Its that time of year again: An overview of festive shows, celebrations in Southwest and Downtown

An overview of festive shows, celebrations in Southwest and Downtown

It’s the holiday season again, and Minneapolis is bursting with opportunities for stressed families to take a festive break. From holiday mainstays like the Guthrie’s annual “A Christmas Carol” and the Target Holidazzle Parade to concerts by Lorie Line and Eartha Kitt, there’s something for everyone this season.

Below are just a few of the holiday-themed events happening in November and December. If you’re in a museum mood, you can stop by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts or the Hennepin History Museum. If you’re up for some theatre, be sure to check out the Children’s Theatre annual holiday show. Orchestra Hall is offering plenty of holiday-themed music, and you can stop by the Christ Memorial Lutheran Church to do a good deed or two.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), 2400 3rd Ave. S., will feature its 57th annual Holiday Traditions Celebration, which features displays of holiday customs from years past. Free tours of special period rooms decorated to reflect the holiday traditions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in England and the United States are available. Highlights include a feast in Tudor England and a 1770s Hanukkah celebration in Colonial America. The exhibit runs from Nov. 28 to Jan. 11. For more information on the tours, call 870-3131 or go to

* * *

The Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S., presents, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” C.S. Lewis’s family classic about four children who discover the magical world of Narnia after venturing through a seemingly ordinary wardrobe. Nov. 11–Jan. 3. For more information, go to

* * *

The Hennepin History Museum, 2303 3rd Ave. S., will hold two Victorian tea parties in December. The mansion will be decked out in mid-20th century holiday decorations. For more information, go to

* * *

The Historic Ard Godfrey House, 50 University Ave. NE, will be the site of holiday festivities Dec. 7, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis will host an 1850s Holiday Party at Minneapolis’ oldest remaining frame residence, located on the corner of University and Central avenues. The free event features music, refreshments and guided tours of the house. For more information, visit

* * *

The Depot Ice Rink, 225 3rd Ave. S., reopens for the season Nov. 26 at noon. The skating rink was once home to the Milwaukee Road Depot, a bustling train shed built in 1899. After rail service to the Depot ended in 1971, the Minnesota Historical Society added it to the National Register of Historic Places. Now home to two Marriot hotels, a bar, restaurant, indoor water park, parking garage, indoor ice rink and banquet space, the Depot is bustling with activity once again. Skaters can glide on the ice in a climate-controlled glass atrium with a beautiful view of the Downtown skyline. Visit or call 375-1700 to find the rink calendar and prices.

* * *


Macy’s, 700 Nicollet Mall, presents its 46th annual animated holiday display this year, “A Day in the Life of an Elf at Macy’s SantaLand,” which runs through Dec. 31 during store hours. Visitors will see what a day is like for Santa’s dedicated workers, from waking up and getting mail to learning about what Christmas really means. Guests can also visit Santa’s Toy Store and Mrs. Claus’ bakery, filled with toys and fresh gingerbread cookies. And as always, Santa will be there to listen to Christmas wishes. Visit for more information.   

* * *

The Holidazzle Parade returns to the Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis for its 16th year this holiday season. This year, Target is the show’s title sponsor. Parade-goers brave freezing temperatures each year to watch nearly 250 costumed characters and floats covered in thousands of twinkling lights, and hear performances by local choirs and bands. Parades begin at 6:30 p.m. each Thursday through Sunday evening Nov. 28 through Dec. 21. To order Hot Seat tickets, visit For more information about parking, weather conditions and volunteering to be in the parade, visit the website or call (612) 338-3807.

* * *

The Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in Plymouth will team with St. Mary of the Lake Church to present its 16th annual Alternative Christmas Gift Market. People will be able to donate gifts of medical supplies and other goods to third-world countries in the name of a person close to them. There will also be a selection of third-world crafts, jewelry and toys available for purchase. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 15th and 16th. The Christ Memorial Lutheran Church is located at 13501 Sunset Trail in Plymouth. For more information, call (763) 544-3632 or visit

* * *

“A Christmas Carol”
Nov. 18–Dec. 31
(performance times vary)
Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St.


“A Don’t Hug Me
Christmas Carol”
Nov. 21–Dec. 28, times vary
The Hennepin Stages, 824 Hennepin Ave. S.

The Blenders–Holiday Soul Tour 2008
Dec. 4–7, times vary
Pantages Theatre, 7th & Hennepin

Linda Eder — Home for Christmas
Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.
State Theatre, 8th & Hennepin
“The 1940s Radio Hour”
Dec. 4–28, times vary
The Hennepin Stages Main Floor, 824 Hennepin Ave.

Lorie Line — Christmas
Around the World
Dec. 6–13, times vary
State Theatre, 8th & Hennepin

John Trones’ Christmas
in the City
Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Pantages Theatre, 7th & Hennepin

Harry Connick, Jr. & His Big Band: Holiday Celebration Tour 2008
Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre, 9th & Hennepin

Moscow Ballet’s Great
Russian Nutcracker
Dec. 12–13, times vary
Orpheum Theatre, 9th & Hennepin

All Is Calm — The Christmas Truce of 1914
Dec. 18–21, times vary
Pantages Theatre, 7th & Hennepin

Loyce Houlton’s
Nutcracker Fantasy
Dec. 19–24, times vary
State Theatre, 8th & Hennepin


1111 Nicollet Mall

Young People’s Concerts: “Swinging Nutcracker”
Dec. 2–6, times vary

Handel’s “Messiah”
Dec. 10–11, 14, times vary

Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby!
Dec. 12–13, 8 p.m.

Tonic Sol-fa
Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Empire Brass Christmas
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

A Scandinavian Christmas
Dec. 17–18, 7:30 p.m.

Jingle Bell Doc
Dec. 19–21, times vary

George Winston — Solo Piano
Dec. 21, 7 p.m.


2605 Hennepin Ave. S.

“All I Want for Christmas is 700 Billion Dollars: Our 50th Noel”
Nov. 13–Jan 31, times vary