In this Dutch town, St. Nicholas arrives on his white horse, surrounded by his Zwarte Piet helpers.
Join a procession to Centennial Park, then meet Sinterklaas and have treats at the Holland Museum.
Shop at the Holiday Art Fair, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, visit with Santa and tour the decorated Kuhefuss House.
St. Paul, MN
Festivities include cookies, hot drinks and twinkle lights given to children. There will also be a tree-lighting ceremony, free trolley rides, caroling and fireworks.
Knife River, MN
This Norwegian Christmas market on Lake Superior, between Duluth and Two Harbors, features indoor and outdoor markets, music, children's activities, skating, Norwegian food and visits from Santa and elves.
On Saturday, take the train from Duluth to Knife River and back for $10, $5 for children 3-12.
St. Paul, MN
This Christkindlmarkt in Union Depot features choirs, dancers, hot mulled wine, holiday beers, European-inspired food and artisan goods.
Green Bay, WI
At this large complex of frontier buildings, listen to choirs, make orange pomanders, learn 19th-century dances, visit with St. Nick and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride.
More than 5,000 candle-lit luminaria line the streets of this historic town and 30 windows become animated.
At this fun event at Old World Wisconsin, a complex of pioneer homesteads next to Kettle Moraine State Forest west of Milwaukee, you'll meet Father Christmas, stroll from historic houses to shops, sample ethnic foods and make old-fashioned crafts.
Reserve early for the Old World Holiday Breakfast.
The fourth year of a downtown holiday village will be in Loring Park and feature free admission, with entertainment that includes ice-skating, holiday movies and band and choir concerts.
This new North Side satellite of the Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket features ice-skating, wreath-making, music and Santa's Workshop as well as holiday vendors.
Around the region
There's nothing better than skiing (or snowshoeing or hiking) through a twinkling forest or across a luminary-lined lake. There's usually a bonfire and hot chocolate to enjoy afterward.
For the big Cheese Drop in this eastern Wisconsin town, an 80-pound lighted wedge of cheese is dropped 100 feet at 10 p.m. There will also be free live music, cheese wedges and a s'mores bar.
Eau Claire, WI
This New Year's Eve festival downtown features live music, free movies, an ice bar with ice glasses, lantern parades at 5 and 11 p.m. and fireworks.