37 Best Christmas Light Displays in Minnesota – 2023

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Christmas time is here, filled out lights and cheer. Holidays and snowy days, and friends from far and near. Snowflakes in the air, another list of 37 things for all who care. Walking paths that lead to Santa’s lap, there’s magic everywhere.

It’s called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason. We get Chris Hawkey Christmas speeches, gifts, time away from work, and time to spend with our family and friends. One of the ways I like to spend that time is by checking out the best Christmas light displays in Minnesota. This list isn’t in order of worst to best. It’s really not in any order at all, outside of my vote for number 1. That one, for me, is the best Christmas light display in Minnesota; you can’t beat it. The rest of this list is just displays that look incredible. I know how much time and effort gets put into a Christmas light display. I tried my best to mix in as many holiday light displays that homeowners put on as possible. Those are the ones made from passion, not for profit.

But that’s not the case for everything on this list. Finding really good local light displays is rather challenging, so if you know of one I missed, by all means, reach out to me on Twitter @NickLewis37


So here’s my list of the 37 best Christmas light displays in Minnesota, in mostly no order. And if you’re big into lists, and particularly lists of 37, I have good news for you.

Related
You could check out 37 Must Eat Foods in Minnesota (Which I very much need to update)
Maybe you’ll like 37 Best Chips Ranked
And finally, 37 Must Eat Minnesota State Fair Foods

But that’s enough of that. 37 best Christmas light displays in Minnesota, here we go!

37. Mindy Lane Holiday Display

Photo credit Mindy Lane Holiday Display Facebook Page

135 Mindy Lane, Montrose, MN 55363
Dates – 12/2 – 1/1
Drive-by
Cost: No
Website:
Mindy Lane Holiday Display | Montrose MN | Facebook

The house at Miny Lane has roughly 42,000 lights and more than 50 blow molds! They have a light show (sneak peek here) that runs nightly from 5 pm – 10 pm.

36. Omega Court Christmas Light Display

Omega ct, North Mankato, MN, United States, Minnesota
11/25 – 1/1
Drive-Thru
Cost: No
Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100066206547234

Imagine moving into a neighborhood and there’s a requirement that you have to put a Christmas light display up! Ignore that rule? Fine! The neighbors will just put them up for you. That’s how they roll in Omega Court in North Mankato. The neighbors get together and put on an awesome drive-through show synced to music. It’s been growing over the last few years and is a wonderful reminder of what being a part of a community is all about.

35. Cairl Family Christmas Lights in Andover

2342 145th Ave. NW Andover, MN 55304
11/25 – 12/25
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/cairlfamilychristmaslights/

These are the kind of displays I love. Family-run Christmas light displays that are free to view and made with love and passion. With more than 50,0000 lights synchronized to music, this spot has its own radio station, 99.1, and runs Sunday – Thursday from 5:30-9:00 pm and Friday and Saturday until 10 pm. This year they are accepting donations for St. Jude’s Children’s Medical Research Hospital.

34. Hope Lights: A Christmas Display

12401 Partridge St. NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448
11/24 – 1/12
5-10 Sunday-Thursday 5-11 Friday-Saturday
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/hopelightsdisplay

Another family-run show that is sure to amaze. 400,000 lights set to music. You read that correctly, 400,000! Donations collected for Feed My Starving Children.

33. Holiday Lights on 20th Street in St. Michael

1159 20th St. NE, St. Michael, MN 55376
11/26 – 12/31
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/holidaylightson20thst/

The 2021 season will mark this spot’s 13th year, which is a full-on tradition. Holiday Lights on 20th also has a radio station for a synchronized light show, and they added 7 new songs this year. Donations are collected that go directly to the Hanover food shelf, they accept food, cash, or donations via Venmo.

32. Langness Lights in Forest Lake

Picture courtesy of Langness Lights Facebook page. The picture is nice but check out the video for the full effect!

9610 223rd Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025
11/26 –
1/1
Hours: 5-9pm weekdays, 9:30pm Fri/Sat
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://langnesslights.remotefalcon.com/remoteFalcon


This show runs daily and has more than 3 hours of music programmed for your enjoyment. Though this is listed one spot below the Barno lights–some say these are even better. Wow!

Check out a video here

31. Barno Family Lights

4102 88th Ln NE Circle Pines, MN 55014
11/26 – at least Christmas
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057410952618&paipv=0&eav=AfZvAnvtnMZQLKDno8_eWrXUNQ7-CB3PBU5U21IEXpZLpvtkJ-neQq0wRURQCq2FblM

The Barno family plans their light shows all year, and it shows. Some say it’s even better than the Langness display, but I’m not here to get controversial. Offering about 32,000 individually controlled pixels mapped to the songs they’re broadcasting on 106.7FM. They collect donations for the Ronald McDonald House and have a QR code on-site if you’re interested.

