Candle Hike in Milwaukee

5 Candlelight Hikes for Families Around Milwaukee (2024)

Are you ready to add some sparkle to your winter nights?

We’ve got the perfect remedy for those chilly evenings: a series of magical candlelight hikes right here in our own backyard.

Hikers go on a candlelight hike during winter in Wisconsin. There is snow on the ground and candles lighting the path.
Photo from Lapham Peak Friends.

From serene nature walks to enchanting evenings filled with poetry and music, these events are all about experiencing the beauty of winter in a whole new light.

So grab your mittens, light up those lanterns, and let’s dive into some of the most enchanting candlelight adventures Milwaukee has to offer.

1. Lapham Peak

Candlelight Winter Adventure at Lapham Peak! 🕯️❄️
When: Saturday, January 27th, 2024 Time: 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Where: Homestead Hollow, Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak Unit, Delafield

Gather the kiddos and head over to Lapham Peak for a magical evening outdoors! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Get Your Voucher: You’ll need a voucher for your car to enter (available first-come, first-served). Keep an eye on when they’re available for pick-up!
  • Parking: A $5 special event fee per car or a 2024 WI State Park annual sticker is required. Carpooling? Great idea!
  • Explore the Trail: The trail is about 1.8 miles, with shorter options available. Perfect for a family hike, ski, or snowshoe adventure (conditions permitting).
  • Bonfire & Food: Warm up by the bonfire and feel free to bring your own food to grill. Don’t miss the treats at Trecker Lodge (donations appreciated)!
  • Dogs Welcome: Furry family members on an 8’ leash can join the fun.
  • Kid-Friendly? Absolutely! But do dress warmly for the weather.
  • Accessibility: The trail is usually wheelchair and stroller friendly, but do check the snow conditions closer to the event.

Donations support the Friends of Lapham Peak, enhancing this beautiful area. Got questions? Call the park office at (262) 646-3025.

Wrap up warm and light up the night at this enchanting candlelight event! 🔥🍢👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🐾

More info here.

2. Havenwood State Forest

Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 5:00 – 7:00pm

Spend some time outdoors and hike along a brief 0.75-mile portion of trails lit by candlelight.

Warm up afterward with s’mores and hot cocoa. Dress for the weather, wear your boots in case some sections get muddy and borrow some snowshoes at the nature center if there’s enough snow.

This event is free and open to the public.

More info here.

3. Wild Winter Nights

February 29, 2024 – Thursday Evening Family Fun at Retzer Nature Center

Join the fun at Retzer Nature Center from 6 to 8:30 pm for a magical evening.

For just $5 per person (and free for the little ones aged 2 and under, as well as Friends of Retzer Nature Center and Horwitz-DeRemer Planetarium members), you’ll get to:

  • Take a 0.2-mile self-guided hike by candlelight.
  • Enjoy warm beverages and sweet treats courtesy of Mama D’s Coffee in the Community Room.
  • Try out snowshoeing (weather permitting, with free rentals!)
  • Gather around a cozy campfire on the back patio.
  • Engage your kids with fun activities in the Community Room.
  • Learn about the “Owls of Wisconsin” and join an owl hike (for ages 10 and up, weather dependent).
  • Catch the fascinating planetarium show “It’s About Time! Cosmic Cycles We Live By” with multiple showtimes.

Remember to register by February 27th to secure your spot!

February 15, 2024 – A Night of Enchantment at Fox Brook Park

Mark your calendars for another wonderful evening at Fox Brook Park from 6 to 8:30 pm. Here’s what’s in store:

  • A self-guided candlelight hike around the lake.
  • Delicious food options from The Gift of Wings Grill – think hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, and warm beverages.
  • A relaxing campfire on the beach.
  • Dog lovers, rejoice! Well-behaved dogs on a 6 ft. leash are welcome.
  • Make sure to get your Parks annual membership or daily permit in advance for vehicle entry.

Keep an eye on the weather, as the event might shift to February 22 in case of bad weather. Stay updated at

Both events promise to be a delightful way to spend a winter evening with your family. Wrap up warm, and make some wonderful memories together! 🌟🔥☕🐕🌙👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

4. Urban Candlelight Hike

When: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 5:30-8 p.m.
Where: Three Bridges Park (keep an eye on the map for directions)

A family roasts marshmallows around the fire at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Photo by Ben Martorell

The Urban Candlelight Hike in Three Bridges Park is an event you won’t want to miss!

Imagine hiking through the enchanting Three Bridges Park, guided by the soft glow of over 200 candles. This unique experience is part of the annual Urban Candlelight Hike, co-hosted by the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail and Urban Ecology Center.

Here’s what to look forward to:

  • Candlelight Hiking: A magical trail awaits, offering a new way to see our beautiful park.
  • S’mores and Cookies: Who can say no to delicious treats by the fire?
  • Warm Refreshments: Perfect for keeping cozy on a chilly evening.

This event is a winter highlight in Milwaukee, happening regardless of snow. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and experience the beauty of Three Bridges Park in a whole new light.

Wrap up warm, grab a flashlight, and get ready to create some glowing memories with family and friends! 🕯️🍪

More info >>

5. Havenwood State Forest

When: Sunday, January 14, 2024, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Where: Havenwoods State Forest

Calling all families for a delightful evening hike under the stars! The Wisconsin DNR is hosting a Candlelight Hike at the beautiful Havenwoods State Forest, and it’s an event perfect for all ages.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Magical Trails: Experience a 0.75-mile trail illuminated by the soft glow of candles. It’s a short, sweet hike that’s just right for little legs and big hearts alike.
  • Warm Treats: After your hike, gather around for some delicious s’mores and hot cocoa. It’s the perfect way to warm up and enjoy the winter evening.
  • Snowshoe Fun: If the snow decides to grace us, you can borrow snowshoes at the nature center. It’s a great way to try something new or enjoy a familiar winter activity.
  • Dress for Success: Make sure to bundle up and wear boots – some trails might be a bit muddy.

This event is free and open to the public, making it a fantastic way to spend time outdoors with the family. It’s more than just a hike; it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories in the beauty of Wisconsin’s winter.

For more information, feel free to contact the friendly folks at Havenwoods:

Don’t miss this enchanting evening adventure. Light up the night with smiles and laughter! 🕯️☕

We hope this guide to some of Milwaukee’s most enchanting winter events has sparked your interest.

Here’s to making the most of this season with family, friends, and the great outdoors. Stay warm and adventurous, Milwaukee!

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