By Amy Rea

Chanhassen
Making Spirits Bright
Through Jan. 1
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has its annual Making Spirits Bright exhibit open, with displays both indoors and out. Take your time and soak it all in.

Duluth
Christmas at Glensheen
Dec. 25-Jan. 1
Duluth’s most famous mansion is decorated to the hilt and available for viewing through several different tours.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights
Dec. 25-26
Over 4 million lights across a 20-acre park in Duluth. It doesn’t get much more holiday than this. Bonus: Free admission.

St. Paul
A Victorian Guided House Tour
Dec. 28-31
How did the Ramseys celebrate Christmas? This is the time to find out at the Alexander Ramsey House. And hey—your tour includes cookies baked in the home’s wood-fired stove. 

Christmas Traditions House Tour
Dec. 27-29, Dec. 31
On this holiday tour, discover holiday celebrations of the past through the stories of those who lived and worked on Summit Avenue, including excerpts from Hill family letters and journals and rare historic photographs of the neighborhood.

Christmas Saturdays for Families
Dec. 30
Bring the kids to the James J. Hill House for arts and crafts and the fun of exploring a grand old mansion.

Richfield
Candlelight and Ice
Dec. 31
Visit Wood Lake Nature Center to enjoy a walk down candlelit trails, followed by toasting marshmallows over a campfire.

St. Paul
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Dec. 31
Puttin’ on the Ritz at the Minnesota Children’s Museum is the ultimate family friendly New Year’s Eve event. Live music, arts and crafts, the chance to perform on stage with inflatable instruments, and a human ball (by trapeze artists) dropping for the New Year—at 8 p.m.

Noon Year’s Party
Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Bring the kids to Como Park for the annual Noon Year’s Party, where the family will enjoy music DJd by Kidsdance, making crafts, special animal enrichment sessions, and a noon countdown ending with a cascade of beach balls.

Minneapolis
New Year’s Day Snowshoe Hike
Jan. 1
Snowshoe (or hike, if there’s no snow) along the Mississippi River, then enjoy some hot cocoa and bird and squirrel watching. Reservations required.

Various Minnesota State Parks
Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Several state parks have New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day events. What a great way to end/start a year–outdoors, breathing fresh air. Some are guided tours with naturalists.

Fort Snelling State Park New Year’s Eve Candlelight Walk
Itasca State Park First Day Hike
Minneopa State Park First Day Hike
Tettegouche State Park First Day Hike
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park First Day Hike: Snowshoeing for Beginners
Sakatah Lake State Park First Day Hike

Check the DNR’s website for more First Day Hikes. 

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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