Knife River, Minn.

An abundance of holiday excitement will bring visitors to the annual Julebyen Christmas Village Dec. 6-8. Plenty of outdoor and inside activities will be offered starting at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Julefest will feature an outdoor market and a dinner (5 p.m.), a silent auction and music. On Dec. 7-8 the market will be alive with more indoor and outside festivities, including children’s events, author’s readings, train rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a troll village, a Gnome Dome (tent), skating, sledding, a live Nativity scene, and of course Santa will greet visitors (

Rochester, Owatonna, WAseca & janesville, minn.

A train filled with holiday cheer, lights and live music will roll into southern Minnesota Dec. 5 when the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Holiday Train stops in Rochester, Owatonna, Waseca and Janesville. The train will make more stops through Dec. 14 in more than a dozen communities statewide to raise money and collect food for local food shelves. Catch the train at stops in Hastings on Dec. 9, Union Depot in St. Paul on Dec. 10 and Minneapolis and several western suburbs on Dec. 11. At each stop an outdoor concert will feature music by Meghan Patrick, Tanika Charles and Kelly Prescott. For a complete schedule of stops, go to and click on Minnesota.


Elkhart lake, Wis.

Celebrate the German holiday tradition of shopping at the 22nd annual Old World Christmas Market Dec. 6-15 at the Osthoff Resort. Browse the popular market plus enjoy German food and music. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7, ages 14 and under free with paid adult (christmasmarketatost­; 1-877-517-4596).

Colleen A. Coles