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Things to do in Minneapolis on Christmas Day (And St. Paul, Too)


What is there to do in Minneapolis on Christmas Day? What is there to do in St. Paul and around the Twin Cities? Here's what's open in Minneapolis on Christmas Day, and also what's open in St. Paul and around the Twin Cities metro area.

Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowtubing

This makes a lot of sense, if you consider that some lucky people will be receiving new snow sports gear in their Christmas stockings, and will want to try it out immediately.

Check websites or call for the most up to date opening hours and snow conditions.

  • Afton Alps is open from 10 am until 10 pm.
  • Buck Hill is open from 9 am until 9.30 pm.
  • Wild Mountain will be open from noon on Christmas Day until 10 pm.
  • And in Wisconsin, Trollhaugen is open from noon until 7 pm. Trollhaugen's lift tickets are $20 all day.

Welch Village and Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area will be closed on Christmas Day.

Como Park and Como Zoo

It's open 356 days every year, and Christmas Day is no exception. The Zoo and Conservatory will be open on Christmas Day with the regular hours of 10 am - 4 pm. And why not - wouldn't it be fun to go and visit penguins and polar bears on Christmas Day?

Go For a Walk or Hike in a Park

Depending on how much snow we have, you could be hiking, or you will be cross country skiing or snowshoeing. You can visit parks in town like Minnehaha Park and the awesome frozen-solid Minnehaha Falls, go snowshoeing at Fort Snelling State Park, or look out for winter birds and other wildlife at the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is open daily from 6 am until midnight. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's centerpiece, the colossal Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, is one of the icons of Minneapolis and a great place for a photo opportunity with out-of-town visitors. The giant spoon is kept company by some 40 other artworks. If you are interested in photography, then the sculptures, many with stark lines or bold colors, take on a new appearance against the white snow and make for interesting images.

See a Movie

Movie theaters are traditionally busy on Christmas Day. This year, one of the most-anticipated is The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, the second of the Hobbit trilogy.

Some movie theaters will just be screening the blockbusters, some will be screening a couple of classic Christmas movies - the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis usually shows some Christmas movies in the run up to Christmas day, and screenings are bargain-basement prices too.

Christmas Dinner Restaurants

Many bars are open on Christmas day, and several metro area restaurants are open for Christmas lunch and dinner.

Go Ice Skating on Christmas Day

Most outdoor rinks in local parks are open for skating every day. And for indoor skating, the ice rink at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis is open from noon until 9 pm on Christmas day.

Winterskate in Rice Park is closed on Christmas Day.

Bars and Clubs

As with restaurants, some bars and clubs are open, some are closed on Christmas day. Among the ones that are O'Gara's Garage in St. Paul who always have a Christmas party with live music from The Outside and several other bands.

Volunteer for the Holidays

Give something to the community and help out with one of the many organizations and non-profits who help the needy in the Twin Cities. There's plenty to help out with, as well as the classic serving Christmas dinner, and bell ringing.

See Holiday Lights at Holiday Lights in the Park

Every Holiday season, Phalen Park in St. Paul is decked out in thousands upon thousands of Holiday lights. The display is open every evening from 5.30 pm - 10 pm, Christmas Day included, from November 26 until January 1. Admission is $10 per car, and all of the proceeds from the event are donated to charity.

Want more holiday lights? Here's more places to see Holiday lights in the Twin cities.

Run a 5K: The Christmas Day Joyful 5K

Charities Challenge organizes an annual Christmas Day 5K race at Lake Como in St. Paul. The race begins at 10 am. You are invited to run, or walk, and families are welcome. Preemptively run or walk off those Christmas Day meal calories!

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