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2021 Twin Cities Drive Thru Christmas Events and Walking Tours

10November 2021

For 2021, we have updated our list of Drive Thru Christmas events that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own car to include outdoor walking events. Many of these holiday events are free and if they have a cost, it usually covers the entire car with a few exceptions. We note all this information in the entry.

Drive Thru Christmas Light Shows and Walking Tours

Wintertime in Stillwater

Downtown Stillwater, Stillwater MN 55082
There’s extra twinkle in the city’s historic downtown district this year. Chestnut Street has a pedestrian winter wonderland area where you can enjoy a free LED light show set to music and the mile drive of Main Street is covered with snowflake decorations and rooftop lights. Drive it, walk it, shop it – all beautiful choices. Begins the Friday after Thanksgiving! November 26, 2021 through March 20, 2022, 5-10pm nightly. Free.

Nature Illuminated

Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Explore the combination of nature and art through a spectacular one-of-a-kind display. This year the zoo is offering the tour with both walking and driving options.  Drive through: December 2, 2021-January 2, 2022.  Walking Tour: January 6-16, 2022; 5 pm-9pm/11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, $35-$60/vehicle or $14-$20/pedestrian. Reservations for designated times required.

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318
Back to a walking event in 2021. Winter will be in bloom with lighted greenery and displays throughout the pathways of the arb’s gardens! Online ticket reservation required. November 19, 2021 through January 2, 2022, Tickets: $10-$25/pp.

GLOW Holiday Festival

Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55108
The Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together has converted to a walking tour of the fairgrounds in 2021. There will still be a parade of dozens seasonal scenes featuring over a million holiday lights, a 100-foot illuminated tree, icicle ornaments and art installations, a festive gingerbread house, and other attractions. Grab a map and follow the trail. In addition, with the ability to leave our vehicles, the festival has added, a “sElfie Plaza”, a 3-story ice palace, a bike-powered tree, the State Fair Food Court and Sky Glider rides.  Nov 18, 2021-Jan 2, 2022, 4:30 pm-9/10 pm; Tickets $12.75 to $75/pp

Christmas in Color at Valleyfair

Christmas In Color

Valleyfair, 1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee, MN 55379
This holiday season you can drive right into the amusement park to be entertained by 1.5 million lights synchronized to holiday music. You’ll need an FM radio to year the Christmas music and carols as you drive. Nov 19, 2021-Jan 2, 2022, 4:30 pm-9/10 pm, Tickets $35-$60/vehicle.

Special Deal:  If you are a ValleyFair  Season Passholder, get 20% off!

Sever’s Holiday Lights

Sever’s Festival Grounds, 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
Holiday light shows, Winter Carnivals, and more.  November 26th, 2021 – January 2nd, 2022; Sun-Thur 5pm-9pm; Fri-Sa 5pm-10pm. $7/pp; $25-$50/vehicle.

Schultz Family Lights/Holiday Lights on York

1526 York Ave, St. Paul MN
Comprised of 9 family homes on both sides of the street dancing to holiday favorites you can listen to on your car radio. Synchronized to 91.5. Collecting food shelf donations for the holiday season (they have actually already taken in a carload from their Halloween display). Christmas will run Nov 26th- Dec 31st in 2021, 5-10pm.

Holiday Lights on York

Valley Lights at Rockpoint Church

Rockpoint Church, 5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo MN
The lights will be on for a drive-thru showing. Tune in your radio to 97.9 and enjoy.  Nov 26th-Dec 31, 2021.

Christmas in the Village

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th Street W., Farmington, MN 55024
Buildings will be illuminated inside and out throughout the village. The public is welcome to drive through the Village any evening in December (3pm-8pm) to enjoy this holiday tradition, but there will be extra activities and reasons to get out of your car  and walk around on December 4th & 5th, and December 11th & 12th, 2021 .

Cathedral Festival of Lights – Starry Night

Cathedral of Saint Paul, 239 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Again in 2021, enjoy a FREE outdoor Christmas light show projected on the front of the Cathedral of Saint Paul. The show is 12 minutes long and shown between 6-9pm; but you can also purchase tickets for an indoor event ($15-$40). December 15-19, 2021.

Create your own Drive Thru Christmas lights event!

We have an enormous list of homes around the Twin Cities that deck their halls up for the holiday: Jump over to Light It Up: Twin Cities & Greater Minnesota Christmas & Holiday Light Displays for our map and get your family fill of giant candy canes, inflated snowmen, reindeer, Christmas tree displays and Santa Claus figures!


Drive Thru Santa Letters

Dakota City Heritage Village Post Office

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th Street W., Farmington, MN 55024
Mail your Santa letters at the post box outside the Post Office in the charming historic village. Be sure to include your self-addressed envelope with stamp so St. Nick can send you a reply. Time this with a visit to enjoy the holiday lights (see above)!

Santa’s Mailbox

Plymouth City Hall, 3400 Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth, MN 55447
Plymouth Ice Center, 3650 Plymouth Blvd, Plymouth, MN 55447
Drop off letters to Santa (along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope) at either location and receive a personalized response. Letters accepted November 23rd through December 4th, 2021.


Drive Thru Christmas Nativities

The Christmas Story in Lights

Wayzata Community Church, 125 Wayzata Boulevard East, Wayzata, MN 55391
The Christmas story in lights. A Drive-through experience. 5pm-8pm Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-19, 2021.

Come to the Stable: A Living Nativity

Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 5426 12th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417 (corner of 11th Ave S and W 54th St)
Guests are invited to the Stable for a family-friendly afternoon featuring a live nativity complete with Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, animals, and, of course, baby Jesus. This is a walking tour in 2021. Sunday, December 12, 2021; 3pm-6pm.

Drive-Thru Living Nativity

SouthCross Community Church, 1800 County Rd 42 E, Burnsville, MN 55337
26th Annual Drive Thru Living Nativity. There will be no meal this year, and, to keep everyone safe, the church requests that everyone stay in their cars and drive slowly. December 13 & 14, 2021, 6:30-8:30pm. FREE. Food donations for 360 Community food shelves will be accepted if you are able.

Living Nativity

St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1965 Co Rd E East, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
In its 29th year with music and live animals! Drive thru. TBA, 4:30-7:30pm.

Drive Thru Hot Chocolate

I was hoping to find more locally-owned drive through options for cocoa and sweets. If you have a favorite place to get cocoa without leaving your car, leave us a comment and we’ll share with the family.

Mudslingers Drive-Thru Coffee

2154 Lexington Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113
This adorable little hut has a double drive through and hours that are NOT going to help you for an evening drive, but I included it anyway because maybe you’ll want to grab some hot cocoa on your way to ice skate at the Roseville Oval or something. Hot chocolate is on the menu, as well as smoothies and kids steamers.

Caribou Drive-Thru

Caribou conveniently offers a Drive-Thru filter when searching for a coffee shop near you. Find all the local Caribous with Drive Thru windows here.


More 2020 Holiday Fun:

Find more Holiday options in our Holiday Guide.

December Banner Christmas

This post was originally published on this site

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