The holidays bring smiles, bright lights, full hearts and ... a mountain-biking Santa? This season, North Dakota is hosting events both classic and unique as an ugly Christmas sweater. Here are a few worth checking out.

Did someone say mountain-biking Santa? The Badlands Race Series brings Bold St. Nick’s fatbike and snowshoe race Dec. 10. You can take the more leisurely “Nice List” route or the grueling “Naughty List” track on the legendary Maah Daah Hey trail. If you’re still waiting for that mountain bike under the tree, run-run-run as fast as you can in the 2-mile Gingerbread Man snowshoe race. Costumes are encouraged! Once you’re finished, relax with the family around a cozy fire pit, play Christmas games and enjoy carriage rides and a free family movie night in Medora.

Downtown Mandan is bringing a new event to Dykshoorn Park. “Mandan Holiday Lights on Main” features 15 giant light displays, including a massive present you can walk through, a twinkling teddy bear and multiple shimmering ornaments. The many dazzling lights make for the perfect holiday photo op and a stunning way to spend the evening.

This event not only brings new light to the community (literally), but gives back as well. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for the “Holiday Lights in the Pantry” program for local community members in need. “Mandan Holiday Lights on Main” runs from 5 to 10 every night through Jan. 7. Make sure to check out the local breweries, cocktail bars and restaurants on Main Street while you’re there!

Minot is now more than just a place of magic, but miracles, too! Miracle on 10th joined other longtime award-winning “miracle popup bars” from around the country with its own unique space in Dakota Square Mall. The eccentrically festive décor will make you feel like you’re in a snow globe while you enjoy a one-of-a-kind holiday-themed cocktail. Miracle on 10th is open through New Year’s Day.

To unwind from all the holiday fun, join the multiple “First Day Hikes” throughout North Dakota’s state parks. Whether it’s wandering through the snow-covered trees of Lake Metigoshe State Park or breathing in the crisp icy air of Lake Sakakawea at Fort Stevenson State Park, venturing into the great outdoors is a legendary way to start the new year.