(LAST UPDATED: January 1, 2021 – List now contains 20 events, 9 of which are FREE! I’ve
crossed out the ones with dates that have ended.)
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!
NEW FREE PRINTABLES!
This list has been so popular that I’ve created a FREE printable 6-page Christmas Road Trip Activity Set that includes a scavenger hunt and other activities for kids to do while you’re driving around looking at Christmas lights!
Sign up here to get the set PLUS my FREE Christmas Sanity Saver Pack! You’ll be subscribed to my weekly email newsletter for MORE freebies and deals and you can unsubscribe anytime.
(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
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 26th!! The show will run every night from 5:00pm – 10:00pm from November 26th through January 1st, 2021!
Christmas Drive-Thru Experience at Freshwater – St. Bonifacius (FREE)
5:00 – 7:00pm
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 Church Campus. There will be a drive-thru Christmas light display, hot cocoa, cider, bonfires, food trucks, and you can have your picture taken with real-life llamas!
Christmas Lights Drive-Thru – Bloomington and Excelsior (FREE)
December 4 – 5 and December 11- 12
5:30 – 8:30pm each of those nights
Christmas Lights Drive-Thru is a free, family event outside the Westwood Chanhassen Campus. It features lighted displays, live animals, treats, and more! Come experience the Christmas story in a brand-new way!
The Christmas Story in Lights – Wayzata (FREE; donations requested)
Wayzata Community Church
Thursdays to Sundays, December 3 – 27
Throughout the month of December, we invite you into a new drive-through experience at Wayzata Community Church: The Christmas Story in Lights. As you drive through the WCC grounds, you will be invited to pause at 8 stations, each one sharing the Christmas story in bright lights, music, and narration, starting with the Angel visiting Mary, to the Three Kings traveling to our newborn King in a humble manger.
A free-will offering will be taken at the end of the experience to benefit our Christmas Offering recipient, Community Emergency Service (CES).
Thursday, December 3 – Sunday, December 6, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 10 – Sunday December 13, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 17 – Sunday, December 27, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Christmas Together (Live Nativity Drive-Thru) – Bloomington (FREE)
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
December 4 -5 only
6:00pm – 8:00pm
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.
Drive-Through Christmas in the Village – Farmington (FREE – donations accepted)
Dakota City Heritage Village
Dec. 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2020
Hours: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Saturday & Sunday
If you like an old-fashioned Christmas, this is the event not to miss! It’s the first 2 weekends in December, and it’s FREE!
Dakota City Heritage Village will be bringing cheer to all ages this holiday season with a light-up drive-thru event. The socially-distanced event will be free (monetary donations accepted) to the public and feature holiday displays in front of some buildings. Some displays will hark back to Christmas in the 1900s while others will use Christmas decorations of today! Bring your family to see the holiday decorations from the warmth of your car. Listen to your own holiday music mix from your radio or other music source. Wave to Saint Nick in his sleigh at the depot (in bad weather he might be in the doorway of the depot!). Write your letter to Saint Nick at home and bring it, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope (not sealed!), to mail at the box outside our Post Office, and St. Nick will send you a reply! The Christmas In The Village event will be open December 5, 6, 12 & 13, from 1pm-8pm. No tickets needed to enter. To keep everyone safe and comply with the covid guidelines, Dakota City encourages one family/household per vehicle, keep your windows rolled up, and space between vehicles. Keep your loved ones healthy as you enjoy this season!
Holiday Lights on York Avenue – St. Paul (FREE)
November 27 – 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 27th!
Check their website for updates.
Light the Way – A Drive-Through Christmas Experience – Maple Grove (FREE)
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
5:00pm – 9:00pm 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.