Tis’ the season of merriment and family fun. Despite the dropping temperatures, we hardy Minnesotans know how to have a good time in the winter months. If you’re looking for some fun activities for the whole family, look no further. Here is a roundup of this year’s featured events, as well as updated timing for those featured last holiday season.
Christmas in the County
Put on by the Mower County Historical Society in Austin, Christmas in the County is a great place to enjoy some holiday fun for the whole family. The event kicks off on Friday, December 13th, from 3;5:50pm, with a bake sale containing all sorts of home baked goodies.
The main event is held on Saturday, December 14th, from 11-4, in the Pioneer Building. Here you’ll find lots of activities, such as a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, bake sale, silent auction with over 100 baskets to bid on, and sleigh rides.
Visit their site for more information on the raffle and silent auction items available.
For more information, visit http://www.mowercountyhistory.org/
Mayowood Mansion Christmas Tours
Step back in time with a Christmas tour of the historic Mayowood mansion. Visit Mayowood for light refreshments and a guided tour through the mansion, which is decorated with holiday fixings. Rooms are decked out as they were when the Mayo family was in residence, complete with beautifully lit trees and garland.
Tours start at the History Center, followed by a ride up to the mansion and a tour which lasts about one hour. Tickets are $25 for adults, and $10 for kids (not recommended for children under 3). Reservations are required and can be made by calling the History Center at 507-282-9447. Tickets also include a free self-guided tour of the museum. This event runs from November 2nd through December 15.
For more information, visit https://www.olmstedhistory.com/
Red Wing Holiday Stroll
Bundle up and head down to main street Red Wing on Nov. 29 for their 18th annual Holiday Stroll. You can start the day with breakfast with Santa at the Elks Lodge. Breakfast is served 8-10am, with Santa in residence from 9-10am. After breakfast, stroll through the shops and get a head start on your holiday shopping.
There are many other activities planned throughout the day, including a gaggle of adoptable puppies hanging out at the Red Wing Library, and a showing of The Muppet Christmas Carol at the Sheldon at 1:30pm ($5 for adults, $3 for students).
Later in the evening, bundle up and you’ll be treated to a lighted parade with Santa himself pulling up the rear atop a Red Wing fire truck.
For more information, including a full schedule and list of participants, visit redwing.org/event/18th-annual-holiday-stroll.
It’s “pinky’s up” at the historic St. James Hotel in Red Wing for their annual Nutcracker Tea. Here you’ll enjoy some delicious finger foods, as well as the opportunity to bid on the unique Nutcracker centerpieces to benefit the Hope Coalition.
Participants will be treated to an afternoon of tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and petit fours, all in the historic area of the beautiful St. James. Tickets are $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 2pm. This event is held on December 15th.
Reservation and advanced payment required. Call 651-385-5549 for reservations.
For more information, visit https://st-james-hotel.com/event/victorian-tea-nutcracker/
New Ulm Parade of Lights
Bundle up the family and head to historic New Ulm for their 31st annual Parade of Lights. Be prepared for over 60 participants decked out in beautiful twinkling lights. In addition to the parade, downtown New Ulm will be decorated with Christmas trees and garland.
After the parade, head over to City Hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree. Mayor Bob Beussman will be master of ceremonies, with the New Ulm royalty and Santa Claus in attendance. The Brown County Historical Society Museum will also be hosting their open house this evening. This event is sure to be a great time for all ages.
The parade and festivities take place on Friday, November 29th at 6pm.
Visitor’s Note: No parking on Minnesota Street from 2nd S to 4th N.
For more information, as well as photos of last year’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2634797206571185/
Canadian Pacific Holiday Trains: Dec. 5-14, 2019
Kiwanis Holiday Lights: Nov. 29 – Dec. 31, 2019
Northfield Winter Walk: Dec. 12, 2019
By Justine Krueger