KICK OFF DECEMBER IN ST. ANTHONY PARK
Join Santa on Friday, Dec. 1, 3-5 p.m., at Milton Square in the old Muffuletta space for storytime, crafts and cookies.
Then come back to St. Anthony Park on Saturday, Dec. 2, when Discover St. Anthony Park, north St. Anthony Park’s newly formed business association, will host Shop Home for the Holidays Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The businesses in the Como Avenue district are celebrating December with special offers and fun for the whole family.
Sunrise Banks will host a visit from Santa and reindeer sleigh rides from 9 a.m. to noon, a 20-plus-year tradition that started with the bank’s earlier incarnations as St. Anthony Park Bank and then Park Midway Bank. Children can look forward to sleigh rides, treat bags and photos with Santa.
Other neighborhood businesses are offering shopping specials, free gift-wrap, carolers and more:
Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market, 2310 Como Ave., will offer a cookie-decorating event for kids from 10 a.m. to 1 pm., along with a live guitarist and free popcorn for everyone.
The Little Wine Shoppe, 2236 Carter Ave., will host a wine-tasting from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Bibelot Shop, 2276 Como Ave., will have a 20-percent-off ornament sale and samplings of tasty treats throughout the day.
Scarborough Fair, 2238 Carter Ave., will give shoppers a free scarf with any purchase over $100.
You can create your own bath salt blend (with gift-packing options available) at Healing Elements, 2290 Como Ave. Spend $50 on holiday shopping that day and receive a free gift.
Frattallone’s Ace Hardware, 2286 Como Ave., will have doughnuts for shoppers all day.
If you buy one entrée you can get the next one half off at Finnish Bistro, 2264 Como Ave., all day long.
Complexions on Carter Skincare Boutique in Milton Square will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with demonstrations, product samples and holiday treats.
If you wear an ugly sweater to the new Milton Square shop Soleil Coffee Co. you’ll receive a 10 percent discount. The shop will have holiday gift-wrapping available and is accepting donations to a coat drive Thursday, Nov. 30-Sunday, Dec. 3.
Creative Gathering Boutique, also in Milton Square, will have a make-and-take holiday ornament table from 4 to 5 p.m. and a make-and-take Christmas wood sign workshop from 5:15-8:15 p.m. (You must sign up for this. Contact the shop at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-644-2093.)
Thistle, Milton Square’s occasional shop, will be giving out a commemorative ornament and free gift-wrap with a $25 purchase.
The annual Shop Home for the Holidays Artisan Market will be held in the former Muffuletta space Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Handmade goods will include up-cycled mittens and hats; paintings; photographs; greeting cards; ornaments; snow globes; art prints; wooden toys; Minnesota printed goods; crocheted hats, trees and toys; crocheted animals; jewelry; magnets; handmade aprons, hot-pad sleeves; and more.
Costumed carolers will be roaming the shops all day long, and at 5 p.m. Santa Claus will light the Christmas tree in the courtyard at Milton Square.
You can see updates to the event at Shop Home for the Holidays on Facebook.
DON’T FORGET THE BLUE HOUSE BOUTIQUE
Stroll up the street to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2136 Carter Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 2, or Sunday, Dec. 3, to the Blue House Boutique. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Blue House, an orphanage in Uganda, and includes gourmet goodies, knit accessories, jewelry and African crafts. Saturday’s sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will serve a homemade lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., along with coffee and pastries. Sunday’s sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. coffee and pastries.
HOLIDAY FLOWER SHOW
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Regional Park will host its annual holiday flower show Saturday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Jan. 7. The show will be open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Holiday Flower Show tradition began in 1925.
A CUP OF HOLIDAY TEA
The annual three-course holiday tea at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Guests will dine on a three-course tea service and get a behind-the-scenes tour of the conservatory. Tickets are $40 if purchased before Thanksgiving or $45 after Thanksgiving. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 651-487-8250.
SPAGHETTI WITH SANTA
Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be dining with area children and families Friday, Dec. 8, at Langford Recreation Center, 30 Langford Park, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The cost is $5 per person or $25 for a family. No charge for children 2 and under. Enjoy a spaghetti dinner, decorate a cookie and have your face painted. Walk-ins are welcome. Call Langford for more information: 651-298-5765.
Kids under 14 can join in on a wonderland of winter activities at Northdale Rec Center Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event is free and there will be a special visit from Santa.
Bethel Lutheran Church, 670 W. Wheelock Parkway, will host its fifth annual re-enactment of the Christmas story on Saturday, Dec. 16. The event will include actors portraying the biblical account of Jesus’ birth, a first-century Bethlehem marketplace (with vendors selling craft goods), live animals, warm beverages and treats. Doors will open for the Bethlehem marketplace at 5:30 p.m., with 10-minute live shows from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public (no tickets required). Free-will donations will be accepted. You can find out more at the even webpage: bethelstpaul.com/bethels-living-nativity-2017/.
AREA YOUTH PERFORM ‘NARNIA’
Prospect Park’s Youth Performance Co. (YPC) will present the play “Narnia” this holiday season. The play—a story about young people facing challenges and learning about courage, love and giving—is based on the C.S. Lewis book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The show will be performed at the Howard Conn Performing Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, from Dec. 1 to 17. Tickets are $7-$15. To find out show times, call the box office at 612-623-9080 or go to youthperformanceco.org.