Hub for the Holidays Celebration at Union Depot Begins December 1 with Official Holiday Tree Lighting and Other Festive Activities

November 2, 2017

Union Depot will transform into a glittering Hub for the Holidays on Friday, December 1, when the annual Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting takes place with live musical entertainment featuring American Idol contestant, Eric Gordon, and fireworks, in addition to the opening of the festive, outdoor European Christmas Market, train rides on the North Pole Express, and the treasured annual tradition of a free family holiday movie night with a showing of Elf. The North Pole Express will begin its rides on November 30. On Saturday, December 9 the popular Holiday Bake Sale will return, with baked goods and confections from the top Twin Cities bakeries.

Below is a list of holiday happenings at Union Depot.

  • Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: December 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; guests will enjoy a live musical performance by American Idol contestant, Eric Gordon in the Head House inside Union Depot, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the Union Depot Holiday Tree at 7:15 p.m. on the North Plaza and a spectacular fireworks show. This year’s Union Depot Holiday Tree is a majestic blue spruce being donated by Ramsey County Parks & Recreation.
  • European Christmas Market: Weekend Holiday Outdoor Shopping – December 1 from 4:00-9:00 p.m., December 2 from 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., December 3 from noon-6:00 p.m., December 8 from 4:00-9:00 p.m., December 9 from 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., and December 10 from noon-6:00 p.m. The market is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Guests can shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations, taste European-inspired foods and drink Gluhwein (spiced mulled wine). This event is free to attend.


  • Holiday Bake Sale: On December 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale will take place at Union Depot, featuring nearly 30 of the top Twin Cities bakeries selling festive and delicious baked goods and confections.  Guests also will enjoy live cooking and baking demonstrations and other entertainment. Admission is $5 for adults, with 100 percent of proceeds going to charity. Seniors 60+ and kids under 12 are free. VIP admission is $10 and includes a commemorative bakery box that includes an oven mitt, recipe cards and coupons/offers from participating bakeries. Tickets are available online at and at the door. Ticket prices do not include service fees.


  • North Pole Express Train Rides: Back by popular demand, families will have the opportunity to ride a train with Santa, see his village and elves at work, then return to Union Depot for refreshments. The North Pole Express rides will take place November 30, December 1-3, and December 7-10. For ride times and tickets visit The Friends of the 261 at


  • Holiday Movie Night: December 1 at 7:30 p.m., Elf will be shown. Event is free to attend.

For more information about Union Depot holiday events, please visit or

# # #

Getting to Union Depot 

Bike:   Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus:  Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations