Holiday happenings

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December 7, 2009 // UPDATED 10:37 am - December 7, 2009
By: Kathryn Holahan
Kathryn Holahan
An overview of holiday celebrations, shows and activities in Southwest and Downtown

The holiday season is just around the corner, and ways to celebrate are numerous this year. Take part in festive, family-friendly events such as tree lighting in Loring Park or ice skating at the Depot. Grab a friend and tour the Holiday Traditions exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. If you’re in the mood for some theater, head to the Guthrie or Brave New Workshop for a season-inspired performance. With so many options to choose from, this holiday season offers something for everyone.

The Blenders Holiday Soul Tour 2009 will take place at the Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave., Dec. 11­–12. Tickets are on sale for the four-piece band that will perform new twists on familiar carols and seasonal classics. Call the State Theatre Box Office at 339-7007 or Ticketmaster at (651) 989-5151 for tickets or more information.


The climate-controlled Depot Ice Rink, 225 3rd Ave. S., opened Nov. 25. Bring your own skates or rent a pair and enjoy a view of the Minneapolis skyline, visible through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The Depot, listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is home to two Marriott hotels, a restaurant, bar, indoor water park and heated parking garage. The rink itself features a high-quality sound system and a food and refreshment bar. More information is available online at or by calling 375-1700.


Macy’s 47th annual holiday auditorium display is “A Day in the Life of an Elf at Macy’s Santaland.” It explores the lives of Santa’s elves at the North Pole as they get ready for Christmas. Highlights include Mrs. Claus’ holiday bakery and Santa’s Toy Store. The display is up through Dec. 31 on the 8th floor at 700 Nicollet Mall.


Light Up Loring Park, 1382 Willow Street, will take place Dec. 9. From 6–8 p.m. Decorate trees in the park with holiday lights, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, music, refreshments and an outdoor bonfire. The intergenerational Kairos Dance Company will perform in the Community Center at 7 p.m.


The 18th annual Target Holidazzle Parade, in Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, runs through Dec. 20, Thursdays through Sundays. Bundle up and head downtown to see the parade, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The Minneapolis Police Band and marching bands from local schools and universities will perform. Cozy up with a cup of cocoa or cider in the Target Holidazzle Hot Seats heated tent, located on the Nicollet Mall between 11th and 12th streets.  For more information about the event, directions and parking information, call 376-7669 or visit


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., is offering its Holiday Traditions exhibit again this year from through Jan. 3. Since 1951, the American and European period rooms have been decorated each year to show how winter holidays were celebrated in the past. The nine period rooms will showcase special occasions and in the past have included a Tudor England feast and a 1770s Hanukkah celebration that took place in Providence, Rhode Island. Tours of the rooms are free. For more information, visit


2400 3rd Ave. S.

Nov. 10–Jan. 2, times vary



A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol

Thru Jan. 3, times vary


824 Hennepin Ave.

John Trones Christmas in the City
With special guests Jim Brickman and Orla Fallon
Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.


710 Hennepin Ave.

Home for the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas
Dec. 10, 7 p.m.

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Dec. 17–20, times vary

An Intimate Christmas with Lorie Line – The 20th Anniversary Show
Dec. 12–13, times vary


805 Hennepin Ave.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Dec. 11–12, times vary

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
Dec. 18–20, times vary


528 Hennepin Ave.

Miss Richfield 1981’s Annual Holiday Show

Thru Dec. 13, times and prices vary



1111 Nicollet Mall

Handel’s “Messiah”

Dec. 10–13, times and locations vary

A Scandinavian Christmas

Dec. 11–19, times vary
$22-$50, $60 VIP

Tonic Sol-Fa Christmas

Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Go Tell It on the Mountain

Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Jingle Bell Doc with Doc Severinson
Dec. 19–20, times vary
$22-$55, $65 VIP

George Winston — Solo Piano
Dec. 20, 7 p.m.
$30–$45, $55 VIP



818 S. 2nd St.

A Christmas Carol
Thru Dec. 31, times vary