There’s nothing quite like celebrating a holiday surrounded by loved ones. Wisconsin offers many fun attractions and activities during the holidays that make finding quality time easy.
Hold your kids’ hands as you walk through a holiday light display. Sip on hot cocoa while strolling in and around downtown shops dressed up with festive decorations. And see who is the best skater in the family at one of the many outdoor ice skating rinks.
We also love celebrating other holidays year-round. If you’re visiting us in the summer, check out one of our out-of-this-world Fourth of July fireworks shows.
Create fun family traditions here any time of year and keep coming back for more Wisconsin cheer.
‘Tis the Season To Be Merry
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Wisconsin is buzzing with festive events, from parades and holiday displays to shopping markets.
Must-sees around this time of year are our holiday light shows and displays found statewide. In Milwaukee, streets, businesses and parks, like Cathedral Square Park, dress up in lights for the festive occasion. You don't want to miss strolling through the Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens to see its awe-inspiring display. And if you’d like to see a moving light show, be sure to greet the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which makes a pit stop in Wisconsin with more than a dozen lit-up railcars in tow.
Other fun holiday attractions include the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, which transforms into a winter wonderland this time of year. Watch your kids ride the carousel and the holiday train while you snap photos to share with family and friends back home. You also don’t want to miss the Nutcracker Ballet at the Overture Center for the Arts or ice skating fun at The Edgewater, both in Madison.
And, of course, you can’t celebrate the holidays without crossing everyone off your shopping list. Find the best gifts at our holiday markets and shopping districts. In Milwaukee, for instance, the historic third ward hosts Christmas in the Ward every year. In Eau Claire, enjoy holiday-themed festivals featuring cider stands and ice sculptures, along with holiday and farmers markets.
And ring in the New Year in style nearly anywhere in Wisconsin. Watch parades and firework shows anywhere from Egg Harbor to Menasha.
Who says celebrating is only done at the end of the year? In Wisconsin, there are reasons to celebrate any time of year.
In March, major cities like Milwaukee and Madison hold parades to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In La Crosse, celebrations include a parade followed by a traditional Irish meal at the Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery.
Celebrate the Fourth of July near a freshwater lake. Gather around Upper Clam Lake in Ashland for a fireworks display hosted by the community club there. Or, for a more unique Wisconsin experience, hop on the Fireworks Express Train Ride in Osceola to see several fireworks displays at once.
Halloween is just as much a treat as any other holiday. Hop on the Trolley of the Doomed in Door County for stops at spooky locations. In the Wisconsin Dells, a ghost tour includes a nighttime boat ride to a haunted canyon. And over in Neenah, you’ll find the largest haunted complex in the Midwest with several haunted houses on the property.
Whichever holiday you choose to celebrate here, we can’t wait to be a part of your family traditions.