Celebrate the season in good company at these popular events.
It’s not the holiday season in downtown Minneapolis without Holidazzle. Check the website to find out who the performers, grand marshal, and corporate sponsors are on specific nights. And you might want to reserve some “hot seats” in advance.
6:30 p.m. Thursdays–Sundays, $9 for hot seats, Nicollet Mall from 12th Street to 4th Street, Minneapolis, 612-376-7669, holidazzle.com
Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
More than 1.2 million people have seen this ballet production over the past 40 years. Expect innovative choreography from Minnesota Dance Theatre and enjoy Tchaikovsky’s classic score. And if you haven’t been to the Cowles Center downtown, this is your chance.
Times vary, $48-$55, Cowles Center for Dance, Minneapolis, 612-338-0627, mndance.org
A Christmas Carol
The Guthrie’s Dickens classic has a new director this year, Joe Chvala, so expect some changes to the staging of this production on the Wurtele Thrust Stage.
Times vary, $28-$85, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, 612-377-2224, guthrietheater.org
Puttin’ on the Glitz, Ordway Circle of Stars Annual Gala
This year’s gala has a 1920s theme featuring Prohibition-era cocktails and cuisine from the Saint Paul Hotel. Enjoy silent and live auctions, plus dancing, with music by the Wolverines Big Band. “The Ordway fundraiser attracts a diverse cross section of Twin Cities residents, [including] corporate people, theater enthusiasts, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds,” says John Clifford, executive vice president of human resources at Travelers. Plus, it’s a chance to spend a big night out in downtown St. Paul. “The setting is spectacular. Nothing else gets me into the holiday spirit like standing in the Marzitelli Foyer, looking out into Rice Park and seeing the lights, the decorated tree and, of course, Wells Fargo WinterSkate,” says David Quigg, area president for Wells Fargo.
5 p.m., $250, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, 651-282-3000, ordway.org/gala
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis’ 24th Annual Benefit
More than 1,100 people are expected to attend this year’s benefit, including friends of JFCS and corporate and political leaders. Event sponsors include Affiance Financial and Wells Fargo, so you’ll see lots of financial professionals. The evening starts with cocktails and dinner, but what really sets this benefit apart is the entertainment. Guests will enjoy music from violinist Taras Umrysh and stand-up from New York comedian Modi. If you’re a young professional, skip dinner and attend the “40 and under” pre-party, where you can enjoy desserts and cocktails at a discounted ticket price.
5:45 p.m., Starting at $50, Hilton Minneapolis, 952-542-4878, jfcsmpls.org
Twin Cities Heart & Stroke Gala
Expect to see lots of medical professionals at this annual gala, including employees from sponsoring companies such as Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, Mayo Clinic, and more. Past attendees include CEOs Omar Ishrak of Medtronic and Greg Page of Cargill. The evening includes a reception, auction, dinner, and inspirational speeches from survivors. New this year is the Pulse after party, which allows young professionals to mingle with gala-goers later in the night.
6 p.m., $275, Hilton Minneapolis, 952-278-7922, heartandstrokegala.org
Moody’s Holiday Party
Richard Moody, owner of event planning company IamMoody, throws a holiday party each December. Expect to run into creatives and media professionals at this trendy but casual affair. Past attendees include Mall of America trend specialist Sara Rogers and hosts of Twin Cities Live Elizabeth Ries and John Hanson. Guests will enjoy food from Urban Eatery and good conversation. And this free event won’t put a dent in your pocket book; just bring an unwrapped gift for teens as a donation.
7 p.m., free, Urban Eatery, Minneapolis, 612-481-4234, iammoody.com
Miracles of Mitch Foundation
New Year’s Eve Celebration If you’re looking for a classy New Year’s Eve party that’s also family friendly, this is your event. Expect to see lots of local professionals and their children. Activities include a multicourse dinner, silent and live auctions, music from the Casablanca Orchestra, and games for kids. The ticket price includes a brunch on New Year’s Day, so the fun won’t stop when the clock strikes midnight.
6 p.m., $200 adult ticket, $500 package for two adults and two children includes overnight hotel stay, MSP Airport Hilton, Bloomington, 952-974-9603, miraclesofmitch.org/newyears