The fuzzy socks have been pulled out, eggnog has hit the shelves, and temperatures have dropped below shorts weather for even upper Midwesterners, meaning that it is time to talk about the exciting holiday events happening in the Fargo-Moorhead area now through New Years.
The Window Winter Wonderland is happening today, Dec. 7, from 5-7 p.m. in Downtown Fargo. Take a stroll along storefronts of local shops, beautifully decorated for the holidays. This event is coordinated by the Downtown Community Partnership. Nicolette Berge, events coordinator for the DCP, explained the idea behind the Window Winter Wonderland.
“We’re trying to bring back the olden days, when you’d grab your family and go window shopping in the windows of Downtown Fargo,” she said.
The Downtown Spectacular is another event organized by the DCP, occurring Dec. 14 from 5-9 p.m. in Downtown Fargo, complete with a tree lighting, photo booth, shopping, and trolley rides.
“We’re trying to create a Christmas festival type feel … a lot of the retail stores do a good job of embracing the Christmas spirit whether that be through having a Christmas display or discounts and promotions, or having treats and cookies and cider,” Berge explained.
Berge also announced that the ice skating rink in Downtown Fargo, located on the corner of Broadway and Main Avenue, will once again be open this year, but the temperature will need to drop below a certain temperature before being filled in. Open skating is available at other rinks like the Sports Arena, Southwest Youth Ice Arena, and the Coliseum in Fargo, as is drop-in adult hockey.
One of the most popular displays in the area is the Holiday Lights at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It will be open from Dec.1-31 from 5:30-10 p.m., so grab some friends and pile into a warm (or cold) car and blast some Christmas music as you drive along the route next to the Red River.
If you want to experience the light-hearted, ho-ho-ho parts of Christmas, there is no shortage of Santa events scattered throughout the season. Jaws, Paws, and Lunch with Santa Claus is an event at The Red River Zoo on Dec. 9 including carousel rides, lunch, an up-close animal experience, crafts, and meeting Santa. On Dec. 16, Santa will fly back into Fargo and reach the Fargo Air Museum via Sanford helicopter. His elves will show the airplanes on display to those attending the event. And if you want to see his favorite reindeer, Rudolph, visit Rheault Farm in Fargo now through Dec. 23 to see the Santa Village with hay rides, crafts, and eat breakfast with Santa.
Historical events are a favorite among locals. At Christmas with the Comstocks on Dec. 9, you can discover the traditions of Victorian Christmas in the decorated historic site, as well as light tours of the house on Dec. 16 and 23. A few blocks north of the Comstock House, the Hjemkomst Center will be giving sleigh rides through their Viking Ship Park on Dec. 26-29, perfect for those staying in the area over winter break.
The season would not be complete without classic Christmas tales. A musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” is being performed by First Assembly Fargo Church, with 17 original song and dance numbers and 75 cast members. Showings are Dec. 8-9 and 15-16. The FM Ballet will be holding its annual production of “The Nutcracker” at North Dakota State University’s Festival Concert Hall Dec. 15-17.
The musical talent in the area comes out in full force for holiday performances. A Family Holiday Concert is taking place at the Fargo Library on Dec. 9, performed by members of the Fargo-Moorhead Choral Artists. The same day, nationally acclaimed pianist Lori Line is coming to the Fargo Theatre. The Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome band will be performing at the Sanctuary Events Center Dec. 22-23.
One charity event you can take part in is the Home for the Holidays 5K & 10K in Fargo, which is dedicated to National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day on Dec. 21. The course and starting time are chosen by the participant, who will report their own finishing time. Registration can be found on eventbrite.com.
The Salvation Army is another way to give back, with locations all over the Fargo-Moorhead area, including West Acres Mall, Center Mall, and Hornbachers. Keep your ears open for the famous bell ringing when you are out doing your Christmas shopping.
Winter is still very present in the area well into January. To bring some joy to the dark late-winter months, DCP is partnering with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring a Frostival to Downtown Fargo Jan. 26, 2018. The Frostival will include a volleyball tournament, snow golf, cardboard sled races, and more.
“It’s just a winter festival celebrating winter, which around January we all need … something unique, something fun, something that will get you off the couch in January,” Berge said.
The DCP is also hosting the Coffee and Cocoa Crawl on Feb. 8, where they will be giving out mugs to everyone and coffee and cocoa tastings will be at all the downtown stores.
“It’s popular amongst families and college kids,” Berge said.
Dress warm and stay safe this winter, but get out in the community, whether it is at one of the many events in the Fargo-Moorhead area or in your hometown and celebrate the spirit of the holidays. Check fargoparks.com for the full schedule and locations of events from December through February.