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Things to do in Minneapolis on Thanksgiving Day

Things to do in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Twin Cities on Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving Day is Thursday November 28, 2013.

Most businesses and attractions are closed on Thanksgiving Day. What is open on Thanksgiving day in Minneapolis? What is there to do on Thanksgiving Day in Minneapolis?

Even though most attractions in the Twin Cities are closed on Thanksgiving, there are still many places to visit on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Attractions to Visit on Thanksgiving Day

Como Zoo and Conservatory is open every day. Opening hours are 10 am - 4 pm.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is open day of the year. If you have out-of-town guests, you can't get more iconic a photo opportunity than a snap in front of the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is open 6 am - midnight daily.

The Depot, in downtown Minneapolis, opens their beautiful indoor ice rink on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and will be open for skating all Thanksgiving Weekend. Thanksgiving Day hours are 10 am - 9 pm. The rink opens at 10 am - 11.30pm daily during the rest of the weekend.

View holiday lights in St. Paul's Phalen Park. Over a million lights and animated displays to admire every night from November 26 until New Year's Day, including Holidays. The lights are illuminated from 5.30 pm - 10 pm. The admission charge goes to local charities.

Active Things to do on Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Weekend

In Minneapolis, the annual Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5K begins at the Target Center at 8 am, and takes runners around downtown Minneapolis.

In St. Paul, run a 5K or join in the 1.5K family and fitness walk at the Giving Thanks 5K Run event.

In Hastings, the Gobble Gait 8k and 2K races are on Thanksgiving morning.

The Mall of America hosts the annual Walk to End Hunger 5K on Thanksgiving morning. Register for the indoor 5K walk, bring food for the food drive, or call into the phone-a-thon to help local food banks.

And regardless of holidays, or organized events, the outside is always open, and perhaps there will be snow to play in...

Downhill ski and snowboard areas hope to be open this weekend Thanksgiving day. There should be plenty of snow, manufactured or real, and several runs open at local resorts by late November.

And if there's snow on the ground, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and all kinds of snow-and-ice activities are always an option, regardless of whether it's a holiday or not, and are a great way to burn off the turkey. Or work up an appetite for it.

Things to Do in Minneapolis: Thanksgiving Weekend

Holiday events abound over Thanksgiving weekend.

The most famous Twin Cities holiday event, the Holidazzle Parade, begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The parade begins at 6.30pm nightly.

On Saturday 30 November, downtown St. Paul's Rice Park Ice Rink opens. The Rice Park Christmas tree will be lit, and the ice rink will be opened, at the opening ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Downtown Minneapolis' Macy's annual Santaland holiday display opens in early November, and is open daily, except Thanksgiving Day itself. Macy's Holiday Show will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and through December 24.

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? If not, A Victorian Christmas at the Alexander Ramsey House with tours of the historic house, music and refreshments, will be open on November 27, 29, 30, December 1 and several more dates in November and December.

In Excelsior, the open-air Christmas market, the Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt opens on November 29 through December 1. It all begins with an opening Children's Lantern parade on the morning of November 29. After the parade, visitors can enjoy shopping, food, music and visiting with Santa and his reindeer over the three days of the market. 

And in the historic town of Taylors Falls, the Taylors Falls Lighting Festival is November 29 - December 1. For the opening day on Friday November 29, there is a whole day of Holiday events, with shopping, the opportunity to visit historic homes in downtown Taylors Falls, then the grand Santa Parade lights up the whole village at 6pm. Following the parade, you can visit with Santa, hear stories read by Mrs Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting and other entertainment. And, there are more Lighting Festival events on November 30 and December 1, including a craft fair and performance from the St. Croix Valley Orchestra.

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