Our Holiday Event Picks
Guide to the Holidays in Saint Paul
Looking for some fresh winter holiday traditions to brighten up the season? Saint Paul is ready to help you celebrate.
Whether you’re looking for holiday events, where to shop for the perfect gift, a night out at the theatre, Christmas concerts, the best light displays, or take-home holiday meals, we’ve got a full list of ways to make the season bright.
Revel in the magic of the season at a holiday event
Saturdays through Feb 26 (plus bonus dates around Christmas/New Year's) | Twin City Model Railroad Museum
For more than 80 years, the Twin City Model Railroad Museum has created to-scale displays of trains and depots. The annual Night Trains events illuminate these tracks at this great family outing. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Rice Park powered by Xcel Energy Lighting Ceremony
Nov 12 | Rice Park
Live music, holiday photo ops and hot cocoa will lead up to the flipping of the giant switch turning downtown Rice Park into a twinkling winter wonderland, featuring a 40' fully lit, decorated tree. Presented by the Salvation Army.
GLOW Holiday Festival
Nov 23 - Jan 1 | CHS Field
Stroll through a dozen seasonal scenes featuring over a million holiday lights, sELFie Plaza, Enchanted Forest, Bright Bikes, Tremendous Tree, and so much more! Plan a stop by the GLOW Gift Shop to stock up on unique gifts from local artisans. This brilliant event is fun for the whole family.
Holidays on the Hill Tours
Nov 25 - Dec 31, Th-Sun | James J Hill House
Experience Christmas in 1910—both upstairs and downstairs—in the sumptuous Gilded Age mansion of railroad titan James J. Hill. Enjoy self-guided access to holiday-themed exhibits and a 60-minute guided tour highlighting holiday stories and memories from both the Hill family and their staff.
North Pole Express
Dec 2-4 & 8-11 | Union Depot
All aboard! The North Pole Express is chugging into Union Depot the first two weekends of December. Take a short train ride to the North Pole, meet Santa and his elves and enjoy meeting some entertaining characters along the way! Tickets must be reserved in advance.
Holiday Tree Lighting
Dec 3 | Union Depot
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 2012 Union Depot building restoration and the tree lighting includes a special celebration. The evening includes the unveiling of the St. Paul Winter Carnival 2023 button followed by live entertainment from The Mistletones and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Finish the evening with the classic holiday movie, Elf. The tree will be lit through the remainder of December on the North Plaza, the perfect backdrop for family holiday photos!
Holiday Flower Show
Dec 3 - Jan 8 | Majorie McNeely Conservatory
The Holiday Flower Show tradition began in 1925 and continues to be the most anticipated and visited flower attraction at the Conservatory. Elegant white poinsettias accented with plants will fill the Sunken Garden with warmth and light.
Christmas in Germany
Dec 3 - 4 | Germanic-American Institute
Experience German holiday traditions during his two-day event featuring authentic food and drink, local vendors and fun activities for all ages. An outdoor food market will have beer, hot mulled wine, bratwurst and German cake.
Dec 11 | Landmark Center
Get a free photo with Santa, and stay for games, gift making for loved ones, JB Eckert reading classic children’s Christmas stories and a festive holiday setting at Landmark Center.
Do Your Holiday Shopping at One of These Markets
Holiday Market at Keg & Case
Nov 19 - Dec 23, Wed through Sun | Keg & Case Market
Indoor holiday market with carolers, Sundays with Santa and local artisan pop-ups. Held the first 3 weekends of December.
European Christmas Market
Nov 25 - Dec 18, Weekends | Union Depot
This European-inspired, open-aired market and magical Christmas Village at Union Depot is the most authentic Christmas Market in Minnesota. Shop for handmade European crafts or unique gifts from local vendors, drink Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European-inspired delicacies during four weekends in November and December.
Nov 25 - 27 | Schmidt Artist Lofts
Over 40 artists/artisans will be selling inspired hand-crafted gifts for everyone on your list. Good cheer and a healthy dose of holiday spirit will rule the weekend.
Winter Gift Market
Nov 27, Dec 4, 11 & 18 | Saint Paul Brewing
Every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Saint Paul Brewing hosts a rotating group of local artists, makers, and vintage collectors for a unique shopping experience in a fun setting. Find new goodies and gifts each week - no repeat vendors.
11 Wells Holiday Market
Dec 3, 10 & 17 | 11 Wells Spirits
Every Saturday morning in December leading up to Christmas, 11 Wells is hosting a holiday market. Stop by to get some holiday shopping done and enjoy delicious cocktails while you do.
Landmark Center Old Fashioned Holiday Bazaar
Dec 1 - 3 | Landmark Center
In its 44th year, this holiday tradition is your go-to for finding unique and handcrafted gift items by the area’s finest artists. Festive music and delicious treats add to the enjoyment of holiday shopping.
