I was bummed when I found out the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train wouldn't be returning to Rochester in 2021. My kids are the perfect ages (5 & 7) for Christmas magic so I really wanted to take them. Organizers say that event is going to be virtual again this year.

There are several holiday and winter events and attractions that are returning to "normal" this year including the Ice Castles (see below), the GLOW Holiday Festival, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance has confirmed Santa will be making his way back to town for the annual "Here Comes Santa Claus" event.

"Here Comes Santa Claus" in Rochester

Like many events in 2020, organizers had to audible and turn this annual event into a drive-thru parade. The Rochester Downtown Alliance has announced it will return to its original format this year.

We are thrilled to be able to bring back the magic and cheer of this event in 2021 for our community.
Mark Lewin Getty Images

Kanika Couchene, RDA director of events and strategic partnerships, said, “This is Rochester’s longest-running holiday tradition and continues to bring many people joy. Being able to enjoy it safely while keeping the spirit of the event alive is our top priority. We are thrilled to be able to bring back the magic and cheer of this event in 2021 for our community.”

photo credit AlphaDigital

This year from 4 to 8 p.m. November 26, Here Comes Santa Claus will return to its in-person family-friendly activities, rescuing Santa Claus from the Old City Hall rooftop, the Peace Plaza tree lighting, and a re-imagined physically distanced outdoor photo opportunity with Santa, among other holiday festivities.

Safety Precautions:

Safety is still the number one priority. Guests will be encouraged to wear masks when indoors at the event and there will be plenty of hand-sanitizing stations onsite.

Minnesota’s Breathtaking Frozen Attraction Is 1 of Only 6 In All of North America

The Ice Castles are returning to Minnesota in 2022. Your family will love exploring this frozen attraction which is located just north of St. Paul. The attraction has a new location this year. Read about that, find out how to get tickets, and learn about the COVID safety protocols below.