This annual downtown festival has once again transformed itself, moving to Loring Park. This year Holidazzle is free and hopes to be a holiday destination for families, with a festive atmosphere. It begins with a ceremonial opening Friday at 6:30 p.m. and includes a performance by the Minnesota Chorale, comments from local leaders and a crescendo of fireworks. Held each weekend, it continues with family activities such as classic movies and visits with Santa. Vendors will have crafts and edibles for sale. (5-9 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free. Loring Park, Oak Grove St. and Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. holidazzle.com.)


The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum seeks to lighten the heart of the sternest of curmudgeons. See the "Land of Gingerbread" exhibit, which hosts handmade gingerbread houses created by local bakeries, arboretum staffers and volunteers. A 20-foot poinsettia tree is draped with hundreds of live red and white poinsettias. Also, live holiday music and gallery shows. (10 a.m. Sat. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. $12. arboretum.umn.edu.)


Travel to the Arctic without a parka at the Minnesota Zoo's event. Take a picture with Santa and then enjoy story time with the Dakota County Library. For the finale, grab a snack and watch the film "To the Arctic 3D." Marines will be on hand to accept donations for the Toys for Tots drive. Those who donate will receive an Imax coupon good for $3 off. (9 a.m. Sat. $6. Imax Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo, 12000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. imax.com/minnesota.) MELISSA WALKER