Believe it or not, Milwaukee has quite the lineup of festive, winter activities. From ice skating to light festivals, you can satisfy all of your adorable winter cravings right here in the city. Here are some things to see this winter:
- Milwaukee Holiday Lights and the Jingle Bus (ends December 28):
All over Milwaukee, there are immaculate holiday decorations. You could walk around downtown, or, for just a dollar, you can see all of the holiday spirit Milwaukee has to offer with a Jingle Bus Tour. It picks up right outside of the Shops on Grand Avenue.
- Christmas Lights & Delights Dessert Tour (ends December 21):
Milwaukee Food Tours has a two hour guided bus tour of Milwaukee holiday lights while simultaneously sampling hot chocolate and desserts from two local restaurants. The tour is $40 and includes the tasty treats. You can buy tickets online on Zerve.
- Red Arrow Park or S’mores Week:
Milwaukee’s own Rockefeller-center-esque skating rink is located on Water Street, downtown. For a very reasonable price, you can rent skates, maybe enjoy a latte from the adjoining Starbucks, and skate to your hearts content under lit trees. S’mores Week runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 4, where you can purchase a s’mores kit and roast marshmallows at a campfire roasting. Otherwise, Red Arrow Park is open until thawing season.
- Milwaukee Coach and Carriage Rides:
Picking up at the Pfister, Intercontinental, or Hyatt hotels, Milwaukee Coach and Carriage offers a truly unique holiday experience. It’s a little pricey ($50/half-hour, $90/hour) but it’s well-worth it.
- Christmas Tree at Bayshore Mall:
The Bayshore Mall courtyard has a Christmas tree that is so tall and so flippin’ adorable that it will make your head spin. Turn it into a total holiday experience by getting a coffee at the Bayshore Collectivo and taking a carriage ride around the decorated outdoor shops.
- Holiday-decked out Pabst Mansion:
The Pabst Mansion is beautiful as it is, but throughout Dec. and going into Jan., it is completely decked out in Christmas decorations. Check out the Pabst Mansion website for hours and tour information.
- Milwaukee Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (December 14 through 27):
The Milwaukee Ballet is very good, and “The Nutcracker” is a holiday classic. Watch the classic tale being performed by a local troupe! Guys, this is a perfect date night idea as well. You can see show times and buy tickets on The Milwaukee Ballet’s website.
- New Years Eve Celebrations:
All across Milwaukee, restaurants, venues, bars, and clubs are hosting New Years Eve celebrations. Check out the websites for your favorite places in Milwaukee, because chances are that they are having a NYE party!
- Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day:
Check out Bradford Beach at noon on New Years day. If you’re crazy enough, you can participate in the Polar Bear Plunge itself. Make sure you bring lots of warm, winter clothes to change into. If not, you can go watch dozens of crazy people run into Lake Michigan.
- Sculptures on Ice (January 17):
Catalano Square in the Third Ward will be hosting a competition on January 17 where artists will have only eight hours to sculpt something out of ice. The theme this year is Disney! This is completely free to observers.