Hometown Christmas in the Twin Cities

1December 2021

Is it even possible to have a hometown Christmas in the middle of Twin Cities?  You better believe it?  And if you are looking for that small town feel, we have a couple road trips for you to consider, too.

Many of these places have festivals on the first two weekends of December.  If you end up missing the festivals, you will still get that Hallmark, hometown vibe just by choosing to shop in these quaint communities.

Take a road trip outside the mall, and enjoy the Christmasy atmosphere on the hamlet streets.

Tree Lighting Ceremony at Union Depot in Saint Paul Minnesota 2014
Image courtesy of Union Depot. Credit: Art in the Sky Photography


Not only does this sweet village host their annual weekend Christkindlsmarkt, but the town is cram-packed with lots of fun shopping and decorations throughout the season.

To learn more about Exclsior’s Christkindlsmarkt what what it offers, click here.


Lindstrom is full of shops to enjoy as well as beautifully decorated for the holidays.  I grew up in a very happy-to-be-Swedish family (and some Norwegian, too), so the Scandinavian Christmas decorations are especially nostalgic for me.

Lindstrom hosts its Holiday Craft Fair and Tree Lighting Ceremony this year on December 4, 2021, but if you can’t make it then, you won’t be disappointed in the local shopping later in the month.  Click here to learn more about the Craft Fair. 


Stillwater is a favorite any time of the year, but it holds a special place in my heart around Christmas because that’s when my kids and I chased Santa around town.  This hometown hosts a holiday gathering throughout the entire month of December.  So you will find something happening every time you step out of a local shop.

Learn all about the Stillwater activities throughout the season, click here.

Union Depot 

The most authentic European Christmas Market in Minnesota is located at Union Depot each year. Opening Day: Black Friday, November 26, 2021 and runs Friday-Sunday until Sunday, December 19, 2021 | Friday Hours: 4 PM – 9 PM, Saturday Hours: 10 AM – 8 PM, Sunday Hours: 11 AM – 6 PM

Some Saturdays they host other events at the same time like a bake sale or a community movie.  To find out more about this European Christmas Market click here.

White Bear Lake

This year, I did all most extended family shopping right here.  I spent time in GoodKids, and I visited Bamboo Switch.  I popped into Sheepy Yarn and went into Sweetlane Life and Koselig Candle Company.  I ended my day with a stroll through Lake Country Booksellers.  Oh, and I can’t forget my coffee break in Anchor Coffee.  Seriously, I had the best time Christmas shopping for everyone.  And not only is it a fun place to shop, throughout December they have special Christmas activities.

To learn more about Downtown White Bear Lake’s holiday events, click here.

fitgers in duluth


There is so much to do and see in Duluth during the winter, especially during the holidays.  You won’t be disappointed by the festive holiday lights including but not limited to Bentleyville.  Glensheen is the new home of Spirit of the Lights – a holiday lights display that decorated a private residence on Duluth’s Park Point for many years.

Find out more about what Duluth offers during the Christmas holidays by clicking here.


If you need an excuse to go to Rochester, I have just the thing.  The only place this year playing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever  is in Rochester.

Head down there early and get some fun shopping done as well.  Because Rochester is a really fun place to explore.  And during the holidays, there are markets popping up around town you don’t want to miss.

Click here to get more information about Rochester’s holiday season.

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