Milwaukee could very well be one of the grandest places to see this time of the year. The city holds many different fun events centered around the holidays, and the light displays can hardly be beat.
Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival
This is one holiday lighting event that you don’t want to miss. Through January 7, 2007, head downtown to view one of the best holiday light displays you have ever seen. Over 55 buildings participate in the annual rooftop lighting project, which creates a breath-taking skyline of thousands of white lights. Three of the downtown parks (Cathedral Square, Pere Marquette and Zeidler Union Square) are transformed into wonderful masterpieces of lights.
Potawatomi Jingle Bus
Every Thursday to Sunday through December 30, from 6-9 PM, the Potawatomi Jingle Bus leaves the Hilton Milwaukee City Center on a 40-minute tour of the downtown lighting displays. Free hot cocoa, coffee and cookies are available at registration, along with free coloring books and crayons for the kids. This low-cost family event is only $1 a person.
Christmas in the Ward
On December 1, 5-8:30 PM and December 2, 11 AM – 4 PM, the Historic Third Ward kicks off their annual Christmas celebration. The festivities include fireworks, a tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa Claus, and a whole lot more. Another free event to take the entire family to.
Winter Lamplight: A Taste of Old World Wisconsin
For a walk into Christmas past, take your family out to this tour at Old World Wisconsin. Have a look inside older, cozy homes to see how Christmas used to be celebrated. Along for the tour are samplings of old holiday favorite foods. At the end, you can enjoy hot cider and a visit from Santa Claus. This event lasts from December 1-2 and 8-9, both from 6-9 PM. Tickets are $25 per person and must be reserved.
Holiday Night Lights
Head over to the Milwaukee County Zoo for any of the first three weekends of December between 6 and 9 PM (December 2nd is a Family Free day!) to witness the thousands of twinkling lights and animal displays spread throughout. Visit the Zoological Society’s “Winter Wonderland” to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with a forest of trees.
Seasonal Lights in the Prototyping Lab
Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin is holding a fun event for kids and adults alike on the “optics of holiday lights.” This includes making a kaleidoscope and creating your own lampshades or luminaries. This event is open almost every Friday and Saturday throughout December at 11 AM, 1 and 3 PM. Prices are $15.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids ages 3-17.
Milwaukee Coach and Carriage Holiday Rides
Opt to take a tour through the sights of the downtown area throughout December in a horse-drawn carriage. Locations to be picked up are at the Pfister and Wyndham hotels, but you must call ahead of time to reserve a ride. At $50 for half an hour and $90 for a whole hour it may seem a bit on the expensive side, but each carriage holds up to six people, so be sure to take full advantage!