Events in Wisconsin

Rachel Seis

Check out our calendar of events to discover holiday happenings in Wisconsin.

Carolers singing in traditional caroling attire Jason Schneider

Experience the holidays as they were celebrated in the late 19th century. 

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned Christmas, and at Old World Wisconsin’s “Home for the Holidays” event in Eagle, things don’t get much more festively old-fashioned this time of year. 

For three weekends in December (Dec. 2–3, Dec. 9–10 and Dec. 16–17), the Crossroads Village portion of the open-air museum is transformed into a holiday experience straight from the 19th century. Historical shops and settler homes are decorated in holiday regalia, and visitors can watch actors engage in cultural customs to learn how past holiday traditions have informed the way many in Wisconsin celebrate today. Many of the buildings in the Crossroads Village were constructed in the 1800s and moved to Old World Wisconsin, adding to the authenticity of the experience. 

Visitors will have the chance to listen to live holiday music, enjoy a festive brunch in the grounds’ heated octagonal barn, drink warm wassail, take photos at Santa’s workshop, ride in horse-drawn wagons, get ahead of holiday shopping at the general store, make leather ornaments and more.

Now–Dec. 23 
Santa’s Pizza Party Train Ride

All aboard Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad’s annual train ride. The two-hour train trip, available Fridays through Sundays, starts in Trego, and includes pizza, beverages and a visit from Santa himself. 

Nov. 17 
Wisconsin Annual Blues Harmonica Festival

This festival returns to Hubertus for four hours of performances by some of Wisconsin’s finest harmonica players at the Sterling Chalet. 

Nov. 24–26
’Twas the Night Before… by Cirque Du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s first holiday show reinvents the poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” with amazing acrobatics, compelling characters and new takes on seasonal songs. The performance will soar into Milwaukee’s Miller High Life Theatre for a total of eight performances spread over three days. 

Nov. 24–DEC. 31 
Miracle at Big Rock

Big Rock Creek near St. Croix Falls will be illuminated by Miracle at Big Rock, which brings a milelong lighting tour, vendors and winter-time activities to the St. Croix Valley. 

Nov. 25 
The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday compositions meet hip-hop dance in this altogether enjoyable pairing that’s coming to Thrivent Hall in Appleton.

Dec. 1–2 
Katie’s Garden Winter Wonderland 

Katie’s Garden in Platteville transforms into a vibrant Winter Wonderland complete with decorated trees, seasonal displays and an 18-foot-tall inflatable Frosty the Snowman. 

Dec. 1–3 
A Madison Symphony Christmas 

Overture Center for the Arts’ annual Christmas concert returns with visuals and music from the Madison Symphony Chorus, the Madison Youth Choirs, the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir, soprano Evelyn Saavedra and tenor Limmie Pulliam.

Dec. 1–3
Fire & Ice Festival 

Downtown Brodhead will be in the holiday spirit when its annual Fire & Ice Festival kicks off in December with three days of festive activities, fun contests, outdoor amenities and a parade. 

Dec. 1–3 
New Glarus Christkindli Market

Stroll around downtown New Glarus to browse decorated chalets selling locally made goods. Stick around for live caroling, sleigh rides, holiday music and more. 

Dec. 1–10 
Old World Christmas Market

For 10 days in December, The Osthoff Resort will bring the look and feel of a longstanding German Christkindlesmarkt to Elkhart Lake. The halls will be decked, and the heated tent will be brimming with specialty goods to help you finish your holiday shopping. 

Dec. 16 
The Oak Ridge Boys

Though they’ve done it all, The Oak Ridge Boys truly shine around the holidays. The country crooners will drop by Wisconsin Dells’ Crystal Grand Music Theatre for a stop on their Down Home Christmas 2023 tour. 

Dec. 16–17 
Good Old Fashioned Tour

Actor, comedian and viral video sensation Charlie Berens is coming to Eau Claire for four shows split between two nights at the Pablo Center at the Confluence. Get tickets while they last. 

Dec. 28–29 
Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off

The college men’s hockey tournament will skate back into Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum for two days of on-ice action featuring Air Force, Northeastern, Minnesota Duluth and the in-state favorite Wisconsin Badgers. 

Dec. 31 
Big Cheese Drop

This community event returns for its 17th New Year’s Eve installment with live music and complimentary hot cocoa—and, of course, a gigantic cheese wedge drops at midnight at the Plymouth Arts Center. 

Jan. 11–14 
23rd Vintage World Championship Snowmobile Races

Before the World Championship Snowmobile Derby comes to Eagle River, the city’s World Championship Derby Complex will host the vintage version of the races with restored machines from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

Jan. 13 
Piano Men II: Still Rock ’n Roll to Me

Join Jim Witter and his band on a journey through the 1970s and into the ’80s, as they play the songs of Billy Joel and Elton John at The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh.

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