MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

previous day Events for Friday, December 3, 2021 next day

  • Holiday Fantasy in Lights

    Madison, WI

    The free display in Olin Park is open from dusk to dawn.


  • Holiday Lights Festival

    Milwaukee, WI

    The season-long lights festival includes more than 500,000 lights throughout downtown's parks and streets.

     


  • Christkindlmarket

    Chicago, IL

    This is the most authentic Old World Christmas market, with many German vendors who bring over toys, ornaments and sweets. There's a Children's Lantern Parade, appearances by the Christkind and entertainment most days. In Daley Plaza in the Loop.


  • Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville

    Chicago, IL

    This North Side satellite of the Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket features ice-skating, wreath-making, music and Santa's Workshop as well as holiday vendors.

     

     


  • Bentleyville Tour of Lights

    Duluth, MN

    Tour the retro-cool lighted decorations in Bayfront Festival Park, including a tree that dances to music, Dinosaurland and Penguin Park, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

    There's free hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn and marshmallows to roast over fire pits. Bring cash or food to donate to food shelves.


  • Lakeside Park Holiday Lights

    Fond du Lac, WI

    This free light show on Lake Winnebago includes animated scenes and trees that dance to 20 minutes of music played on 87.9 FM (you can listen on your car radio).


  • Christkindlmarket

    Des Moines, IA

    This Christmas market in Principal Park, on the river confluence downtown, features vendors and food plus many performances by bands, choirs, carolers, fiddlers and dance troupes.


  • Christmas in the Ward

    Milwaukee, WI

    Festivities in the rejuvenated Third Ward near downtown start with tree lighting and a performance by Trinity Irish Dancers, followed by  fireworks, carriage rides, carolers, and a cookie sale.


  • Prelude to Christmas

    Amana, IA

    In this formerly communal village in eastern Iowa, visit the decorated Tannenbaum Forest, buy at the craft bazaar, go on a pickle hunt and listen to Santa stories.


  • Christmas Walk and House Tour

    Geneva, IL

    In this northwest Illinois town, Santa Lucia arrives in a horse-drawn carriage on Friday and hands out Swedish cookies, then Santa lights the Great Tree and opens his Gingerbread House. There's shopping amid strolling carolers. A tour of five houses is Friday and Saturday.


  • Christkindlsmarkt

    Excelsior, MN

    The open-air market in this Minneapolis suburb on Lake Minnetonka also includes concerts, balloon art, storytelling, reindeer, visits with the Christkind, mugs of warm Glühwein and children's lantern parades at 5 p.m. both Saturdays.

     


  • Festive Friday Eves

    Cedarburg, WI

    Five Christmas celebrations, each with a different theme, at Cedar Creek Settlement, a restored 1864 woolen mill in this historic village just north of Milwaukee. Each features live holiday music, crafts, luminaries, wine-tasting and cookies and cider.


  • Dickens of a Christmas

    Ripon, WI

    This Victorian-themed festival includes a Tour of Homes Saturday, wagon rides, an Enchanted Forest of decorated trees and a gingerbread-house contest.

    A Holiday Parade will be Friday and Living Windows in downtown shops Saturday.


  • Sinterklaas Eve

    Holland, MI

    In this Dutch town, St. Nicholas arrives on his white horse, surrounded by his Zwarte Piet helpers.

    Join a procession to the Kerstmarkt, then meet Sinterklaas, have treats and listen to carols.


  • European Christmas Market

    St. Paul, MN

    This Christkindlmarkt in Union Depot features choirs, dancers, hot mulled wine, holiday beers, European-inspired food and artisan goods.

     


  • Holiday Kerstmarkt

    Holland, MI

    This open-air European Christmas Market at the Eighth Street Market Place includes 18 timber booths offering Dutch imports, folk art, hand-knit apparel and other gifts.

     


  • Fire & Ice Festival

    Brodhead, WI

    This town between Monroe and Beloit celebrates with horse-drawn carriage rides, fire rings, ice sculptures, an arts-and-crafts show, luminaries, a lighted parade Friday and frozen T-shirt, gingerbread, decorated-pet and Cindy Lou Who contests. 


  • ZooLights

    Chicago, IL

    The annual display of 2.5 million lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is operating at limited capacity again this year and charging $5 per person. Tickets are free on Mondays and Tuesdays. Reserve in advance.


  • Chris Kringle Market

    Ottawa, IL

    This town on the Illinois River kicks off its downtown festival with a parade at 6 p.m. Nov. 26, followed by fireworks.

    Along with the market booths, there will be carriage rides, holiday movies at the Roxy Theater, crafts, a children's train, Santa's House and Christmas Around the World displays where children can get their passports stamped. 

     


  • Country Christmas

    Spring Green, WI

    This arty town on the Wisconsin River, home to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen as well as House on the Rock, offers a lighted parade on Friday and an artist showcase, craft bazaar, cookie walk and fireworks on Saturday.