Holiday Activities in Milwaukee

Cream City Hostel

Milwaukee Events

October 26, 2019

There’s no doubt that the city of Milwaukee knows how to have a good time! Over the holidays, Milwaukee becomes bright and festive. While visiting Milwaukee, stay at Cream City Hostel and be near all of the holiday happenings. Our dorm beds start at $28/night and we have private rooms for couples or families.

Our staff knows what to do and see during the holidays and are essential guides for getting around the city. Come visit us! Here’s what you can expect to do in Milwaukee during November and December:

Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Extravaganza

Thursday, November 21
Pere Marquette Park
6:30 pm, Pre-show at 5:30 pm

Milwaukee lights up the streets and parks from late November until the end of December. Witness the first night of the lights starting at 6:30 pm and enjoy music and dance performances. Being the “city of festivals,” there will be fireworks! And of course Santa will make an appearance! You can view the holiday lights all season long. If you miss Santa, you can visit during Cocoa with the Clauses on Saturday, December 14th


Thursday, December 5
The Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale
5-11 pm

Krampus is a folklore figure in central Europe who punishes bad children during the holidays, the opposite of Saint Nicholas who rewards well-behaved children. The Milwaukee Krampusnacht is a spirited event bringing together local live music, craft vendors, parade, photo booth, kids activities and German food and drink served by The Bavarian Bierhaus. The event is going into its second year and it sold out last year so buy tickets early! Krampusnacht supports Toys for Tots by collecting items at the event. There's a bike ride leaving from the Riverwest neighborhood and bike rentals on site for those looking for more winter fun.


November 15-December 24
The Plaza at Fiserv Forum
Sunday-Thursday 11 am-8 pm, Friday-Saturday 11 am-9 pm
Special hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve

Milwaukee was the destination for German immigrants during the 1800s and this German-style Christmas market is a fun place to buy gifts. The Plaza outside the Fiserv Forum is a pedestrian mall where vendors sell food and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). German specialty foods served include sausages, pretzels, baked cheese and strudel as well as Glühwein, a spiced wine traditionally sold at Christmas markets in Germany. The hostel is a 15 minute quick bus ride or 10 minute car ride to the market.

Jingle Bus

November 21-December 30
The Avenue
Thursday-Sunday 6-8:20 pm

An easy and thrifty way to see the holiday lights in Milwaukee, hop aboard the Jingle Bus for only $2 (cash only). A 40-minute tour, narrated by Milwaukee Downtown Public Service Ambassadors, shows off the city lights and points out downtown landmarks. The bus doesn’t stop at light displays, but it gives you a good idea of which ones to re-visit and is a good introduction to downtown Milwaukee.

Why not get your steps in for the day? Go on a walking tour of the holiday lights with Gothic Milwaukee.

Santa Bike Ride

Saturday, December 7
BelAir Cantina Tosa
7-9 am registration, 9:30-10:15 am ride

Use the promo code "Santa2019" for 10% off your stay!

Hundreds of Santas of all ages (and genders) cruise the streets on bicycles. The slow roll ride starts in Wauwatosa at BelAir Cantina and ends at Lakefront Brewery near the hostel. This ride is a fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Federation, a statewide bicycle advocacy group. Over the years, this long standing tradition in Milwaukee has continued to stops beyond Lakefront Brewery. Choose your own adventure and continue on with your new friends! Past stops after the fundraiser have included Great Lakes Distillery for cocktails and food trucks and Kochanski’s Concertina with live polka music.

Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes

Open daily 9 am-5 pm (4 pm on weekends)
Winter Farmers Market: November 2 to March 28. 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays

The Domes are a must to visit in Milwaukee. With three domes including a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and special floral gardens, there are numerous plants and birds to view and enjoy including 1,200 in the tropical dome!  The desert oasis is wonderful during the winter months to bask in the warmth. In the evenings, there are light shows and live music during the week days.

On Saturdays, visit the Winter Farmers Market to enjoy fresh produce and find that perfect holiday gift from from Milwaukee vendors.

Or check out The Domes Holiday Garden Show: November 23, 2019 - January 5, 2020 for some holiday fun.

Christmas in the Ward

Friday, December 6
Historic Third Ward
5:30-8:30 pm

It's an Old-fashioned Milwaukee favorite! Fireworks, tree lighting, Santa and live reindeer kick off a festive month of holiday fun and shopping in the Historic Third Ward.

A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater

November 26-December 24
Pabst Theater

The Rep’s hit new adaptation is a tale of love, hope and redemption with just the right blend of beautiful music, lively dancing, stunning sets and eye-popping special effects. It’s a dazzling Christmas feast with enough theatrical goodies to fill any sized stocking hung by the chimney with care. Join Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge in this holiday classic the whole family will love.

Ready for some fun with us in Milwaukee?

Book direct with us! Use the promo code "Milwaukeeholiday" for 10% off your stay!

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