The weather is getting chillier and now that daylight savings time has ended, it gets dark earlier, so what does that mean?
The holiday season is almost here!
(I know that in part because my kids are already asking me if we can put up the Christmas tree…)
And thinking of the holiday season, one thing we LOVE is holiday light displays!
But COVID-19 is sticking around, so seeing holiday lights are a little different this year. One way they are different is that there are several drive thru light displays in the state!
Here are some that I’ve found – if I find more I’ll add them to the list!
(Note: Be sure to check each event before you go in case there are any changes or cancellations.)
Celebrate the Light of the World – Willmar (FREE – donations requested)
November 26 – January 1, 5:00pm – 10:00pm each night
Celebrate the Light of the World kicks off Thanksgiving Night – Thursday, November 26th!! The show will run every night from 5:00pm – 10:00pm from November 26th through January 1st, 2021!
Christmas Together (Live Nativity Drive-Thru) – Bloomington (FREE)
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
December 4 -5 only
Come and experience this live Christmas production from the comfort of your own vehicle. We invite you to kick off the holiday season with an outdoor program of the Christmas story. Take your family and friends on a drive-thru experience and enjoy an evening of music, lights, kids giveaways, treats, and live animals as we take you through the story of Christmas.
Holiday Lights on York Avenue – St. Paul (FREE)
This is a big light display on a residential block that you can drive through in St. Paul. They haven’t announced their 2020 dates yet, but they just wrapped up their Halloween lights display. Check their website for updates.
Light the Way – A Drive-Through Christmas Experience – Maple Grove (FREE)
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
December 4-27, 5-9pm each day
Enter into a new Christmas experience at Lord of Life with Light the Way. We know this winter is unique, so the Lord of Life parking lot will be transformed into a beautiful light display that can be enjoyed safely from your car. Drive through eight stations artfully depicting the story of Jesus’ birth, and listen to an audio guide that shares how the Christmas story is more meaningful than ever. Children can keep an eye out for a special hidden symbol in each station. Open in evenings throughout December, Light the Way will be an experience you’ll want to revisit throughout the season of Advent.
Valley Lights – Lake Elmo (FREE)
November 25th – December 31st, 2020
They have announced (here on Facebook) that they are having their light display in 2020!
100,000 LED lights choreographed to music you can listen to from your car. Come out and enjoy this spectacular Christmas display! Valley Lights is open to all and is an awesome opportunity for you to invite your family, friends, and neighbors. Who doesn’t love a great light show during Christmas time? The best part is: it’s totally free!
Bentleyville Tour of Lights Drive Thru – Duluth
November 21 – December 27, 2020
We’ve loved visiting Duluth and walking through Bentleyville throughout the years, but this year it’s going to be a drive thru experience!
Here we are visiting a previous year:
It will be fun to see how they will do this as a drive-thru event!
Tickets are $10 per vehicle at the gate. No presales.
Christmas in Color Drive-Thru – Shakopee
November 27th, 2020 – January 3rd, 2021
A NEW holiday attraction is coming to Valleyfair, and you can enjoy it from the safety of your car!
It’s called Christmas in Color, and it’s a mile-long, drive-through light and music display. It will be in Valleyfair’s massive parking lot, and tickets are on sale now!
GLOW Holiday Festival Drive Thru Light Experience – St. Paul
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
November 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
An all-new experience, the GLOW Holiday Festival, will be at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for 46 consecutive nights from November 19th, 2020 to January 3rd, 2021!
The Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together will be a one-mile drive-thru with a dozen seasonal scenes. There will be over a million holiday lights, a 100-foot illuminated tree, icicle and art installations, a festive gingerbread house, and other attractions.
Tickets are $46 plus applicable fees per vehicle. The whole drive should take about 40 minutes.
Nature Illuminated – Apple Valley
December 3 – January 17
The Minnesota Zoo has created a magical world to drive through this holiday season. It’s called Nature Iluuminated, and it features stunning light work and larger-than-life animal art installations. It’s a world of art, awe and light that you can enjoy in your car. Not exactly a holiday event, but a lights drive-thru nonetheless that sounds like it will be a hit. Not cheap though – tickets are $50 – $60 for nonmembers, depending on the day of the week (rates are $25 – $35 for members). Still, you’re supporting a good cause – the nonprofit Minnesota Zoo.
Sever’s Holiday Lights – Shakopee, MN
November 26th, 2020 – January 3rd, 2021
This is a magical drive-through display of over 1,000,000 lights, all synchronized to festive music!
Vehicles can go through as many times as they’d like and there is about 40 minutes of music programming total.
Sunday-Thursday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: $7 – 40.
Tickets are $7 per person with a maximum charge per vehicle of $25 (+ sales tax). 3 people would be $21 (+ sales tax), 4 people would be $25 (+ sales tax), and 5 people would still be $25 (+ sales tax) because of the maximum charge of $25. Large vehicles of 8 or more people is $40 (+ sales tax).
Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights in Motion – Sleepy Eye
Thanksgiving through New Year’s
Sleepy Eye is about 2 hours southwest of the Twin Cities.
This year you can drive thru or walk thru the event. Masks are required.
Nightly from 5:00 – 10:00pm.
No ticket pricing info listed – check their website for any updates.
The Spirit of Winter – Waconia
The Winery at Sovereign Estate
November 17 – January 2
Times start at 4:30pm each night
A drive-thru light show at a WINERY? Yes, please!
The cost is $7.50 per person (Ages 5 and under are free). Each vehicle gets a $5 off a wine purchase coupon.
So yes – you can buy wine and gifts from your car!
Their gift shop is normally open 12 – 4pm but you can purchase items during the light show event.
Admission must be purchased in advance online.
Other Light Displays- updates
Winter in Bloom – Chaska
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
November 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Not a drive-thru experience, but a walk-through experience.
Experience the magic of Winter Lights 2020: Winter in Bloom. Dress for the wintery weather and stroll through your favorite botanical-themed light displays from the past and some new ones that are sure to become favorites.
Unfortunately all tickets have sold out.
Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato will not be held in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Are there other light displays you know of that should be added to this list?