Next week is, of course, Thanksgiving. Once you’ve made it through your tryptophan-laden dinner and survived the madness of early morning Black Friday sales, what else is there to do over the long weekend? Plenty.

Thanksgiving weekend marks the official kickoff to the Christmas season, and one of the splashiest events starts on Fri, Nov. 26, and runs Thurs-Sun through Dec. 19 (weather permitting): the Holidazzle Parade.

Holidazzle isn’t the only festival of lights, however. Phalen Park is home to Holiday Lights in the Park, which opens 11/23 and runs nightly through the end of the year. Sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, this display charges admission, but all net proceeds go to Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy, and UnderConstruction.

Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls have a Thanksgiving weekend extravaganza planned with the 26th Annual Lighting Festival, taking place Nov. 26-28. Parades, crafts, cloggers, wagon rides, and don’t forget to stop by the 1855 Folsom House to see it decorated to the hilt.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum begins its series of Making Spirits Bright holiday musical events on Nov. 27, with Holiday Heralds of the Minnesota Chorale performing at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. (Check the link above for the full schedule of holiday performances throughout December.) While you’re there, take time to explore this year’s holiday displays: lavish gingerbread houses and the Spirit is Bright.

The Minnesota History Center offers a cornucopia of event for the holidays, beginning right after Thanksgiving. Check out A Victorian Christmas at the Ramsey House, Christmas with the Lindberghs, and a Thanksgiving weekend full of chocolate-based activities at the Minnesota History Center.

If you’ve been feeling too sedentary, maybe it’s time to head over to The Depot and lace on some skates. The ice rink opens Nov. 24, and will be open all Thanksgiving weekend, including Thanksgiving Day.

Or if you’d rather not be reminded of the arrival of winter, a more tropical adventure would be a visit to the Waterpark of America, which will be open daily 11/24-27.

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

Comments (3)
  1. Ann says:

    Amy, wcco used to do a colum where they talked about decorated neighborhoods to go see lights…
    is there still something like that?
    I know about Phalen park etc….are there any other neighborhoods that get all gussied up?


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