The jolliest time of year is underway in North Dakota. From picturesque snowy landscapes to charming small-town festivities, North Dakota transforms into a winter wonderland that provides visitors the perfect backdrop to celebrate the holidays. The state invites visitors to experience the magic of the season in North Dakota where cherished traditions and warm hospitality come together to create legendary memories.
Lights on Shriner Hill, Jamestown
Starting Friday, November 24, from 5 p.m. until midnight daily, visitors can see over 100 lit trees spreading holiday cheer along Highway 281 in Jamestown with the Lights on Shriner Hill. In 2020, the area’s four Shriner groups came together to bring a little holiday magic to the trees on Mill Hill, now dubbed “Shriner Hill. With over 30,000 lights, this is quite the spectacle that is not to be missed.
Dickens Village Festival, Garrison
As the official Christmas capital of North Dakota, Garrison and its Dickens Village Festival are a must for anyone who wants to turn the holiday season into a special experience. Celebrating its 30th year, the festival is a delight for visitors of all ages. Happening the weekends of November 24 – 25, December 1 – 2 and 8 – 9, the festival is complete with lots of holiday splendor including live entertainment, a Fruitcake Toss, the Piccadilly Square Craft Vendor Show, street food vendors, carolers, a lighted Main Street parade at dusk and a theater production of “A Christmas Carol”. Visitors can also catch a ride on an authentic English double decker bus – lovingly dubbed the “Queen Elizabus” – or enjoy a lovely carriage ride around town. Tickets are now available for purchase.
Mandan Lights on Main, Mandan
Mandan Holiday Lights on Main is returning for its second year to bring downtown holiday cheer with larger-than-life, interactive displays. Dykshoorn Park will become a beacon for the holidays beginning Saturday, November 25 at 6 p.m. with a lighting ceremony. The vibrant, immersive holiday space is driven by the community’s desire for unique experiences and also serves a chance to give back to the community. Local non-profit organizations participate in a friendly tree decorating competition hosted in the Morton Mandan Public Library with voting for the best decorated tree open from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Mandan Holiday Lights on Main is a free event open each evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Xcel Holiday Lights Parade and Winterfest, Fargo
Kickoff the holiday season with a spectacular Holiday Winterfest in downtown Fargo. The Xcel Holiday Lights Parade and Winterfest is a tradition for thousands and brings together neighbors and leaders from Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo. Happening Saturday, December 2, 2023, this magical evening will feature spectacular parade floats, marching bands, equestrian entries, sparkling lights, warm treats, ice skating, gift donations and more.
30th Annual Parade of Lights and Walk-A-Bout, New Town
Head over to New Town for a full day of holiday cheer on Saturday, December 2, 2023. With a flurry of events happening all day from photos with Santa Claus to a Christmas Cultural Craft Fair there is something for the whole family. Don’t miss the town Walk-A-Bout, where visitors can check out businesses and sample delicious treats served by participating merchants along with holiday sales and specials from 5 – 8 p.m., followed by the parade of lights at 6 p.m.
Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas, Medora
Take part in a Christmas tradition that’s fit for a cowboy. The annual Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas happening Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10 is a fun weekend-long event for all ages in Medora. The entire town is decked out for hours of fun with beautiful decorations with plenty of eats on the streets, shopping and dancing. Live music featuring The Waddington Brothers: Badland Christmas show performances throughout the weekend will highlight this western Christmas celebration amidst snow-capped Badland buttes.
Christmas at the Zoo, Minot
On Sunday, December 10, enjoy a festive family-friendly day walking through the Roosevelt Park Zoo. Bring a non-perishable food item or a gently used and sanitize-able toy in exchange for admission. The event features a holiday hayride, photos with Santa, hot chocolate and delicious cookie treats. Food items are sure to fill bellies as zookeepers sort through the donations keeping what they can for the animals, and anything that the animals wouldn’t enjoy is shared with a local food pantry.
For more holiday happenings and ideas for local gifts, visit https://www.ndtourism.com/.