The Hustle of the Holiday Season is Here

As the holidays quickly approach, our schedules start to fill up with children’s Christmas programs and holiday band/choir concerts as well as holiday shopping and family gatherings. And if time allows, we’d also like to attend a few of the special holiday events taking place around the county. Either continuing a tradition that you’ve done for years like seeing Celebrate the Light of the World Christmas light display or starting something new with your family like participating in a pickleball tournament. We hope you’re able to do all the things you want to do this holiday season. Below are a few of the events we think you’ll love to attend this month.

December 2 – Willmar’s Winter Craft & Gift Expo
Join us in Willmar for this wonderful Winter Craft & Gift Expo! Just in time for Christmas! Treat yourself with a day of shopping over 90 of Minnesota’s best crafters, artisans, boutiques, and vendors!! With the holidays on the horizon, you’re not going to want to miss this show.

December 2 – Atwater Passport to Christmas
Make plans to enjoy a full day of holiday activities in Atwater this Saturday during the Atwater Passport to Christmas! You won’t want to miss the kids activities & Christmas Market at the ACGC Elementary School before enjoying a chili soup supper & the SANTA PARADE at 5:30pm! The fun continues at Centennial Park for s’mores, hot cocoa, sleigh rides and fireworks.

December 2 – “Home for the Holidays” A Kat Perkins Christmas
You won’t want to miss this incredible blend of traditional Christmas songs with Kat’s modern spin. She incorporates her audience in fun crowd participation holiday songs and even features an up and coming young star at each venue. Together she has created a fun, rockin’ show to celebrate the holidays filled with great music, laughter and even her own original Christmas songs! It’s a must see, all ages opportunity to bring the entire family! Get your tickets today!

December 2 – Hot Jazz Holiday Celebration
Kick off the holiday season with Hot Jazz Holiday at the Little Theatre Auditorium! This is a day full of festive activities like the Cookie Walk, Selfies with Santa, New Orleans Christmas Jazz, and, of course, the Dicken’s Fire Punch Drink Demo! Tickets for the New Orleans Christmas Jazz Concert with The Monday Club are available online or at the door!

December 7-10, 14-17 – “Toyland: The Holiday Musical Treat!”
Tickets are on sale for The Barn Theatre Production: “Toyland: The Holiday Musical Treat!” Featuring many of the world’s most beloved Christmas songs & carols adapted with a rock ’n’ roll twist, Toyland is a holiday musical treat for the whole family! Get your tickets today!

December 9 – 2nd Annual Lakes Area Paddle Battle Pickleball Tournament
There is still time to sign up for the Lakes Area Paddle Battle Pickleball Tournament taking place Saturday, December 9th at the Willmar Event & Rec Center! Deadline to sign up is December 8. All proceeds will be going to West Central Minnesota Youth For Christ. Join us for a fun filled morning for a good cause!

December 12 & 19 – Sperry House Candle Light Tour
Come and join us for a unique holiday tour of the Sperry House. The candle light tour will highlight Victorian holiday traditions & the Sperry family. Contact the Kandiyohi County Historical Society to reserve your spot. The cost for the tour is only $5.00.

December 14-16 – Clown Bar Christmas
The Little Theatre Auditorium presents Clown Bar Christmas. Little Theatre Auditorium turned Clown Bar is after hours home to some once-jolly circus troupers who now get their kicks through sex, drugs, and murder. Set in a time before Happy (played by an appropriately debonair John Szczur) gave up the red nose to become a homicide detective (Clown Bar Episode 1), the plot is relatively straightforward. Clowns gather to tell tales of their Christmas adventures set in the gritty and gruesome world of underground clown-crime. Get your free red nose at the door and a “Happy” Hour cocktail/fauxtail discount for those who arrive in clown attire!

December 31 – NYE Bash with The Knotties
Ring in the New Year at the Little Theatre Auditorium! Enjoy 3 incredibly satisfying bands and the best cocktails in town! The Knotties! will be rockin’ in the New Year with psychedelic blues duo, Midnight Current in front and smooth grooves by Sunshine & the Night Walkers open the evening! Don’t miss it!

And continuing throughout the month of December are Willmar WarHawk Home Games, Kandi Kane Lane at the Museum, Festival of Trees, and Celebrate the Light of the World! More events will be added to our community calendar throughout the month. So for the most udpated listing of events, please see our Events Calendar.

So even though your calendar may be looking awfully full, make sure you take time to slow down and enjoy the holiday season. Soak everything in using all of your senses: the taste of your grandma’s sugar cookies, the smell of your mother’s cooking, the sounds of children singing Christmas carols, the way your child’s eyes light up when they sit on Santa’s lap, and the way a hug feels after a long time of not seeing your relatives. Even with the hustle and bustle of getting the right gift for everyone and traveling from here to there, make sure you notice the small things as well. Happy Holidays from all of us at the Willmar Lakes Area CVB!

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report