Visit Mankato

Winter Events and Festivities 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 experience winter events, festivities, and holiday fun! 

Photo Credit: Mandy Benson
Photo Credit: Hailee Merryman
Photo Credit: Addeline Theis

Pond road: christmas open house

November 18, 19, 20, 21

Join us for our Christmas open house sale. 

Wired to the Heart

November 19

Wired to the Heart is an annual fundraising gala supporting Loyola Catholic School. Join us on November 19th at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center for this elegant evening of socializing with friends, amazing cocktails, a silent and live auction, fine dining and lots of fun memories. Take a short walk over to Pub500 afterwards for the fundraiser post party.
Social Hour and Silent Auction start at 6:00 pm. Dinner and Program begin at 7:30 pm. Post-party to follow.

southern minnesota christmas festival Presents: jingle + Mingle

November 19

Join us for the Toys for Tots Kick-Off Event at Courtyard by Marriot for festive fare, holiday demonstrations, vendors, and entertainment.
The event will be from 6pm to 9pm,
Tickets go on sale October 4th. Tickets are $20 and include appetizers and a glass of sparkling wine. (Must be 21).

Kato Local Holiday Experience

November 19 – 28

‘Tis the biggest shopping season of the year! Support the Kato Local Holiday Experience from November 19 – 28, 2021 at Kato Local Businesses in Mankato and North Mankato presented by Community Bank.

let it glow, Kato Window Display Contest

November 19 – December 26

Participating City Center businesses, from retail to hospitality to professional services and more have decorated their windows with festive holiday displays for all to enjoy. Be sure to head to the City Center to check out the displays and vote for your between November 19 and December 26. People’s Choice for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd will receive cash prizes.

Pumpkin Pi Run

November 20

Come out and support the Twin Valley Council, Salvation Army and Echo Food Shelf at the inaugural Pumpkin Pi Family Fun Run!
3.14 – 3 Causes, 1 Race, 4 Miles!
The Twin Valley Council will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Echo Food Shelf, and new or gently used Winter clothing for the Salvation Army.
Early Bird Registration is $40 through November 9th at midnight. For more information and to register.

Cranksgiving Mankato

November 20

Key City Bike presents the 5th Annual Mankato Cranksgiving!
Cranksgiving is a food drive on two wheels. It’s part bike ride, part food drive, and part scavenger hunt. This year’s ride will take place on November 20th.
DESCRIPTION: Try something new for your charitable giving this year! Grab your friends and family and join us for a fun and challenging November bicycle ride around Mankato! This isn’t your average stroll around town…you’ll be collecting food from various grocery stores to benefit the Maverick Food Pantry while competing to win some cool prizes!
All food donations collected will go to the Maverick Food Pantry located on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

inaugural mankato turkey trot

November 25

This a family friendly event that we are inviting all members and non-members to participate! We also ask that everyone brings a non-perishable food item to donate to the Echo Food Shelf!

Aerial Imagery

Kiwanis Holiday Lights

November 26 – December 31

The biggest holiday event in Mankato is the Kiwanis Holiday Lights celebration in Sibley Park that attracts thousands of visitors annually. Families are invited to walk or drive through the route of more than 1.5 million holiday lights. Other on-site activities include ice skating (rentals available), reindeer encounters, an illumination show with LED lights, Santa visits, ice sculptures and more.

Small Business Saturday in Old Town Mankato

November 27

Shop the small local businesses of Old Town on Small Business Saturday! The stores will be open from 9am – 4pm offering unique deals and treats.
Shopping in Mankato’s Boutique District will surly set you apart this holiday season. Shop small, Shop local, GIVE BIG!

santa's sip and shop

November 27

Sip wine and shop small business at Indian Island Winery on Saturday, November 27.
A variety of Vendors will be at the winery from noon-4pm, with the winery will be open until 9pm.
Tons of door prizes will be available to win!! Just visit our vendors, support their small businesses, and be entered to win!
This is a great way to support local small businesses on Small Business Saturday while also purchasing wine and gifts for the upcoming Christmas Holiday!
Santa will be here with Mrs. Claus from 1-4pm to listen to your Christmas wish lists, so bring your kids and your camera!! Or get photos with Santa by yourself!
Free admission today!

