December in North Dakota: In a Winter State of Mind

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The snow has missed most of North Dakota, but that hasn’t slowed preparations for the holiday season. There are many ways to get in the spirit in this wintry state. Whether it’s selecting handmade gifts at a holiday arts show, soaking up the festive mood at a concert or perching on Santa’s lap with a list in hand, there is holiday fun for everyone across the state this December. For more events, visit NDtourism.com or call 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525

North Dakota Makers Movement
December 3-4

Looking to give unique and hand-crafted gifts this holiday season? Visit one (or more) of the many arts and crafts shows being held across North Dakota:

Dec. 3: Chamber Annual Craft Show, Dickinson; 701-225-5115

 Dec. 3: Holiday Mall Christmas Craft Show, Devils Lake; 701-662-8165

 Dec. 3: Holiday Cross Craft and Vendor Fair Holiday Collections, West Fargo; http://www.holycrosswestfargo.com/; 701-282-7217

 Dec. 4: Holiday Shopping Extravaganza, Minot; http://visitminot.org/calendar/holiday-shopping-extravaganza_7120/#content

Christmas on the Prairie
West Fargo
December 3

Visit Bonanzaville’s annual celebration of the holidays featuring an exquisitely decorated Christmas village complete with cookie decorating, carolers, horse-drawn wagon rides, competitions, musical performances, photos with Santa and much more. www.bonanzaville.org; 701-282-2822

Jaws, Paws and Lunch with Santa Claus
Fargo
December 3, 10

Santa will be at the Red River Zoo again this year so gather family and friends and come out for lunch and a complimentary photo while sitting on jolly St. Nick’s lap. Children can ride the carousel and – as always – learn more about the zoo animals. http://redriverzoo.org/; 701-277-9240

Lori Line and Her Fab Five – Christmas in the City Tour
North Dakota Tour
December 4, 14, 15, 17, 18

In her 27th year touring the Upper Midwest, pianist Lori Line and her Fab Five will perform their holiday show in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks. This year’s shows honor Christmas in the Big City and features Santa and a special featured vocalist. www.lorieline.com/tour.php

Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase
Bismarck
December 2-4

Spend a day (or two!) meandering through the more than 200 Pride of Dakota vendor displays offering handmade food, books, jewelry, decor, personal care products and more. The event is just in time for the giving season and you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. www.prideofdakota.com; 701-328-2231 or 800-242-7535

Hayride, Santa and Mrs. Claus at Buckstop Junction
Bismarck
December 5

Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the “old-time” town of Buckstop Junction in Bismarck. Visit the historic and festive 1914 Lewis Hotel to have a chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will be activities and crafts for children, and the Vintage Christmas Shoppe will be open for those who want to do some holiday shopping. http://www.buckstopjunction.org/; 701-250-8575

North Dakota State ChristmasTree Lighting
Bismarck
December 8

Watch Governor Jack Dalrymple and First Lady Betsy Dalrymple light the exquisitely-ornamented state tree in Memorial Hall of the State Capitol Building. There will be live entertainment and refreshments served after the ceremony. 701-328-7590

Medora’s Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas
Medora
December 9–11

Nothing says Cowboy Christmas like oyster stew, outhouse races and dancing contests. This western experience is a fantastic reason to visit Medora in the winter. www.medorand.com; 701-623-4830

The Nutcracker
Bismarck
December 9-11

Revel in the magic and joy of Clara’s dream as Northern Plains Dance rings in the holiday season with “The Nutcracker” at historic Belle Mehus Auditorium. www.northernplainsdance.org; 701-530-0986

Holiday Pops Concert
Minot
December 10

Commemorate the holidays with the Minot Symphony Orchestra! Enjoy seasonal music from American, British and Russian composers. Special guests include the Minot High School Choir and Minot State University Concert Choir. www.minotsymphony.com; 701-858-4228

“Come Let Us Adore” Christmas Cantata
West Fargo
December 10–11

Enjoy this Cantata by Russell Mauldin and Sue C. Smith featuring the music of a choir, orchestra and handbells. Also included is a drama called “Close to Christmas.” http://www.holycrosswestfargo.com/; 701-282-7217

Holiday Train
Hankinson, Enderlin - Dec. 13
Carrington, Harvey, Minot, Kenmare - Dec. 14

Canadian Pacific’s Holiday Train is rolling through North Dakota again this year. The lighted train collects food and donations to support local food banks. Kelly Prescott and Collin James will entertain with seasonal favorite songs.  www.cpr.ca/en/community/holiday-train/schedule.

Central Dakota Children’s Choir Christmas Concert
Bismarck
December 16-17

Celebrate the season with the Central Dakota Children’s Choir. They present “Angels Sing” at the historic Belle Mehus Auditorium in festive, downtown Bismarck. http://www.highprairiecomplex.com/choir/; 701-258-6516

FM Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”
Fargo
December 16-17

Enjoy cocktails and the magic of a live performance as the FM Ballet dances to The Wonderland Orchestra’s live performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic suite The Nutcracker. The Fargo-Moorhead Youth Choir will put you in the holiday mood with this Christmas classic. http://www.fmballet.org/; 701-234-9440