Let the season of fun begin

Here’s your go-to guide for all things December in Bugleland

REINDEER, CAROLERS AND THE JOLLY ELF will bring merriment to Como Avenue Saturday, Dec. 1, when the St. Anthony Park neighborhood celebrates its annual Shop Home for the Holidays. The day’s activities will include reindeer-pulled sleigh rides and Santa photo-ops at Sunrise Bank, 2300 Como Ave., 9 a.m.-noon; cookie decorating at Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market, 2310 Como Ave., 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; a wine tasting at the Little Wine Shoppe, 2236 Carter Ave., 1-4 p.m.; and an artisan market at Healing Elements, 2290 Como Ave., 1-6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday that weekend.

Thistle, the occasional shop in Milton Square, is offering two “Sock Snowman” workshops that day, one at 10 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. If you want to learn how to make a whimsical snowman, preregister at thistlemiltonsquare.com.

Many merchants will be offering specials throughout the day. Scarborough Fair in Milton Square will have hot-spiced cider and cookies and offer 25 percent off clothing and shoes all weekend. Healing Elements will hold a drawing on Saturday for a chance to win 10 to 20 percent off retail or a $50 gift card. Colossal Café, 2315 Como Ave., has a gift certificate special: buy $100 worth of gift certificates and receive a $20 gift card free.

Don’t miss Santa at 5 p.m., when he lights the tree in the Milton Square courtyard.

BLUE HOUSE BOUTIQUE: Check out this unique boutique on Saturday Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2136 Carter Ave. The boutique is a major fundraiser for the Blue House, an orphanage in Uganda. The sale will include high-quality, hand-crafted personal and holiday items, gourmet goodies and unique gifts from Africa.

GIFTS, MUSIC, SAFE REFRESHMENTS:  The nonprofit Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AFAA) will hold its 11th annual silent auction and benefit concert Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2300 Como Ave. The event will include a free children’s ornament workshop, refreshments and music. AFAA provides food-allergy education, advocacy and support throughout Minnesota, and was founded by St. Anthony Park residents. If you are interested in donating items or services or volunteering at the event, contact Jeff Schaefer or Nona Narvaez at 651-644-5937.

HEAD SOUTH: Several south St. Anthony Park businesses are featuring festive events that first weekend of December. Urban Growler Brewing Co., 2325 Endicott St., will host its second annual Hoppy Holiday Maker’s Market, Friday Nov. 30, 5-10 p.m., and Saturday Dec. 1, noon-6 p.m. The market will feature local artists, live music and gift-wrapping. 

MidModMen, 2401 W. University Ave., has transformed its showroom into a holiday market featuring vintage and modern gift items: art and art glass, German and Italian mid-century pottery and an array of accent pieces. The shop is open Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Raymond Avenue Gallery’s annual Yunomi Show will run through Saturday, Dec. 22. The gallery, located at 761 Raymond Ave., features yunomi (small, clay tea bowls) made by 35 well-known Minnesota ceramic artists. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. 

And rumor has it that a number of local musicians will be playing holiday tunes throughout the day on Dec. 1 at Barely Bros. Records, 783 Raymond Ave. 

MORE GIFT-BUYING OPPORTUNITIES: You may be able to find everything you need for the horse lover on your list at the Horse Crazy Holiday Market in the Warner Coliseum at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Friday Nov. 30, noon-8 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The equine-themed marketplace will have more than 100 vendors, artisans and exhibitors. 

Ginkgo Coffeehouse, 721 N. Snelling Ave., will hold its annual art-and-craft fair on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The fair will host 15 local artists selling handmade glass beads, knit and felted items, quilted products, wooden items, metal sculptures, jewelry and more.

BREAKFAST UNDER GLASS: Wake up and smell the flowers at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Regional Park on Friday, Dec. 14. The conservatory has changed up its annual holiday tea with Breakfast Under Glass, an early-morning breakfast that will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the conservatory’s production greenhouse space and the annual holiday flower show. The 8:30 a.m. breakfast is sold out, but you can still make reservations for the 7 a.m. seating by calling 651-487-8250. Cost is $40 per person. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED HIM: You’ll have two more chances to catch Santa Claus in the area in December. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a spaghetti dinner at Langford Park Recreation Center, 30 Langford Park, Friday Dec. 7, 5:30-7 p.m. The event will include a craft project, cookie decorating and face painting. Cost is $5 per person. The maximum cost per family is $25. Register at any St. Paul recreation center or call 651-298-5765. Register online at stpaul.gov/parks.

Santa will visit Winter Wonderland at North Dale Rec Center, 1414 N. St. Albans St., Tuesday Dec. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Youth under the age of 14 are invited to this free evening of fun activities.

COMMUNITY CAROL SING-ALONG: Members of the Roseville Strings will host the annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along Monday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial United Methodist Church Roseville campus, 1524 W. County Road C2. The group will be under the direction of Joel Johnson. The evening will include a special performance by the St. Mary’s Balalaika String Orchestra. Admission is free. 

A SPIRITED SELECTION OF SEASONAL SONGS: Looking to sing with a roomful of neighbors? Head to the monthly Community Sing at the Olson Campus Center at Luther Seminary, 1490 Fulham St., St. Anthony Park, on Monday, Dec. 17. Dan Chouinard and songwriter Ann Reed will lead the group. Gather at 6:30 p.m. for social time. The singing begins at 7 p.m. and lasts about 90 minutes. Children are welcome.

ALL ABOARD THE NIGHT TRAINS: Night Trains is a holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, 668 Transfer Road, Suite 8. The show displays dozens of model railroad layouts with miniature Christmas lights and decorations. It will run every Saturday, 6-9 p.m., through Feb. 23. Admission is $15 per person with special group rates for families. Find out more at www.tcmrm.org

—Compiled by Kristal Leebrick

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