1666 1st Ave N, Fargo
Nov 21st & 22nd 5:00 – 9:00pm, Nov 23rd & 24th 12:00 – 5:00pm
Inspired by the traditional holiday markets of Europe, Christkindlmarkt is downtown Fargo’s preeminent winter shopping experience. Held by Folkways, whose mission is to better connect locals while improving their quality of life, Christkindlmarkt features every kind of vendor you could need help from to put on a homey Christmas. Browse artisanal pottery, chocolates, jewelery, and ornaments, enjoy mulled wine and hot German food, and finally nip inside Drekker Brewing Company to dance to the live music there, which comprises everything from classical to polka. How better could you get into the holiday spirit?
Xcel Energy Holiday Lights Parade
Nov 26th, 6:30 – 9:30pm
New York City doesn’t get to decide when the Christmas season begins with their parade — Fargo, the shining light of the free world, does. This year on November 26th up to 15 thousand revelers will descend upon downtown to enjoy over two hours of brilliant floats rolling down the street. The floats are proudly presented by the greater Fargo-Moorhead area’s fine businesses, all trying to one up one another in friendly competition. A panel of impartial jurors will pick the top three at the end of the evening!
The Xcel Energy Holiday Lights Parade also offers fire pits to toast up by, s’more kits for even greater fortification against the cold, and photo ops with a very special red suited guest. Last year the Winterfest provided beer, a potion that does an exceptional job at warming the body, and food concessions as well. Visit downtownfargo.com for an up to date report on everything you can expect at the parade this year!
2902 25th St S, Fargo
Nov 30th – Dec 23rd
Of all the places that Santa Claus gets to visit during the holiday season, he perhaps loves none better than Rheault Farm in Fargo. Santa can meet with kids there for absolutely free thanks to the Fargo Park District’s generous hospitality, and he asks only that parents bring in nonperishable food items, new and gently used toys, and maybe a few dollars to help several local Fargo charities including the Great Plains Food Bank, the YMCA, and Firstlink’s Giving Tree of Hope. In the barn kids can even write their own letter for Santa to read, and for every one they do Macy’s will donate one dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Santa visits the farm with all of his cadre in tow. Mrs. Claus herself will be at work in the farmstead’s kitchen baking cookies, the elves will be present to see that everything is at the height of Yuletide cheer, and the reindeer will be out in the quonset hut taking a well-deserved break from making deliveries. The farm celebrates Santa’s visit with a charming model train display in the barn, Christmas lights decorating the property, arts and crafts projects, and even horsedrawn carriage rides on the weekend (for a small fee). Visit fargoparks.com to learn more about Santa Village, including the special Breakfast with Santa events as well as crafting classes offered by Creatively Uncorked!
Sleigh Rides at Viking Ship Park
202 1st Ave N, Moorhead
Dec 26th, 27th, 30th, & 31st, 1:00 – 4:00pm
How better to keep the holiday spirit going strong after all the presents have been opened than with a traditional country sleigh ride? In the week leading up to New Year’s Day, you can go to the Hjemkomst Center for a brisk jaunt through the woods courtesy of a team of Rusty K Ranch’s handsomest animals. The cost is only $4 per person (children aged two years and younger ride free), and your ticket will get you $1 off of any purchase at the center’s gift shop. The tramping of hooves, the smooth glide of skis, the idyllic scenery of the snow-covered Red River, and of course hot chocolate and cookies — this sleigh ride makes a perfect denouement to anyone’s holiday season!
By David Scheller