Get in the spirit :: 2010 Holiday Events Guide

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November 22, 2010
By: John Grimley and Vanessa El-Hakeem
John Grimley and Vanessa El-Hakeem

Looking to bask in a little holiday cheer? Minneapolis has lots to see and do. From plays and concerts to parades to Santa himself, there’s no excuse to be a Scrooge this season. Fill your calendar with these festive events and activities and you’ll have no trouble making this holiday season the most wonderful time of the year.

Gratitude, Gravy & Garrison
Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
The pre-Thanksgiving event will feature a cornucopia of choral delights sung by the 125-voice VocalEssense Chorus & Ensemble Singers. There will be comical new lyrics written by Garrison Keillor. For tickets call
371-5656 or go to

Breakfast with Santa at Macy’s
Dec. 4–19
Macy’s, 700 Nicollet Mall, cordially invites you to an exclusive breakfast with the one and only Santa Claus himself. Fill up with breakfast treats and afterwards enjoy fun and games with the kids. To reserve a spot at Santa’s table, call 1-877-556-2297.

Going Postal … Letters to Santa
Thursdays and Fridays in December
Spent the night with an arsenal of writer and performer Janelle Ranek’s creative cast of characters. It’s a “one-woman holiday ride” that is part of Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater’s holiday shows at 810 W. Lake St. For tickets, call 825-8949 or go to

A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater
Thru Dec. 30
The Guthrie, 818 S. 2nd St., has featured its famous annual Christmas Carol for more than 35 years. This season they are highlighting a new take on Charles Dicken’s “A Ghost Story,” with the new adaptation by British playwright Crispin Whittell. Feast your eyes on a stunning new set complete with intricate costumes and beautiful music. Tickets are $29-$69. For tickets or more info, call 377-2224 or visit

A Christmas Story
Thru Dec. 31
The Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S., will feature “A Christmas Story.” Adapted by Philip Grecian and directed by Peter Brosius, the play stars Ralphie and his pursuit of his Red Rider BB gun he desperately wants for Christmas. For tickets go to or call 874-0400.

Target’s Annual Holidazzle Parade

Nov. 26–Dec. 19
“A Fairytale for All” will highlight all of the famous storybook characters marching from 12th Street to 4th Street along Nicollet Mall for the 19th annual parade. Local choirs and marching bands will also be on display. Gather the family and stay warm with a cup of hot cocoa or cider under the Target Holidazzle Hot Seats between 11th and 12th streets. For information on prices, parking and directions call 376-7669, or visit the website at

Macy’s Annual 8th Floor Santaland

Thru Dec. 30
“A Day in the Life of an Elf” will be featured for Macy’s 48th annual holiday show on the 8th floor at its store at 700 Nicollet Mall. Each station will tell the story of Santa’s elves as they prepare for Christmas in the North Pole. Admission is free.

Holiday Traditions at Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Nov. 23–Jan. 6
Since 1951 the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., has transformed its American and European period rooms into holiday impressions from times past. They include special occasions like a representation of a Hanukkah celebration from the year 1770 in Providence, RI. Early Christmas trees and Nativity scenes are also highlighted in the period rooms. Admission is free and tours are available upon request. For reservations or more information call 870-3131.

The Santaland Diaries

Nov. 26–Dec. 31
Based off of the best-selling essay by humorist David Sedaris, the Santaland Diaries describes what it’s like to work as a Christmas Elf in Macy’s “Santaland” set. Filled with sharp wit and biting humor, Santaland Diaries is an acerbic look at the holiday season from a very unique perspective. The play at Hennepin Stages, 824 Hennepin Ave., features Joe Leary as the elf Crumpet and Wendy Knox directing. For tickets or more info, call 1-800-982-2787 or visit

Super-Powered Revenge Christmas #1
Dec. 2–18
Joking Envelope presents a new show from Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame at the Minneapolis Theater Group, 711 W. Franklin Ave. Set in a dive bar on Christmas Eve, a disgruntled comic book writer and his ex-wife try to find what exactly the holiday season is about. Combining comics, Christmas and humor, the play explores whether holidays even make sense. For tickets and more information, visit or call 280-9210.

Bingo Bonanza for the Holidays
Dec. 3–19
The legendary Miss Richfield 1981 is the star of this holiday show at the Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave. The audience gets to participate as Miss R calls rounds of bingo to benefit her favorite charity. For tickets call 339-4944 or go online at

Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular II: The Second Coming
Thru Jan. 29    
Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave., is back with another helping of the Great One as he tries to lead the purple and gold to victory in his encore campaign. Featuring festive new songs and sketches to fit the tone of the holiday season, the play combines Minnesota’s love of sports with its love of the holiday season. For tickets go to or call 332-6620.

Ice Skating at The Depot
Named one of the top 10 places to ice skate in the country by USA Today and MSNBC, the Depot ice rink features glass walls for a brilliant view of the Minneapolis skyline, discounted group rates and a food and beverage bar. There’s nothing more Minnesotan than hitting the rink, and the Depot is the perfect place to do it. For more information or to reserve space, call 758-7873 or visit

Bachman’s Holiday Ideas House
When: Thru Dec. 12
Where: The historic 1920’s Bachman family home, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S.
Cost: $5.
Contact: 861-7311

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
When: Nov. 25
Where: 10 a.m. at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave.

Tony Sandler–Suddenly It’s Christmas (Nov. 28)
Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $39.50–$45  
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

The Christmas Music of Manheim Steamroller
When: Dec. 3–4
Where: Orpheum Theatre,
910 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $43–$63
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

The Blenders: In Concert 20th Anniversary Tour
When: Dec. 3–5
Where: Pantages Theatre,
710 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $37
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

Life Time Fitness Reindeer Run
When: Dec. 4
Where: Lake Harriet Bandshell,
4135 W Harriet Blvd.
Cost: $15–$25
Contact: 763-557-9587

1850s Holiday Party
When: Dec. 5
Where: Historic Ard Godfrey House,
50 University Ave. NE.
Cost: Free
Contact: 813-5300

Brasilia Fair Trade Market
When: Dec. 4–5
Where: Basilica of St. Mary,
88 N 17th St.
Cost: Free
Contact: 751-3351

Vänksä Conducts Messiah
When: Dec. 8–11
Where: Minnesota Orchestra,
1111 Nicollet Avenue
Cost: $22-$50
Contact: 371-5656

Lorie Line: Making Spirits Bright
When: Dec. 11
Where: State Theatre,
824 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $47.50
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

A Scandanavian Christmas
When: Dec. 11–12
Where: Minnesota Orchestra, 1111 Nicollet Avenue
Cost: $22–$60.
Contact: 371-5656

The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose
When: Dec. 16–19
Where: Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S.
Cost:  $18 for Adults, $12 for Children 12 and under.
Contact: 340-1725

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
When: Dec. 16–19
Where: Pantages Theater,
710 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $27.50–$35
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

Lola & the Red Hots Sometimes Annual Xmas Show
When: Dec. 20
Where: The Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S.
Cost: $12–$15
Contact: 338-6425

Linda Eder
When: Dec. 21
Where: Pantages Theater, 710 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $53­–$63
Contact: 1-800-982-2787

Keegan’s Pub fourth annual Women’s Christmas
When: Jan. 2
What: One last holiday bash just for the ladies.
Where: Keegan’s, 16 University Ave. NE.
Contact: 252-0880