A chill in the air, snow on the ground, twinkling lights and Christmas spirit abound – that’s December in Wisconsin. With celebrations across the state, Wisconsin becomes magical at Christmastime. Here are just a few of our favorite holiday festivities.
It doesn’t get much more magical than horse-drawn carriage rides through candlelit streets lined with Christmas carolers. Just cue the sparkling snowfall and warm hot chocolate. Head to Hudson to kick off the holiday season with shopping and dining in gorgeously decorated shops and bistros.
This small Northwoods town is a summer favorite, but it really comes to life in December. Join in on the fun at the annual Phillips Christmas Parade, featuring festive holiday floats heading to the Price County Courthouse lawn, where the parade is followed by a tree lighting in celebration of the season.
With everything from a live reindeer exhibit, traditional wares, unique and hand-crafted gifts, and performances by bell ringers, dancers, theatre groups and local musicians, there’s something for everyone at this charming Christmas celebration.
Step back in time (and into another country) and wander the charming streets of small-town Stockholm. You’ll experience an old-fashioned holiday featuring Santa, sleigh rides, shopping, plenty of Christmas cookies, and live performances of It’s a Wonderful Life. This is one of four weekends filled with Christmas festivities in Stockholm!
Cave of the Mounds is a sight to behold any time of year, but when performers from across the state come together to sing Christmas carols in the caves, it’s a must-see. You’ll be serenaded in the candlelit North Cave, and the proceeds go toward a series of charities.
Each year, the store windows in Downtown Reedsburg are transformed with the Christmas spirit, and this year the theme is “Christmas Around the World”. Take in the horse-drawn wagon rides, Christmas carols, and Santa and Mrs. Claus and you’ll surely be in the Christmas spirit.
The Manitowoc County Historical Society puts on Pinecrest Christmas each holiday season; this year, the theme is “World War I Christmas”, where visitors can experience Christmas on the homefront during the World War I era. Enjoy baked goods, hot cider, hot chocolate, chili, and get your photo taken with a 20th-century Santa and his reindeer.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but Natural Christmas at the Ridges allows us to slow down for a bit. The boardwalk glows with luminaries, while the Nature Center and the Marshall Cabin are beautifully decorated. All ages can make holiday crafts, hike the trails, enjoy live music and holiday treats, or make your own Christmas wreath with fresh greenery.
Enjoy dinner and a show at this traditional Christmas program, featuring the hymns and Old English Christmas carols reminiscent of the director’s one-room country school. A luxurious buffet supper is provided by Five Star Catering.
Burlington hosts the 2nd Annual ice sculpting contest, where 18 ice blocks are placed around Wehmhoff Square Park, carved, and then judged. Each sculpture is carved from a 300-pound, crystal-clear block of ice, and anyone and everyone is welcome to watch this all-day event!
Ring in the New Year Gatsby-style at the historic Drill Hall at the Armory, where guests are encouraged to dress to impress with 1920s flair. The night will feature hors d’oeuvres, a fully stocked Bunker Lounge Bar, and live 1920s style music.
The days may be shorter and the temperatures colder, but that doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from celebrating the jolliest of seasons. What will you be checking out this month? Share with us on social media using #discoverwisconsin.