Making the Most Out of the Holidays in Downtown Milwaukee


holidays in downtown milwaukee

This post is brought to you by our friends at Milwaukee Downtown. Milwaukee Downtown leads and inspires believers in Milwaukee to engage in efforts that build Downtown as the thriving, sustainable, innovative, and vibrant heart of the community.

With all the hustle and the bustle of the Holiday season, it’s easy to feel like a Scrooge when it comes to planning a day of Holiday Activities in Downtown Milwaukee with your family.

All of the shopping, the baking and the wrapping can sometimes make it hard to want to add another thing to our plate as parents, but I want you to put down that wrapping paper, drop that tape and listen to me.  There is nothing more magical than spending a day taking in all of the Holiday fun that Milwaukee has to offer. So keep reading and we will help you create the perfect itinerary for a Holiday day of fun for your family.

1. Pick up the perfect last minute Decorations at the Ideal Property Management Tree lot

With three locations in and around Milwaukee, you are sure to find the perfect Decor to put the finishing touches on your home. They have a great selection of Wisconsin-grown, fresh cut trees, Wreathes handmade in the Northern Wisconsin, Garlands, Fresh birch bundles and much more. You can even pick up firewood, so you can cozy up by the fire with a mug of cocoa after you trim the tree.

Pro tip: The downtown location is located within Pere Marquette Park.  Go around dusk so you can watch the Park transform into a Winter Wonderland, complete with a family of snow people partaking in all of their favorite winter games! Pere Marquette is one of the three Milwaukee parks that is decked out for the season as part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

2. Try your Hand at Ice Skating at the Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park

I promise you that there is nothing that will raise your holiday spirits more than strapping on some ice skates in the heart of Downtown Milwaukee (especially if there is snow)! The rink is free to use if you have your own skates which makes it a great budget friendly activity for a season that is typically not budget friendly! If you don’t have your own skates, don’t worry, there is onsite skate rentals in the warming house.

Pro tip: There is also an onsite Starbucks in the warming house. Stop in to grab a little pick me up for you and some Cocoa for the kids. Be sure to order your Cocoa at “kids temperature” to avoid any burnt tongues!

3. Take on Secret Mission at the SafeHouse

Just quick two block walk from the Slice of Ice lies your next mission, should you choose to accept it, at the SafeHouse. Have your little spies start the mission by having them find the secret entrance (Hint: look for the door marked International Exports). If you don’t know the password be ready to have some fun with the operative manning the secret entrance. Once inside, the staff will give you secret missions to complete while you wait for your meal that will get you up from your table to explore.

Pro Tip: Head to the Magic Bar! My Little Spies were amazed by all of Serena’s slight-of-hand.  She even got them in on the action, letting them perform some tricks of their own!

4. Wrap up your Night with a Ride on the Jingle Bus

Hop aboard the Jingle Bus to enjoy a narrated 40-minute tour of Downtown Milwaukee.  The tours are narrated by some of Milwaukee’s Public Service Ambassadors, who will guide you through some of Milwaukee’s best known landmarks and show you all of the city’s most decorated scenes! Your kids will love taking in all of the magic of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival and you’re sure to learn something you didn’t know about some of your favorite landmarks in the city.

Pro Tip: The buses are first-come, first-served so on busy nights be sure to get there early, especially if you are trying to make it home before bed. There may be a small wait for the bus, but there are plenty of Holiday activities in the warming house to keep you busy. Also, keep your eyes peeled, you might even find a few Holiday Celebrities hanging around.

With just a few days left in the holiday season, bundle up your crew and head downtown, I promise you won’t regret it. The city is magical during the holiday season and I promise you, a day of holiday fun will lift your spirits enough to help you power through the rest of your Holiday to-do list. Happy Holidays!


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