Thanksgiving may be time to spend the weekend with your family, but you need not sit at home all weekend. This year, there are several fun and fantastic events being held over the long Thanksgiving holiday that will keep everyone busy and cheerful. Before the hassle of Christmas shopping starts, take part in a leisure activity and event that happens only once a year. Minnesota is holding several fun and active events over the Thanksgiving holiday, take your pick and enjoy yourself.

(credit: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Target Center
600 First Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 673-1600

Date: Nov. 26, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Flip Saunders is back in Minnesota coaching the Timberwolves, and with a new cast of players, the 2014-2015 season is sure to be exciting. If you’ve never been to a Timberwolves game at the Target Center, now is the perfect time to go. The fans in Minneapolis make the games highly energetic and exciting, and since we’re playing the nearby team of Milwaukee, the competitive drive will be fierce. Come watch one of the best point guards in the world play for the home team and enjoy Target Center refreshments and entertainment while you’re there.

Wells Fargo Winter Skate
Rice Park
128 W. 6th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(612) 749-0435

Date: Nov. 29, 2014 to Feb. 1, 2015

A favorite holiday tradition in the land of ice and snow is ice skating. In downtown St. Paul, among the urban capital city of Minnesota, an outdoor ice rink is open to the public throughout the holidays. The grand opening of Winter Skate this year is on November 29 and includes free skating for those with their own skates, a holiday party and music and a celebration of lights. The entertainment starts at 4 p.m. and may become one of your favorite activities to do over the holidays.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Taylors Falls Lighting Festival And Parade
Downtown Taylors Falls
Between Pine and Bench Streets
Taylors Falls, MN 55084
(651) 465-3004

Date: Nov. 28, 2014 at 6 p.m.

Taylors Falls, Minnesota offers small town charm to start off the Christmas season. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, travel to Taylors Falls for the Lighting Festival parade. The town will be decorated in a festive holiday theme and will be lit up at the start of the parade. Shops will be open and a tour of historic downtown is offered to visitors and locals. Santa will be in the parade and visiting with the town later in the evening as well. Other activities include music, wagon rides and entertainment for the kids.

Related: Best Activities For Kids In Minnesota Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt
421 Third St.
Excelsior, MN 55331
(952) 292-8898

Date: Nov. 28-30, 2014

Visit Excelsior, Minnesota for a taste of a traditional German Christmas market. Start your shopping early with homemade and local items available to browsers for purchase. Enjoy walking through a wonderland of music, art, entertainment and the smells of Christmas. Aside from the shopping and traditional foods available at the market, animals and reindeer will be wandering around to interact with visitors and Santa will be there passing out treats as well. Buy a Christmas tree while you’re there and get that annual task taken care of at the fest.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Celtic Thunder Symphony Tour 2014
State Theatre
805 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 339-7007

Date: Nov. 28, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Celtic Thunder, a wildly popular Irish singing group, will stop in Minnesota this year during its 2014 international tour. Celtic Thunder has produced numerous albums and has performed all over the world to a diverse group of fans, including the President. The holiday performances have won awards throughout the world and the symphony has been praised for its creativity and talent. Enjoy traditional Irish and Scottish music and numerous covers of popular tunes as well over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Related: Best Places To Buy A Turkey In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on