MKE IT Downtown

Downtown's Top 3 Window Displays

December 8, 2020 /   Battle of the Branches Milwaukee Downtown

Harkening back to the days of department store window displays, several downtown buildings have rekindled the magic by offering mesmerizing windows filled with holiday cheer. Embrace the nostalgia while also supporting downtown's collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques, gourmet goods, and restaurants. To make your next visit even merrier, we've rounded out downtown's Top 3 window displays that are free and open for public viewing. Share your experience by tagging us on social media and #mkeholidaylights. 

Battle of the Branches Milwaukee Downtown Battle of the Branches sponsored by Sigma 

War Memorial Center, 750 N. Lincoln Drive

Standing guard over the Milwaukee skyline, the War Memorial Center at 750 N. Lincoln Drive features dazzling window displays decorated by all branches of the armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The trees can be seen either inside or outside of the building's Veterans Gallery. In addition to the displays, you can view this year's trees on YouTube. Who will win the Battle of the Branches? That's for you to decide. Scan the QR code next to the display, or vote online by December 13, 2020. 

Kandy Korners BMO Harris Bank Milwaukee"Welcome to Kandy Korners" presented by BMO Harris Bank

BMO Tower and 770 North, 770 - 790 N. Water Street

Now through January 4, 2021, BMO Harris Bank's 48-year tradition of whimsical Steiff bear displays returns for the holiday season in a safe, socially-distant way. Spanning an entire city block, this treasured Milwaukee tradition adorns the windows of both BMO Tower and 770 North on Water Street, between Mason and Wells Streets. The BMO Harris Bank holiday collection of stuffed animals began in 1972, when 30 life-sized Steiff animals were discovered at the world's largest toy store, FAO Schwartz in New York City. You know, the store where Tom Hanks played the big piano in BIG? The BMO Harris Bank collection of Steiff animals grew to include more than 150 animals, including collectors' items made in Germany by Margarete Steiff, whose company made the original teddy bear in 1903. 

Retailworks Milwaukee Retailworks Window Displays 

737 - 737 N. Milwaukee Street, 400 E. Wisconsin Avenue, 324 E. Wisconsin Avenue, and 233 E. Wisconsin Avenue

Sprinkled throughout East Town, four empty storefronts are dressed in their holiday best, thanks to the help of some familiar Milwaukee faces. The project aims to activate empty storefronts, while also calling attention to these prime retail lease opportunities. Milwaukee-based Retailworks, Inc. partnered with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 to bring these storefronts to life, just in time for the holiday season. Plus, each storefront features a hidden 2020 Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival ornament -- can you spot them all? Learn more about this project here.

Posted in:  Arts & Culture