THROUGH JAN. 5 | JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE
Did you know that the world’s most famous escape artist (not you, David Copperfield!) once lived in Milwaukee? Now he’s the subject of a major exhibit – chock-full of rare artifacts and archival footage – at Jewish Museum Milwaukee. Visitors can test their own legerdemain by attempting to master a few of his tricks, or wind through a family-friendly escape room.
DEC. 1 | PRITZLAFF BUILDING
Finish your holiday shopping early this year, and support small-business owners in the process. For 10 years, Hover Craft has been putting on a huge makers’ market full of handmade art, apparel, home goods and accessories. More than 100 vendors will participate this year, and local restaurants like Fuel Cafe will be slinging food and drinks, too.
DEC. 4 | THE RAVE
Over the course of BROCKHAMPTON’s sold-out concert at the Rave last winter, the 13-member boy band played its hip-hop superhit “Star” no less than six times. And their fans couldn’t have been happier. All that is to say, if you like radio-friendly rap, dance parties or listening to catchy songs over and over again, you’re in for a good time.
FREE | DEC. 6 | HISTORIC THIRD WARD
When the sun goes down in the Third Ward tonight, the lights will come up, courtesy of a fireworks display and a tree-lighting ceremony. There will also be refreshments, musicians, dancers, live reindeer and – of course – St. Nick himself. Many neighborhood shops and restaurants will remain open throughout the festivities, too.
DEC. 6 | THE COOPERAGE
Like superheroes, the luchadores headlining tonight’s event wear colorful costumes, masks and capes. Also like superheroes, they can fly (short distances, at least) by using the ring ropes to launch themselves at opponents. Mondo Lucha’s shows typically sell out, so if you’re interested in going, get your tickets soon. And you’ll want to leave your little ones at home because ribald comedians and burlesque dancers perform alongside the wrestlers.
DEC. 11. | THE RIVERSIDE THEATER
You may know him best as Aaron Burr, sir. But Leslie Odom Jr. isn’t in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s shadow anymore. Since leaving the original Broadway production of Hamilton to focus on his solo career, the silvertongued singer has become a major celebrity in his own right. He’s released multiple albums, published a memoir and acted alongside Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express. Now he’s back on stage, ready to remind us how he became a star in the first place.
DEC. 13-15 | THE RIVERSIDE THEATER
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s annual Harry Potter concert series is fast becoming a favorite holiday tradition. This year, members of the MSO will play Patrick Doyle’s memorable Goblet of Fire score alongside the film. You can bet at least a few audience members will be dressed like witches and wizards. And a sense of magic is sure to be in the air, in more ways than one.
DEC. 19 | FISERV FORUM
LeBron James’ fans still call him “King James,” but we’d like to crown a certain Athenian and defending NBA MVP the new king of basketball. And we can’t wait to see Giannis Antetokounmpo square off against James’ Lakers on our home hardwood.
FREE | DEC. 22 | MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM
Let this Wisconsin-based string group serenade you while you sit under the soaring glass ceiling of the MAM’s Windhover Hall. Then wander over to “A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection,” a special exhibit of 19th and 20th century paintings by A-list artists like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.
DEC. 31 POTAWATOMI HOTEL AND CASINO
Expect all the standard New Year’s Eve staples at this bash – a live DJ, party favors, a champagne toast – plus more slot machines than you can shake a casino chip at. Remember that while 2019 will fade away at the end of the night, any gambling debts you might rack up won’t.