The weather outside may be frightful, but there are some oh-so-delightful holiday shows, shops, and celebrations well worth swapping PJs for parkas and getting out of the house to experience.

Gingerbread Wonderland

Now–Jan. 7

We’ve always been sweet on our lovely Cities, but this holiday season, Norway House is flipping the script. Check out contemporary and historical Twin Cities buildings in miniature, molasses goodness, made by professional and first-time bakers alike. Norway House, 913 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls.,

It’s a Wonderful Life Live Radio Play

Now–Dec. 24

Upgrade date night from ‘smuggled-in convenience store candy and a movie’ to three courses and live show—one of the holiday variety, no less. Playwright Joe Landry brought the 1946 holiday favorite from screen to stage, but the St. Paul Hotel does ya one better and brings it with your appetizers. Tickets are $69–$89. St. Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul,

Cozy Christmas Meal

Dec. 14

Whether you’re looking to depart from the traditional holiday ham or you’re a Christmas kitchen newbie, chef Cynthia Maxwell has tasty tips that’ll work for you. Learn to craft garlic and chive hasselback potatoes, fennel, sausage, and apple-stuffed pork loin, and a pumped-up gingerbread dessert that we may or may not already be drooling over. Class is $59.50. 324 S. Main St., Stillwater,

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Holiday Shows

Now–late Jan.

Get outside—then right back in—for a holiday show that fits your mood. The Twin Cities theatrical community brings you everything from traditional scripts to quirky originals to something called Murray Christmas, which, like its namesake, we’re assuming is in a league of its own. Various Twin Cities theaters


Now–Dec. 23

New food and gift vendors descend on downtown Minneapolis for Holidazzle’s third year in Loring Park. Catch a flick in the park, take a lap around the Wells Fargo Winterskate rink, or grab a brew while the kiddos run wild at the Christmas playground. Loring Park

Brews ‘n Bulbs

Dec. 16, 23, 30

Sip in style during this holiday craft brewery tour. A luxury motor coach carts your party between three local breweries, each with a pint of their holiday best on hand for you to enjoy. Snack on Candyland popcorn between stops and wrap up the night with a holiday-card-worthy photo op in front of the tree lights in Rice Park. Tickets are $79. Tour starts at Flat Earth Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul,

Miracle at Lawless

Now–Dec. 24

The North Pole is all grown up and migrating south for…equally cold weather. Sip a snowball old fashioned out of a Santa tumbler or a mug full of house-made eggnog under a ceiling full of dangling, dazzling ornaments. Minnesota’s only pop-up holiday cocktail bar is open Sunday—Thursday 4–10 p.m., and Friday—Saturday 4 p.m.–12 a.m. Lawless Distilling Co., 2619 S. 28th Ave., Mpls.,

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Lights Display

Now–Jan. 1

Seven winter-themed outdoor light displays await you inside the arboretum gardens. ‘Ooh’ and ‘aah’ at twinkling trees and LED snow creatures between sips of hot chocolate (or vino for the grown-ups) from 5–8 p.m. Fridays—Sundays. Swing by early afternoon on Saturdays through Dec. 30 for live holiday music. Gate fee is $15. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska,

Winter Solstice Celebration

Dec. 21

We like our longest night of the year like we like our cups of mulled wine: full. The ASI offers a Solstice celebration packed with family handcraft activities, tours of Turnblad Mansion, a performance by theater group Impossible Salt, best-selling author meet-and-greets, and of course, plenty of the aforementioned glögg. Tickets are $5–$10. American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Mpls.,

Fest! Merry Mansion

Now–Jan. 8

Pick up a tree-trimming trick or two wandering the halls of the decked-out Turnblad Mansion. The American Swedish Institute collaborates with six different community groups to dress up each room in a different cultural style. And while their place settings may differ, they share an appreciation for a hefty cup of holiday cheer. Learn all about it at Skål! Scandinavian Spirits—the nationally traveling exhibition makes a stop at the Mansion this holiday season. Admission is $5–$10. Turnblad Mansion, 2600 Park Ave., Mpls.,

A Handmade Holiday Market

Dec. 16 & 19

Seasoned holiday crafters, as well as aspiring artists, gather at the sprawling Loring Park taproom for this season’s final handmade market installments. Finish up last-minute Christmas shopping while sipping on farm-to-table Belgian-style brews to calm any anxiety you may feel for procrastinating on said shopping. Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Mpls.,

Ramsey House

Now–Dec. 31

Follow memory lane all the way back to Christmas, 1875. Snack on cookies fresh from the wood-burning stove and groove to grand-piano tunes while you tour the Ramsey’s Victorian-era home all dolled up for the holidays. Tour tickets are $8–$12. Alexander Ramsey House, 265 S. Exchange St., St. Paul,


Source: Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine