By Courtney Bondar Multimedia Journalist Published Dec 25, 2023 at 7:16 AM

Snuggle up with some holiday cheer as OnMilwaukee shares stories of everything merry and bright in the spirit of the season.

The OnMilwaukee Ho Ho Holiday Guide is brought to you by Educators Credit Union, Harley-Davidson Museum and MolsonCoors

‘Tis the season to be merry in Milwaukee! Countdown the days to Christmas by visiting the most spectacular and mind-blowing area light displays, holiday events and gleaming trees that will make it impossi-bell not to feel s-mitten! (What? It is the most pun-derful time of the year after all!) 

It’s snow secret that Christmas in Milwaukee is a winter wonderland – so, that’s why we’ve created a nice list of the best spots inside and out of the city for you to branch out to!

Find the glowing Christmas spirit by driving through these gleaming light tunnels, viewing colossal Christmas trees or treating your loved ones to a holiday event. And make sure to watch OnMilwaukee’s Instagram for Christmas light reels and more this holiday season!

Happy holidays, Milwaukee!

Holiday lights
Holiday events

Holiday lights

A Holiday Snow Globe
524 S. Layton Blvd.

All is calm and bright when you’re surrounded by thousands of picture-perfect poinsettias and holiday decorations! Make your way to the Mitchell Park Domes for their holiday show, A Holiday Snow Globe, open Saturday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 7. Experience a winter wonderland at the Domes with immaculate floral displays, a colossal Christmas tree, an elegantly set table, playful winter-loving animals and Santa’s sleigh. 

Candy Cane Lane
W. Oklahoma Ave.

Since 1984, Candy Cane Lane has been a beacon of neighborhood holiday lights in West Allis. Open on Friday, Nov. 24 through Christmas Day, you may expect to see “right turn only” signs as you arrive at Oklahoma Avenue from either 93rd, 94th, 95th, or 96th Street. Once you have arrived, enjoy your walk or drive through the festive display! All donations collected go toward the MACC Fund in support of research, treatment and eventual discovery of a cure for childhood cancers and related blood diseases. 

Christmas Carnival of Lights
8425 HWY 38, Caledonia

Take a drive through a Christmas Carnival of Lights this holiday season! Open on Saturday, Nov. 18 through Monday, Jan. 1, experience two million lights bring Christmas cheer on a 1.6-mile path. Light up your night by getting $10 off opening night during the Lights & Flights grand opening event. Get a free photo with a reindeer, witness a drone flight show at 6 and 8 p.m. and sip on whiskey, wine or hot cocoa flights! View the Christmas magic from your own car – or book Santa’s sleigh or a golf cart holiday train to enhance your experience!

Photo by: Christmas Carnival of Lights
Photo by: Christmas Carnival of Lights

“Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park
520 E. Wells St.

Take a walk through “Community Spirit Park” and see over 100 trees decorated by local schools and organizations. Each tree has unique decorations, light display and sign on display throughout the park. Also, make your way to the Singing Tree that not only shines bright but twinkles with music.

Enchant Christmas
7035 S. Ballpark Dr.

Get lost in the World’s Largest Christmas Maze this holiday season! Enchant Christmas will open on Friday, Nov. 24 through Dec. 31 at the Franklin Field Ballpark Commons. Make new holiday memories this year by walking through the massive maze of dazzling lights, visiting the Christmas village, skating on the ice rink, visiting Santa, theme nights and so much more! Purchase your tickets today.

“Felices Fiestas” at Pere Marquette Park
925 N. Old World 3rd St.

Create a memory or two and take a walk through Felices Fiestas, as a part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival. From flashing lights to animated elves and reindeer, this light display may be your new yearly Christmas tradition. This holiday aesthetic features Christmas light favorites and memories that can be cherished for a lifetime!

Photo by: Enchantment in the ParkX

Holiday Lights on the Hoan
600 S. Water St.

Enjoy holiday lights hosted on one of the most iconic spots in Milwaukee. The Hoan brings you Holiday Lights on the Hoan all season long! Enjoy Friday Night Lights through the end of the year with seasonal colored light shows to celebrate Hanukkah from Dec. 7-15, Christmas from Dec. 24-25 and New Year's Eve on Dec. 31. 

Making Spirits Bright
3030 Calumet Dr., Sheboygan

Visit Making Spirits Bright by Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve from 5-9 p.m. for a drive-thru light show charmingly choreographed to holiday music in Evergreen Park. Admission is free and all pantry donations go directly to Sheboygan County Food Bank. Bring your family, friends and even pets with you on this joyous ride!

Photo by: Rotary Making Spirits Bright
Photo by: Rotary Making Spirits Bright

Miller Valley Holiday Lites
3897 W. State St. 

[Read more]
Miller Valley Holiday Lites show has returned this year until Dec. 27, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tune your radio to 91.1 FM and park between the A-frame signs to enjoy the Miller Valley Holiday Lites show! Each five-minute show gives everyone the holiday joy and spirit right in front of the Plank Road Brewery House next to the Miller Inn. Relax in your car as you celebrate this season with holiday music and lights right outside your window.

Santa’s Celebration Square
Zeidler Union Square, 301 W. Michigan St.

Take a walk and experience the magic of Christmas! Pick from numerous displays all over Zeidler Union Square – take a seat in a glowing oversized ornament or chair, for instance – and don’t miss an opportunity for a group photo or selfie for your Christmas card this year!

