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15 events to carry you through holiday season, into winter break

From Shrek raves to solstice bashes, stay busy this winter season.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

Finals season is officially in full swing. Whether you’re looking for something festive to fill the holidays, wholesome fun for unwinding after the semester or a big night out to burn off steam, A&E has you covered. Here are 15 fun-tivities to keep you occupied this winter break.

GLOW Holiday Festival at CHS Field (Nov. 23-Jan.1)
Spend an evening basking in the glow of more than a million lights at GLOW Holiday Festival. If you’re still gift-searching, a rotating assortment of local vendors will be at the GLOW gift shop throughout the event. The festival is open now through Jan. 1, and you can grab your tickets.

Holidazzle (Nov. 25-Dec. 18)
A true staple of the holiday season in Minneapolis, this outdoor festival offers a variety of activities for all ages, including drag queen bingo, roller skating, animal rescues and yoga in the snow. Don’t miss the Saturday night firework show. Holidazzle runs every Friday through Sunday until Dec. 18.

Holiday films at the Parkway Theater (Dec. 2-29)
“The Muppet Christmas Carol,” “Die Hard” and “Love, Actually” are just a few of the films included on the Parkway Theater’s holiday film lineup this year. Depending on the screening, you might have the chance to listen to some pre-film music or participate in a pre-film debate. Buy tickets and find the full lineup.

“Les Misérables” at the Orpheum (Dec. 6-18)
Find yourself transported to 18th-century France during a showing of “Les Misérables.” The Tony-award winning musical boasts a runtime of nearly three hours alongside an intense wave of emotions. Grab tickets here.

The Long Night Winter Solstice Bash at Pryes Brewing Co. (Dec. 17)
Darty, and then party, your Saturday away at Pryes Brewing Co. The North Loop brewery’s event will celebrate the official start of winter with food, live music and, you guessed it, beer! Find more information here.

Shrek Rave at First Avenue (Dec. 17)
Big fan of Dreamworks’ green ogre? So is Ka5sh, the creator behind Shrek Rave. The event’s tagline of “It’s dumb, just come have fun” sums up the evening well enough. Assemble your best swamp-themed getup and get ready to rave. Buy tickets here.

Aiden Intro at 7th St. Entry (Dec. 23-24)
University of Minnesota student Aiden Hengel will take his jazz-inspired indie pop act to 7th St. Entry for two nights in December, including Christmas Eve. Expect dancing and a Steve Lacey-inspired sound. Buy tickets here.

Landon Conrath at 7th St. Entry (Dec. 30)
Get an early start on your New Year’s Eve schedule with some live local music from Landon Conrath. The Minneapolis songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist will ride the wave of hype from his debut album, “nothing matters anyways,” with a show at 7th St. Entry. Buy tickets here.

Crystal Ball at the Pourhouse (Dec. 31)
Tired of college house parties but still looking for a rambunctious way to ring in the New Year? The Crystal Ball at the Pourhouse in downtown promises a night full of confetti and dance music in this multi-level bar environment. Buy tickets here.

The 80s’ New Year’s Eve at First Avenue (Dec. 31)
The Current and Electric Fetus are joining forces to put on a nostalgia-themed 18+ dance party this New Year’s Eve. Odds are high they’ll play some Prince. Get your tickets here.

Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Festival (Jan. 6-8)
Itching for some ink? Head to this three-day tattoo festival at the Hyatt Regency, featuring artists from across the country. Rates differ depending on the artist, so be sure to check out the lineup ahead of time. Find more information here.

Hairspray at the Orpheum (Jan. 10-15)
The Tony-award winning hit musical will run for six nights at the Orpheum on the weekend before the University’s winter break ends. Fans of the, not one, but two “Hairspray” movies with cult followings should definitely check out a live rendition of this camp classic. Buy tickets here.

“Are we not drawn onward to new ErA” at the Walker (Jan. 12-14)
The Walker will bring some of the best in European experimental theater to Minneapolis for one weekend. Belgian theater company Ontroerend Goed has earned critical acclaim for this absurdist comment on the climate crisis. Buy tickets here.

Dry Cleaning at Fine Line (Jan. 14)
Dry Cleaning, the critically-acclaimed post-punk band from London, will perform their unusual spoken word songs in Minneapolis on the last Saturday night of winter break. Buy tickets here.

Sociable Cider Werks’ ice rink (dates vary)
Wholesome outdoor physical activities and adult beverages never need to be mutually exclusive, not even in winter. Sociable Cider Werks will host open skate nights on Fridays in addition to curling leagues throughout the week. Find more information here.

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