Maverick Hockey

Women’s Schedule | Men’s Schedule

The Minnesota State University Mankato Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Hockey program brings fans from all around to the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in downtown Mankato! 

J Longs holiday party

December 2
J Longs cordially invites you to join us for the first annual J Longs Holiday Party on December 2nd from 4pm to 8pm 🎅🎄🎁
We’ll have HUGE giveaways like a $500 gift card to J Longs, a Michael Kors suit, lululemon leggings, and much much more! 🕴️🤑
There will be not one, but two remote broadcasts happening by local radio stations on site. Plus you’ll get to enjoy our favorite J. Longs Drink Mixes courtesy of our friends at Chankaska Spirits! 🥂

River hills mall photos with santa

December 2 – 24

Capture magical moments with Santa this season for you and your family. Reservations are encouraged. 

Scrooge the musical

December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19

Davori Productions, Mankato Playhouse presents Roger Hoopman’s Scrooge
With unique music, dancing and humor, the show tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, whom is visited by a series of ghosts, starting with his old business partner, Jacob Marley. The three spirits which follow, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come, show Scrooge how his mean behavior has affected those around him. At the end of the story he is relieved to discover that there is still time for him to change and we see him transform into a kinder man who discovers the joy of giving, loving and caring for others.
Bells on Belgrade

Bells on belgrade

December 4

Join us for a free holiday family fun event on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato on Saturday Dec 4th. There will be horse drawn trolley rides, Santa, goodie bags, games and lots of fun. The nights ends with a Holiday Parade starting at 6:30pm.

Maverick holiday carnival

December 4

Enjoy this fun annual tradition! A free carnival put on by MSU, Mankato students for children ages 5-12 to enjoy! Check back for more details, but for now, make sure it’s on your calendar!!!
Hubbard House Christmas

Christmas at the hubbard house

December 4 & 5

Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard are off attending a holiday party, so daughter Mary Esther has invited all of her friends (that’s YOU) to the Hubbard House. Esther’s favorite song is The 12 Days of Christmas and she’s created a 12 Days-themed scavenger hunt and puzzles that you can solve as you enjoy a self-guided tour of the festively-decorated house.
Fun or all ages! Admission is $10/adults, $7/BECHS Members, $5/children aged 5-17. Tickets must be purchased in advance and masks are required inside the Hubbard House and Carriage House.

United way's fire & ice

December 4

Don’t miss Greater Mankato Area United Way’s signature event that raises funds to improve lives in our region, the annual Fire & Ice Ball! Follow the Fire & Ice Facebook page (@mankatofireandiceball) for up-to-date info.Purchase tickets at
This year, Fire & Ice is moving to the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center! Join us 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, December 4. This event is black-tie and our theme is A Night of Northern Glamour.
Enjoy live music, live auction (limited items available for online bidding), games, food/drink and the opportunity to make a difference in our region.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor, PrimeSource Funding!
Greater Mankato Area United Way programs serve more than 51,000 people in our region annually.

christmas craftacular

December 5

Want to get your hands on some pretty unique Christmas gifts? We will have art, soap, jewelry, decor and oh so much more. Come and spend some time with us on December 5th. We would love to see you!

Exclusively diamonds dash 2021

December 5

A sunset fun run through the Kiwanis Holiday Lights benefiting the Mankato Family YMCA!

