There are many holiday lights events throughout Minnesota, which I put together in my complete guide here.
But there are also many that are drive-thru only.
Last year drive-thru events were super popular due to COVID, but COVID is continuing (unfortunately), so I’m thrilled to put together this list of drive-thru events.
These are perfect for our family because not only can it get really cold here in Minnesota, but some family members like my mom can’t walk very well, so everyone can enjoy these!
If you are looking for drive-thru events, this list is for you!
Armatage Holiday Light Tour – Minneapolis (Free)
Friday, December 10 – Sunday, December 19
5:00 – 8:00pm every night
Enjoy the colorful city streets and light displays of the Armatage Neighborhood this holiday season! The self-guided tour map will be available here by December 9 so you can plan your route.
Drive from decorated address to address.
Celebrate the Light of the World – Willmar (FREE – donations requested)
November 25 – January 1
5:00pm – 10:00pm each night
Willmar is about 1 hour west of the Twin Cities, on highway 12.
Celebrate the Light of the World kicks off Thanksgiving Night – Thursday, November 25th!! The show will run every night from 5:00pm – 10:00pm from November 25th through January 1st, 2021!
Christmas Drive-Thru Experience – St. Bonifacius (FREE)
4319 Steiner Street
St. Boni, MN
December 17 – 18
5:00 – 8:00pm
St. Boni is located west of Minnetonka and Chanhassen.
This is a free, family-fun event that is located outside of the Freshwater St. Boni Campus. There will be a drive-thru Christmas light display, a bonfire, hot cocoa, cider, food trucks – and do not forget to have your picture taken with real-life llamas
The Christmas Story in Lights – 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.
Havana Lights Drive-Thru Display – Owatonna (Free – donations requested)
2048 Havana Road
Owatonna, MN 55060
November 25 – January 1
We are open every day from dusk – 10:00 p.m.
There is a free will donation of money, or cat/dog food, kitty litter. Place in the containers provided.
Holiday in Lights Drive-Thru – Anoka (Free)
Anoka County Fairgrounds
December 10th – 26th, 2021
Explore the beauty of the annual Holiday in Lights display at the Anoka County Fairgrounds! This year the event is drive-through only this holiday season! Catch the joy of this beautiful display from Dec. 10-26th from 5-9 p.m.
We went last year (2020) and it was super cute.
Holiday Lights on York Avenue – St. Paul (FREE- donations requested for Merrick Food Shelf)
November 26 – December 31
5:00pm – 10:00pm each night
This is a big light display on a residential block that you can drive through in St. Paul. Their lights start on Friday, November 26th!
Check their website for updates.
Kiwanis Holiday Lights – Mankato (Free, but cash and nonperishable donations requested for those in need)
November 26th – December 31, 2021
Free and open to the public! Back for 2021, it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID.
This is BOTH a walk-through and a drive-through event. You can just drive through it if you wish.
Light Up Princeton – Princeton (Free, though donations requested for local food shelf)
November 27 – January 1
See the map on their website with all the decorated addresses.
Drive around looking at decorated businesses and houses!
November 27th KICK OFF walk-through event: Santa to visit at the Great Northern Depot from 2-5pm , Mini Dazzle starting at 5:30pm down 1st street, lighting ceremony to take place in Riverside Park at 6pm.
Light Up the Night – Marshall (Free – donations requested)
E Lyon St.
Marshall, MN 56258
November 26th – December 26th
5:00 – 9:00pm
Light Up the Night is at Independence Park in Marshall, starts November 26th and is every Friday, Saturday & Sunday through December. Walking, hay rides, trolley rides or carriage rides through the winter wonderland of lights. The holiday carolers, concessions, Santa, Elves, skating, sledding.
This is a walk-through AND drive-thru event.
A DRIVE-THRU event will be available 5-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Donations requested for Prairie Home Hospice.
Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights in Motion Drive-Thru – Sleepy Eye (Free -donations requested)
Thanksgiving through New Year’s
5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sleepy Eye is about 2 hours southwest of the Twin Cities.
Nightly from 5:00 – 10:00pm.
Check their website for any updates.
