Holiday Happenings

***Please note, events and activities are subject to change or cancellation. Please call ahead of your arrival.***

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Broadcast

Presented by Stein's Garden & Home
Thu, November 18 | 6:30pm
414.220.4700 |
Tune into WISN 12 and get into the holiday spirit with an all-new variety show. Packed with local talent and a spectacular finale, you won’t want to miss this sampling of Downtown’s holiday shows!

Santa's Mailbox

Presented by Educators Credit Union, Serving Older Adults & National Association of Letter Carriers Pioneer Branch 2
November 18 – December 12
Cathedral Square Park
414.220.4700 |
Drop a child’s letter to Santa in Santa’s Mailbox and receive a personalized reply. Holiday spirit delivers the letters to Santa – no postage required…just include a return address! Please note, Santa’s Mailbox will be positioned along Jackson Street, between Kilbourn Avenue and Wells Street, while the park is under construction.

Self-Guided Jingle Bus Audio Tours – English & Spanish

November 18 – January 1 
Downtown Milwaukee
414.220.4700 | 
Get acquainted with Downtown’s lights and sights via a self-guided audio tour available on the iHeartRadio app. Hop aboard the free tour by listening to five episodes available in both English and Spanish. Just type “MKE Jingle Bus Tour” in the iHeartRadio app, and follow along by car or on foot.

City Christmas Tree

Beginning November 18
Corner of Market & Wells Streets
414.286.2489 |
Gaze upon the City’s beautifully lit tree and grab a family photo.

FEZtival of Trees

November 19 – 27
Tripoli Shrine – 3000 W. Wisconsin Avenue
414.933.4700 |
Check out this magical Christmas forest featuring 70+ fully decorated Christmas trees donated by area businesses and organizations, which will be raffled off for the season. Look for the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival tree, “MKE It FEZtive,” co-sponsored by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and Retailworks Inc.

Holiday Show at Mitchell Park Domes

November 20 – January 3, 2022
Mitchell Park Domes
414.257.5608 |
Enjoy the festive atmosphere among vivid poinsettias and decked-out holiday trees.

Holiday Photos at the Historical Society

Sat, November 20 | 9:30am to 2:30pm
Milwaukee County Historical Society
414.273.8288 |
Take a festive family photo against the beautiful backdrop of the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Each 20-minute mini session is $250 and includes ten edited digital photos. Half of the proceeds from each session will go to support the venue. Space is limited. Book today!

Cream City Creatives

Sun, November 21 | 10am to 3pm
Turner Hall Ballroom
414.286.3663 |
An annual craft fair highlighting Milwaukee's diverse artisans and makers.

Ideal Property Management Tree Lot

November 23 – December 24 | 10am to 8pm
Pere Marquette Park
262.251.3578 |
An old-fashioned tree lot featuring a wide selection of fresh Wisconsin trees, handmade wreaths and Christmas décor. Don’t miss an ice-carving demonstration on Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a live reindeer visit on Dec. 12 from 1:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Milwaukee Turkey Trot 

Thu, November 25 | 7am
224-757-5425 |
Work up a turkey-day appetite with a 5K or 8K run along Milwaukee’s lakefront.

Thanksgiving Bountiful Brunch

Thu, November 25 | 11am to 5pm
The Pfister Hotel – Grand Ballroom
414.273.8222 | 
The perfect destination for your family’s cherished Thanksgiving. There’s so much to be thankful for, from appetizers and entrees to side dishes and desserts – plus all the traditional trimmings. 

Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner

Thu, November 25 | 12pm to 6pm
ARIA - The Restaurant at Saint Kate
414.270.4422 |
Experience an Artisanal American Thanksgiving at ARIA. Enjoy a special prix fixe menu featuring mouthwatering filet and delectable salmon, along with traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

Thanksgiving at Mason Street Grill

Thu, November 25 | 1pm to 7pm
Mason Street Grill
414.298.3131 | 
Enjoy an all-American grill for this quintessential holiday. Wood-grilled steaks, seafood and a special Thanksgiving prix fixe menu. Private dining rooms are also available for your family gathering.

