Wintertime in Stillwater
Discover the historic riverfront district glimmering with charm and full of festivities December through March. Plan now for a holiday or winter season getaway!
Stillwater, Minnesota has always been a serene and romantic winter season destination but last year the town really pulled together to create a winter wonderland with new decorations and attractions, so for this year they are planning to build on that new tradition with even more. We’ve lit up our historic district! The tops of our historic buildings are lined with twinkle so get ready for all the lights to glow starting November 26th when the historic lift bridge lights turn on and Chestnut Street’s LED light show set to music begins for nightly entertainment.
In 2022, you can look forward to the first annual World Snow Sculpting Championship January 18-23!
For the Christmas and Hanukkah holiday season, local merchants are thrilled to welcome you with many gift ideas during Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday, November 26-27th. Did you know that all 50+ shops in the historic downtown district of Stillwater are locally owned?
Head to Stillwater, MN if you prefer a charming nostalgic holiday shopping and dining experience during “Hometown for the Holidays” month-long celebration full of events. From caroling tours on the Biercycle to horse-drawn wagonette rides to an Elf takeover and a Twinkle Party with the official tree lighting and fireworks on December 4th, downtown Stillwater is all lit up for you to enjoy the season of giving.
Returning in January will be the Ice Palace Maze with a new design and of course, an ice slide, ice bar, and bonfire warm-up areas, an outdoor riverside ice skating rink, Fire & Ice Winter Social with Pond Hockey Tournament and Historic Winter Ice Cream Social and a Frozen Flannel Bonspiel Curling Tournament.
February will also welcome the Fat Tire Bike Race, Frozen Bocce Ball tournament, Winterfest with Boot Hockey Tournament and Cornhole Tournament and live music and of course the holiday of love, Valentine’s Day. Find a romantic place to stay from hotels to bed and breakfasts and unique vacation home rentals and book soon to celebrate a romantic getaway this winter! Seeking a cozy fireplace suite? Here are a few ideas.
Heated Patios, Ice Bars or Walk-Up Windows
Looking for heated patios or ice bars? We’re keeping a running list as they open.
- Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop: glass enclosed heated porch and fire pits on their patio (opening mid-November). Located within the Chestnut Street LED light show set to music.
- Water Street Inn: Charlie’s Irish Pub will have it’s heated glass enclosed riverside patio open and heaters on the outside open deck. Entrance on Chestnut street right next to the LED light show. Papa’s Rooftop will be open for cocktails for select events with heaters and firepits. Come January when the riverside ice skating rink opens up, they’ll have a walk-up window for to-go drinks again on the river side of the Water Street Inn.
- Matchstick at Hotel Crosby: heaters on the Main Street patio
- Domacin’ Wine Bar & Restaurant: enclosed deck with heaters all winter
- Tilted Tiki: lights and heaters on outdoor patio
- River Siren Brewing: Ice Scuffleboard in parking lot
We’ll announce more details as we get closer, but here is a list of winter fun to look forward to in Stillwater, Minnesota. Join our enewsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook to stay up to date!
Wintertime in Stillwater
Schedule of Events
- November 14th: Lift Bridge Holiday Beertique
- November 16th: Holiday Wreath Making Working at Studio Louise Flowers
- November 20-21st: Christmas at the Courthouse Holiday Bazaar
- November 26-28th: Stillwater Ballet Nutcracker
- November 26th: FREE Lights Displays begin! The Main/Chestnut street LED light show set to music with light tunnel is a nightly event that will officially kick off on Black Friday and run through St. Patrick’s day with a few features changing for February and March. Look up to top rooflines of the historic architecture downtown as they are lit with white lights and Main Street features snowflakes and lit trees in pots on storefronts. The Historic Lift Bridge with have both the south and north sides lit this year too!
- November 26th: Black or “plaid” Friday – Victorian Costumed Carolers begin
- November 27th: Shop Small Saturday
- November 27th: Santa sightings begin – see list of stops throughout the season.
- November 27th: Biercycle Caroling Tours start
- All month, daily: FREE Wintertime in Stillwater Lights Displays: Main Street Buildings, Chestnut Street light show set to music, light tunnel, river walk, and historic lift bridge.
- December 3-19th: Holiday Teas at Lowell Inn
- December 3-5th: Valley Chamber Chorale Christmas Concerts
- December 4th – Saturday: Official Tree Lighting and fireworks Twinkle Party
- December 5th – Cheers with Santa at Lift Bridge Brewery
- Holiday Season Shopping & events like strolling Victorian Costumed Carolers and Santa on the weekends
- December 10-26: It’s a Wonderful Life at the Zephyr Theatre
- December 11th: Gingerbread House Making Contest (part of Candyland weekend)
- December 11th & 18th: Horse-drawn wagonette rides through downtown/riverfront
- December 11th: Stillwater Holiday Gift & Craft Fair at Oak Glen Golf Course
- December 11th: Holiday Event at Heritage Center
- December 12th: Santa and his reindeer photo opportunity
- December 12th: Breakfast with Santa
- December 18th: Elf Takeover on Main Street and Pets in the Park
- December 18th: Santa at Kari’s Create & Paint Studio and Joseph Wolf Merchantile
- December 18th: Downton Abbey Christmas Dinner
- December 18th: Tipsy Santa Bar Crawl
- December 18-19th: Holiday Cheers Weekend at Saint Croix Vineyards
- December 31st: Putting on the Glitz New Year’s Eve Gala
- December 31st: New Year’s Ball at Water Street Inn
- December 31st: New Year’s Eve – 5 blocks of dining, shopping, and live music!
- January 1st: New Year’s Day Snowshow and Dinner at the Outing Lodge
- January 1st: First Day of the Year Hike at William O’Brien State Park
- New Year’s Eve Events Enewsletter: https://mailchi.mp/discoverstillwater/newyears2021
Sponsors of the Wintertime in Stillwater Lights on Chestnut Street & Historic Lift Bridge
- Wintertime Nightly LED Light Show continues
- Water Street Inn’s Riverside Ice Skating Rink – FREE, but bring your own skates! (Opens Jan 15 evening)
- Ice Palace Maze – Ticketed experience January 15- February 20 (weather dependent)
- January 15th: Frozen Flannel Bonspiel – outdoor curling tournament
- The Explore Minnesota #OnlyinMN monument will be up in Lowell Park January 17-31st
- January 18-23rd: World Snow Sculpting Championship – INAGURAL EVENT!
- January 28-30th: Fire & Ice Winter Social with Pond Hockey Tournament
- January 29th: Washington County Historical Society Historic Winter Ice Cream Social
- Wintertime Nightly LED Light Show continues
- Ice Palace Maze
- Riverside Ice Skating Rink
- February 13-27th: Winterfest
- Valentine’s Day – celebrate your love anytime during the month of February in a romantic destination. Places to stay within walking distance of your dinner reservations. The Wintertime LED lights display will also change to a heart for this month.
- February 18th: Boot Hockey Tournament
- February 19th: Cornhole Tournament
- February 20th: Fat Tire Bike Race
- February 26th: Frozen Bocce Ball Tournament
- Shamrock Light in Wintertime LED Lights Display on Chestnut Plaza
- St. Patrick’s Day live music & events at Charlie’s Irish Pub