It may be cold outside, but visiting Milwaukee during the holiday season means enjoying the city at its best, as it brings cheery events and holiday traditions to all.  From a European-style Christmas market to cultural performances, holiday light bus tours, and more, you’ll want to mark your calendars so you can fill your month with lots of festive fun!  

Whether you’re alone or touring with the whole family, there’s so much to see and do, as the city simply glows with the spirit of the season.  Here’s a small glimpse at the holiday happenings in and around town you won’t want to miss:

Breakfast with Santa at the Milwaukee County Zoo

When:  December 8th – 9th and 15th – 16th

Where:  Milwaukee County Zoo

Join Mr. and Mrs. Clause at the Milwaukee County Zoo for some holiday cheer and festive fun.  Kids of all ages are welcome to join Santa and his crew for a special breakfast or lunch, featuring Racine Danish Kringle.  But, don’t forget to make your reservations now. 

Milwaukee Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

When:  December 8th – 26th

Where:  8665 N Port Washington RdFox Point

Once again the Milwaukee Ballet will host performances that bring together students from the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy and beyond.  They will be performing such pieces as the “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” accompanied by the beautiful musical score of Tchaikovsky.  You can catch performances all throughout December.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

When:  Until January 1st

Where:  Various locations in downtown Milwaukee

Though all of downtown Milwaukee is covered in 500,000 lights, the best places to really see the seasonal fest in all its glory is to head to Cathedral Square, Pere Marquette Park, and Zeidler Union Square.  These specific areas are decked out with elaborate displays that you simply can’t miss. You can even ride the Jingle Bus, which takes you to all the lights and sights aboard a cozy Coach USA bus. And, don’t miss the street chandeliers on Wisconsin Avenue and Mason Street or the tree lot at Pere Marquette Park, your one-stop shop for all holiday greenery.

Scrooooge Holiday Floral Show

When:  Until January 6th

Where:  Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

As you may have already guessed from the name, the “Scrooooge” holiday floral show is a display that follows the story line of Charles Dickens’ “The Christmas Carol.”  And, it is a stunning display! The poinsettias range in color from ‘Candlelight White,’ to dark red, and gold.  The trees are inspired by the traditional story of the 4 ghosts that visit Ebenezer Scrooge, with a 5th tree that belongs to the family of Tiny Tim.

Deck the Streets Holiday Tour

When:  Until January 22nd

Where:  Milwaukee Public Museum

Come out, and experience the Streets of Old Milwaukee as they’ve never been seen before with this turn-of-the-century exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum.  The exhibit takes a peek into some of Milwaukee’s favorite storefronts decked out in traditional seasonal flair, complete with a parade past exterior façades garnished with Victorian-era touches like ribbons, wreaths, holly, garland, bell pulls, and more.

We look forward to seeing you out there this holiday season!