Holiday happenings

An overview of holiday celebrations, shows and activities in Southwest and Downtown

The holiday season is just around the corner, and ways to celebrate are numerous this year. Take part in festive, family-friendly events such as tree lighting in Loring Park or ice skating at the Depot. Grab a friend and tour the Holiday Traditions exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. If you’re in the mood for some theater, head to the Guthrie or Brave New Workshop for a season-inspired performance. With so many options to choose from, this holiday season offers something for everyone.

Case Verde Design, a custom kitchen and bath design showroom at 911 W. 50th St., is hosting a special holiday event on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Highlights will include new glassware and pottery from Simon Pearce; an appearance by photographer Karen Melvin (2–4 p.m.), who will sign from her new book, “Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka,” co-authored by Bette Hammel; and a range of holiday gifts made by local designers.

Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, will host the University of St. Thomas 22nd annual Christmas Concert on Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Featuring nearly 300 student performers in seven vocal and instrumental ensembles, the concert will include traditional holiday selections such as “Silent Night” and “O’ Come, All Ye Faithful.” Midwestern composers Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory will feature their contemporary piece “Ask the Watchmen” and Los Angeles composer Eric Whitacre presents “Lux Aurumque” (Light of Gold). 

The Blenders Holiday Soul Tour 2009 will take place at the Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave., Dec. 11­–12. Tickets are on sale for the four-piece band that will perform new twists on familiar carols and seasonal classics. Call the State Theatre Box Office at 339-7007 or Ticketmaster at (651) 989-5151 for tickets or more information.

Twin Cities Green, 2405 Hennepin Ave. S., is holding a holiday shopping and happy hour gathering on Dec. 10 from 5–9 p.m. The eco-friendly store will host local artisans, craftspeople and other designers for the special shopping event. There will wine and coffee on hand. For more information, visit

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., is offering its Holiday Traditions exhibit again this year from Nov. 27–Jan. 3. Since 1951, the American and European period rooms have been decorated each year to show how winter holidays were celebrated in the past. The nine period rooms will showcase special occasions and in the past have included a Tudor England feast and a 1770s Hanukkah celebration that took place in Providence, Rhode Island. Tours of the rooms are free. For more information, visit

The 18th annual Target Holidazzle Parade, in Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, will return Nov. 27–Dec. 20, Thursdays through Sundays. Bundle up and head downtown to see the parade, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The Minneapolis Police Band and marching bands from local schools and universities will perform. Cozy up with a cup of cocoa or cider in the Target Holidazzle Hot Seats heated tent, located in the Nicollet Mall between 11th and 12th streets.  For more information about the event, directions, and parking information, call 376-7669 or visit

Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave., is presenting “Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular: The Immaculate Interception” this season, running through Jan. 30. This comedic holiday line-up includes new sketches and songs fit for the holiday season. Reserve your tickets at tickets.bravenew

The Historic Ard Godfrey House, 50 University Ave. NE, is hosting an 1850s-themed Holiday Party Dec. 6, from 12:30–3:30 p.m. See how Ard and Harriet Godfrey lived in the St. Anthony Falls community with their children. Enjoy light refreshments, entertainment and guided tours of the oldest remaining frame residence in Minneapolis. The house is decorated for the holidays in the style of the 19th century and the event, sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, is free.

The climate-controlled Depot Ice Rink, 225 3rd Ave. S., opens Nov. 25. Bring your own skates or rent a pair and enjoy a view of the Minneapolis skyline, visible through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The Depot, listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is home to two Marriot hotels, a restaurant, bar, indoor water park and heated parking garage. The rink itself features a high-quality sound system and a food and refreshment bar. For more information, visit


2400 3rd Ave. S.

Nov. 10–Jan. 2, times vary

818 S. 2nd St.

A Christmas Carol
Nov.  19–Dec. 31, times vary, $29-$70


A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol
Nov. 27–Jan. 3, times vary
Hennepin Stages, 824 Hennepin Ave.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party
Dec. 5, 8 p.m.
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.

John Trones Christmas in the City
With special guests Jim Brickman and Orla Fallon
Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.

Kenny G Holiday Show
Dec. 6, 7 p.m.
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave.

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Dec. 17–20, times vary
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.

Home for the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas
Dec. 10, 7 p.m.
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennpin Ave.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Dec. 11–12, times vary
Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave.

The Blenders — Holiday Soul Tour 2009
Dec. 11–13, times vary
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.

An Intimate Christmas with Lorie Line–The 20th Anniversary Show
Dec. 12–13, times vary
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave.

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
Dec. 18–20, times vary
State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave.

528 Hennepin Ave.

Miss Richfield 1981’s Annual Holiday Show
Nov. 27–Dec. 13, times and prices vary

1111 Nicollet Mall

An Evening With Chris Botti
Dec. 4–5, 8 p.m.
$22–$55, $65 VIP

Handel’s “Messiah”

Dec. 10–13, times and locations vary
Prices vary

A Scandinavian Christmas
Dec. 11–19, times vary
$22-$50, $60 VIP

Tonic Sol-Fa Christmas
Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Go Tell It on the Mountain
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Jingle Bell Doc with Doc Severinsen
Dec. 19–20, times vary
$22-$55, $65 VIP

George Winston Solo Piano
Dec. 20, 7 p.m.
$30–$45, $55 VIP

600 1st Ave. N.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2009
Nov. 14, 3 p.m.

2605 Hennepin Ave. S.

Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular: The Immaculate Interception
Nov. 13–Jan. 30, times vary
Prices vary


22nd Annual University of St. Thomas Christmas concert — ’Tis Love That’s Born Tonight
Dec. 6, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall

Light Up Loring Park
Dec. 9, 6–8 p.m.
1382 Willow Street

Interact Holiday Sale
Dec. 11, 6–9 p.m.
Dec. 12–13, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Inside Out Gallery at the Colonial Warehouse,
212 3rd Ave. N.