14 Fun Things to Do in Milwaukee This December

The days are getting shorter, but there’s still as much to see and do – plays, concerts, festivals – as ever.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Through Dec. 16
Quadracci Powerhouse

 If you consider Mr. Darcy your ideal man, you’ll want to hitch up your Regency-style skirt, or trousers, and hurry over to the Rep, where the theater company is staging a “sequel” to Jane Austen’s iconic Pride and Prejudice, set in the English countryside.

Andrea Gibson

Dec. 1
Boswell Book Co.

You rarely hear the words “slam poet” and “superstar” used to describe the same person. But they fit Andrea Gibson, who won the first iteration of the Women of the World Poetry Slam and has performed at venues around the country. Reserve a copy of her latest book through Boswell, and she’ll sign it at the event.

Milwaukee Hmong New Year

Dec. 1-2
Wisconsin Expo Center

During this celebration, which takes place around the end of the harvest season, thousands gather to sample traditional Hmong dishes, cheer on ceremonial dancers and singers and take part in activities like pov pob – a ball-tossing game commonly played between young adults looking for love.

Fine Arts Society Holiday Luncheon

Dec. 4
Woman’s Club of Wisconsin

To commemorate the return of the Neapolitan Crèche to the Milwaukee Art Museum galleries (the 18th-century nativity scene hasn’t been on view at the MAM since 2013), curator Tanya Paul will discuss the work and its historic significance.

Hover Craft

Dec. 9
Pritzlaff Building

More than 100 Milwaukee makers gather under one roof – a gorgeously historic roof, at that – every year to offer their wares to holiday shoppers. Stop by if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one or a seasonal treat for yourself.

Estas Tonne

Dec. 12
Turner Hall

A Ukrainian-born troubadour who travels the world with his guitar, Estas Tonne finds inspiration in flamenco, Latin and Romani music. If you’re on the fence about attending his Cream City concert, listen to his hit “Song of the Golden Dragon,” which has received more than 50 million plays on YouTube.

Moth Story Slam

Dec. 13
The Back Room @ Colectivo


At this live storytelling competition, contestants get five minutes to tell a story that relates to the theme (this time around, the theme is “instincts”). A panel of judges selects a winner at the end of the night, and the champ gets a chance to compete again.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert

Dec. 13-16
Riverside Theater

Climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and listen to members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform the score of the third Harry Potter movie live, while the film plays on a giant screen alongside them. Ten points for Gryffindor if you come in costume!



Clara Takes Flight

Dec. 14-16, 21-22
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan

Watch members of the Wisconsin-based Warped Dance Company reimagine The Nutcracker ballet for a 21st century audience. How? By replacing the classic dance scenes with stunning aerial acrobatics.

Photos by Lauren Schmitt of Double Vision Films



UFC Fight Night

Dec. 15
Fiserv Forum

For the first time in five years, Milwaukee is hosting an Ultimate Fighting Championship. Lightweight contenders Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta will square o in the arena, along with many local fighters.

Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 20-23
Basilica of St. Josaphat

Every year, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra fills one of the city’s most beautiful churches (modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) with the sounds of one of the most beloved choral works in Western music. Christopher Seaman conducts the symphony, and Cheryl Frazes Hill directs the chorus.

Milwaukee Admirals vs. Chicago Wolves

Dec. 22
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena

Channel a certain sort of holiday spirit by cheering on our hometown hockey team as they compete against our southern neighbors. Because nothing says Christmas like a free-for-all icy brawl.

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Admirals

Stellar Spark

Dec. 31
The Rave

The Rave claims to put on “the Midwest’s longest-running New Year’s Eve event,” and we aren’t going to argue with them. The Swedish DJ duo Dada Life (who set a Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Pillow Fight at one of their 2013 concerts) headlines the event this year.

Harlem Globetrotters

Dec. 31
Fiserv Forum

The Globetrotters have been shooting hoops since the 1920s, when the Chicago-based players (fun fact: they didn’t actually play in Harlem until 1968) began dazzling crowds with their fancy footwork and hand-eye coordination. Today they’re known as much for their comic high jinks as their athleticism, but they’re still pretty impressive to watch.

“December Agenda” appears in the December 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop or find the October issue on newsstands, starting Dec. 3.

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