2023 Milwaukee Holiday Events and Festivals
A Cedarburg Christmas – Cedarburg
Mid-November thru Christmas
Stroll through beautiful downtown Cedarburg, where centuries-old limestone buildings house enticing shops, shopkeepers adorn their storefronts with twinkling lights and quaint displays. Visit Santa in his workshop, run in Santa’s Dash Away 5K on December 9th, enjoy the numerous craft fairs and art exhibits, or take a free trolley ride!
Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival – Milwaukee
November 16 – January 1
MKE it back to explore the lights and sights around Downtown Milwaukee. Ooh and ahh at the winter wonderland throughout Downtown Milwaukee by jumping on the Jingle Bus. New this year is the Ornament Trail where larger than life ornaments have taken over Wisconsin Avenue. Each ornament has been hand-painted by local artists or national artists with Milwaukee ties. And don’t forget to bring your letter to drop off at Santa’s mailbox!
Holiday Folk Fair – West Allis
November 17 – November 29
State Fair Exposition Center
Holiday Folk Fair International, America’s premier multicultural festival and a program of the International Institute of Wisconsin, celebrates the cultural heritage of the people living in southeastern Wisconsin. You can explore the ways music, food, dance, and art weave together a message of welcome.
Jellystone Park’s Christmas Carnival of Lights – Caledonia
November 19 – January 1
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park
Relax in the comfort of your own vehicle as you wind your way through our campground’s winter wonderland, book your seat on Santa’s GIANT Sleigh or take a ride in our Golf Cart Holiday Train for a unique experience. Enjoy Christmas in the country with lights on all sides that are high above in the trees and one-of-a-kind hand-crafted displays. Reservations required.
German Christmas Market – Oconomowoc
November 22 – November 26
The German Christmas Market has something for everyone regardless of age and tastes. It’s Europe meets Wisconsin mixed with holiday merriment. Come for an hour and stay for the day and night! You’ll love the sights and smells of a warm, inviting German Christmas complete with warm roasted nuts, authentic German beer and incredible gifts you won’t find in any mall or retail store!
The Pfister Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony – Milwaukee
Join us at The Pfister Hotel for our signature Holiday tradition as Santa lights the spectacular lobby tree. Sip warm drinks and nibble on a holiday treat while you enjoy the fun. To help those in need within our community, we will be collecting food for Hunger Task Force. To contribute, please bring a non-perishable food item.
Add a little extra cheer to your evening and head up to Blu after the tree lighting for some festive holiday cocktails!
Country Christmas – Pewaukee
Walking nights – Nov. 17-19
Drive through nights – November 24 – November 29, December 1 – January 1
Nestled in the heart of Southeastern Wisconsin is a holiday destination steeped in festive tradition. Each year, The Ingleside Hotel is transformed into a winter wonderland called Country Christmas. Admission to Wisconsin’s largest drive through Christmas lights display includes a trip through the Country Christmas Trail and entrance to two buildings located at the end of the trail, Christmas Village and The Streets of Bethlehem.
Milwaukee Makers Market – Milwaukee
November 25, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Explore the market, have fun, meet amazing artists and artisans, shop, and support the independent maker spirit in Milwaukee. They’ll transform the promenade into a stunning and lively indoor market. Meet Milwaukee jewelry makers, artists, designers, and other skilled artisans. Shop one-of-a-kind, locally-made products including ceramics, women’s clothing, leather goods, candles, and more. The Market is free, but General Admission applies if visiting the entire museum.
A Christmas Carol – Milwaukee
November 28 – December 24
The Pabst Theater
A Christmas Carol is one of the best-known and loved stories in the English language. During the course of one memorable Christmas Eve, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future help Scrooge discover that it is never too late to change his miserly ways. Enchanting music, dance, costumes, scenery and special effects will once again fill the theater to tell this timeless tale of love, hope and redemption.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical – Elm Grove
November 30 – December 17
The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. When they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be biting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone is calling for reluctant director Grace Bradley to cancel the whole thing. It’s up to the Bradleys and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this joyous musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic.
Christkindlmarkt – West Allis
December 1 – December 2
West Allis Farmers Market
Christmas in the Ward – Milwaukee
Shop the Ward – Dec. 2-22nd
Experience an old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony in Catalano Square (138 N Broadway). Enjoy music, live reindeer, hot cocoa, pictures with Santa, and more.
Midnight Magic – Mukwonago
Old fashioned Christmas celebration. A town-wide festival featuring indoor crafter marketplace, shopping, parade, fireworks, pictures with Santa, holiday entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more! Please be prepared to follow social distancing requirements.
Annual West Allis Christmas Parade – West Allis
The West Allis Christmas Parade is an annual holiday tradition and the premier night-time Christmas parade in Southeast Wisconsin! Enjoy marching bands and live performers, creative floats and vintage vehicles; meet elves, cartoon characters; and of course, wave to Santa Claus himself at the end of the parade!
An Old World Christmas – Eagle
December 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17
Old World Wisconsin
Stroll through the 1880’s Crossroads Village decked in holiday greenery, full of homes and shops bustling with holiday preparations. Treat yourself to a warm cup of wassail, do some holiday shopping, and see the largest Yule Goat in North America. Then, enjoy a horse-drawn ride around the village, but keep a watchful eye out for the Krampus! Meet 19th-century Santa for your one-of-a-kind holiday photo. Storytelling, holiday characters, sleigh rides, and more.
Waukesha’s Annual Christmas Parade – Waukesha
The Corners of Brookfield
The City of Waukesha’s 60th Annual Christmas Parade is back this year with a Holiday Gem theme.
The CP holiday train is back! Holiday Train shows are free to attend. CP asks attendees to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation if they’re able. Local food shelves will set up collection stations at each event, with all donations made staying with the local food bank to help people in need in the community. Stops are in Wauwatosa, Hartland, Oconomowoc, Watertown and Columbus.
Hanukkah Activities in our Community
This is just a sampling of the activities in our community. Check out this post to see them all!
Every Night December 7-15
Menorah Lighting each night at 6:00 pm outside of the store Yellow Wood at 401 E Silver Spring Drive, Whitefish Bay courtesy of the JCC and Merchants of Whitefish Bay.