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Holiday light displays brighten Twin Cities and beyond
Minnesotans don't need to dream or wish for a white Christmas this year, as winter blasted in with early sub-zero temps and snow. If seeing all that white has you seeing red, check out the bright holiday light displays, which transform cold, bare streets into a joyful array of eye candy. Check out our list of light displays below, and help us add to it.
For a fun and relatively inexpensive activity for the holidays, why not make a night of holiday light viewing? Load up the car with family and friends, pop in your favorite Christmas CD, and take a trip around the Twin Cities to see the various light displays and decorations. Several local companies offer limousine or bus tours. Or you can opt for one of the special light displays that charge a fee to support local charities, such as the IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park (more info on this and other special displays below.)
Tours of the Governor’s mansion have been postponed until next year due to restoration efforts, and Christmasota, the holiday light display at the MN State Fair Grounds, is closed until next year as well. But there is still plenty of sparkle and we have highlighted a few choice spots in the Twin Cities and beyond.
We’d like to highlight more residential displays in the community, so give us a heads up (by emailing paigeelliott [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net) if there’s a display in your neighborhood we should know about. Or just tag your photos with #tcdpics, and we'll post them on the Storify below.
Below are some of the holiday light displays submitted by readers so far! We thank you for your submissions- keep sending them in!
- 229 21st Avenue South, South Saint Paul, MN 55075 (Submitted by display creator, Steve Beaumont; more information in the round up below).
- 63rd St and Beckham Avenue, Inver Grove Heights - a cul de sac combined their efforts to put together an incredible light display; the house on the corner has musically synchronized lights (Submitted by Michele Anderson)
- 148th St W, Rosemount, west of Chippendale - another cluster of beautiful displays (Submitted by Michele Anderson)
- Walnut Drive South of 134th Street in Burnsville - block has lot of beautiful displays (Submitted by T. Paulk)
- Block at the corner of Lac Lavon and Crystal Lake Road in Burnsville - 4 huge displays (Submitted by T. Paulk)
1526 York Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106
5 pm -10 pm each day
Over 45,000 colorful lights; Tune in to 91.5 FM. Schultz Family Lights accepts donations for the Merrick Food Shelf which supports the Greater East Side.
The Beaumont's Holiday Light Show
229 21st Avenue South
South Saint Paul, MN 55075
Dec 2 – January 6; Show runs daily 5 - 11:30 pm
On display are about 11,000 bulbs in three colors, blue, soft white, and bright white. There are wireframe angels, deer, and trees that are choreographed to illuminate with the music that you can hear from the comfort of your vehicle by tuning into 97.9 FM in stereo.
1. Christmas Vacation movie excerpt (Russ and Clark)
2. Trans Siberian Orchestra – Canon Rock Choir
3. Christmas Vacation movie excerpt (Ellen and Clark)
4. Mannheim Steamroller - Joy To The World
5. Coca Cola Christmas Theme Music
6. South Park – Cartman Sings O’Holy Night
7. Skrillex Equinox (First of the Year), a techno piece, December 26th after Christmas.
Enjoy this video from 2012 for a preview!
Do you know of more great neighborhood light displays? Or maybe a couple of houses on the same block? Send us a photo, or tag a photo with #tcdpics and an address, and we'll publish it.
1615 Phalen Drive E, Saint Paul, MN 55106
$10 - $8 per vehicle ($15 - $30 per larger vehicles)
November 26 – January 1; 5:30 pm – 10 pm
A drive-through wonderland of lights for the whole family. All net proceeds go to support local charities.
2800 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Dec 12; Free
All aboard for some holiday fun for a worthy cause! The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, bathed in festive holiday lights, makes its annual trip to Shoreham Yards in Northeast Minneapolis. The event includes live music and family activities, and donations from the event support the food shelves of East Side Neighborhood Services.
Free and open to the public
University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) students put on this spectacular light show entitled Aurora Digitalis, which features over 70,000 controlled LED lights. The lights are synchronized with music to make for an exciting 3D outdoor experience. Dress warmly and come out and enjoy this new campus tradition!
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.
Nicollet Mall, between 12th & 4th Streets
Fridays and Saturdays
November 29 – December 21; 6:30 pm
Even in the frigid cold temps, people still show up in droves for this annual holiday favorite. Seeing as this is Holidazzle's last year as we know it, expect the crowds to be especially thick! Holidazzle volunteers collect food and cash donations at the start and during the parade for the Emergency Foodshelf Network.
Nov 29, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013
Sunday-Thursday Nights: 5-9 pm
Friday-Saturday Nights: 5-10 pm
In addition to animated lights, choreographed lights, and Santa with live reindeer, this popular light display includes a tribute to the troops and non-profit decorated trees. Kiwanis Holiday Lights accepts donations of non-perishable food items for area food shelves, as well as cash donations for non-profits.
Runs through December 31st (No display Dec 24th)
Sunday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Friday-Saturday 5:30pm - 10pm
Tune your car radio to FM 103.3 to enjoy this gorgeous display synchronized to music.
Macy's Downtown Minneapolis, 700 On The Mall, 8th Floor Auditorium
Free ($4 for Macy’s Puppet Theater shows)
November 23 - December 24, 2013; Go here for specific times
Macy’s annual Santaland, now in its 51st year is just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking for some old-fashioned Christmas fun! Fresh baked cookies, animatronic elf puppets and musical puppet shows -- good times!
November 26 – January 5
Sunday-Thursday: 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thousands of Christmas lights synchronized to music on 88.1 FM Prairie Lights is a drop-off location for unwanted lights and collects pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
109 W 4th Street, Downtown Saint Paul, MN 55102
Free and open to the public
Rice Park during the holiday season is truly a enchanting view to behold! Over 20,000 energy-efficient LED lights, along with angel and Nutcracker statues and WinterSkate, a free iceskating rink is right across the street.
Do you have old holiday lights that are unusable or no longer meet your energy efficiency standards? Recycle Your Holidays, a program to recycle holiday lights and cords, can take those old lights off your hands. Go here to find a drop off location near you.
Let your light shine by sharing your photos of holiday displays! Just send your photos to paigeelliott [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net or tag them with #tcdpics on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Flickr and we’ll add it to our Storify attached to this article. Happy viewing and Happy Holidays!
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Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.