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As a local Minnesotan that has lived in MN a majority of my life, I definitely have the scoop on where you can see the best Christmas lights in MN. In no time you will be planning your next outing with some fluffy white snow falling down, hearing Christmas music, and enjoying the twinkling festive lights of the holiday season.
You can see the best Christmas lights in MN all over the state! There are a number of locations to really put you in the holiday spirit. From Southern Minnesota, the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, to Northern Minnesota and the North Shore of Lake Superior you’re sure to have instant Christmas cheer when visiting any of these holiday light opportunities. Minnesota is truly the “Ultimate Winter Wonderland”. If you’ve never been to Minnesota in the winter, I mean it’s hard not to be festive when snow and natural fir trees surround you. Add in the magic of holiday lights all over the state and it’s the most magical Christmas ever!
Lets get into the specifics of all of the locations of awesome Christmas lights in MN. Starting with a few classic locations in Northern Minnesota.
Christmas lights in MN: the locations
I don’t know about you, but those twinkling lights get me every time. Whether it’s a traditional color, bright white or multi colored displays of Christmas lights they just make me happy. Throughout Minnesota there are many opportunities to see beautiful sparkling lights all over the state. Every year it seems the events start sooner rather than later. (Many of these start around Thanksgiving or shortly before.)
Bentleyville (located in Duluth, MN)
Bentleyville Tour of Lights is one of the most popular Christmas light displays in Minnesota. It’s located in Bayfront Festival Park down by Lake Superior in Duluth, MN. This is an outdoor event near the lake after dark so be sure to dress warm! Click on the link above for specific details but generally the even starts at 5 PM the weekend prior to Thanksgiving through a few days past Christmas. The event is free but you have to pay for parking within the event lots. While you’re in Duluth, you can also check out the next Christmas light event listed below.
Spirit of the Lights at Glensheen Manshion (Duluth, MN)
Spirit of the Lights at Glensheen Mansion is a free outdoor event. However, it’s a great idea to check out these lights as well as go on an evening candle light tour of the historic home. The Glensheen Mansion is an awesome place to check out any time of year but the holiday decorations throughout the home are seriously next level. They’re very traditional and are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
Kiwani’s Holiday Lights (Mankato, MN)
Kiwanis Holiday lights is located in Mankato, Minnesota at Sibley Park. This is both a light event but also much more. Truly a fun evening for the whole family! Mankato is located a quick drive from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Plus, in comparison to other events this is a charitable cause which makes it really special to help those in need during the holidays.
Paul Bunyan Park (Bemidji, MN)
The Night We Light Celebration in Bemidji, MN is a yearly tradition. Near the south shore of Lake Bemidji in Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan Park lights are illuminated the day after Thanksgiving in the Night We Light event then the lights continue to display through the holiday season. It’s a great way to celebrate Christmas in Northern Minnesota. I just love seeing Paul and Babe with Christmas lights surrounding them. One of my favorite Christmas ornaments is the outline of Paul & Babe in a black and red checked buffalo plaid pattern.
Rice Park & Mears Park (St. Paul, MN)
Rice Park and Mears Park, both located in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota become a place to see Christmas lights and a large illuminated Christmas tree. Though not as famous, Rice Park’s Christmas tree is as large as the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City! Truly a sight to be seen during the holiday season. Then there’s also the iconic skating rink located in Rice Park which is a Christmas tradition for many families and couples in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (Chaska, MN)
Winter in Bloom is an event located in Chaska, Minnesota at the U of M Minnesota landscape arboretum. Walk through the arboretum grounds with their take on Christmas lights both indoor and outdoor. Be sure to dress warm!
The Winery at Sovereign Estates (Waconia, MN)
The Spirit of Winter is an event at Sovereign Estates Winery in the western suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Throughout the 20 acres this winery covers there are many different sparkling Christmas lights displayed. This event starts prior to Thanksgiving until early January this lighted event is sure to dazzle both young and old alike during Christmas in Minnesota.
Holiday Lights Tours
All is Bright Holiday Lights tour is a fun option to see a lot of Christmas lights in one swoop. So, gather up your friends and family to set out on an evening filled with twinkling lights, festive music & if you’re over 21 you can also bring our own alcoholic beverages. This starts from the Eastern metro and drives through neighborhoods
Festive Residential Homes or Neighborhoods in Minneapolis
Hayden’s Holiday Lights (Stop by this Minneapolis house for a 2000 lights display synchronized to music on 104.9 FM.)
Location: 5205 Washburn Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
House on Howard is a private owned residential home that gets decked out with 10,00 LED Christmas lights. They have 4 special arches for police, firefighters, armed services and the towing industry.
Location: 2418 Howard Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 554418 November 27 – February 1 7 nights a week: 5:45pm – 10:15pm
Armatage Holiday Light Tour This neighborhood publishes a holiday light tour map online where you can plan your route in advance. The list of homes participating is available in early December and is only an event for a few weeks within December.
I hope you enjoyed this list and are able to visit some of them this holiday season. Happy Holidays!