Visit Mankato

Winter Events and Festivities in Mankato

Snowman Building Contest in Mankato
Posted: November 2, 2020

You can pack a lot of fun this winter right in the heart of Southern Minnesota. Come to Mankato to safely experience winter events, festivities, and holiday fun! 

Bellissimo Tree Farm Tree Hunt

November 15th – December 20th

In an effort to invest and encourage exploration of our amazing town this holiday season, We are excited to announce the elves at Bellissimo will be hiding gifts all over Old Town Mankato starting November 15th and ending December 20th.

All of these amazing gifts will be directly from amazing shops in Old town Mankato, increasing in greatness each day.
We hope you enjoy exploring Old town and Happy 🎄 hunting.

Shop Small in Mankato & North Mankato

November 20 – November 29

Celebrate Small Business Saturday with the week long and community wide shopping event, Shop Small in Mankato & North Mankato presented by Community Bank! You’ll find something for everyone on your gift list and support your community at the same time!
Grab a Shop Small Passport from a participating locally-owned small businesses. Each stamp from participating businesses is an entry to win great prizes like a gift basket with $100 worth of gift cards from locally owned businesses!

Let it glow

November 20 – January 3

Ready to be dazzled? This holiday season, the City Center Partnership is sponsoring the first annual Let It Glow, Kato! Window Display Contest. Businesses all over the City Center will decorate their windows with festive holiday displays for all to enjoy. The fun creations will delight residents and visitors who can vote for their favorite window beginning November 20th. The businesses with the most “likes” by midnight on Sunday, January 3rd will be declared our 1st, 2nd, or 3rd “People’s Choice”.

Wired to the heart prelude online silent auction

November 20 – 22

Join us for the silent auction that we have all come to love starting Friday, November 20 at 9am and will close on Sunday, November 22 at 9pm.
Shop from the comfort of your home while checking items off your Christmas gift list!
This auction is a prelude to the Wired to the Heart gala, which will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2021.

The southern minnesota christmas festival

November 21

Join us at our new online home for everything Christmas in Southern Minnesota! is coming soon! We’ll be live online on November 21st at 11:00 AM with entertainment, stories with Santa, holiday entertaining and cooking ideas, crafts and more!
Plus, our online site will be live for the duration of the season with local shopping, gift guides, and more!
This annual event is the kick off for Toys For Tots annual toy drive and we invite you to support Toys for Tots via an online donation or toy drop off.
If you’d like to have your business featured during our live virtual event and on our website, please message our page or call 507-345-4646.

Extra Trimmings move the town

November 21 – 28

Two ways to get involved this year! Join Extra Trimmings and do a Thanks-GIVING workout at a partnering gym. Or give a little “EXTRA” when you check out at Hy-Vee. Round up for ECHO food the entire week of Thanksgiving Nov. 21-28th. Donations can be made at both Mankato Hy-Vee locations or Hy-Vee Isles.

River hills mall photos with santa

November 27 – December 24

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season in Mankato, MN, you’re in luck—we’re offering photos with Santa at River Hills Mall! 

Visit us in the Food Court by JCPenney to get your professional pics with Santa taken.

Christmas tree weekend - by appointment only!

November 28 – 29

The Back Forty Christmas Tree Farm will be open November 28 – 29 from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY!

Belgrade Holiday Parade

November 30

The Taylor Library and Business on Belgrade will be holding their 4th annual medallion hunt starting Monday, November 30th! Clues will be posted daily at 4pm until the medallion is found.
Watch the Taylor Library and Business on Belgrade social media pages for clues or receive daily clues by texting NMCOMMUNITY to 888777 or by signing up online at
Once found turn medallion into the library. Prize is family holiday basket.
Medallion will be hidden somewhere in North Mankato.

Virtual holiday show

November 30

Join us as Mankato area merchants show you how to shop the world without leaving home.

Belgrade Holiday Parade

December 5

We will be having a social distance Holiday Parade the entire length of Belgrade Ave in Lower North Mankato. The parade participants will have their floats decorated with Holiday lights and fun for all. Bring the family and enjoy the outdoors to kickoff the holiday season

lighting up lake crystal 2020

December 5

Start on Watonwan Street and head East. At the end of the route at the LCWM Secondary School, there will be a free will donation benefiting the Little Knights Preschool Scholarship Fund.

Craft fair at lcarc

December 5

Come raid our selection of crafts and gifts for only $5!!!!

West Mankato Holiday Lights

December 6-25
From December 6-25, join your neighbors in a creating a West Mankato holiday lights tour. You can take part by creating a new display or beefing up your usual display. Or pick a theme and create a fun yard display. If setting up a display isn’t your thing, you can also help by donating to local food shelves. Let’s create some holiday cheer in West Mankato!

Storage lounge holiday event

December 10-11 | 5:30-8:00pm
Full drive-thru experience with lights, santa, surprise, and donation drop off.
December 12 | Drive by anytime
View the lights and donation drop off
Tune in to 98.1FM for the full experience!

Santa's reindeer are coming to c&S Supply

December 11

Come see Santa’s Reindeer in the C & S Supply parking lot, before they return to the North Pole. Sorry, Santa will not be with them this year.

Janesville winter craft and vendor show

December 12

Come join us for our Winter Craft and Vendor show December 12th from 9:00am-2:00pm. Plenty of stops to start or finish your holiday shopping! We will be following covid guidelines. Unfortunately this year we will not be able to have pictures with Santa or face painting. Next year we promise to bring them back! A visit from Santa could possibly happen!!

Virtual Canadian pacific holiday train

December 12

The 2020 Holiday Train is going virtual on Satruday, December 12 at 7:00pm central time. Join Serena Ryder, the Trews, JoJo Mason, Logan Staats and Kelly Prescott for HOLIDAY TRAIN AT HOME. It will be a FACEBOOK LIVE event at

Christmas in courtland craft/vendor fair

December 12

Join us for a fun filled day of Christmas shopping at the 3rd Annual Craft/Vendor Show! There will be lots of vendors available to help you with all of your shopping list.

scheels virtual santa experience

December 15

Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves and reindeer all the way from The North Pole for an online-only event before Christmas!
Participation is free and easy:
Sign up and submit a letter to Santa
Get a personalized letter and video from Santa himself
Join us online for a fun-filled evening with Santa and his helpers on Tuesday, December 15th at 7:00pm CT.
The virtual event will include interactive fun for all ages. Learn about life at The North Pole, join in reindeer games, and meet Santa and his helpers before Christmas. You’ll also learn the Santa shuffle dance and get a secret cookie recipe from Mrs. Claus!
The elves can hardly wait, so sign up to celebrate! Registration is required to attend.

snowflake shuffle 5K

December 19

Come join RVR for another fun run in the snow ❄ Our Snowflake Shuffle 5k on Sat. Dec 19th at 7:30 am. If things stay closed we will make adjustments but if we can get together we love seeing everyone for a good morning run! Hot chocolate and warm coffee afterwards to warm up with ☕ Special discounts for all runners/walkers as always

Winter farmers' market

December 19
January 9
January 23
February 6

Find a variety of fresh produce, storage crops, jams, natural skincare, honey, home goods, and SO much more!

Where to Stay

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In greater Mankato, you’ll find more than just a comfortable night’s sleep. We have hotels with on-site restaurants; game rooms and swimming pools and more!
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Mankato has a strong local food scene where restaurants in the City Center and nearby neighborhoods serve everything from New York style pizza to creative burger creations and local craft beer.
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In Mankato, we know that recreation is a big part of any vacation. Whether you want to stay indoors or conquer the great outdoors, Mankato is your getaway destination in southern Minnesota!
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