The downtown Minneapolis tradition of the Holidazzle will return to Loring Park for a second year this season. Whether it’s ice skating among the winter lights and decorations, shopping from dozens of vendors in the park or finding local holiday treats, the free winter celebration has something to offer just about everyone this year.
The festival is open 5 p.m.–9 p.m. on Thursdays, 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Sundays.
Where: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St.
When: Now through Friday, Dec. 23
Fireworks displays: Holidazzle will have fireworks displays each Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17 and Dec. 23.
Movie nights: Two outdoor movies will be played each week, including: “Home Alone” (Dec. 1), “A Christmas Story” (Dec. 4), “Elf” (Dec. 8), “Happy Feet” (Dec. 11), “Serendipity” (Dec. 15), “Frozen” (Dec. 18), “Ice Age” (Dec. 22) and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (Dec. 23).
Free skating: Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate will be open seven days a week, including during all Holidazzle hours. Guests can bring their own skates or use a complimentary pair available in the festival’s warming house. Sizes vary and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kids zone: This year’s Holidazzle includes a kids zone with a holiday-themed obstacle course, a hay bale maze, an Elves Building Station and crafting.
Local performances: Local bands, community choirs and dance groups will perform throughout this year’s Holidazzle. Look for the full performance list on Holidazzle’s schedule page.
Carriage rides: Carriage rides will take you around the festival on Friday, Dec. 2; Friday, Dec. 9; and Friday, Dec. 16, for free, compliments of Citizens of a Loring Park Community and Friends of Loring Park.
Light Grey Art Lab’s latest exhibition, “Fortune,” is bringing in the new year with bold and gold artwork from around the world. The exhibition has 80 artists riffing on the concept of luck and fortune using gold foil to create a lustrous collection of unique, handmade pieces. With the coming year, each piece will even be available in a calendar format. A free opening reception on Friday, Dec. 2 from 7 p.m.–10 p.m. will feature “Fortune” prints, music and refreshments.
Where: Light Grey Art Lab, 118 E. 26th St.
When: Dec. 2 through Jan. 13
Spirit: Made Here
The Hennepin Theatre Trust is launching its next season of window art displays this month with Spirit: Made Here. The seventh season of Made Here, the country’s largest showcase of storefront window art, will see more than 30 displays from more than 75 artists and students across downtown Minneapolis through next March. An opening event in City Center will feature an artist market, street performers, live music, along with tours with the Trust and a spoken word performance by Kulture Klub Collaborative.
Where: City Center atrium, 615 Hennepin Ave.
When: Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
The Mill District is celebrating the holiday season with a winter festival of its own. Winterfest will feature horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate and caroling from Friends of the Mill District singers. The free event, hosted by Friends of the Mill District in tandem with the Mill City Farmers Market, is also collecting donated warm clothing and diapers for YouthLink MN and People Serving People.
Where: Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St.
When: Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Inline skating at U.S. Bank Stadium
Skating is finally returning to the home of the Minnesota Vikings. Just like its predecessor the Metrodome, U.S. Bank Stadium will host inline skating events, and the first is this month. The three-hour skating event is open to all ages and won’t have any skates or helmets available for rent, so be sure to bring your own. This will likely be the first skating event of many, with additional dates and times soon to be announced. Tickets will only be available at the stadium box office, including until 7 p.m. on the day of the event.
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, 401 Chicago Ave.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 12 and under
“Fun Home,” the 2015 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, debuts at Hennepin’s Orpheum Theatre this month. Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name, the groundbreaking musical chronicles the life of the author’s childhood in rural Pennsylvania and her complex relationship with her father, unraveling the mystery of seeing your parents through adult eyes along the way. The honest work is the first show written exclusively by women to win the top award for musicals.
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave.
When: Dec. 13–18
Kids at the Castle
While the American Swedish Institute has plenty going on for the holidays, the castle is hosting morning playdates for kids before the museum opens. The museum promises storytelling, music and movement inspired by ASI exhibits and the Turnblad mansion. This month, ASI focuses on tomtes, the domestic sprites of the holiday season and one of the most popular creatures in Scandinavian folklore. “Kids at the Castle” is recommended for ages 2 to 5.
Where: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave.
When: Dec. 16–17 from 9 a.m.–10 a.m.
Cost: $8 per family