One of the most special and unique experiences your family can have during the Christmas season is to visit a live nativity event. When I grew up in Duluth we would go to one in our neighborhood and it was always a popular and fun event. It’s exciting for kids to see the Christmas story played out with costumed characters and live animals!
I’ve done this guide every year for a few years and I have found that like last year, some churches have cancelled their annual live nativity events, but some have adapted to COVID.
So despite COVID, there are several live nativity events at churches in the Twin Cities this month, plus they’re all FREE! (Though donations may be accepted)
These are listed in order by DATE: (all are subject to change)
Grace of God Lutheran Church
420 Hayward Ave N
Oakdale, MN 55128
Saturday, December 4th
4:00 – 6:00pm
Bethlehem Experience is a FREE interactive outdoor walk-through Christmas experience in Oakdale. Step back in time to see and hear the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem! Includes live music, take home crafts, and Christmas treats. All ages are welcome.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
202 W. 8th St.
Saturday, December 4th
Living Nativity! Join us at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 202 W. 8th St. Hastings, MN on Saturday December 4, for our Living Nativity as we re-enact Christ’s birth. Free outdoor performances will be held on a continuous basis every 20 minutes beginning at 5pm. The last performance will be at 6:40 pm. Live cast and real animals including donkey, sheep, goats, and even a camel are part of the performance. Free refreshments will be be served inside the church. Everyone is welcome!
3921 277th Ave NW
Isanti, MN 55040
December 4th from 4:00 – 7:00pm
December 5th at 9:00am (during worship)
Join us in Bethlehem to meet the characters and animals who participated in the Savior’s birth. Chili and Chicken Wild Rice Soup dinner.
Knollwood Christian Church
3639 Quebec Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN
Friday, December 10th & Saturday, December 11th
6:00 – 8:00pm
Come and enjoy the Christmas story with live animals and live people.
Christmas Family Adventure.
1570 Yankee Doodle Rd,
Wednesday, December 15th
6:00 – 8:00pm
You’re invited to celebrate the season with a Christmas adventure the whole family will enjoy! Join us at Oak Hills Church on Wednesday, December 15th, anytime from 6-8pm for a live Nativity complete with petting zoo, hot cocoa and apple cider, cookies, a kids’ craft, and even an opportunity to meet Santa! This event is FREE, and donations are welcome – all donations will be donated to Convoy of Hope – an organization dedicated to feed the world, and deliver help and hope where it’s needed most. We’ll see you on December 15th!
Shepherd of the Valley
12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd.
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Saturday, Dec. 18th
11:00 am and 1:00 pm (with time slots every 10 minutes)
Nativity Walk-Thru event will start in the Narthex
The Mice and the Manger – must sign up in advance.
Join us INSIDE for this warm winter walk-thru as we hear the nativity story from a family of mice who were there to see it all! Visit 6 scenes of the story, from the stable to the present, retold with live actors, music videos, and and lots of fun. Please sign each person up for a time slot, including number of guests. Strollers are welcome, and spaces are limited in each time slot.
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
1965 East County Road E
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Saturday, December 18th
4:30 – 8:00pm
For 27+ years St. Stephen Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake has hosted a living nativity event. It’s listed on their calendar for 2021 here. Check their website for details.
Also worth checking out:
The Christmas Story in Lights (Drive-Thru) – Wayzata
(FREE; donations requested)
Wayzata Community Church
125 Wayzata Boulevard East
Wayzata, MN 55391
Fridays to Sundays, December 3 – 19
Christmas Story in Lights is a drive-through experience of the Christmas Story at Wayzata Community Church. See the magic of Christmas come to life as you drive through beautifully lit story stations and listen to the Christmas story from the comfort of your own car. This year we have new lights, scenes and narration for you to experience the story in fresh ways. The experience will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings for the first three weeks of December. Invite your family and friends to experience “the light of the world” the Christmas through this beautiful version of the Christmas Story.
• Friday, December 3 through Sunday, December 5, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
• Friday, December 10 through Sunday, December 12, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
• Friday, December 17 through Sunday, December 19, 5:00-8:00 p.m.