12 Milwaukee Events to Kick Off The Holiday Season


Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee Nov. 17th  - Jan 22ndMilwaukee Public Museum Now through Christmas, join the staff at the Milwaukee Public Museum to see how European Immigrants and turn-of-the-century Milwaukeeans rang in the Holiday season. The unique exhibits on the museum's first floor are turned into a winter wonderland, with special tours offered for just $4 extra on Saturdays featuring actors that bring the scenes to life. Learn more at http://www.mpm.org/holidays

Milwaukee Christkindlmarket – Daily through Dec. 31st, Vel Phillips Drive Milwaukee

Old World Germany meets modern Milwaukee as dozens of artisan vendors fill the Live Block outside of Milwaukee's brand new Fiserv Forum. Browse unique holiday decorations and gifts, sip some cocoa (or spiced wine for the grown-ups), and take in a new Christmas tradition in Cream City. The market is open now through December 31st. Read more about it at http://www.christkindlmarket.com/milwaukee/

Candy Cane Lane West Allis – Nov 23rd– Dec. 27th92ndto 95thStreets, West Allis

One of the Milwaukee area's best-loved holiday traditions, Candy Cane Lane lights up West Allis the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. This year, more than 300 homes across ten blocks will put on their best light displays for people to drive by or walk through. The lights begin at 6 PM on Weekdays and 5 PM on Weekends, and a donation to the MACC Fund to fight Childhood Cancer is encouraged. Find a map and more information at http://candycanelanewi.com/

125thPfister Hotel Tree lighting – Nov. 25thPfister Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee's official tree lighting happened in early November, but the historic hotel's tree lighting is an event unto itself. The lobby's 18-foot tree lights up at 5:30, and the event will also include photo-ops with Santa and a festive fire truck from the Milwaukee Fire Department. Find out more about this free event at http://www.thepfisterhotel.com/pfister-holidays/milwaukee-christmas

MillerCoors Holiday Lites Tour – Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 30 – Dec. 22

 For nearly 70 years, the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee has wowed people young and old with an over-the-top taste for Christmas decorating. In 2018, the tradition continues as the Holiday Lites provide a unique, all-ages experience in the historic brewery. The indoor-outdoor tour teaches about the legendary brewing giant, and gives a music-synched Christmas light show like nothing in the country. Dress warm and leave the wallet at home (except your ID if you're over 21), as the Holiday Lites are free for anyone willing to brave the cold. Read more about the tour at https://www.millercoors.com/breweries/miller-brewing-company/tours/tour-information

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – Dec. 6th, Downtown Tosa Village, Wauwatosa

Take a trip to the charming downtown Tosa Village in Wauwatosa on December 6th to welcome the Holiday Train. Canadian Pacific railroad takes this special locomotive across the country to entertain kids and kids at heart with a fun and festive holiday experience. The train is covered in Christmas lights, features a stop from Santa, and a few rock-n-roll versions of your favorite carols. Local businesses will be on hand to offer up hot cocoa and Christmas cocktails for people waiting to see the train. Read more about it at https://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/schedule-united-states

Breakfast and Lunch with Santa – Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23rd, Milwaukee County Zoo

 Even the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo are on Santa's list, and he and Mrs. Claus stop by to check on them every weekend in December leading up to Christmas. You can bring the kids to see them for either breakfast at 9 AM or lunch at noon Saturday or Sunday. Read more about it at http://www.milwaukeezoo.org/events/blsanta.php

Ice Skating at Red Arrow Park Dec 1st– Feb. 28thDowntown Milwaukee  

Starting in December, take a skate around Milwaukee's iconic downtown ice rink. The rink opens at 11 AM every day, and rentals are $9 for adults, $7 for children 17 and under. Milwaukee County Parks also offer extra equipment for little ones learning to skate or people with mobility issues who still want to enjoy the Slice of Ice. Read all about it at https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Parks/Explore/Slice-of-Ice

Kooky Cooky House at the Domes – Through Jan 18th, Mitchell Park Domes Milwaukee

Generations of Milwaukeeans have visited the wonderfully weird Kooky Cooky house back at the long-closed Capitol Court Mall. But the tradition lives on today at the Mitchell Park Domes – a must-see for anyone coming to Milwaukee. The Cooky house features the same fun animatronic cookie factory, with cookies given away free to every guest on weekends. Milwaukee County Residents can always visit The Domes for free from 9AM-noon on Mondays. Learn more at https://milwaukeedomes.org/

Send a Letter to Santa – Through December 9th, Cathedral Square Downtown Milwaukee

Now through December 9th, you can give your kiddos a chance to send their wish list off to Santa himself. Head to Cathedral Square downtown and drop your letter into the special mailbox. Include a return address, and Santa will send a personalized letter back in time for the holidays!

Holiday Lights Festival – Through Dec. 27thPere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park, Zeidler Union Square, Milwaukee

Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals, and that name doesn't stick just in the winter. Tour some of Milwaukee's crown jewels – the downtown city parks – as they fill up with festive lights for the entire holiday season. Your family will see brilliant light shows set up by local organizations just steps from family-friendly restaurants and excellent shopping. Milwaukee Downtown also offers cheap bus tours of the lights that include coffee and cocoa for the family. Read more about it at https://www.milwaukeedowntown.com/bid-events/milwaukee-holiday-lights-festival

Milwaukee Ballet Sensory-Friendly Nutcracker Performance – Dec. 19th, 6 PM Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Families with children with Autism and other sensory sensitive conditions can face unique challenges during the holidays, but for the third year in a row Milwaukee Ballet is offering those families a chance to experience their own Holiday tradition. For one night, Milwaukee Ballet is taking their storied production of The Nutcracker and re-vamping it to be sensory-friendly – meaning lights will remain on, break rooms will be provided, and sound and lighting effects are controlled for a more relaxed experience. The performance is put on with help from Autism Speaks Wisconsin and tickets are only $20. Find more info at https://www.milwaukeeballet.org/community-engagement/ballet-without-boundaries/sensory-friendly/

Contributing writer: Colin Bennett, father of two boys and writer over at Holy Sh*T I'm A Dad. Follow along with his journey in fatherhood here: Blog Link


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