There's always excitement in the air on and around Madison's State Street, but especially in November, when the holidays are on the horizon.
Where to shop: State Street has great museum gift shops, and Monroe Street,
which heads south from Camp Randall stadium, also has fun shops and
places to eat.
Nightlife: See a concert, play, ballet or touring show at the Overture Center on State Street.
Details: For more, see Shopping in Madison.
Past fast plans: The Gales of November, Exploring Northfield, Late fall in Red Wing, Halloween in Chicago, Fall hikes at Devil's Lake
Holiday Folk Fair International in West Allis, Wis. More than 50 ethnic groups showcase their cultures with music, dance, food and crafts. Nov. 1618.
Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis. The expo at the Midwest Mountaineering store on the West Bank includes dozens of speakers and seminars about skiing, sled-dog racing and ice-climbing as well as year-round adventures. Nov. 1618.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Parade in Chicago. There will be music and family activities on Michigan Avenue, with a lighted parade Saturday from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, where fireworks over the Chicago River will follow. Nov. 16-17.
Christkindlmarket Milwaukee in Milwaukee. The Chicago Christkindlmarket expands with this open-air, German-style market in the plaza outside Fiserve Forum arena. Nov. 17Dec. 24.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
For 500 years, Germans have done their
holiday shopping at open-air Christmas markets in town squares.
Named for the Christ child, the markets traditionally start on the first Sunday of Advent, with shoppers warming up with hot spiced wine while browsing at garland-draped timber kiosks.
In the sloughs of the Upper Mississippi, birds of a feather flock together.
Bird-watchers, especially. On chilly days in late fall, they crowd onto wooden platforms to watch tundra swans paddling around sloughs of the Mississippi River.
This big bird needs a lot of fuel for its flight from the Arctic Circle to the marshes of Chesapeake Bay.
As fall winds down on forest trails, the season is just gearing up on wine trails, where groups of wineries invite folks to take a little drive, sample the wares and maybe take home a few bottles.
Since wineries tend to be in very scenic areas, thats not such a bad idea. And in November, many offer special events to put buyers in the holiday spirit.
Here are wine trails in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan that have planned events in 2018.
In November, women make a break for it.
As men sit in deer stands or watch football games on TV, women hit the road with their friends. They shop, visit spas, sip wine, take cooking classes and see musicals their husbands or boyfriends don't want to see.
For women, November is a great month. Not only do they have a good excuse to get away with their friends, but they can get a head start on shopping for Christmas.