Tourism events around Minnesota, as provided by the Minnesota Office of Tourism. For more information, visit http://www.exploreminnesota.com or call (800) 657-3700 or (651) 296-5029 in the Twin Cities area.
Walk The Wild Lights will be offered at The Minnesota Zoo in APPLE VALLEY each Friday through Sunday through Dec. 30. After being greeted by reindeer, guests may walk through a winter wonderland of more than one million lights that cover animal shapes surrounding the zoo's main lake. Visitors can also warm up indoors at Discovery Bay, check out the "Zoolab" and the "World of Birds" show. There will be holiday music, photos with Santa, animal enrichment activities for kids and shopping at The Go Wild Gift Shop or Kid's Only Gift Shop. For further information, dial (800) 366-7811.
AUSTIN will present Christmas In The City, with holiday events occurring daily through Dec. 26. Highlights include Santa's reindeer, storytelling, pictures with Santa, open houses with participating businesses, holiday concerts, handbells, carolers and more. For further information, dial (800) 444-5713, or check-out the Web site at (www.spamtownusa.com).
The 33rd annual Madrigal Dinners will be held at the Beaux Arts Ballroom at the Hobson Memorial Student Union in BEMIDJI on Friday and Saturday. Featured will be a 16th century Madrigal Dinner representing the Christmas traditions of Elizabethan England, with all members of the choir and cast in Renaissance costume. For further information, dial (218) 755-2918.
Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort in BIWABIK will host the U.S. Amateur Snowboard Association on Sunday, Dec. 23. Visitors may watch contestants compete in the Snowboard Big Air Event. For further information, dial (800) 688-7669.
A Camp Santa Holiday Music Festival will take place at Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America in BLOOMINGTON daily through Dec. 24. To learn more, dial (952) 883-8300 or check out (www.bloomingtonmn.org).
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in CHANHASSEN will be the site of Arbor Lights from 5 to 8 p.m. each Thursday through Saturday through Jan. 12. Enjoy the serenity of the arboretum's lighted winter gardens through self-guided garden walks. There will be children's nature crafts and entertainment each evening. For further information, dial (952) 443-1400.
In DULUTH, Fitger's Complex will host Santa And His Reindeer on Saturday and Sunday. And, the Great Lakes Aquarium at Lake Superior Center, also in Duluth, will be the site of Reindeer Games on Sunday with reindeer-pulled sleigh rides, as well as educational reindeer games. To learn more about either event, contact the city of Duluth at (800) 438-5884.
A Zoo Year's Eve Celebration will be held at the Lake Superior Zoo in DULUTH on Dec. 31, with sliding, skating, zoo animals and fireworks at 5 p.m. For further information, dial (218) 723-3748.
The 10th annual Holidazzle Parade will be held today-Sunday and Dec. 19-23 and 26 in downtown MINNEAPOLIS along Nicollet Mall between 12th Street and Third Street. Holidazzle is a series of 24 holiday light parades that feature floats, musical groups, celebrity grand marshals, and nearly 250 costumed characters from popular children's stories. Parades are free to the public, last approximately 30 minutes, and begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, dial (612) 673-0927.
Through Dec. 31, The Marshall Fields Holiday Auditorium Show will be offered at the 8th Floor Auditorium of Marshall Fields Department Store in downtown MINNEAPOLIS, featuring colorful three-dimensional displays and animated vignettes from "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." The display is free and open to the public during regular store hours. To find out more, dial (612) 375-4637.
The Wanda Gag House in NEW ULM will be the site of A Wanda Gag Christmas each Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23. Featured will be the creation of two new Christmas trees based on Wanda Gag's books, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "The Funny Thing." For further information, dial (507) 359-2632.
Pipestone's Historic Calumet Inn will present A Festival Of Trees through Dec. 31 with trees decorated and judged for most beautiful, original and humorous. To find out more, call the city of PIPESTONE at (800) 336-6125.
Riverside Mall in PRINCETON will present Holiday Festivities on Saturday with horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. For more information, dial (763) 389-1764.
The St. James Hotel in RED WING will be the site of A New Year's Eve Celebration on Monday, Dec. 31, with a New Year's Eve Gala Dinner & Dance, with hors d'oeuvres, a six-course meal and champagne toast at midnight. To find out more, dial (651) 388-2846 or (800) 252-1875.
Weekday Holiday Tours will be offered at the Alexander Ramsey House in ST. PAUL each Tuesday through Friday through Dec. 28, excluding Christmas Day. The house will be filled with the aroma of holiday baking on a wood-burning stove, and this Victorian home will be full of Christmas decorations, as well as Ramsey family heirlooms and fresh poinsettias. Each Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 30, tours will include vignettes of life at the Ramsey House, as well as Victorian-style ornaments and holiday books at the Carriage House gift shop. Tours leave on the hour and reservations are required. For further information, dial 651/296-8760.
Historic Murphy's Landing in SHAKOPEE will be the site of Folkways Of The Holidays each Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23. Featured will be award-winning recreations of the holiday traditions of various 1800s ethnic and religious communities of the Minnesota River Valley, with traditional music, dance, games and festivities. To find out more, dial (952) 445-6901 or contact the city of Shakopee at (800) 574-2150.
The second annual Lighted Christmas Drive-Thru will be offered by the Root River Antique Historical Power Association in SPRING VALLEY each Friday through Sunday, through Dec. 30. From 5-9 p.m., visitors may drive through lighted and decorated Memory Lane, and enjoy lights, music and a bonfire. Bring marshmallows or hot dogs to roast. Sleigh rides will be offered from 3-5 p.m., weather permitting. Donations will be accepted. The association's picturesque grounds and buildings are 20 miles south of Rochester at intersection of Highways 63 & 16, one mile north of Spring Valley. To learn more, contact the Historic Bluff Country Visitors' Bureau at (800) 428-2030.
A Winter Solstice Celebration will be held at the Two Harbors Lighthouse from 4:30-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, with a large bonfire, musical entertainment, and variety of foods. To find out more, contact the TWO HARBORS Visitors' Bureau at (800) 777-7384.
And, just some of the upcoming concerts & performances in the TWIN CITIES vicinity will include: Mamma Mia at the Historic Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, through Dec. 22; the Black Nativity at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, through Dec. 23; The Steeles Christmas Concert at the Historic State Theatre in Minneapolis, Friday; The Nutcracker at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul, Friday-Sunday; Amy Grant & Vince Gill at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Sunday; The Jayhawks at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Dec. 21; Shannon Curfman at the Cabooze in Minneapolis, Dec. 21; Loyce Holton's Nutcracker Fantasy 2001 at the Historic State Theatre, Dec. 21-30; Soul Asylum at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis, Dec. 27; The Harlem Globetrotters at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Dec. 29; The Cities' 97 New Year's Eve at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, Dec. 31; KFAN New Year's Eve at the Radisson in St. Paul, Dec. 31; Louie Anderson at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, Dec. 31; Taj Mahal at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Jan. 14; Sesame Street Live & Everyone Makes Music at the Target Center, Jan. 16-20; Veggietales Live at the Historic State Theatre, Jan. 29-Feb. 3; Vonda Shepard at the Fitzgerald Theatre, Feb. 14.
For further information on any of these performances, contact TICKETMASTER at (612) 989-5151.
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