Pabst Mansion

20 Milwaukee Events to Put You in the Holiday Spirit This December

Have a holly jolly time at any of these festive events this month.

Theater and Dance

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage

For one night only (Dec. 8 at 2 and 6 p.m.), join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the whole peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season.

MSO Holiday POPS 2018

Ring in the holiday season with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras Holiday Pops. Tony DeSare joins the Orchestra to perform classics, carols and more. Catch the show through Dec. 2 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Twas the Month Before Christmas

For a smart, funny and sweet experience that will put you in the holiday spirit, see the production of Twas the Month before Christmas. Milwaukee playwright and actor Doug Jarecki delivers a hilarious and heartwarming holiday treat at Vogel Hall, running through Dec. 2.

A Christmas Carol

The classic Charles Dickens novel is a tale of love, hope and redemption, and it returns to Milwaukee for its 43rd year this holiday season. Showings will take place at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater through Dec. 24.

The Nutcracker Milwaukee Ballet 2018

See the Milwaukee Ballet perform the holiday classic Dec. 826. The Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s masterful score, and more than 200 dancers take the stage to tell the story of Clara, Fritz and Marie. (Sensory friendly performance available)

Black Nativity 2018

Milwaukee’s newest holiday favorite, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes, tells the story of the Nativity through African American scripture, poetry, dance and song. Directed by Malkia Stampley, the show runs Dec. 6-16.

A Magical Cirque Christmas

You’ll be transported to the golden age of entertainment by these mind-blowing talents, stunning costumes, and comedy. A Magical Cirque Christmas is an event you won’t want to miss. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6.


A Soulful Christmas with Chris Crain

Chris Crain creates a classic experience that combines jazz and soul to spread love and cheer. The show will feature the music of Charles Brown, Stevie Wonder, India Arie, Michael Buble and more! Visit the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall on Dec. 22 for this festive show.

John Legend: A Legendary Christmas

Critically acclaimed, multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend comes to the Riverside Theater Wednesday, Dec. 12, just in time for the holidays, following the release of his very first Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas.

Christmas in the Basilica – Bel Canto Chorus

Milwaukee’s premier independent choral organization will perform three concerts Dec. 14-16 at the historic St. Josaphat Basilica (2333 S. Sixth St.). Organist Kevin Bailey will accompany the choir, directed by Richard Hynson.

Family Friendly

A Grand Avenue Christmas

Every year, the historic Pabst Mansion (2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.) gets a holiday makeover and opens three floors to visitors. Children ages 16 and under can tour free, now through Jan. 6, 2019.

Breakfast with Santa at the Milwaukee County Zoo

The Milwaukee County Zoo (10001 W. Bluemound Rd.) offers opportunities for families to enjoy the company of Santa and Mrs. Claus Saturdays and Sundays throughout December. Tickets include admission to the zoo as well as breakfast, featuring live Christmas carols and Racine Danish Kringles.

Breakfast with Santa at the Pfister

As part of a series of holiday events, the Pfister Hotel (424 E. Wisconsin Ave.) gives families the opportunity to enjoy a jolly breakfast with Santa himself Saturdays during December.

Events for Everyone


Experience a traditional German holiday market in the heart of the city. Complete with delicious food and drinks, collectibles and gifts, Christkindlmarket at the new Fiserv Forum runs through Dec. 30.

Ugly Sweater Day 5k & 10k

It’s a virtual race to help you get in the holiday spirit. The races can be done from any location of your choosing. This year’s proceeds will benefit Feed my Starving Children. Pricing is $18-28. Complete race anytime in December or on Ugly Sweater Day, Dec. 19.

Ice Skating at Red Arrow Park

Lace up and burn some energy this winter season at Red Arrow Park. Participate in this Downtown Milwaukee tradition, named after the 32nd Red Arrow Division of the US Army (920 N. Water St.), now until spring arrives, weather permitting.

Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee

Walk the Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Public Museum (800 W. Wells St.), adorned with holiday touches of garland, wreaths and ribbons. To enjoy a holiday tour of the exhibition led by “Granny Hannah,” guests can download a “Deck the Streets” app through Jan. 22, 2019.


Bartolotta Holiday Champagne Dinner

Bartolotta Restaurants presents their annual Holiday Champagne Dinner Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Toast the holiday season with celebrated champagne and dazzling dishes at Bacchus. The evening will be hosted by the House of Ruinart and Moet Hennesey USA. Executive Chef Nick Wirth has created a menu full of decadent delights, each specifically suited to the Champagne selections.

Corvina Wine Company: Milwaukee’s Premier Holiday Wine Tasting

Taste a wide variety of wines from around the world and learn with wine specialists. This wine tasting will be designed as a walk-around tasting with various stations. This event takes place on Dec. 20 from 5-9:30 p.m. (309 N. Water St.)

Brady Street Third Annual Festivus Run

One mile, twelve bars, 5,280 “feats” of strength – it all happens on Saturday, Dec. 8. All runners receive winter mittens, a Festivus pole medal and a free beer at any of twelve participating Brady Street bars – not to mention an additional beer at the half-mile turn-around point. “Feats of Strength” competitions in participating bars begin at 3 p.m.