30. Christmas on Savana in Chaska

Photo courtesy Christmas on Savanna Facebook page.

4441 Savanna Trail, Chaska, MN
11/20 – 12/26
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasOnSavanna/

With more than 20,000 lights and a 20-foot nutcracker, this is absolutely one of the best Christmas light displays in Minnesota. There’s plenty of things to see packed into the front yard so swing by and check it out!

29. Exhibition Drive Holiday Sound & Light Show in Duluth

2725 Exhibition Drive, Duluth, MN 55811
11/26 – 12/31
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/exhibitiondrive

Everyone has heard of Bentleyville in Duluth, but this show has won Duluth’s Best Lighting Contest in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and was named Duluth’s Grand Master in 2017. The entire music set will take you about 25 minutes to see and runs Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 pm and Friday and Saturday until 11 pm.

Check out a video of the show here

28. Winter Wonderland at the Northland Arboretum

14250 Conservation Dr, Baxter, MN 56425
2023 Schedule – 5:30pm – 8:00pm
November 23-25, 30December 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-31
Drive-thru
Cost: $15 advanced, $20 at the gate (per vehicle)
Website:
https://www.brainerdnoonsertoma.org/winter-wonderland

From their website:

In 2007 The Brainerd Area Sertoma Club set out to create a Holiday Family Tradition like no other. With strong support from our community and the hard work of many volunteers, Winter Wonderland was made a reality.

Now in its 17th year, we are proud to continue to bring this wonderful event to the Brainerd Lakes Area year after year. This spectacular holiday tradition is a drive-through tour of more than 80 colorfully lighted and animated displays. The best part? With the generosity of our sponsors and the visitors that tour the lights each year, we are able to continue to give back to our local community partners & more.

We look forward to your visit and hope to bring something new and exciting each year for your enjoyment.

27. Holiday Lights of Woodbury

Photo courtesy Holiday Lights of Woodbury Facebook Page

8846 Glacier Road, Woodbury, MN 5512
11/26 – 1/1
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/HolidayLightsWoodbury/videos/?ref=page_internal

Running Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday until 11 pm, tune your radio to 97.9FM and watch the four large faces on the garage sing your favorite Christmas songs! They also do a Halloween show in October so it’s full of holiday light display!

26. Celebrate the Light of the World in Willmar

Photo courtesy Celebrate the Light of the World Facebook Page

945 US BUS 71 Willmar, MN 56201
11/25 – 1/1
Drive-thru show
Cost: Free
Website: http://celebratethelight.net/

This display includes more than 800,000 lights that take more than 1,000 volunteer hours to set up. The show runs daily from 5 to 10 pm at Robbins Island and they accept donations for the Salvation Army in Wilmar, Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota, the Kandiyohi County Food Shelf, and the United Way of West Central Minnesota.

25. Winter Lights at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Photo courtesy umn.edu website

3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318
11/18 – 1/2 (but there are a lot of special nights and off nights within those dates. Check the website first!)
Walking Tour
Cost: Yes
Website: https://arb.umn.edu/events/arb-calendar

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is beautiful already but when it’s decorated for Christmas, it’s magical. There are 16 outdoor light displays, a fire at the midway where you can roast marshmallows, a gift shop, and even a cafe to grab some food. It really is one of the best Christmas light displays in Minnesota.

24. Sever’s Holiday Lights in Shakopee

3121 W 150th St. Shakopee, MN 55379
11/25 – 1/1
Drive-thru
Cost: Yes
Website: https://seversfestivals.com/events/holiday-lights/

Sever’s display boasts more than 2 MILLION lights and festive food and drink vendors. The course is half a mile long, and there’s an observation lot after you drive-thru to watch the show again. Plus, with your paid entrance, you’re welcome to drive the course as often as possible. They recommend you purchase your tickets as early as possible, and I will tell you now, it’s a busy spot, so give yourself extra time.

23. Candy Cane Lane in Roseville

Photo courtesy Candy Cane Lane’s Facebook page.

1994 Herschel Street, Roseville, MN
12/1 – at least Christmas
Drive-by and walking path
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Candycanelanemn/

Their walking path is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm, and the lights come on once it’s dark. Luckily in Minnesota, this happens pretty early. They started this as a tribute to their dear mom/grandma who left them too soon, and her favorite movie was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. They light up the block in her memory. This is also an annual fundraiser for Rescued Pets Are Wonderful, which is an animal rescue near and dear to their hearts. They have fostered more than 100 animals with them. RPAW takes the hard medical cases that no one else will and gives those animals a second chance at a wonderful life, just like their own dog, Archie!