Sundays with santa

December 5 & 12

Celebrate Holiday Cheer with Exclusively Diamonds! Sundays with Santa are December 5th and 12th! Pictures with Santa are free of charge but if you are able, please bring a donation for our local CADA House.
Some things you can donate are:
– Shampoo
-Body Wash
-Feminine Products
-Basic Toiletry Items
Here is the link to the CADA House’s current needs:
Clint Black

Clint Black Christmas

December 9

Grammy-winning Country superstar Clint Black is hitting the road with the Mrs., Lisa Hartman Black and are making a stop at Mayo Clinic Event Center in Mankato on December 9, 2021.   Tickets start at $49.50 plus applicable fees and go on-sale Friday, June 11th at 10:00 AM and available at the Mayo Clinic Event Center ticket office and online at Ticketmaster.

The Nutcracker

December 9, 10, 11, 12

Mankato Ballet Company is thrilled to bring back our full length ballet, The Nutcracker, to the community this winter. Our dancers missed performing last year and we could not be more honored to resume performances this season for our community and our loyal audience members.

Nicollet Bike Holiday Lights Ride

December 9

Join us for our annual Holiday Lights Bike Ride! We will leave the Nicollet Bike side parking lot at 6:30 pm and ride the city streets to Sibley Park to view the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display. After viewing the lights we will stop at LocAle Brewing Company for drinks and socializing. Helmets and lights are required. Please consider bringing a small cash donation for Kiwanis.

Free family concert series: winter wonders

December 11

Bring the kids to hear MSO’s “Winter Wonders” concert, the second in our Free Family Series! No tickets needed.

Home free warmest winter

December 18

Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center

Holiday in Old Town

December 18

Take care of some last minute shopping then gather the family and come visit Santa and his reindeer at Mom & Pop’s. Visit a gingerbread house at Bellisimo, Enjoy Carolers, River Valley Makers and hot chocolate at Wooden Spoon and capture a fun family photo opportunity at Sonny + Dot..

Winter wonderland at storeit

December 18

Looking for a fun and FREE place for the kids to experience all of the magic of the holiday season? Look no further. Store It is hosting our first annual Winter Wonderland event featuring pictures with Santa, live reindeer, giant Christmas tree and more. The photo opportunities are endless. You won’t want to miss this fun filled day!

tween/Teen ice skating

December 29

Join us for a fun time ice skating at All Seasons Arena during your holiday break. Admission and rental skates included! Registration required. Open to ages 9-17. Registration opens Monday, November 22nd at 10:00am. 

Craft Beer Expo

January 8

The expo will showcase the offerings of craft breweries here in Minnesota, as well as all over the United States. Attendees to the expo will have the opportunity to sample beers from over 40 different craft breweries in a commemorative sampling glass. In addition to this, they can enjoy educational seminars throughout the day covering subjects such as Food Pairing, Homebrewing, and the History of Brewing in Minnesota. With brewery and distributor representatives on hand to answer questions, attendees will be able to have an enjoyable and educational experience learning about beer, its components and flavors.

Hockey Day Minnesota

January 16-19

Hockey Day Minnesota originated in 2007 by the Minnesota Wild to celebrate the game that has made Minnesota the State of Hockey. It is produced in partnership with Bally Sports North, Minnesota Hockey and the respective local community that serves as host each year. See SchedulePurchase Tickets

Lake Washington - Pond Hockey

Anthony ford pond hockey

January 29-30

The expo will showcase the offerings of craft breweries here in Minnesota, as well as all over the United States. Attendees to the expo will have the opportunity to sample beers from over 40 different craft breweries in a commemorative sampling glass. In addition to this, they can enjoy educational seminars throughout the day covering subjects such as Food Pairing, Homebrewing, and the History of Brewing in Minnesota. With brewery and distributor representatives on hand to answer questions, attendees will be able to have an enjoyable and educational experience learning about beer, its components and flavors.

Holiday shopping with the DVBF

DVBF events are over for this year, but you can still support Minnesota authors this holiday season by shopping from the DVBF Author Directory. You will find authors with books of all genres for all ages on your shopping list. Thank you for supporting local authors and books! 

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