Upcoming holiday events in Cottage Grove

Posted 11/9/23

With our calendars having already turned the page into November, local holiday events are drawing nearer every day. Cottage Grove provides plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors alike to …

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Upcoming holiday events in Cottage Grove


With our calendars having already turned the page into November, local holiday events are drawing nearer every day. Cottage Grove provides plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors alike to gather and celebrate the holidays together in the community. Here is a list of upcoming holiday events:


Hale to the Bird 5k Race

Offering a great way to begin Thanksgiving Day with some fresh air and exercise, a 5k race will be held the morning of Thanksgiving, Nov. 23. The race begins in Hamlet Park at 9 a.m., with check-in beginning at 8 a.m.

This year will mark the 13th anniversary of Hale to the Bird, which raises money to assist the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park.

Both runners and walkers are welcome to join in the fun. Participants wishing to pre-register must do so by Nov. 21. Entry fees are $30 for ages 13+, and $15 for ages 12 and under. For more information, or to register, go to active.com and enter “Hale to the Bird” in the search bar.


Holiday Lights Home Tour

As residential holiday displays start going up around the city this fall, homes can register their address after Nov. 6 through a link provided at www.cottagegrovemn.gov in order to be listed as part of the Holiday Lights Home Tour. There will be a tour map of the featured homes provided on the city’s website beginning Nov. 22, and will be updated weekly through mid-December. Families can hop in the car and view some of the city’s best light displays.


Hometown Holiday Celebration

Cottage Grove City Hall will be host to an evening of holiday family activities from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. The second annual Hometown Holiday Celebration will feature wagon rides from the HERO Center parking lot, live reindeer, games, food trucks, lit trails, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a performance by the Park High School Choir.


Fill a Fire Truck

This will be a two-part event offering a way to help the community this holiday season by donating either financially or in the form of paper goods.

On Dec. 2, Fill a Fire Truck will take place in Woodridge Park from 10 a.m. – noon. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance accepting donations of non-food items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and cash. *Food items cannot be accepted.

There will also be an online silent auction running Nov. 17- 30, giving people a chance to bid on their favorite items and help raise funds for donation. Items won at auction can be picked up in-person the morning of Dec. 2 at the Fill A Fire Truck event in Woodridge Park.


River Oaks Santa Breakfast

Santa Claus will be hosting his annual breakfast gathering at River Oaks Golf Course from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Dec. 10. The event will have photos with Santa, golf course sleigh rides, and a “Great North Pole” breakfast menu offering up morning favorites.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by phone at 651-438-3627. The cost is $19 for ages 11+, $13 for ages 4-10, kids 3 and under are free. The Santa Breakfast usually sells out each year, so call early for your reservations.


CPKC Holiday Train

On Dec. 10, the brightly lit holiday train will again make a grand stop in Hamlet Park in Cottage Grove. For 20 years, the holiday train has stopped here in town, providing a get-together and spectacle for holiday-goers looking for a show.

Food and drinks will be available in Hamlet Park beginning at 3 p.m., with the train expected to come around the bend at 5 p.m. The holiday train will offer live music and entertainment from 5:15-5:45 p.m. before riding off into the night. Parking is recommended at the nearby Park & Ride (while space is available), and there will be wagon rides running from the parking lot to the event location near the tracks.

Parks & Recreation outdoor offerings

As always, Cottage Grove Parks & Recreation has many facilities and amenities open all winter long for snowy recreation. The city has parks, trails, warming houses, skating rinks, sledding, as well as snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. Stay active this winter using these park perks that Cottage Grove has to offer.