The Pfister’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony 

Fri, November 26 | 5pm to 6:30pm 
The Pfister Hotel
414.273.8222 |
Watch the expressions on young and old alike as Santa officially lights The Pfister holiday tree at 5:30 p.m. Sip warm drinks and nibble on a holiday treat. Nonperishables will be collected for Hunger Task Force.

Letters To Santa

November 26 – December 19
The Pfister Hotel
414.273.8222 | 
Children can write a letter to Santa and drop it off at The Pfister Hotel in the magical North Pole Mailbox. Each child will receive a personalized note from Santa himself, plus a free cookie from the front desk with their letter drop off. 

Milwaukee Makers Market

Sat, November 27 | 10am to 4pm
Sun, December 19 | 10am to 4pm 
Discovery World
414.765.9966 | 
Meet Milwaukee jewelry makers, artists, designers and other skilled artisans. Shop one-of-a-kind, locally-made products including ceramics, clothing, leather goods, candles and more. Admission to the market is free.

Small Business Saturday

Sat, November 27 | 10am to 6pm
Historic Third Ward 
414.273.1173 |
Support locally-owned businesses as Milwaukee retailers offer incentives and specials during this one-day sale.

Holiday Wreath Design Workshop

Sun, November 28 | 1pm
Arc Theatre - Saint Kate
414.270.4422 |
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and there’s nothing like the smell of evergreen to make your spirit bright. Head to Saint Kate and learn how to create a one-of-a-kind wreath.

Light the Hoan

The Daniel M. Hoan Memorial Bridge
Make holiday memories with a brilliant light show. View the dazzling schedule online.

Annual BMO Harris Holiday Display

November 29 – January 3
BMO Harris Bank
790 N. Water Street
414.765.7500 |
Check out the fun, colorful window display stretching from Mason to Wells on Water Street.

Slice of Ice

December – Mid-March (weather permitting)
Red Arrow Park 
A slice of winter fun in the heart of downtown! Bring your own ice skates and skate for free or rent a pair at the warming house. Call ahead to confirm season opening. 

Christmas in the Ward

Fri, December 3 
Historic Third Ward – Catalano Square
414.273.1173 |
Take a selfie in front of the beautifully lit Christmas tree and enjoy live holiday entertainment as well as shopping and dining promotions throughout the season. 

Jingle Joy Bag Drive-Thru

Fri & Sat, December 3 – 18 | 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Zeidler Union Square 
414.255.0534 | 
While taking in Downtown’s lights and sights, pick up a Jingle Joy bag. Curated by Milwaukee Food & City Tours, Jingle Joy Bags are grab-and-go treat packs featuring goodies from local businesses. Plus, they include a few surprises for the kiddos too. Each treat bag is $15. Bags can be pre-ordered or purchased day-of via cash or credit card, while supplies last. 


Westown Tree Presented by 310W 

310W - 310 W. Wisconsin Avenue
414.276.6696 |
Westown gets lit with the third annual neighborhood tree on the 310W plaza, at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Old World Third Street.

Santa Hustle 5K Milwaukee Run/Walk

Sun, December 5 | 8:30am
Veterans Park
847.829.4539 | 
Be part of one of the largest, growing races as thousands of Santas hit the streets. 

Breakfast with Santa at The Pfister

Sun, December 5, 12 & 19 | 8am & 11:30am
The Pfister Hotel
414.273.8222 | 
Join Santa and his elves for a festive feast, a gift for each child, crafts, letters to Santa, and countless memories. Small seating groups will ensure that everyone has an exceptional experience.

Hover Craft: Handmade Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

Sun, December 5 | 12pm to 6pm
Pritzlaff Building
A handmade holiday showcase featuring 100+ vendors.

