Your Ultimate Guide to Holiday Lights Within Driving Distance

We dare you to check out at least five of these this year.

In Milwaukee County

“Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park

NOW-JAN. 1 | 520 E. WELLS ST., MILWAUKEE

See over 100 evergreen trees in Cathedral square, decorated with handmade ornaments and garlands from over 50 areas schools and businesses, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Singing Tree! This free display is part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

“Tinesel Town Express” at Pere Marquette Park

NOW-JAN. 1 | 900 N. PLANKINTON AVE., MILWAUKEE

This Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival free event lets you take a peek into the North Pole at Pere Marquette Park where Santa’s elves are on the loose trying to ship packages by mail, train and even helicopter in time for Christmas!

“Polar Plaza Powered by We Energies” at Zeidler Union Square

NOW-JAN. 1 | 301 W. MICHIGAN ST., MILWAUKEE

There are lots of photo op’s at Polar Plaza in Zeidler Union Square. Take a picture in the oversized chair, a selfie by the Season’s Greetings frame or cuddle up for a cute shot in front of the flickering fireplace. This free display is part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

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Wisconsin Avenue Chandeliers

NOW-JAN. 1 | WISCONSIN AVE., MILWAUKEE

Part of the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, you can drive or take a walk down Wisconsin Avenue to see beautiful blue chandeliers lighting the way.

Boerner Botanical Garden’s Winter Wonders Holiday Lights Show

NOW-JAN. 3 FROM 5 TO 10 P.M. | WHITNALL PARK GOLF COURSE, 6751 S. 92ND ST.

Drive through a winter wonderland filled with over one million lights and lots of holiday magic. Each vehicle that enters the Winter Wonders will receive a goodie bag with gifts and coupons too! Tickets cost $25 per carload for General Entry, $35 per carload for Skip the Line/Early Entry (see website for limo and bus pricing) and can be purchased online.

Candy Cane Lane 2020

NOW-DEC. 27, HOURS VARY | 96TH ST. TO 92ND ST. AND MONTANA AVE. TO OKLAHOMA AVE IN WEST ALLIS

The houses on Candy Cane Lane took the song Deck the Halls to the max. Take a drive down this famous street to see everything from Packer-themed holiday décor to holiday classics. It is free to view, but donations – the whole thing started in 1984 in honor of a neighbor’s child who was diagnosed with cancer, and now they give back to the MACC fund each year.

Across Southeastern Wisconsin

Country Christmas Light Show

NOW-JAN. 3, HOURS VARY | 2810 GOLD RD., PEWAUKEE

Join the Ingleside hotel for their 25th year of this spectacular drive-thru holiday event!  See animated figures, over a million holiday lights and holiday scenes from the comfort of your car. Tickets cost $20 per carload (see website for limo and bus prices) and can be purchased online or at the ticket booth (cash or credit).

East Troy Lights

DEC. 5-DEC. 31, 5 TO 9 P.M. | EAST TROY HISTORIC VILLAGE SQUARE

The interactive light displays at the East Troy Historic Village Square allow visitors to control the show using their smartphone, just by hopping on to their website. You can also go online and design your own lights show with their simulator, and you can even submit your show to be played at the square! This display is free, though donations accepted. Light shows are on the hour.

Enchantment in the Park

NOW-DEC. 24 FROM 5 TO 9 P.M.| REGNER PARK IN WEST BEND

Grab some cocoa and treats while you drive (or walk) through this enchanting and magical light display. There are also horse-and-carriage rides available for all ages and are first come, first serve. This display is free, though there is a suggested $10, or food pantry donation are accepted. Drive-thru enter through Silverbrook Dr. and Walk-thru enter from Main Street.

Kapco’s Kids2Kids Christmas Wonderland

NOW-DEC. 31, HOURS VARY | 1150 CHEYENNE AVE., GRAFTON

Drive through this mesmerizing light display full of inflatables, light tunnels, a Christmas village and more! Proceeds from the display go to provide new toys to children in need and facing adversity. Tickets cost $20 per carload General Admission, $30 per carload for Fast Pass and $35 per carload for See Santa Fast Pass.

Making Spirits Bright

NOW-DEC. 31 FROM 5 P.M. TO 9 P.M. | EVERGREEN PARK IN SHEBOYGAN

See movie-themed displays, spectacular lights and lots of holiday cheer as you drive through the Making Spirits Bright light displays. This event is free, though food pantry donations for the Sheboygan County Food Bank are encouraged. Cars should enter from the north off of Calumet Dr. (Highway 42) for the drive thru.

Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights

NOW-DEC. 31 (CLOSED DEC. 25), HOURS VARY | 8425 WI-38, CALEDONIA

See more than two million lights at Jellystone Park in their carnival of lights as you drive through their sparkling and bright light display. After, grab a cup of hot cocoa from Santa’s workshop and take a stroll through the new Winter Walk of Lights. Tickets cost $25 per carload (see website for large van, bus, camper and limo pricing) and can be purchased online or at the gate (cash only).

Wonderland of Lights at the Racine Zoo

NOW-JAN. 3 FROM 5 TO 9 P.M | 200 GOOLD STREET GATE ENTRANCE TO THE RACINE ZOO

From the comfort of your vehicle, drive through decorated trees, light displays, delightful characters and a 96-foot tunnel full of lights. Tickets cost $5 per person and can be purchased at the gate.

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Brianna Schubert is a freelance writer at Milwaukee Magazine. She is studying journalism, psychology and Spanish and is in the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.