Holiday light displays brighten Twin Cities and beyond

Rice Park, Saint Paul (photo by Paige Elliott)

Updated 12/28/2013

 

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)


Other seasonal stories:
Holiday season theater round-up
Supporting local business for the holidays and beyond! 
Tis the season to give and receive - where to get and give 

 

Schultz Family Lights

1526 York Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

Free

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.

 

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The Beaumont's Holiday Light Show

229 21st Avenue South

South Saint Paul, MN 55075 

Free

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. 

Song list
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.

 

IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park 

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.

 

 

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Shoreham Yards
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.

 

CSE Winter Light Show 

500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN  55455 (Outdoor Plaza Civil Engineering)

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.


Holidazzle 

Nicollet Mall, between 12th & 4th Streets

Free

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.

 

Kiwanis Holiday Lights

Sibley Park, Box 5201, Mankato, MN 56001

Free

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.

 

 

Plymouth Lights 

16700 33rd Ave North in Plymouth (a western suburb of Minneapolis)

Free

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 Santaland 

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!

 

Prairie Lights 

George Moran Dr & Donegal Cove, Eden Prairie 

Free

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. 

 

Rice Park 

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.

 

 

Recycle Your Holidays wants your unwanted lights! 

 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!

 [If you don't see the Storify photos and comments below, please refresh your browser window.]


 


Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

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    Paige Elliott's picture
    Paige Elliott

    (paigeelliott [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net) Paige Elliott was born and raised in south Minneapolis. Paige works as a freelance reporter for TC Daily Planet, having completed a Media Skills Fellowship in the spring.