Driving around to look at holiday lights may be one of the brightest things about the upcoming holiday season for many families. And it is totally safe given this year's COVID-19 concerns.
But where to go to see the best and brightest lights? The West Central Tribune will compile a list of holiday lights in the Tribune area. It will be on our website (search holiday lights) and in this Around our Region calendar in the Wednesday paper.
This is a community effort, though, and we need help. We are looking for general areas, 500 block of Main Street, for example, not specific house addresses.
Send an email to email@example.com or call Donna Middleton at 320-214-4341 and leave a message. Please include your phone number in case there are questions.
Here are ones that have already been sent in by readers.
Mitness home, 4 miles south on state Highway 29, then 1 mile east on 50th which is a gravel road, then south a quarter-mile on 20th. Welcome to drive into the yard to enjoy the lights and music display.
Corner of Marshall Avenue and Pacific Street, lights with music, 5 to 10 p.m. nightly until Dec. 31.
East edge of town on U.S. Highway 12
Celebrate the Light, Robbins Island, drive through display, donations accepted for several charities.
1200 block of 11th Street Southeast
1300 block of 11th Street Southeast
Willmar Community Center
WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center has several curbside events set for December. All events are free unless noted. The Center will be closed at least through Dec. 18. The phone number is 320-262-5288.
Curbside Secret Santa: Sign up by Dec. 4 by calling the Community Center at 320-262-5288.
Toy drive: Dec. 1-23, new unwrapped toys can be dropped off daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays and they will be donated to the Kandiyohi County Toys for Tots.
Curbside Crafts: Pick up a take-home craft activity, call 320-262-5288 to sign up. On the date specified, pick up the craft between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. under the canopy at the Community Center. Crafts are $3 per week or $10 for all four. Dec. 7 is holiday candy tree, a decorative but tasty treat; Dec. 14 is tree ornament; Dec. 21 is candy sleigh, a display for your candy; and Dec. 28 is a glitter candle holder.
WILLMAR — Free wireless internet Wi-Fi service is available in Pennock, Blomkest and north of Willmar to help anyone in need of internet service. The spots are courtesy of Kandiyohi County and MVTV Wireless. The login is mvtv and the password is 5705.
The buildings are not open but the Wi-Fi can be accessed from outside at the Pennock Community Center, Blomkest Community Center, Dovre Township Hall and the Lake Andrew Township Hall. Both township halls are located on Kandiyohi County Road 5 Northwest, north of Willmar.
Willmar Public Library W-iFi can be accessed 24/7 from a parked car in the lot behind the library or in front of the building. No library card? Open a digital library card through Overdrive completely online by providing your cell phone number.
Willmar Public Library
WILLMAR — The Willmar Library is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Take 20 minutes to browse, check out, pick up holds, use a computer, etc. No appointment is necessary, limited capacity, doors will be locked if max number is met. The website is www.willmarpubliclibrary.org. Call 320-235-3162. Anyone under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Study rooms, the children’s play area, and seating are unavailable. Face masks are required. Social distancing, please maintain six feet between yourself and others when possible.
Brainfuse: Free, live tutoring online. Check library website for link to the site
Puzzle Piece Community Art Project: Through Dec. 15, pick up a puzzle piece at the library for either the adult or youth puzzle (while supplies last). Take it home and use the puzzle piece as a canvas for your art — paint, collage, mixed media, etc. Then return your completed piece by Dec. 15 to be included in the collaborative art display.
Interactive movie kit: The kits will feature one of four holiday movies "Elf," "A Christmas Story," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," or "Home Alone" and include an interactive movie script along with props for up to 6 participants. The DVD is not included, please request the movie separately. Limit of one per week per household. Register on the library website, and staff will contact you by phone or email when it is ready for pick up.
Gingerbread House Contest: Pick up some supplies at the library to get you started (while they last). Categories for all ages and prizes for winners! Complete rules and registration form on the library website.
Teen nailed it challenge: Dec. 1-19, register for a kit with the necessary tools to create a specific decorative dessert. You must try to replicate this dessert to your best ability. Ages 10-18, register online, kits are limited.
Teen take-and-make crafts: Dec. 1 sign-up opens for “pom pom ball tree.” Dec. 15 sign-up opens for “wood slice ornaments.” For ages 10-18, limit one of each per person, supplies limited. Sign up on the library website.
Teen board games: Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 30, 6 to 8 p.m. Join us online to play fun games on Zoom, sign up on the website.
Adult trivia: Dec. 3 and 17, 7 p.m., play live trivia solo or assemble a team, via a Facebook group, ages 18 and over.
Teen hangout: Dec. 4 and 18, 6 p.m. Get together with other teens on Discord and talk about TV, movies, books, games, etc. Sign up on the website to be able to participate in teen Discord programs.
One Book Minnesota: Dec. 8, 7 p.m., statewide author discussion featuring Louise Erdrich, author of “The Plague of Doves.” Advance registration required, available on the library website. Access the free audiobook and ebook on ebooksmn.org.
Teen party games: Dec. 11, 6 p.m. Play games on Discord with a smart phone, tablet, or computer. To play, sign up on the library website.
Teen YA Read Aloud: Dec. 14 and 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Take the hard part out of book club and let someone else read for you on Zoom. Sign up on the library website. Book is “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus.
Teen holiday murder mystery party: Dec. 23, 6 p.m. Celebrate the season with a festive whodunit on Zoom. Ages 12-18. Sign up on the website.
Additional programs: Programs will continue to be offered online. Check www.willmarpubliclibrary.org for further information. Grab & Go activities for children and Storytime To Go are available (while supplies last) during Library Express hours. Adult Take and Make crafts, Master Gardeners Table Topics, Library of Things Checkouts.
Sibley State Park
NEW LONDON — Sibley State Park is open. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and are available online. The Ranger Station, Visitor Center, Trail Center, Nature Store Gift Shop and Lakeview Shelter buildings are all closed until further notice. Sibley State Park is located west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.
Prairie Woods ELC
SPICER — The Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center welcomes mountain bikers and hikers to use the trails during daylight hours at no cost. They have fat tire bikes, kayaks and canoes for rent. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration is required for all events by calling 320-354-5894 or check the website at www.prairiewoodselc.org.