The metro area is filled with kid-focused events for the holidays. Here are some of the best. If these events are not enough to fill your family’s agenda this holiday, check out ExploreMinnesota.com, featuring many interesting venues throughout Minnesota such as New Ulm’s recreation of a German Christmas market or Duluth’s Christmas tree that is the tallest in America. Also check out Minnesota Historical Society events such as Christmas with the Lindberghs in Little Falls or Christmas in the Logging Camp at Grand Rapids.
A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House
Alexander Ramsey House
265 S. Exchange St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Dates: Mid-Nov. through Dec. 31, 2013
Experience all of the senses of a Victorian Christmas in the 1870s. Envision a Christmas with Minnesota’s first territorial governor in his home packed full with all of his original furniture and decor. Taste homemade cookies fresh from the aromatic wood-burning stove. Listen to popular holiday music of the era played on the family’s Steinway piano. View original family ornaments and Christmas gifts. Discover how the Ramsey family and its friends, neighbors and servants prepared for and celebrated the Christmas season. Shop in the Carriage House gift store for replica Victorian ornaments and holiday items.
Christmas on the Farm
Oliver H. Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Road
Elk River, MN 55330
Dates: Dec. 14 and 15, 2013
Dress for outdoor weather because you will be hiking along the nature trail on this 75-minute guided tour. Kids will love riding a bobsled or a wagon behind horses or oxen depending upon the weather. See the livestock pens. Learn how farm families and their animals adjusted to the shorter days and colder temperatures 150 years ago. Stop inside for Christmas at the historic farmhouse and end the day with warm refreshments in the Visitor’s Center.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 Third Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Date: Dec. 8, 2013
At MIA’s December Family Day, construct silly, stackable sandwiches or design a delectable dessert as works of art. Families, kids and the young at heart can play with their food. After the fun, acquire a greater understanding by observing works of art that were inspired by food on a museum gallery tour.
Two Holiday Events For Kids: MHC’s History HiJinx
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Dates: Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, 2013
Kids can make a likeness of themselves as a bobblehead doll. The museum will take your picture, and that picture will be placed on a doll that kids can color and decorate. This is a unique, one-of-a kind collectible holiday gift your kids will treasure for ages. After this focused activity, your kids will be ready to explore the History Center’s hands-on, participatory exhibit, “Then Now Wow.”
Date: Dec. 30, 2013
Decorate a 3-D cardboard tree using markers, construction paper, beads and buttons to take home any time from noon to 4 p.m. on December 30th. Take advantage of a school vacation by exploring the other exhibit galleries including “Then Now Wow,” the history exhibit designed for kids, the History Center stores and Cafe Minnesota during these hours.
Target Holidazzle Parade
Nicollet Mall between 12th St. and 4th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Dates: Nov. 29 through Dec. 21, 2013
Nicollet Mall is packed at 6:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday during the holidays with happy kids and cheerful families. They strain to catch every bit of the Holidazzle excitement made up of storybook characters on elaborate floats with energetic musical groups and more than a million brilliant lights. Let the antics of costumed characters strutting by cheer up your holiday. Check the schedule for sponsors, special appearances of sports stars, TV and radio personalities, entertainers, pageant royalty, local bands, local choirs and Grand Marshall hosts, which change each evening.
700 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Dates: Nov. 23 through Dec. 24, 2013
Kids, make sure your list is ready to see Santa and the Santaland Holiday Display at Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis store on Nicollet Mall. Parents, be sure to get that photo of your children with Santa. Realistic detail and moving figures bring “A Day in the Life of an Elf” to life for kids of all ages. Catch the Moose Crossings puppet show in the theater. Performances are Thursdays through Sundays starting November 23rd and ending December 22nd. Tickets for Moose Crossings are $4 per person. Those under age two are free. Stop by the Toy Shop or the Candy Shop and then get fresh cookies at Mrs. Claus’ Bakery. Macy’s develops new themes every year and the mechanical figures are designed and maintained locally in Northeast Minneapolis. One convenient option is to stop by either before or after the Holidazzle Parade on Nicollet Mall.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.