The Best Things to Do in Milwaukee This December

Candlelit strolls, Spaceballs and more this festive month.



 
 
1.

Dickens of a Village

DEC. 2 | VILLAGE OF GREENDALE

The Historic Village of Greendale transforms into a scene from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for this fest. Hot mulled wine, strolling carolers and horse-drawn wagon rides add to the effect. 



 
 
2.

Dance Parties

MULTIPLE DATES | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS | $

There are two this month, and each honors an icon with a cult following: Taylor Swift and Shrek. Taylor Swift Night at Turner Hall Ballroom is hot off the release of the pop queen’s newest album, Midnights (Dec. 10). And the Shrek Rave promises to be both “fun” and “dumb” (Dec. 9).

Photo by Alex Walzak, Pabst Theater Group


 

UNITY AWARDS EVENT

Join Milwaukee Magazine and Quad for the third-annual Unity Awards Event on March 8 from 6:30-9 p.m. at GATHER in the Deer District.



 
 
3.

Illuminated Hike

DEC. 15 | SCHLITZ AUDOBON NATURE CENTER | $

The trails at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center are gently lit for this event. Stop by to decorate a paper lantern before embarking on a winter stroll. Walk at your own pace, and stay after to hang out by a bonfire and sip on hot chocolate. 



 
 
4.

Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Christmas Day Cinema

DEC. 25 | JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE | $

This year’s movie is Spaceballs!, in connection with the museum’s “Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit” exhibit. The 1987 cult classic was co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. 



 
 
5.

Holiday Face-Off College Hockey Tournament

DEC. 28-29 | FISERV FORUM | $

Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Clarkson and Lake Superior State will face off at Fiserv Forum for this college hockey tournament. The Badgers managed to bring home this title last year. Can they do it again?

Photo by Visit Milwaukee



 
 
6.

GrindFest

DEC. 30 | PETTIT NATIONAL ICE CENTER | $

It’s a progression run, meaning runners have to get faster and faster or they’re out. Every three laps, the speed increases, and the last person standing wins. Racers range from hobby runners to pros trying to qualify for an Olympic team, plus there’s bleachers for watchers.



 
 
7.

Ice Skate at Red Arrow Park

OPENING EARLY DECEMBER | RED ARROW PARK

Make the most of the seasonal freeze with a visit to Milwaukee’s own miniature Rockefeller Rink. Bring your own skates and take to the ice for free, or pick up rentals inside next to the coffee shop.

Red Arrow Park. Photo by Randy Scherkenbach.



 
 
8.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

DEC. 31 | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS | $

Looking to ring in the New Year? There’s the luxury party at the Pfister’s 23rd-floor lounge with panoramic views and live music. The FireHouse in Story Hill is throwing a cocktail party with a swanky midcentury theme. Or dance the night away at Howl at the Moon Milwaukee.

Photo by Getty Images


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s December issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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Allison Garcia is the Digital Editor for Milwaukee Magazine.