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5 Safe Ways to Experience the Magic of the Holiday Season

"Home for the Holidays" takes on a whole new meaning this year. Let's not let COVID-19 be the Grinch in 2020. Celebrate the season with these five safe ways to experience the magic of the holidays in downtown Rochester.


Shop Rochester Digital Look Book

Like secretly tearing a corner of a present to see what it is (not that we've done such a thing), we're giving you a sneak peek into the Shop Rochester Holiday Digital Look Book! Filled with pampering personal care experiences, one-of-a-kind jewelry finds, and gift cards aplenty (among so much more), the Look Book provides holiday gift giving inspiration, possible for those hard-to-buy-for people in your lives. Look at the Shop Rochester Look Book here!

Safe Shopping and Dining Hours

To support the safety of all types of shoppers this holiday season, these downtown Rochester businesses will be offering dedicated safe shopping and dining hours during which people with health concerns may be able to shop, dine, or experience the business.

Festival of Trees—A Celebration of Giving

Instead of decking the halls, community designers are decking the trees during Hiawatha Homes Foundations' Festival of Trees November 27-29! More than 40 decorated holiday trees will be featured in unused and some occupied storefronts in downtown, providing a safe viewable experience of these marvelous trees for the public. (Fun fact: as a holiday themed fundraiser, to date, Hiawatha Homes has raised over $4 million through support from underwriters, donations, and ticket sales to provide quality support services to people with disabilities at home and in the community.)

Here Comes Santa Claus drive-thru parade

He typically comes in a sleigh. This year, he's getting a little help from his friends at the Rochester Fire Department. While the traditional event will look different in 2020, Here Comes Santa Claus November 27 provides kids from 1 to 92 a drive-thru parade opportunity from 6 to 8 p.m. to see Santa as the holidays kick off.  Jolly Old Saint Nicholas will lean your way from the Fire Department's rescue bucket as you drive past. Make sure to tune in your radios to Y105 FM and notice the lighted trees along the parade route for an enchanting holiday experience.

Very Merry Virtual Events

If the weather outside is frightful, stay cozy inside and tune in to one of the many virtual holiday activities planned. Take A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with the Griswold’s November 28 through the Mayo Civic Center, for example. The real-life actors Chevy Chase (Clark) and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen) will share fan-favorite clips from the holiday classic movie, reveal their favorite memories from making the movies, and answer your questions live. Or how about getting in the spirit with holiday tunes via the Mayo Civic Center? The stunning a cappella group Tonic Sol-fa takes to the virtual stage December 18 for an "I'll Be Home for Christmas: A Virtual Experience" concert.

Hosting a downtown Rochester holiday-related virtual event? Let us know here!


  For expert advice on staying safe during the holidays, read Mayo Clinic's create a social bubble and should you travel for the holidays articles.