22. Valley Lights at Rockpoint Church

5825 Kelvin Ave. N Lake Elmo, MN 55042
11/24 – 12/31
Drive-through and wagon rides.
Cost: Free
Website: https://rockpoint.church/valleylights/

With more than 100,000 lights choreographed to music, this is a great spot to check out the best Christmas lights in Minnesota right from your car! Or if you go on a Friday or Saturday, you can go through the display on a wagon ride.

21. Lights in the County

36252 245th ave, Albany, MN, United States, Minnesota
11/23 – 12/31

Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm Fri-Sun 5pm- 12am.
Drive-thru
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100067224082501

Picture this, more than a half mile of paths to drive through, more than 100,000 lights… and FIREWORKS?! (though I’m unsure if the fireworks is a nightly thing). The reviews for this place speak for themselves on their Facebook page. Check it out!

20. Shakopee Winter Wonderland

Photo credit Shakopee Winter Wonderland Facebook page.

921 Shakopee Avenue East, Shakopee, MN 55379
11/27 – 12/31
Drive by and walking path
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ShakopeeWinterWonderland/

Owner Roger Schmidt makes his home really stand out during the month of December. He custom makes most of his display which means you’re likely to see things at his place you won’t see anywhere else. There’s an awesome walking path, or you can drive by and view everything from the street.

19. Lights on Fresno Street

18016 Fresno Street Northwest, Elk River, MN, United States, Minnesota
11/27 – at least Christmas
Synchronized lights to music
Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/lightsonfresno

A relatively new show, established in 2021. Another house set up their lights to music. Here’s a video of them testing the show, but it’s now ready to rock and roll.

18. Sertoma Winter Wonderland at the Northland Arboretum

You know I took this picture from their Facebook page. Just assume that’s the case for every picture from here on out. Also, I know the sign says $15 in this picture, but it’s $20 now. You can get discounts if you check their Facebook page, though.

14250 Conservation Drive, Baxter, MN 56425
11/25 – 12/31 (But not open every night. Check the website for the full schedule)
Drive-thru
Cost: Yes
Website: https://www.facebook.com/SertomaWinterWonderland/?ref=page_internal

$20 at the gate, but they make it super easy to save $10 if you buy in advance. All the money earned goes to the local nonprofits Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center, CampConfidence, Northland Arboretum, and Crisis Line & Referral Service.

17. Palmer’s Christmas Light Display

I took this photo from a screengrab of this video

49307 Clover Trail, Rush City, MN 55069 (nice)
11/19 – 1/1
Drive-thru
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Palmers-Christmas-Lights-Display-166703180590592/?ref=page_internal

I’ve got mad respect for this Christmas light display. The owner Roger hand-builds this entire display. I can’t figure out how to build furniture from Ikea, and this dude is casually custom-making an entire drive-thru Christmas display. Unreal. You go, Roger! Lights are on nightly from 5-10 Sunday – Thursday, and 5- 11 Fri and Sat.

16. Lights and Letters in Sauk Rapids

Yes, I did.

1101 10th Avenue North, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
11/5 – 1/30
Drive-by display
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Lights-and-Letters-light-display-100898748558804

45,000 lights, plenty of inflatables, plenty of Christmas.

15. Good Neighbor Light Show

Thanks, Facebook!

110th Avenue NE, Blaine, MN 55434
12/1 – 12/31
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Good-Neighbor-Light-Show-100351305258208/

A cool spot in Blaine to see some Christmas lights, and as a bonus, they have a red mailbox outside of their light show for you to send letters to Santa! I don’t know how they got his address, but I’m impressed.

14. Mellmem Family Christmas Light Display

17438 5th Street NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304
12/9, 12/10, 12/15, 12/16, 12/17, 12/22, 12/
23
Music synced the lights

Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/MellemFamilyXMAS/

Now they say to actually get there, you should put 301 173rd LN NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304, in your maps. For whatever reason, their real address doesn’t like to show up. The Mellmem family puts together a beautiful display that is synced to the music, so no matter which address you’re going to use, get there and check it out!

13. GLOW Festival at the CHS Field

CHS Field, St. Paul.
11/23 – 1/1
Walk-thru
Cost: Yes
Website: https://www.glowholiday.com/

So this used to be at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds but has moved to CHS field this year. It features more than 1 million lights, food vendors, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and a trolley! Shine bright like a (baseball) diamond.

