Snow-covered houses, twinkling lights, and steaming hot cocoa; It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Pack the kids in the car and delight in some of the area’s most spectacular holiday lights displays.Our Top pick: Candy Cane Lane
West Allis between 92nd-96th St. and between Montana and Oklahoma Ave.
November 24th through December 26th
6-9 p.m. Weekdays5-10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Candy Cane Lane is the perfect holiday tradition for any family who loves Christmas lights. Grab some hot cocoa to go, and drive over to this brightly lit West Allis neighborhood. You’ll enter to find a winter wonderland with candy-cane wrapped trees, and over 300 houses full of festive holiday lights. You can drive or walk through. Don’t forget to leave a donation for the MACC fund!
Milwaukee Holiday Lights (Free!) & $1.00 Jingle Bus Tours
Late November – late December
The annual six-week lights festival throughout downtown Milwaukee features animated holiday light displays in Cathedral Square Park, Pere Marquette Park and Zeidler Union Square.
In Cathedral Square Park this year is “Community Spirit Park”, where area school and nonprofits have embellished over 75 trees. Each tree has a theme and is adorned with handmade ornaments that represents each group’s wish for the season.
“Santa’s Polar Palace is at Pere Marquette Park, and “Downtown’s Yule Lounge” is presented in Zeidler Union Square, featuring holiday fixtures such as an oversized red chair, fireplace and other great opportunities for family photos. Plus, all along Wisconsin Avenue from 10th Street to Prospect Avenue and Mason Street, you’ll find twinkling chandelier sculptures above the intersections.
You can get an up-close look at the lights aboard the $1.00 Jingle Bus, a Coach USA bus that takes visitors on a 40-minute tour narrated by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors. Tours depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue. While you wait, you can enjoy holiday snacks and the Leonard Beastein Symphony inside the mall. Check the website for the most updates dates and times.
BMO Harris Bank Holiday Display (Free!)
770 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Each year the lobby of the BMO Harris Bank downtown turns into a holiday wonderland. There is a different theme each year, but it’s always larger than life and worth a visit. Not only is it free, but BMO Harris Bank will again donate $30,000 to Feeding America Eastern in conjunction with the holiday display.
This year’s theme is “A Holiday in King Arthur’s Court,” and it features more than 150 life-sized Steiff animals dressed in their own carefully-crafted, rich, royal-themed costumes. The animals will be displayed in an elaborately designed vignette in BMO’s downtown bank lobby where kings, queens, knights, thrones, medieval towers, and even the famous Round Table will be featured. A dragon or two might even stop by.
Dates and Hours
November 27, 2017 – January 2, 2018
Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Special dates and hours:
Saturday, December 9, 2017: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 24, 2017: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Monday, December 25, 2017: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Monday, January 1, 2018: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lights on Glen Cove
Off Janesville and Glen Cove Ct. in Muskego, WI
Marvel at over 35,000 LED lights synchronized to holiday music from 87.9 FM. The lights run every night starting at 5:00 p.m. and running through 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m. on weekends. Bring a non-perishable food item or monetary donation. (Note: It is in a residential neighborhood, so turn off your headlights and keep your radio down.)
Country Springs Christmas Lights Display
2810 Golf Rd., Pewaukee, WI 53072
November 24-26th, 2017 & December 1-31st, 2017
Sunday through Thursday, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. ($15 per car/van)
Friday, Saturday & Holidays, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. ($20 per car/van)
Each year, the land just west of the Country Springs Hotel transforms into a wooded winter wonderland called Country Christmas. Your admission will enable you to drive through the one-mile long Country Christmas Trail, which features over a million holiday lights. Kids will love “Bearville” with its giant teddy bears running errands in the general store and going to church. The highlight of the lights show is an other-worldly drive through a 200-foot tunnel of 30,000 twinkling lights.
At the end of the drive, you can hop out of the car and walk through the Streets of Bethlehem, where you’ll find an almost life-sized replica of the Fontanini nativity scene found at the Vatican. You can also explore Christmas Village, which featured model trains, an area to take photos, and concessions.
Enchantment in the Park
Regner Park 800 N. Main Street, West Bend, WI 53090
This huge twinkling lights display in Regner Park is impressive for all ages. You can walk, drive, or take a carriage ride through, and Santa is there to visit with the kids. It gets very busy on the weekends, so visit during the week if you can. Bring a bag of non-perishable food items or $10 cash donation.
Miller Valley Holiday Lites (Free!)
4251 W. State St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Drive through the historic Miller Valley at Christmas time and you’ll find a new holiday lights display each year. The illuminated valley comes alive with over half a million LED lights synchronized to music. The theme changes each year, and it’s totally free to drive through.
The Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort (8425 WI-38, Caledonia, WI 53108)
Nov. 25–Dec. 31st, with the exception of Christmas Day
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 5–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Entry fee for carloads with up to eight people is $20
See more than 1.5 million twinkling lights and spectacular holiday scenes, from life-size gingerbread houses to Green Bay Packer and patriotic-themed displays, including a 50-by-30-foot American flag choreographed to holiday music. Families will enjoy the mile-long trail from the comfort of their vehicles or from Santa’s sleigh.
Guests will be dazzled by new moving displays, and “Evy the Talking Christmas Tree,” a popular, animatronic, seven-foot character who made his debut last year and talks and sings to visitors of all ages. Evy will be located inside Santa’s Workshop, where guests can enjoy hot beverages and visit with Santa.
Santa’s giant sleigh, which seats 43 guests in tiered and comfortable seating, will also travel through the light show and give families the opportunity to experience the show in a whole new way. Visit their website for reservations.
Jellystone will continue its support of Ronald McDonald House by donating a portion of its proceeds. Jellystone will donate $1 from the first 4,000 cars that visit to Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin to support a “home away from home” mission the charity has for families of seriously ill or injured children. The campground will also cover the entrance fee for approximately 100 carloads filled with existing and previous guests of the Ronald McDonald House.
Several McDonalds locations in Oak Creek and Racine are offering discount coupons for the Carnival of Lights. Check their website for discount nights for military members, teachers, and service personnel.