For members of our community who choose to celebrate Christmas with their families, and who are looking for fun activities that limit possible exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, consider taking your family on an outing to one of the beautiful Christmas tree farms in the Twin Cities Metro area! Most farms have cut-your-own and pre-cut options, and many have added on fun activities to make your outing a memorable one. And, most farms allow photography, so take advantage of the gorgeous backdrop and get some family photos while you are out and about!
If you missed last week’s blog, be sure to check out our list of holiday light displays (large, commercial displays and neighborhood displays!) that you don’t want to miss!
Fresh-cut trees are aromatic, have better longevity than trees from a lot (unless they are locally sourced), are environmentally friendly (93% of real trees are recycled, and Christmas tree farms absorb more than one ton of CO2 in their lifetime), and buying direct from the farm ensures farmers receive the profit. This is so important after recent difficulties including drought, COVID-19, and staffing shortages.
But wait, for the best experience be sure to:
- Measure your space (height and circumference)
- Look for a healthy tree! If there is excessive needle loss, brittle limbs or flimsy needles, stay away! “Fresh trees,” says Minnesota Grown, “Should have flexible boughs and an abundance of crisp needles.”
- Provide the right care for your tree. If buying a pre-cut tree, when you get home, cut off at least 1” from the trunk. If you cut your own tree, be sure to place the trunk in water within 8 hours of the time you cut it.
- Keep the tree out of direct sunlight and away from heater vents or large-screen TVs
- Plain tap water is best for your tree
- Check the water level daily. If it goes dry, the trunk can reseal and will be unable to absorb more water.
Here’s our list of cut-your-own Christmas Tree Farms within 2 hours drive of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as approximate distance from our south metro Montessori schools and child care centers, located in Prior Lake and Lakeville.
South Metro Christmas Tree Farms
Hours: Open 7 days a week 9am-4:15pm (tree lot is open until 4:30pm)
Varieties: Balsam, Fraser Fir ($64.95). White, Scotch, Norway Pine ($49.95). Don’t miss the $3 off coupon on their website!
Activities (the first two weekends after Thanksgiving): Free hayrides, Santa visits, coloring books and candy canes. Food trucks available.
Hours: Open daily 10am-5pm
Varieties include: Balsam, Cook Blue and Nova Scotia Fir. Colorado Blue, Black Hill and Meyer Spruce. White Pine. 4-9 ft are $10/ft. 10 ft+ $11/foot.
Note: Photography with prior consent only.
Farmington, MN (East: 15 minutes)
Elko, MN (South: 20 minutes)
Hours: Weekdays 1pm-6pm, Weekends 9am-6pm
Varieties: Balsam, Fraser, Canaan Fir. Blue Spruce. All trees are $74.95. No baling/shaking this year due to staffing shortages.
Kenyon, MN (South: 45 minutes)
Hours: Weekends 9am-5pm
Award Winning Balsam Fir, White and Scotch Pine, Black Hills Spruce
South Metro Christmas Tree Farms
Grey Eagle, MN (Northwest: 2 hours)
Hours: Friday and Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 11am-6pm
100 acres of land with Fraser, Balsam Fir, White Pine, Scotch, Spruce and more
Activities: Sledding hill, horse-drawn sleigh rides, Santa visits, Mrs. Claus’ cottage, straw tunnels, Santa’s workshop, gift shop and petting zoo.
Oak Grove, MN (North: 1 hour, 10 minutes)
Hours: Open 7 days a week 9am-4:30pm (tree lot is open until 7pm)
Varieties: Balsam and Fraser Fir. White, Scotch, Norway Pine. Don’t miss the $3 off coupon on their website! Scotch/Norway/White Pine are $49.95 and Balsam/Spruce and Fraser Firs are $64.95.
Activities (the first two weekends after Thanksgiving): Free hayrides, pony rides and petting animals, Santa visits, coloring books and candy canes. Food trucks available.
Pine City, MN (North: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Hours: Check Website
This is a smaller farm and quickly sells out! Varieties include: Fraser, Balsam, Canaan, Fir. White and Blue Spruce. White and Norway Pine.
Ramsey, MN (North: 1 hour)
Hours: Fri-Sun 9am-5pm
Varieties include: White, Norway pines. Blue, Meyer Spruces. Balsam, Fraser, Canaan Firs. All trees regardless of size or species, are $125.
Activities include: hot beverages, Christmas sausage, hayrides, live music (specific dates), bonfire, shake/bale/tie.
Stacy, MN (North: 1 hour)
Hours: Friday-Saturday, 9am-4pm (weather permitting)
Varieties: Fraser, Balsam Fir. White Pine. Don’t miss the coupon on their website, making the trees $61.95 each (up to 10 feet).
Isanti, MN (North: 1 hour 15 minutes)
Hours: Vary by weekend, please see website
Varieties: Fraser and Balsam Fir. Blue and Black Hills Spruce. White Pine and Scotch Pine
Prices range for a 7-8’ tree, depending on variety, from $44.95 to $79.95.
Activities: Food wagon, Santa Claus (check schedule), Photo ops on sled/toboggan/tractors, campfire, model trains running in the gift shop.
Scandia, MN (North: 1 hour)
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-5pm, Weekends 9-5
Varieties: Fraser Fir, Fraser-Balsam X, Korean Balsam. All trees are $80 regardless of size.
West Metro Christmas Tree Farms
Hutchinson, MN (West: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Hours: Weekends, 9am-4pm
Varieties include: Balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Korean Firs. White and Scotch Pine. Black Hills, Norway, Colorado, Meyers Spruce. Shaking and baling included. Firs are $69.99 – $249.99. Pines are $59.99-$89.99. Spruces are $14/foot.
Activities: free coloring books for kids
East Metro Christmas Tree Farms
St. Elmo, MN (Northeast: 45 minutes)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12pm-7pm and Friday-Sunday, 9am-7pm (Cut-Your-Own Fields close at 4:30pm)
Reservations are required through Sunday, December 5th.
Varieties: Balsam, Canaan, Fraser, Korean, Siberian Fir. White, Norway and Scotch Pine. Prices range from $10-$14/foot.
Activities: Free wagon rides, shaking, baling, hot cider, tootsie rolls, bonfire, photo spots, fresh cuts, tree handling and tying the tree on your vehicle. Free custom ornament.