Chanukah is just around the corner, and there are some truly amazing events lined up this year.
We’ve got the scoop on the top 5 you won’t want to miss. So grab your calendars and let’s dive in!
1. Hanukkah on the Hoan
When: Each night of Hanukkah
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation is using this event to Shine A Light On Antisemitism. Each night, the Hoan Bridge will be lit to represent the light of Hanukkah candles. This initiative will feature messages of support from community leaders. It’s a beautiful, meaningful way to observe the holiday.
When: Thursday, December 7
Where: The Yard @ Bayshore Mall
Time: Kids Train Ride starts at 4:30 PM
Get ready for an evening of Jewish fun and pride at the Bayshore Mall!
This free event is packed with activities – think chocolate gelt drops, a giant menorah lighting, live DJ, photo booth, LED Robot Dancers, and oh-so-yummy fried doughnuts and hot drinks. There’s even a choo-choo train ride for the kiddos!
And the best part? It’s open to everyone. Just remember to RSVP!
3. Chanukah Coinorah
When: Sunday, December 10
Where: The Corners of Brookfield
Time: 4:00 PM
Witness Wisconsin’s first-ever Coin Menorah lighting!
Bring your loose change to fill the Coin-orah, with proceeds going to Magen David Adom, Israel’s Red Cross.
Expect face painting, a strolling magician, glow necklaces, and, of course, delicious latkes and donuts.
Don’t forget to RSVP here!
4. Community Hanukkah Celebration at the JCC
When: Monday, December 11
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Join the community celebration at the JCC for an evening filled with Hanukkah games, activities, latkes, music, and family-friendly entertainment. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the holiday spirit with your loved ones!
5. Hanukkah Celebration at Sprecher
When: Sunday, December 12th from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Own Your Judaism, a local non-profit organization, is hosting a family-friendly Hanukkah Celebration at Sprecher Brewing Co on December 12th from 5-7pm.
Join for candle-lighting, a dreidel competition, the MJDS choir, games and activities, and a huge raffle!
Tickets are $10/adult, $6/child and come with a drink and raffle ticket.
Food & drink will be available for purchase. All are welcome!
6. Chanukah Train at the East Troy Railroad
When: Thursday, December 14
Time: Grand Menorah Lighting at 5:00 PM, Dinner Train at 5:30 PM
All aboard the Chanukah Train!
Enjoy a unique evening with a latke dinner, Chanukah music, menorah trivia, and the ever-popular dreidel game. Tickets are just $10, but hurry – seating is limited!
Check out jewishwaukesha.com/train to snag your spot.
7. Last Night of Hanukkah at Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin (W372 S9727 WI-67, Eagle, WI 53119)
The Last Night of Hanukkah activity takes place in the historic Four Mile House at Old World Wisconsin, which served as a boarding house during the 1870s.
Interpreters imagine with guests that an immigrant Jewish family has stopped over as lodgers and are treating other boarding house residents to a traditional Hanukkah meal.
They bake challah in a wood stove, set the table for the meal, and have examples of other dishes that may have been prepared.
The interpreter also introduces elements such as the menorah, dreidel game, and candle prayers as part of the activity.
And don’t forget the Fiserv Forum Menorah Lighting on the first night of Hanukkah – details to come, so stay tuned!
That’s a wrap on the top Chanukah events in Milwaukee this year.
Whether you’re looking for family fun, community spirit, or just a good old-fashioned latke, there’s something for everyone.
Happy Chanukah, and see you around town!
Calie Herbst, Editor-in-Chief of Milwaukee With Kids, has spent over a decade combining her experiences as a parent of three to create a hub for Milwaukee’s family adventures.
Her decade-long teaching career in Milwaukee Public Schools and academic background, including a Master’s in Teaching from Marquette University and dual B.A.s in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, fuel her passion for inclusive and engaging family content.
Calie is also a recognized voice in local media, contributing to WISN Channel 12 News, WTMJ Wisconsin Morning News, Fox 6’s Real Milwaukee, and B93.3.