Valley Lights Drive-Thru Display – Lake Elmo (FREE)
November 26 – December 31
The drive-thru takes about 4 minutes. They also have wagon rides on Friday and Saturday nights 7-9pm the weekends of December 3-4; 10-11 and 17-18.
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!
Christmas in Color Drive-Thru – Shakopee
November 19th, 2021 – January 2nd, 2022
Sun to Thurs 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Fri to Sat 5:30pm – 10:30pm
This holiday attraction is back at 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.
Cost for Christmas in Color in Shakopee is $35 – $60 per vehicle, but there are discounts!
You have three discount options:
Use code HAPPYNEWYEARMN on their website to save 20% on general admission tickets.
You can use my code FRUGALMOM15 on their website to save 15% on general admission tickets.
OR get the Groupon deal happening right now for a limited time and save up to 34%!
Last year we visited on opening night, and it was so fun we went back this year!
Lights at Bluff Valley Drive-Thru – Zumbro Falls
November 5 – December 19
5:00pm – 10:00pm
Zumbro Falls is about 1 hour southeast of the Twin Cities and just north of Rochester.
This 1.5-mile drive-through light tour features exciting themed areas with over 450 light displays, over 200 animated displays and a Walk through Light Maze.
Cost is $20 per car! Watch their Facebook page for updates and possibly specials.
Nature Illuminated – Apple Valley
Open most dates from December 2 – January 16
Nature Illuminated is a magical narrated journey through brilliant oversized lit displays of your favorite zoo animals!
There will be a DRIVING TOUR and a WALKING TOUR this year.
Driving Tour December 2 – January 2: $35 – $60 per vehicle.
Members save $15 off per vehicle.
NEW! Walking Experience January 6 – 16: $14 – $20 per person.
The Nature Illuminated Driving Tour, December 2 – January 2, guides you through a world of light and awe all from the comfort of your own vehicle. The Driving Tour is accompanied by an educational and entertaining audio tour which details the power and prowess of the animal kingdom.
The Nature Illuminated Walking Experience, January 6 – 16, is an artfully designed trail where you can set your own pace and enjoy snacks and beverages as you take in the wonder of this light spectacular.
Sertoma Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru – Brainerd
November 25 – December 31
Most nights, 5:30 – 8:30pm (check their schedule)
The Brainerd Area Sertoma Club presents this annual winter wonderland drive-thru experience!
General admission is $20 per vehicle. $10 per vehicle in advance. $25 for small buses and limos.
$10 advance tickets are available at Cub and other locations in the area.
Sever’s Holiday Lights Drive-Thru – Shakopee, MN
November 26th, 2021 – January 2nd, 2022
Sun – Thurs 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Fri to Sat 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Looking for a holiday tradition the whole family will love? Our massive 2,500,00+ holiday light display dances in time to the best songs of the season, and with festive food & drink vendors, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be merry. So go ahead, pile into the car—this is one show everyone will want to see.
We went and here’s a review of our visit last year with a video!
Sunday-Thursday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: $25 per car on weekdays
$35 per car on weekends
Wisconsin Light Displays
Sam’s Christmas Village & Light Tour – Somerset, Wisconsin
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Sun to Thurs, 5:00pm – 9:00pm, and Fri & Sat, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
I included this here separately as it’s in Wisconsin, but it’s open and alternates drive-through nights with walk-through nights.
Mondays and Tuesdays are DRIVE-THRU nights.
Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 3 – 10, free for kids 2 and under, and 1/2 off with military ID!
Albertville – STMA.com created this map of beautiful light displays. Follow the path here to visit 7 different locations over the course of 1 hour.
Arden Hills, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville & Shoreview – Check out this awesome holiday light map covering all these areas!
Hugo – The Adelaide Landing neighborhood in Hugo is having the 2nd annual Christmas Lights display as a fundraiser for the Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf!
Inver Grove Heights – Joe Atkins, County Commissioner, created this map of over 80 holiday lights displays. Here’s his Facebook post about it. A goal of creating this free map is to encourage support for local businesses.
Check out my other guides:
Plus, be sure to join my Facebook group, Minnesota Holiday Lights!
There are many postings of light displays all around the state!
Are there other light displays you know of that should be added to this list?