Top Reasons to Attend Kiwanis Holiday Lights
Reasons to Attend Kiwanis Holiday Lights This Christmas
Walk or drive through a Winter Wonderland for free during the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato’s Sibley Park. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights uses nearly two million LED lights in an animated and choreographed display. Enjoy the Mary Dotson synthetic Skating Rink, live reindeer and visits with Santa on the weekends. Warming houses and concessions are available. The event kicks off with a holiday parade featuring illuminated parade floats. If you’re in the giving spirit, they accept donations of cash and nonperishable food items to benefit local nonprofit community organizations and food shelves.
This free event is so popular that it was recognized for having one of the best holiday lights in Minnesota by OnlyInYourState.com. The website praised it for having “one of the largest displays in Minnesota” and “definitely one to add to your bucket list.” Get ready to get into the holiday spirit. Here are the top reasons you should plan your seasonal festivities in this beloved city.
Besides walking around Sibley Park to see all the festive lights, you can also explore the park from the comfort of your car by driving through the area to admire the lights. While exploring, be on the lookout for a computer-programmed lighted driving tunnel with even more animated light displays. Be sure the watch as the 60-foot colorful center tree sparkles every 15 minutes as 2,100 white strobe lights flash in the night sky!
Free parking is available in its designated lot, and there is also on-street parking if you want to explore on foot.
Be sure to have your camera or smartphone on hand for all the amazing moments you will want to capture. Share your pictures by tagging #KiwanisHolidayLights. Plan your visit today for memories that will last a lifetime.
Join your family and friends for many fun activities going on throughout Kiwanis Holiday Lights. See live reindeer on display, visit with Santa Claus every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (see KiwanisHolidayLights.com for specific times) . Pack you skates and glide under the lights at the Mary Dotson Skating Rink before enjoying a cup of hot coco at the warming house. Capture a selfie as you walk through the animated tunnels and don’t forget to vote for your favorite Nonprofit Tree through December 25. Wondering where that elf on the shelf is? Look for them and the Sibley Park Squirrel displays as they move around every week.
Make a Difference
At the entrances to the park, Kiwanis Holiday Lights accepts cash and check donations written out to Kiwanis Holiday Lights. The funds we collect help cover operational costs as well help support the 60 nonprofits that provide volunteers that help with set-up, tear-down and running the event each year.
Kiwanis Holiday Lights also accepts donations of non-perishable items including food and personal care items for the 20 area food shelves that participate in Kiwanis Holiday Lights each year. Great donation items are: cereal, pasta, macaroni & cheese, canned items, juice, boxed main dishes, diapers and personal care items. Toy donations are not accepted.
A Glorious Parade of Lights
Once Thanksgiving ends, the holiday festivities are in full swing. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Mankato will host its opening ceremony and kickoff parade. The parade will start promptly at Mound Avenue, where you’ll marvel at the impressive collection of illuminated floats and lavishly designed costumes. For a comfortable viewing experience, bring your lawn chairs and blankets, and a nearby warming house will be available if you wish to take a break from the cold. The parade will end with a lighting ceremony, where you can watch the entire area flicker with over 1.8 million holiday lights. After the parade, take the kids to meet Santa. Then, let them skate the night away at the skating rink warming house; make sure they bring their own skates!