By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 20, 2023 at 1:31 PM

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

Baby, it's cold outside. But there's warm holiday cheer brewing in Bay View thanks to John Dye, owner of Bryant’s Cocktail Loungeand At Random, who – with the help of his staff – has brought back The Magic Forest for a fourth year running.

The Magic Forest, the festive outdoor cocktail experience, will take place at At Random, 2501 S. Delaware Ave., beginning Nov. 22 and continuing through the end of January.

What you can expect

Guests can look forward to basking in the holiday spirit surrounded by live, decorated Christmas trees, festoon lights and plenty of holiday-themed mood music.

The Magic Forest will feature a variety of seating options, including eight vented heated greenhouse-style “Cocktail Huts”, equipped with warm mood lighting, which can be reserved online for groups of four or six.  

Seating located around At Random's gas fire pit, as well as at a few outdoor tables will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check in with the host when you arrive.

The Magic Forest beverage list will include myriad cocktails from the classic Wisconsin Old Fashioned and Mai Tai to festive holiday quaffs like the Snowman served in a collectible mug).  Guests can also indulge in ice cream drinks (Brandy Alexanders, Grasshoppers, Pink Squirrels and new classics like the Marvelous Mrs. Maple) or hot drinks including Irish coffee, spiked cider and hot cocoa, hot buttered rum and more. 

Magic Forest Camp Mugs 2023
Magic Forest Camp Mugs 2023

Commemorative Magic Forest camp mugs designed by Pete Klockau of The Black Lagoon Room will also be available for purchase ($11 with the purchase of any hot drink and $13 for the mug only). 

Reservations for the greenhouses (and fire-pit seating) are currently available online with rental fees of $15-30 depending on the day and time of the reservation. Each reservation is 100 minutes long.

Well-behaved children accompanied by their parents are welcome nightly until 8 p.m. No dogs are allowed in the cocktail huts.

Remember: Be kind. Be safe. Tip well. Also be sure to dress for the weather (even a Cocktail Hut can’t stop the wintery winds from blowing).

The Magic Forest is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., Friday from 5 to midnight and Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. Cocktails will also be available for carry-out until 9 p.m. (last call is 8:30 p.m.)

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.