Milwaukee holiday events and festivals

November 22, 2018

When you need to experience that holiday spirit firsthand, there is nothing like a holiday festival! These events around Milwaukee area guaranteed to put you in a festive mood and create lasting memories for you and your family.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival – Milwaukee
November 15, 2018 – January 1, 2019

Downtown Milwaukee It’s the most dazzling time of year downtown – the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is returning for its 20th year! Kick off the season on Thursday, November 15 at Pere Marquette Park with a holiday variety show and the city’s largest switch-flipping ceremony. Check out the website to get a full list of events, times, and locations!

Holiday Folk Fair – West Allis
November 16 – November 18

Wisconsin State Fair Park 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.

Lighting of The Corners – Brookfield
November 17

You’re in for a tree-mendous celebration Saturday, November 17! It’s our second holiday season at The Corners, and we are going BIG! Help us get in the holiday spirit and join us for our second annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Corners of Brookfield. FREE to the public!

Milwaukee Turkey Trot – Milwaukee
November 22
Veteran’s Park

Kiss all those Thanksgiving calories good-bye….until the finish line and those famous cinnamon rolls, that is. Run the Tradition!

The Pfister Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony – Milwaukee
November 23, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

The Pfister Hotel is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018, and its annual tree lighting ceremony is one of Milwaukee’s most celebrated and anticipated traditions. Featuring an 18-foot LED lighted holiday tree, the festive event includes complimentary holiday treats, music, hot cocoa and more.

Parents are invited to bring their cameras, as Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving at 5:20 p.m. on a Milwaukee Fire Department fire truck to greet guests and pose for photos.

Breakfast with Santa at The Pfister – Milwaukee
Saturdays and Sundays, December 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23
Two seatings each date: 8-9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy this Pfister tradition and create lifelong memories! Share a jolly breakfast with Santa and his elves in the festively decorated ballroom with a special gift awaiting each child. For reservations call (877) 704-5340 or (414) 935-5950

Credit card guarantee required; 48-hour cancellation notice required or full amount is charged.

Christmas Celebration Brunch at The Pfister – Milwaukee
December 25, 2018

A Pfister Christmas brunch begins with a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary, followed by a spectacular buffet featuring a delicious assortment of appetizers, salads, entrees and decadent desserts in our elegantly appointed ballroom. For reservations call (877) 704-5340 or (414) 935-5950. Credit card guarantee required; 48- hour cancellation required or full amount is charged.

A Mason Street Christmas Grill at The Pfister – Milwaukee
December 25, 2017, 1:00- 7:00 p.m.

Experience classic American favorites from a specially prepared Christmas menu at Mason Street Grill. Planning a family event? Private dining rooms are available and can accommodate groups from 6 to 60.

Christmas in the Ward – Milwaukee
November 30, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Third Ward

Fireworks, reindeer, horsedrawn carriage rides and Santa kick off a fabulous weekend of holiday shopping!

Breakfast and Lunch with Santa – Milwaukee
December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2018
Milwaukee County Zoo

Come to the zoo for holiday cheer and celebration as Santa and Mrs. Claus make their annual trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo to visit children for a special breakfast or lunch, featuring Racine Danish Kringle! The Clauses and their merry elves, will visit December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2018. Breakfast is served at 9 a.m. and lunch is at noon Saturdays and Sundays.

Celebrate the Holidays at Jelly Belly – Pleasant Prairie
Saturday, November 17-Tree Lighting 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Kick off your Christmas spirit at our tree lighting ceremony begining at 6 pm. Meet Santa Claus, Rudolph, Nicole and her pet Yati and have 4″ x 6″ photos taken with Santa.

Santa Hustle 5K – Milwaukee
December 2nd
Veteran’s Park

The ultimate holiday fun run! Thousands of Santas running along the lakefront and local streets. Festive music, candy, cookies and other treats.

Homemade Holidays – Franklin
December 1
Wehr Nature Center

The Wehr Nature Center invites you to bring your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, the neighborhood gang, or scout group to Wehr to create homemade treasures from natural, recycled and re-purposed objects. Make and take home three different projects for the admission fee.

An Old World Christmas – Eagle
December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16
Old World Wisconsin

This 1880s village will be trimmed for the holidays, and wood-fired stoves and bonfires will beckon with the promise of warmth and good cheer. Meet 19th-century Santa for your one-of-a-kind holiday photo. Storytelling, holiday characters, sleigh rides, and more.

Festivus – Milwaukee
December 8
Brady Street

Join us for our 3rd Annual Festivus One Mile Run- 5,280 “Feats” of Strength at 3pm. All runners receive a pair of winter mittens, a beer at the half mile turn-around (located at Casablanca,) a finisher festivus pole medal, and a free beer at our participating bars!

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – Milwaukee & Wauwatosa
December 6 – W. St Paul Amtrak Depot
December 7 – Wauwatosa Village

Think of them as brightly decorated railcars full of Christmas cheer. A fundraiser for food banks in Canada and the U.S., our Holiday Trains — one travels through Canada, the other in the U.S. — have covered over 100,000 miles and raised close to $12 million and 3.9 million pounds of food since the program started in 1999.

The Holiday Train is stopping in Wauwatosa, offering free concerts and seasonal festivities from a boxcar we’ve turned into a traveling stage. The concerts are always free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank—either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay within your local community.

Afternoon High Tea Tradition at The Pfister – Milwaukee
Saturday and Sundays Weekly: September 8, 2018 – April 28, 2019
Seatings at 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, and 2:00 p.m.

We have created an experience that will surely become a treasured memory for you and yours. Guests enjoy a tableside tea blending, presented in all–silver service by a Pfister Tea Butler, while learning about each variety of tea, the origins, unique flavors, effects on mood and health, blending options and perfect pairings. The afternoon tea menu is complete with fresh scones, sandwiches and pastries. Treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon of grand elegance in our Milwaukee tea room.

Milwaukee 11th Annual Chili Bowl – Milwaukee
January 27, 2018
Potowatomi Casino

At Wisconsin’s largest chili cook-off, Milwaukee’s top chefs and restaurants will compete for Milwaukee’s best, sampling more than 60 varieties of chili, but only one will leave with the Golden Ladle award. Reserve your tasting ticket and you’ll be able to sample traditional and spicy chili, along with specialty chili like chicken, lamb, brisket, sweet potato, bratwurst, and vegetarian chili.

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