Forest, Bright Bikes, Tremendous Tree, the GLOW Spectacular, and so much more.
For its first 2 years it was at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, but this year it’s moved to CHS Field.
We went in 2020 when it was a drive-thru experience. Read our review from 2020.
Adults $20.75 + fees and tax
Kids $12.75 + fees and tax
Kids 4 and under (Free)
Note that fees are $3.00 per ticket, plus they add tax.
GET DISCOUNTED TICKETS!
Groupon is offering 24% off PLUS you don’t have to pay the fees!
On Groupon, you can get adult tickets for $17.75 and kids 4 -12 are $9.75. No costs added!
Larger Than Life Lights – Duluth
Lake Superior Zoo
Select dates in November and December
5:00 – 8:00pm
This is the second year of this event!
What to expect:
- Expanded Light Display
- Free S’mores!!
- Visits from Santa
- Grinch Appearances (select dates)
- Safari Cafe will have Hot Chocolate & Treats!
- Fun Light Up items in the Tiger’s Paw Gift Shop
- Live Holiday Music (dates to be announced)
Tickets are $5 per person.
The Northern Express – Excelsior
December 3 – 18 (select dates)
I have a special discount! See below.
Dec. 3 – 10:30 – 5:30
Dec. 4 – 12:00- 5:30
Dec. 9 – 12:00- 5:30
Dec. 10 – 10:30 – 5:30
Dec. 11 – 12:00- 5:30
Dec. 16 – 12:00- 5:30
Dec. 17 – 10:30 – 5:30
Dec. 18 – 12:00- 5:30
Adult Single Day Admission – $20; Optional Character Breakfast add-on, subject to availability.
Child Single Day Admission – $15; Optional Character Breakfast add-on, subject to availability.
2&Under Single Day Admission – Free
Family Season Pass (Inc. 5 Family Members) – $150; Optional Character Breakfast add-on, subject to availability. *Unlimited days of admission.
BUT you can save 10%, or $2 off an adult ticket with my special code: FrugalMom22
Sertoma Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru – Brainerd
November 24 – December 31
Most nights, 5:30 – 8:30pm
The Brainerd Area Sertoma Club presents this annual winter wonderland drive-thru experience!
November 24-26, 30
December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-31
General admission is $20 per vehicle. $10 per vehicle in advance.
$10 advance tickets are available at Cub and other locations in the area.
Sever’s Holiday Lights Drive-Thru – Shakopee, MN
November 24th, 2022- January 1st, 2023
Sun – Thurs 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Fri to Sat 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Looking for a holiday tradition the whole family will love? Our massive 2,500,000+ holiday light display dances in time to the best songs of the season, and with festive food & drink vendors, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be merry. So go ahead, pile into the car—this is one show everyone will want to see.
We went and here’s a review of our visit from a previous year with a video!
Sunday-Thursday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: $25 – 40 per car at non-peak times
$40 – 55 per car at peak times
The Spirit of Winter – Waconia
The Winery at Sovereign Estate
November 18 – December 30
Times start at 4:00pm each night
A light show at a WINERY? Yes, please!
The cost is $10.00 per person (Ages 4 and under are free).
The Winery at Sovereign Estate invites you to light-up the season with our Spirit of Winter: Festival of Lights from November 18th – December 30th. The Estate is transformed into a majestic, illuminated winter wonderland, with over twenty miles of musical, synchronized lights strung over 20 acres of their lakeside vineyard. Guests can stroll the grounds and enjoy a variety of attractions like our Candy Cane Lane, life size Nativity scene, photo opportunity at Santa’s Sleigh, real winter llamas, inflatable Snowman Social, children’s Snow Maze, kid’s Boot Hockey Arena, and Nana’s Gingerbread House! Once you arrive, guests also have the opportunity to purchase Holly Trolley rides for $5 per person in our Wine Store for a special guided tour of the decorated grounds. Trolley Tickets can only be purchased on property and is determined based on weather. Limited seating available.
This is a Family Friendly event that everyone is sure to love with a range of hot treats to keep you warm and toasty! Grab a hot chocolate, cookies, or roast a s’more at our S’more Station! Adults can enjoy mulled wine, boozy hot cocoa, local brews, and our full range of wine at our Polar Bear Bar! Our Blizzard Bistro will also be serving up items like chili and our famous flatbreads. Be sure to check out our Wine Store for the perfect holiday gift including, holiday and sovereign merchandise, our stuffed Christmas Llamas, and, of course, bottles of our Sovereign Estate Wine!
Admission tickets can be purchased in advance online. You can buy tickets with cash at the gate if it’s not sold out in advance.
Winter Lights 2022 – Chaska
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
November 17th – January 2nd
Mondays – Thursdays 5:00 – 9:00pm, Fridays – Sundays 5:00 – 10:00pm.
Opening night is November 17th! Tickets are now on sale.
They also have special nights – Opening Night with a lighting ceremony, Photography Nights on Dec. 7 & 14, Family Nights on Dec. 1 & 15, Date Nights on Dec. 8 & 22, and a New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31.
Dress warm as it’s all outside – there are 16 outdoor light displays, featuring flowers, nature and winter fun, on an accessible, stroller-friendly walk that’s just over a half-mile. Embrace all that a Minnesota winter has to offer.
Tickets cost $10 for members, $25 for non-members, free for children ages 15 and younger.
Light Displays in Wisconsin
Miracle at Big Rock – St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
November 25th through January 1st.
Walk through or drive through!
Walk Through WED-SUN.
It costs: $15 KIDS(3 and under free) and $20 Adults (or $25 at the door).
Veterans and seniors are $15.
DRIVE Thru MON-TUES.
They have so much! Fireworks shows too.
Sam’s Christmas Village & Light Tour – Somerset, Wisconsin
November 25, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Sun to Thurs, 5:00pm – 9:00pm, and Fri & Sat, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
This one alternates drive-through nights with walk-through nights. Families have been loving it!
Check their schedule for drive-through and walk-through times.
Cost is $20 for adults for walk through, or $15 for adults to drive through, $10 for kids ages 4 – 10, free for kids 3 and under, and 1/2 off with military ID.
Parking is $10.
Here are options if you want to stay in your car:
Ice Castles are coming back in January!
Use code FrugalMN online starting November 28th, 2022!
Also, join my Facebook group, Minnesota Holiday Lights!
Are there other light displays you know of that should be added to this list?