Milwaukee is home to many beloved Christmas traditions, but our innovative city is not afraid to begin new ones as well.
Below are our top 5 picks for celebrating Christmas Milwaukee-style:
1. Kooky Cookie House at Discovery World (Now open!)
The legendary Kooky Cooky House, which graced Milwaukee’s Capitol Court Mall from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, once again delights families and children as it’s brought back to life at Discovery World.
Considered a holiday staple of Milwaukee in the ’60s and ‘70s, the Kooky Cooky House is an electronic cookie factory that features dozens of moving parts that delight young and old alike as gingerbread cookies are created by Santa’s helpers. Cookies will be given away on weekends.
This experience is included with general admission. The Kooky Cooky House is now open!
December 12 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cathedral Square Park
Come visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves and other holiday characters, and snap a free keepsake photo. Enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies compliments of Associated Bank, plus holiday music, reindeer games and face painting!
The event is free, but you can also bring a nonperishable food item for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
Afterwards, check out these discounted lunch menus for for families at participating East Town Restaurants:
Cafe at The Pfister
424 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Coffee & Cocoa Seared Tenderloin Salad – $14.00
arugula, goat cheese, dried cherries, cacao nibs, pecans, white balsamic cranberry emulsion
Children's Special: Five Cheese Cavatappi Pasta – $10.00
served alongside complimentary hot cocoa with whipped cream
Café at the Plaza
1007 N. Cass Street
One Free Mimosa with Any Meal for Parents!
728 N. Milwaukee Street
Hot Dog with Fries – $5.50
Chicken Tenders with Fries – $7.50
Mac & Cheese – $4.00
Mimosas for the Parents – $3.00
425 E. Wells Street
Grilled Chicken Tenders with Fries or Chips - $6.95
Grilled Cheese with Fries or Chips - $5.95
Three Cheese Ravioli - $6.95
Available with Marinara or Garlic Butter
801 N. Jefferson Street
14” One-Topping Pizza with Pitcher of Soda – $15.95
Kil@wat at the Intercontinental
139 E. Kilbourn Avenue
Sal’s Fish Tacos – $10.00
pan seared tilapia, avocado salsa, onion and cilantro, fresh tortilla chips, plus unlimited soft drink refills
Children's Special: Chicken Fingers with Mac & Cheese – $6.00
3. Live holiday theater and ballet
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with these live kid-friendly performances:
November 27th - January 3rd at the Todd Wehr Theater
December 12- 27th at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
December 1- 24th at the Milwaukee Rep
4. Milwaukee Holiday lights
You'll find some of the best holiday lights right in the city of Milwaukee. Drive yourself around, or hop aboard the Jingle Bus for just $1.00/person, Thursday - Sunday from 6:00-8:20 p.m. at the Shops of Grand Avenue.
While you wait inside Grand Avenue, enjoy the 18-piece animatronic symphony orchestra of bears, holiday shops, and free cookies and hot apple cider compliments of Wild Flour Bakery. Kids will also receive a holiday coloring book.
Discounted parking is available for $3 in The Shops of Grand Avenue west parking garage until 10pm.
Community Spirit Park at Cathedral Square Park This decade-old tradition invites Milwaukee area school children to create handmade ornaments with a class theme to hang on newly raised evergreens.
Also in Community Spirit Park is Santa's mailbox. Drop your holiday wish list in Santa’s Mailbox by December 13th, Santa’s helpers will collect these letters and ensure a personalized letter from the jolly old elf himself. No postage required. Just remember to include a return address!
Holiday Palace Park at Pere Marquette Park This fairytale land features toy soldiers, a unicorn and a wizard. Don't miss the castle spectacular, giant Santa and larger-than-life candy canes.
Toy Chest Park at Zeidler Union Square
Come see an animated jack in-the-box, rag doll, holiday train, plane and helicopter. The giant red teddy bear will also return, back by popular demand.
The Magical World of the Snow Queen (not seen aboard the Jingle Bus)
BMO Harris Bank’s Festive Holiday Display is back this year, free and open to the public at BMO Harris Bank location in downtown Milwaukee located at 770 N. Water Street. The bank’s downtown lobby is transformed into a holiday spectacular, featuring more than 150 life-sized Steiff animals dressed as the Snow Queen and her court in a magical winter wonderland.
BMO Harris Bank will again donate $5 to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin for each visitor to the Holiday Display, and invites the public to help reach the goal of donating $30,000 to help those in need this holiday season.
November 29th, December 6th and December 13th at Sprecher Brewery in Glendale
Looking for the perfect Milwaukee gift or keepsake? Have your picture taken with Santa, and put it on bottles of Sprecher Root Beer.
Soda with Santa includes a visit and photo with Santa, brewery tour, commemorative glass and beer samples for adults, and unlimited gourmet soda samples for all.
Tour times are at 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Arrive 45 minutes before the tour to have your picture taken with Santa.
The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for minors, and it's free for all US military personnel with valid ID.
The cost for a personalized holiday Sprecher Root Beer with your picture on the label and your choice of a frame design is $2 per bottle with a minimum 12 bottle order. For an additional $10, this keepsake photo will be emailed to you.
Tour reservations are required and may be made online at: www.sprecherbrewery.com, or by calling 414.964.2739.
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