After struggling to get the lights up on the roof or strung into trees in the cold weather, I think that fellow Twin Citians owe it to their neighbors to enjoy the labor, love and art of their Christmas light displays. Growing up, it was a yearly tradition to bundle up, jump in the car and drive around some of the more ritzy parts of the Twin Cities and play, “Dude, look at that person’s house!” The lighting displays never disappointed.
From my past experience, some of the more impressive lighting displays that I personally encountered are in old Edina, in the neighborhood north of W 50th St between Hwy 100 and France Ave. Also, the neighborhoods all around Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Harriet, especially in Linden Hills. The Kenwood Parkway neighborhood is also not to be missed. Shamefully, I am not as familiar with the hotspots in St. Paul, but Mears Park in Lowertown is especially pretty and one can hop across the street to Barrio or the Bulldog and enjoy dinner while looking at the lights. Summit Ave is also a wonderful spot to see the historical houses of Minnesota illuminated. YOu can also see the Governer’s Mansion along this street.
Here are some other sources to help you plan your Christmas light excursion:
LazyLightning.org -A great resource for people in the south metro. This local blogger put together points on a google map of locations that are worth checking out.
Holiday Lights in the Park -St. Paul’s Phalen park has a spectacular lighting display that raises money for charities such as, Second Harvest Heartland, Twin Cities Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy, and UnderConstruction.
About.com/Minneapolis-St.Paul -has compiled a fantastic list of various spots across Minnesota of sights to see.
The 3M Building in Maplewood -always fun to see and one does have to wonder who is in charge of figuring out which lights to leave on every night?
Nicollet Mall’s Holidazzle Parade -whether you come for Target’s Holidazzle parade or strolling along Nicollet Mall in the after hours, this strip is always so beautiful. I always feel like it is movie scene worthy. I bet that is what inspired the movie producers to film the best Christmas movie ever, Jingle All the Way, in Minneapolis. Check out photographer Jason Bain’s beautiful pictures of Nicollet Mall at Christmas time at his Flickr page.