Embrace the Darkness

Tree with holiday lights

As we creep toward the shortest day of the year, it may be tempting to skip your walks, runs, and rides outdoors. For many Minnesotans, it’s dark when we go to work and dark when we return home.

Fight the urge to binge watch your favorite TV series and “go air out to get the stink off of you” as my grandma Sallie used to say. There is a different (and free!) type of entertainment waiting for you in the dark – holiday light displays.

Homes, shops, restaurants, places of worship, and entire streets are lit up to put a little sparkle in your step. Start by walking around your own block and then start expanding your adventure by following the lights that catch your eyes.

Light Display Styles

On your walks, take note of the different styles and trends in light displays. Here’s a handful from a couple of my recent walks.


Home with white holiday lights

A home sparkling in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis

High Tech

Home with lights projected onto it

Multi-colored lights projected onto a home in Minneapolis



A tudor home turned into a Christmas tree in Minneapolis


Home outlined in lights

Home outlined in lights


Note: You’ll have to imagine the two deer in front of this home eating berries out of the snow. 

Home with animated deer

Home with animated deer


Home with inflatable holiday display

Home bursting with the spirit of the season

Upcoming Event

On December 17, 2015 at 6 PM, join your friends at the streets.mn Holidazzle (Fun)draiser Extravaganza for topical bingo, a silent auction, and refreshments (buy your tickets!). Afterwards, stroll around the Holidazzle Village in Loring Park where you can shop from local vendors, meet Santa Claus, take a carriage ride, and listen to live music from Ray Covington.

What’s Your Favorite Holiday Light Display or Event?

Add your favorite holiday light display spots or events in the comments.

Janelle Nivens

About Janelle Nivens

Janelle is an urban explorer who likes to challenge herself to walk long distances (40 miles is her record). She lives in southwest Minneapolis with Scott and their adorable dog Stewie and works at the University of Minnesota. Janelle documents what catches her eye on long walks in hopes of inspiring others to discover hidden gems in their own communities. Walk with her on Instagram, Twitter (@Janellie23), and FitBit.