The Spirit of Winter: Festival of Lights Display in Waconia
Christmas is defiantly the month for lights. They come in all shapes and sizes and in Minnesota we don’t have any shortage of opportunities. This year I was on the lookout for newer displays around town some of the bigger displays around town lose the intimate feel with all the chaos. That’s why I’m so excited to find out the Winery At Sovereign Estate in Waconia is hosting the Spirit Of Winter Display Christmas Light Display in Waconia.
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Sovereign Estates Winery
Sovereign Estates Winery is a short drive from the Twin Cities and has some of the best wines in town. I speak from personal experience. Their staff is one of the best in the business providing knowledge on all the winemaking processes. They have sprawling grounds and great views making it the perfect place to host a variety of different festivals throughout the year, including concerts and grape stomps. That is why I love the added breathtaking Holiday Light display this year.
The Spirit of Winter Display in Waconia
Driving up through the entrance of the Spirit of Winter Display in Waconia was magical. They call it Candy Cane Lane because each of the trees was lit in red and white. Right away you knew this would be something special. The grounds covered 10 acres of property, festival light in their own special way.
Most of the activity was centered near the winery patio. After all that had a lot of heaters and where there was quick access to wine and other refreshments. For those that wanted to venture off, they were met with magic.
They lit up a row of grapevines in an archway leading to Lake Waconia. The lake is positioned perfectly for grape growing but on a cool winter day, it also provides a channel of wind that sends it right into guests’ faces. It could have been an extra windy day I was on but I really wish I would have brought my buff.
If you follow the trolly’s path, you’ll see all the lights up front as well and not have to worry about stomping on fresh snow. We found this to be the most secluded area of the entire light display.
Llamas Love Christmas Too
Does nothing say Christmas like a pair of llamas? Ok, not traditional but that’s what I loved about them. They had four beautiful llamas right in the middle of everything. If you’ve never met a llama before you have to check it out. Take your gloves off when you pet them because they are so warm.
The llamas are so much fun but remember that this is still an animal larger than you who may not always be in the mood for you to be touching him. Llamas don’t like their head touched, the back of their neck, or when you walk right behind them. Keep that in mind before just petting and you’ll have no Llama Llama Holiday Drama here.
What else to see besides Christmas lights?
There is a slay setup to take family pictures in. A lot of people were taking advantage of this. Next to the main building was a gingerbread house to explore for the kids along with an ice rink for a quick game of hokey. It was all in good fun as kids were hanging out on the ice with just a pair of boots. We found a roaming Santa Clause. That was an extra special treat.
If you are looking to warm up and there is too much action on the patio or inside, grab a seat by the largest fire pit I’ve ever seen. I’m amazed that they can even stack wood in it. The fire pit puts off a considerable amount of heat for everyone.
|Have you seen some of the other great Christmas Light Displays around town? |
Where to See the BEST Christmas Lights in MN
Other Things to Know
Is The Spirit of Winter Display for Kids?
Seeing that this is a Winery, it is a fair question to ask. This display is for everyone. They have a kid’s pallet maze, tractor rides, hot chocolate, s’mores, and llamas. They still have more adult-oriented attractions like wine by the glass, bottle, or spiked Hot Chocolate.
Make sure everyone is dressing for the weather. That includes gloves, hat mittens, and boots. For some reason, the boot slipped everyone’s minds and that led to a few freakouts of “snow in our shoes!”
How much is it?
Tickets are $5. Kids three and under are free. S’mores and snacks are not included. The cost is $4 to ride the trolly through the lights. Get your tickets for this right away because there is a limited number of seats for each ride.
Will they still serve wine?
The Tasting Room is open all day but will stop offering tastings around 3:30. If you wish to hang out past 3 pm for the lighting, you will have to purchase tickets. Once the event starts, wine sales are limited to by the Glass or Bottle Only.
When can you visit this Christmas light display in Waconia?
Lights go on at 4pm. The event runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 22nd – January 5th.
Would I go back?
This was such a fun adventure seeing the Spirit of Winter Christmas Light display in Waconia, and yet close enough to home that I would definitely do it again. I may try and get there earlier in the night, or later in the night after 7 when the really little kids to go bed. The biggest rush seems to be around 6 pm time. It makes it challenging to get into the winery room to get a drink. Otherwise, we all had a fabulous time. For more idea’s on other holiday light displays, check out where to see Christmas Lights in MN.