After switching things up in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kids will enjoy tons of activities throughout downtown Rochester on November 26th.

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Santa is coming to downtown Rochester and the Rochester Downtown Alliance has put together a full evening of fun for families in Rochester to enjoy, including Santa.

Deagreez ThinkStock
Deagreez ThinkStock

What You Need To Know About Santa in Downtown Rochester

There are several events for families to check out while in downtown Rochester on November 26th.

  • Santa's Magical Workshop is from 4 to 6 p.m. inside the Chateau Theatre
    • This will include a craft by Neon Green Studio's Pop Up Art Cart, music by the Rochester Symphony, and storytime with Mrs. Claus, cookies, and hot cocoa at 5 p.m.
  • Rochester Trolley and Tour Co. rides from 4 to 6 p.m.
    • The rides are around downtown to get from one destination to another and to view a couple of Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees locations with illuminated and decorated trees.
Rochester Santa Trolley Map
Rochester Santa Trolley Map
  • Drive for Kids is from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Peace Plaza.
    • This is an opportunity for people to give back this holiday season, with the help of Altra Federal Credit Union. People have an opportunity to donate new or gently used blankets, stuffed animals, art supplies, and/or sports items to be given to the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester. There will be a decorated red truck near the Peace Plaza tree for people to place the donated items.
  • Santa's Rescue from atop Old City Hall at 6 p.m.
    • This is the hallmark of the downtown event. The Rochester Fire Department will be onsite to help Santa Claus get safely to the ground from the roof o Residences of Old City Hall. Rochester Mayo Kim Norton and Mrs. Claus will greet him on the ground.
    • Following the rescue, attendees are welcome to walk behind the fire truck carrying Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Mayo to Peace Plaza where they will count down to the Peace Plaza tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.
    • A physically distanced photo opportunity with Santa and caroling by the Rochester Symphony Chorale will be outside in Peace Plaza from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be available inside Chateau Theatre.

COVID-19 Precautions To Know

  • Masks are encouraged in indoor venues and crowded outdoor settings.
  • There will be hand sanitizing stations at each indoor location of the event.
  • Physical distancing is highly recommended when possible

Win A VIP Photo Opportunity with Santa

James and Jessica of the Early Morning Show have an amazing chance for you to score a fast pass to skip the line for Santa photos. 

Listen to Y-105FM for Santa’s Secret Song with James and Jessica on November 12th, 19th, and 24th between 8-9 to win front row tickets to win a magical VIP experience for your family at the annual "Here Comes Santa Claus" event! Your kids will sit front row for Storytime with Mrs. Claus. BONUS! One lucky winner will also score a fast pass to skip the line for Santa photos.

Holiday Lights Show To Add To Your Holiday To-Do List

There are so many fantastic light shows to check out that are just a short drive from southeast Minnesota. Here is everything you need to know about the Rotary Lights in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the Kiwanis Lights in Mankato.

Enjoy 3 Million+ Holiday Lights Just a Short Drive From Southeast Minnesota

Nearly 160,000 people see the 3 million+ holiday lights at the Rotary Lights in La Crosse, Wisconsin. If you are looking to check out some of the best lights in the area, you'll want to put this one on your calendar.

Minnesota’s Longest Drive-Thru Light Show Is In Mankato

The Kiwanis Holiday Light Display is located at Sibley Park in Mankato. The holiday display is free to the public but cash donations are accepted. All money collected is given to area non-profits.

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