Santa's Christmas Cavalcade

Fri, December 10 & 17 | Dusk
Downtown Milwaukee
414.220.4700 |
See Santa and Mrs. Claus in this festive parade riding atop a vintage firetruck. Sarah Fierek will also be aboard singing jazzy holiday tunes. Route travels throughout downtown. 

Holiday Marketplace

Sat, December 11 & 12 | 11am to 5pm
Arc Theatre - Saint Kate
414.270.4422 |
Experience and enjoy the holiday ambiance of Saint Kate's ARC Theatre while interacting and connecting with over 70 local artists and vendors. Holiday Showcase is the ideal place to find perfect gifts for friends and family, all while taking in the sights and sounds of local music and art!

Cocoa with the Clauses 

Presented by Madison Medical Affiliates
Sat, December 11 | 11am to 2pm 
414.220.4700 |
Straight from the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus return for this annual cocoa klatch. The free outdoor event is a chance for kids to share their wish lists, and for moms and dads to snap a keepsake photo. Just remember to bring your camera! Elves and other holiday characters will also be there. 

Santa Camp Pop-Up

December 17 & 18 | 5pm to 10pm
Turners' Alley - 1029 N. Old World 3rd Street
414.220.4700 |
Experience this one-of-a-kind holiday pop-up, featuring a special Holiday Lights Festival ice bar by Art Below Zero, festive drinks from Deer Camp, and gifts from Pop’s MarketPlace.

Brunch With Santa

Sat, December 18 | 8:30am to 12:30pm
Saint Kate - Simone Ballroom
414.270.4422 |
Start a new holiday tradition at Saint Kate's "Brunch with Santa" and create lifelong memories! Guests will have the opportunity to experience a plentiful brunch in Saint Kate's festive ballroom and visit with the jolly man himself.

Christmas Gift Boxes 

Milwaukee Food & City Tours
414.255.0534 |
This limited-edition series of holiday gift boxes features items from local small businesses and food producers. Custom gift boxes and corporate gift boxes are also available. 

Christmas Around Milwaukee Bakery Tour

Fri, Sat & Sun in December 
Various Locations
414.255.0534 | 
Travel around the world and back while never leaving Milwaukee. Guests on the nice list (and even the naughty list) will be treated to signature cookies, candies and pastries from a collection of six to eight of Santa’s favorite bakeries in Milwaukee.

Christmas Lights & Desserts Bus Tour

Fri, Sat & Sun in December 
Downtown Milwaukee 
414.255.0534 | 
Led by a singing tour guide, this Santa-approved tour is the perfect mix of history, Milwaukee Christmas traditions, tasty treats and light-hearted holiday spirit. This tour features walking stops in Cathedral Square and Zeidler Union Square, plus viewing opportunities in areas as Red Arrow Park, Pere Marquette Park and the Historic Third Ward. 

ARIA Christmas Dinner

December 24 | 2pm to 8pm
ARIA - The Restaurant at Saint Kate
414.270.4422 |
Experience delicious holiday specialties steeped in the culinary tradition of the Midwest. Enjoy festive offerings inspired by all the comforts of a home-cooked feast in addition to our regular menu.

Christmas Celebration Brunch at The Pfister

Sat, December 25 | 11am to 3pm
414.273.8222 | 
A Pfister Christmas begins with a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary in an elegantly decorated ballroom. Following cocktails is a spectacular buffet featuring a delicious assortment of fresh seafood, Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, carved meats, omelet’s made to order, a variety of mouth-watering entrees and desserts loved by big and small elves alike. 

A Mason Street Grill Christmas 

Sat, December 25 | 1pm to 7pm 
Mason Street Grill 
414.298.3131 |
Experience classic American favorites and enjoy delicious Christmas specials in addition to the regular menu. Private dining rooms are also available for your family gathering.

Afternoon Tea at The Pfister

Sat & Sun, Now through May 8
The Pfister Hotel – BLU
414.273.8222 | 
Enjoy a tableside tea blending, presented in all-silver service by a Pfister Tea Butler. The afternoon is complete with traditional sandwiches and pastries. Reservations required.