12. Carter Christmas Lights Show

1905 Brookside Drive, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007
12/15 – 12/19
Light and music show
Cost: Free
Website:
Carter Christmas Lights Show – Albert Lea Minnesota (carterxmas.com)

Wow does the Carter family put together a cool show! They’ve posted a video of it here if you think I’m lying but it’s downright impressive stuff. More than 40,000 LED lights set to music from Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Meghan Trainor, and Skyway Avenue. The show plays every 10 minutes so you won’t have to wait long to check it out. On average, they run the show nearly 900 times a season, and I promise you’ll want to see it at least once!

11. Holiday Lights in Motion at Sportsman’s Park

North of Sleepy Eye Lake on Highway 4
11/25 – 12/31
Drive-thru and walking path
Cost: Free
Website: http://www.sleepyeyeonline.com/holidaylights/

Donations are accepted and encouraged, but everything at this spot is free. They have concessions, wagon rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more than 300,000 lights, all for the cost of nothing. As you can see from the video, this is a solid option. Certainly one of the best Christmas light displays in Minnesota!

10. Trista Lights by Epic Light Show

Photo credit Trista Light’s Facebook page

4386 Trista Bend, Minnetrista, MN 55331
12/3, 12/4, 12/11, 12/17, 12/25, 12/31
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/tristalights/

This, my friends, is a treat. Trista Lights remains the only light display in Minnesota to be featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight (here’s a video), and they’re also the brains behind the Sever’s drive-thru display. These folks know what they’re doing when it comes to computerized light shows. The is not a nightly show,, so check the schedule they’ve posted on their Facebook page before heading out. It runs from 5-9 and lasts about 15 minutes. There will be a line for the show, so they ask that you enjoy the show and then exit promptly so others can enjoy it as well.

9. Light up Princeton at Riverside Park

300 N Rum River Drive, Princeton
11/27 – 12/25
Drive-thru
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/MNPACC


The Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Princeton put together this drive-thru American Legion Holiday Light Loop display free of charge, and it runs daily from 6 pm to 9 pm (nice). Donations are accepted. As long as you’re cruising through Princeton, the PACC also put together a list of more houses nearby you can check out.

8. County Lights Festival in Sartell

FB is great for pictures.

850 19th St. S Sartell, MN 56337
12/3 – 12/31
Walking Tour
Cost: Free
Website: http://countrylightsfestival.org/

The City of Sartell doesn’t mess around when it comes to its Christmas lights. You can walk through 33 acres of them to see what I mean. with more than 1 million lights, they also have hot chocolate, girl scout cookies, train rides, and fire pits! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good time to me!

7. Holiday Lights on York Avenue/Schultz Family Lights

Did I grab this from their Facebook page? Yes.

1526 York Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55106
11/26 – 12/31
Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website: http://www.schultzfamilylights.com/

York Avenue in St. Paul has 11 yards decorated for the holidays, featuring around 90,000 lights in total. In most neighborhoods, neighbors hardly even talk to each other. York Avenue is different. Head to York Avenue and check out what happens when a community comes together! 5-10 pm daily.

6. Koran Family Christmas Display

Snagged this from a sweet drone video. Watch it here.

35855 Lincoln Road, North Branch, MN 55056
11/28 – 1/9
Drive-thru
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/koranfamilychristmas

The Koran Family Christmas display is a real treat with more than 35,000 lights and 600 lighted blow mold figurines. Another bonus is this display runs later than most. Sunday through Thursday, 5 – 11 pm, and Friday and Saturday until Midnight!

5. Christmas in Wadena

Yes, I took this picture from their Facebook page.

414 3rd St. SW, Wadena, MN 56482
11/26 – 1/1

Synchronized show to music
Cost: Free
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/christmasinwadena/

This place is bananas. 385,000 lights and each has a purpose. Many people do synchronized lights on their houses, but I’m not sure if anyone does it better than these folks. Their website says “where the lights come to life,” and they’re not lying. Amazing.

4. Spirit of Winter: Festival of Lights at Sovereign Estate Winery

Photo courtesy Souverign Estate Wine’s Website


9950 North Shore Road, Waconia, MN 55387
11/21 – 12/30
Walking path
Cost: Yes
Website: https://www.sovereignestatewine.com/spirit-of-winter

This spot is awesome. More than 20 acres covered in sprawling lights and see many different attractions. A ton of photo opportunities, a children’s ice maze, winter llamas, a gingerbread house… oh, did I mention this is at a winery?! You can take a guided tour on the Holly Trolley. Sip on some mulled wine, boozy hot cocoa, local brews, or their full range of wine from their Polar Bear Bar. Want food? WELL, THEY HAVE THAT, TOO! Check out the full menu here. You can also rent a Christmas cabana if you want to be super extra.

3. Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Photo credit Bentleyville website

700 Railroad St. Duluth, MN 55802
11/20 – 12/27
Walking tour
Cost: Free (but parking is $10)
Website: https://www.bentleyvilleusa.org/

Arguably the most well-known holiday light display in Minnesota, you cannot list the best Christmas lights in Minnesota without including Bentleyville. The free admission also comes with free hot cocoa and coffee, free cookies, free popcorn that they pop on-site, free marshmallows to roast, and you’ll even run into Santa and Mrs. Claus! (I hope it’s the Tim Allen version. That would really be something).

2. Kiwanis Holiday Lights at Sibley Park

Photo credit SPX Sports

900 Mound Avenue, Mankato, MN 56001
11/26 – 12/31
Drive-thru or walking path
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.kiwanisholidaylights.com/

1.8 million lights, live reindeer, the lights are choreographed to music, and there’s a skating rink in the middle! I live in Mankato, so this is an annual tradition for me, but wherever in Minnesota you live, the Kiwanis Holiday Lights are worth the trip. I usually park and walk through first–it’s about a half-hour of walking to get around the entire thing. Then we will jump back in the car and do the driving loop on our way out. It’s my second favorite Christmas light display in Minnesota; want to know what number one is? Well, let’s find out.

But before we actually get to number one, let’s talk about this upcoming event. RSVP to it here! https://fb.me/e/3kcjvDoel

Join the 10,000 Takes crew on December 22nd in Hopkins to help raise money for ResourceWest’s Toy Chest program. We’ll be there from 630-830, joined by the folks from 7th Avenue Pizza and Cultivated CBD. Both will be giving out free samples so come meet us, get some free stuff, and donate to a great cause!

Oh yeah, and it’s all at house #1! Read more below. (Plus there are honorable mentions, so keep going).

1. The Christmas House in Hopkins

324 10th Avenue North, Hopkins, MN 55343
11/25 – 1/1
Static show/drive-by
Cost: Free
Website: they don’t have a fancy website. They don’t even need it.

So we’ve made it all the way to #1. The best Christmas light displays in Minnesota comes down to the only house on this list with an actual ranking. This, for me, is what Christmas displays are all about. There are no computers to make the display look fancier than it is. There is no radio station to tune into for this house (because Christmas KOOL 108 is the best option anyway). This is roughly 37,000 lights, hung by hand, that do nothing but look pretty.

Clark Griswold’s house didn’t need a computerized light show, nor does this one. There’s a 25-foot Rudolph, a Christmas dragon, and dozens of homemade decorations placed with purpose. Both the front and back are decorated, and it’s been a staple in Hopkins for my entire life. I know this because this is the house I grew up in, and my father still puts this display up, mostly himself, every year.

So is there a little bit of nepotism in this ranking? You’re damn right there is. But I apologize for nothing. My love for Christmas lights stems from growing up with this place as my standard. He lights the display up every year on Thanksgiving night and will disappear multiple times throughout the night to sneak out front and check out his display. He takes pride in it, and he should. I’m proud of him every year for creating something that brings such immense joy to me and everyone who comes across it. This will always be number one to me. Good on you, old man Lewis.

Plus the neighbors have a good sense of humor

Honorable Mentions

These are things I know nothing about, but they sure look cool. Or I know about them, but they weren’t in Minnesota.

Larger Than Life Lights at the Superior Zoo

What is this? I have no idea. But it’s lights at a zoo, it must be cool. Learn more here.

Sam’s Christmas Village

Y’all, Wisconsin may not have an axe right now, but this place has EIGHT MILLION LIGHTS! This probably would have bumped old man Lewis’ house out of the number 1 spot, but it’s located in Wisconsin, and I’m surprised they even have the capabilities to power this place. Check it out here

Rotary Lights Holiday Display in La Crosse

Another spot right across the border with more than 3 million lights. Honestly, I’m guessing the Wisconsin power grid is broken down like this:

40% – Lambeau Field
30% – Miller Brewing Company
10% – Bars
10% – Sam’s Christmas Village
5% – Rotary lights
5% – Everything else

But my slander aside, it looks awesome. Check it out here.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Fact: Christmas lights are red and white. Fact: the lights outside of Raising Cane’s are red and white. The only logical conclusion here is that Raising Cane’s not only offers the best chicken fingers in the game but also one of the most beautiful Christmas light displays ever… and they do it year-round. Amazing.