December Holiday Bazaar at The Black Market
Dec 10 | The Case Building
The Black Market invites you to start, or finish, your holiday shopping buying from local, black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities. Shop a multitude of vendors providing services, home goods, personal care items, books, art, gifts and more - many of which will be offering special deals and sales for the holiday season.
Holiday Bake Sale
Dec 10 | Union Depot
Take home treats from the top bakeries in the Twin Cities at the annual Holiday Bake Sale at Union Depot. Shop 30+ local bakeries and food vendors in a day filled with cookies, candy and fun! Enjoy live entertainment, meet local baking influencers and be the first 200 in line for a free gift bag!
Gather with loved ones for holiday theatre
A Servant's Christmas
Nov 19 - Dec 18 | History Theatre
A stocking stuffer filled with humor, song & dance, and a joy-filled musical! Set in December on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue, follow the story of Monica, a young immigrant hired to serve as a ‘Second Girl’.
Nov 29 - Dec 24 | Penumbra Theatre
A beloved holiday tradition. Directed by Lou Bellamy, this homegrown Christmas show makes a triumphant return with familiar faces and new talent.
Beauty and the Beast
Nov 30 - Dec 31 | Ordway Center
Step into an enchanted world this holiday season at the beloved Broadway musical stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning animated film, Beauty and the Beast.
It’s a Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play
Dec 1 - 23 | The Saint Paul Hotel
Reconnect with the magic of the holiday season and step back in time with this live radio play. See this classic story brought to life through a live performance as a WCCO radio drama at The Saint Paul Hotel. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of this timeless tale with your family and friends. Tickets include dinner and the show.
Dec 9 -18, Weekends | Circus Juventas
Bring the magic of circus to your yuletide celebrations with Solstice. This Cirque du Soleil-style performance flips, tumbles, and careens through glittering woods and snow-dappled clearings on a holiday adventure to save the seasons in a spectacular holiday production.
Celtic Holiday Hooley
Dec 9 -17, Weekends | Celtic Junction
This hosted variety show is a party for all ages with Irish music, stories, sketches, step dance, caroling, and more. Expect wacky good fun with brief guest appearances from holiday characters including The Grinch, and yes, even Santa Claus! Presented by the O’Shea Irish Dancers with a world-class band.
...or a concert
The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show Live
Dec 6 | Fitzgerald Theater
"The queens of Christmas” (Entertainment Weekly) are delivering a fabulous spectacle, whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and annual favorites. Join the sugary DeLa and spicy Jinkx for an evening the New York Times says is “sure to lift your spirits and make you howl with laughter.”
Trashy Little Christmas Show
Dec 16-17 | Turf Club
Trailer Trash is ready to cure you of your holiday blahs with this merry mashup of holiday classics and newfangled oldies. Expect revelry as you rock, sway, and swing the night away.
Dec 23 | Xcel Energy Center
Multi-platinum, progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra's highly-anticipated Winter Tour with a completely updated presentation of the unforgettable, multi-generational holiday tradition, "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve".
Celebrate with a holiday meal from your favorite restaurant
Planning a holiday gathering with friends and family? Here are 10 spots with space for groups that are sure to please your family and friends.
Check out our list of Saint Paul restaurants that are ready to help you create a festive and stress-free holiday dinner with take-out options. Some restaurants may sell-out, so we recommend planning ahead and checking to confirm availability.
There’s plenty of holiday cheer to share in Saint Paul—we'll let you know what’s coming next on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MYSAINTPAUL.
Saint Paul’s Best Holiday Light Displays
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Guide to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival
10 Things You Can Do For Free
1270 Montreal Ave Saint Paul, Minnesota 55116 (651) 699-8229 Highland Park Website >
The Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market St Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 292-9292 Downtown Website >
Twin City Model Railroad Museum
668 Transfer Road, Suite 8, Suite 8 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114 (651) 647-9628 Como Park Website >
Twin City Model Railroad Museum668 Transfer Road, Suite 8, Suite 8
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
109 4th St. W. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 632-5111 Downtown Website >
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 224-4222 Downtown Website >
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
214 4th St E, Suite 300 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101 (651) 202-2700 Lowertown Website >
European Christmas Market
240 E Kellogg Boulevard Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101 Saint Paul Website >
European Christmas Market240 E Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101
301 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 222-7027 Cathedral Hill Website >
Cathedral of Saint Paul
239 Selby Ave St. Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 228-1766 Cathedral Hill Website >
13000 Zoo Blvd Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 (952) 431-9200 Twin Cities Metro Area Website >
75 W 5th St Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 292-3233 Downtown Website >
Celtic Junction Arts Center
836 Prior Ave N St Paul, Minnesota 55104 (612) 703-2147 Creative Enterprise Zone Website >