This is the time of year when most of us look forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends.  Most of the time you take some time off of work to spend more time with those same people.  And in 2020, it's been a lot of time off for some people.  More than you would like, quite honestly.

Sydney Christmas Lights 2016
Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

And now, because of the Governor's executive  order, Bars and restaurants are closed for at least the next 4 weeks.  And just in time for holiday eating...  gyms are close for that time too.

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So, maybe instead of staying home and thinking about how much this isn't the greatest scenario, do something that might be able to bring some holiday cheer.

Holiday lights.

There are a few light displays that are pretty cool right around St. Cloud, including Sartell, Sauk Rapids and St. Joseph. But maybe you'd like to travel a bit around the greater part of Minnesota.

Here are a few light displays around the state that are worth the drive and worth checking out:

SEVER'S Holiday Lights.  This is located in Shakopee.  And they have a bazillion lights that includes giant Yeti.  Also, people are encouraged to bring a donation for Toys for Tots.

CHRISTMAS in COLOR.  This one is located in the Valleyfair parking lot in Shakopee.

GLOW HOLIDAY FESTIVAL This is located at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. You will need to purchase advance tickets to drive though this display.

NATURE ILLUMINATED. This is at the Minnesota  Zoo.   Giant animals lit up.  This includes an audio tour teaching about the endangered animals included in the display.

BENTLEYVILLE TOUR OF LIGHTS. This one is in Duluth.  And it's one that I have always wanted to go and see. I have heard so much about how cool it is, worth the drive to Duluth.  Bentleyville is open now through December 27th.  This is also a drop off location for the Salvation  Army food shelf.

SERTOMA WINTER  WONDERLAND. This is just a short drive to Baxter, Minnesota. This one has tickets available at the gate, but you will save some cash if you get them in advance.

LIGHTS AT BLUFF VALLEY This one is in Zumbro Falls, southern Minnesota near Rochester.  They have some information on their Facebook page to check out. They have a mixture of light displays and also animated displays.

CELEBRATE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD The rotary club in Willmar helps to put this festival on.  It is a FREE event and is considered the largest light display in Western Minnesota.  Definitely worth the drive to Willmar which is west on Highway 23.

SLEEPY EYE HOLIDAY LIGHTS  This cool display is located  in the Sportsman's Park in Sleepy Eye.  Right away I think of Little House on the Prairie. But anyway, it remains open from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day.

WESTWOOD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Drive thru event. This is located at the Westwood community church Chanhassen campus which is located in Excelsior.  They even have a petting zoo.  This is also a free event.

Central Minnesota Christmas Tree Farms




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