The Candy Cane Adventure
2888 Main St., East Troy

This unique light show is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. With the help of local businesses and schools, this light show made from custom control boxes has covered downtown East Troy. Get into the holiday spirit with this controllable and interactive light show! Pick up a wand, grab a comic and find the canes to unlock their powers to control the lights from Saturday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 31. Plus, Santa will arrive on a 114-year-old East Troy Electric Railroad Santa Parade train to visit this interactive light display on opening night. And make sure to mark your calendars for the East Troy Wine Walk and New Year’s Eve Ball drop surrounded by the light display! 

Wild Lights
10001 W. Bluemound Rd.

Enjoy the twinkling lights of Wild Lights at the Milwaukee County Zoo from Dec. 1-31 (except closed on Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 24-25). This year, the Zoo will feature thousands of illuminated lights throughout the zoo with even more to look forward to than last year. Adventure through sparkling forests, pathways and magnificent animal-themed light displays that’ll have you in awe. 

Photo by: Milwaukee County Zoo
Photo by: Milwaukee County Zoo

Winter Realms
1091 Hidden Cottage Cir, Lake Geneva
[Read more]
Explore the beauty and magic of a real-life fairy tale at Winter Realms in Lake Geneva, open from January through the end of February. This icicle wonderland replaces last year's Ice Castles after it abruptly closed due to warm weather in the past. This year, patrons can look forward to magnificent LED lights that bring sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, chilly chutes and fountains to life. Plus, horse-drawn sleigh rides, winter characters and more can also be found. Make sure to purchase your tickets at

Winter Wonders
9400 Boerner Dr.

Drive through a 1.4-mile drive-through holiday light show at Boerner Botanical Gardens starting Friday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 31! Enter through the Whitnall Park Golf Course entrance at 6751 S. 92nd St. to enjoy this holiday season with the view of over a million LED lights, the new snow flurry tunnel, holiday gift bag giveaways and nightly holiday short videos. Tickets can be purchased at Boerner Botanical Gardens and Festival Foods locations Greenfield, West Allis, Hales Corners, Sommers, Kenosha and Mount Pleasant. For more information, visit the Winter Wonders website.


Holiday events

Christmas at The Pabst Mansion
2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Begin a new holiday tradition this year at the Pabst Mansion! Immerse yourself in its rich history this holiday season during self-guided tours starting Thursday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are only $20 for adults, $18 for college students and seniors 62 years and older, $13 for children ages 6-15, children ages 5 and under and members are free. 

Concerts for a Cause with Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Holiday Train
Multiple locations

All aboard! The Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Holiday Train is back and chugging through Wisconsin with 13 scheduled stops over three days! Join the fun – all the events are free and guests may bring food or cash donations to benefit local communities in need. It’s the spirit of the season! Singers Tenille Townes and Breland will give you a holiday fun-filled night to remember with their performances – 'cause that’s the way things happen on the CPCK Holiday Train! Check out the full schedule today! 

Deck the Streets and Village at Milwaukee Public Museum
800 W. Wells St.

Forget decking the halls with boughs of holly: The Milwaukee Public Museum decked the Streets of Old Milwaukee full of holiday magic! Gather your family, friends and favorite people to journey through Milwaukee Public Museum’s Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village. Experience the magic of the holiday season in this iconic setting now through Jan. 22, through the windows, streetscapes, markets and more. Purchase your tickets today!

Photo by: Milwaukee Public Museum
Photo by: Milwaukee Public Museum

Home for the Holidays at Old World Wisconsin
W372 S9727 WI-76, Eagle

Take a home-away-from-home trip this holiday season to Old World Wisconsin! Enjoy Home for the Holidays Saturdays and Sundays throughout December from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy this large living history museum full of holiday decorations and cheer for the whole family to enjoy. Participate in activities, explore the 19th-century Crossroads Village, gather by the fireside for stories, enjoy seasonal treats, crafts, shopping and more! Purchase your tickets today. 

Photo by: Slice of Ice Facebook
Photo by: Slice of Ice Facebook

Slice of Ice at Red Arrow Park
920 N. Water. St.

Dress your winter best and lace up those skates: It’s time for a night of skating under the lights around the rink during Slice of Ice at Red Arrow Park. Spend an enchanting evening skating the night away with family or friends in the center of Downtown Milwaukee. The rink is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Skate rentals are open at 2 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Fiserv Forum
520 E. Wells St.

Get excited, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring their full-powered holiday hits to Fiserv Forum on Wednesday, Dec. 27! TSO is on their annual holiday tour, "The Ghost of Christmas Eve," including two shows on Dec. 27 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This year’s tour brings you even more holiday magic with a new presentation that’ll knock your holiday socks off. Don’t miss this must-see event; purchase your tickets today!

Courtney Bondar Multimedia Journalist

Courtney Bondar is an adventurous Multimedia Journalist at OnMilwaukee, covering all things Milwaukee. Born and raised in Greendale, WI, Courtney has a deep-rooted connection to her hometown and a strong desire to explore and showcase the vibrant city of Milwaukee.

You can often find Courtney all over Milwaukee, attending exciting events - documenting her experiences on her Instagram stories. Her genuine enthusiasm for her work shines through in her posts - as she strives to capture the beauty of the city and shares it with her followers.

Courtney's passion for writing is evident in her engaging and heartfelt articles. While she covers a wide range of topics, she particularly enjoys delving into the intricacies of dating culture and the art of mixology. Her insightful and thought-provoking pieces offer a unique perspective on these subjects, captivating readers with her authenticity and wit.

After dedicating herself as an intern at OnMilwaukee, Courtney's hard work and dedication paid off when she earned her well-deserved diploma. Now, as OnMilwaukee's first full-time multimedia journalist, she is fully committed to continuing her journey - bringing her distinctive voice and storytelling skills to the forefront.