MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
ornament
Calendar view | List view
ornament
November 2018  December 2018 January 2019
Mon
24
-
Fri
16

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.

Mon
24
-
Sat
17

Christkindlmarket Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

The Chicago Christkindlmarket expands with this open-air, German-style market in the plaza outside Fiserve Forum arena.

Wed
26
-
Sat
17

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. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy popcorn, roasted marshmallows, cookies and hot chocolate. Everything is free, but bring one or more non-perishable food items (and/or cash) to donate.

Sat
1
-
Fri
30

Holiday Kerstmarkt

Holland, MI

This open-air European Christmas Market at the Eighth Street Market Place includes 16 timber booths offering Dutch imports, folk art, hand-knit apparel and other gifts.

Santa arrives Nov. 27 during the Parade of Lights and Sinterklaas in an evening procession Dec. 7. On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, there are dog-sled demos.

Sun
2
-
Fri
30

Prelude to Christmas

Amana, IA

In this formerly communal village in eastern Iowa, visit the decorated Tannenbaum Forest, go on a cookie walk, buy at the craft bazaar, get free admission to the Amana Heritage Museum, visit reindeer and go on the Christmas Haus Tour.

Cambridge Classic Christmas

Cambridge, WI

Celebrate the season with hay rides, gingerbread-house building, a fat-tire bike ride and madrigal singers.

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.

 

Sat
1

Norwegian Christmas Weekend

Decorah, IA

In the northeast Iowa bluffs, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum will have Scandinavian food, theater, music, folk-art demonstrations, singing around the Jule tree and appearances by Julenisse and Julebukker.

Grand Meander

St. Paul, MN

On Grand Avenue, lined by small shops and restaurants, there will be carolers, soup tasting, a petting zoo, a juried art fair at Ramsey Junior High and a trolley to get from place to place.

Sinterklaas Parade

Pella, IA

In this Dutch town, the man in the red suit arrives in a wooden ship, wears a bishop's miter and has a Moorish servant as helper. A 10 a.m. parade is followed by a meet-and-greet at Scholte Church.

Christkindl Festival

Black River Falls, WI

A candlelight procession and tree lighting start this traditional German market fair. There's also live reindeer, a baby camel, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and a Christkindl Night of Lights Parade.

Twinkle Party

Stillwater, 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.

Sun
2
-
Sat
1

Julebyen

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.

You can take the train from Duluth to Knife River and back for $15, $5 for children 3-12. It leaves the Depot at 9:30 a.m. both days. From Knife River, there's also a train to visit a grumpy troll in Troll Canyon, $10 for adults, free for one child 12 and under, $4 for each additional child.

Fri
7

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.

Sat
8
-
Fri
7

Christmas Walk, House Tour & Steeple Walk

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, and a Steeple Walk of churches is on Sunday.

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, frozen T-shirt contest and a lighted parade at 7 p.m. Friday.

Sun
9
-
Fri
7

Dickens of a Christmas

Ripon, WI

This Victorian-themed festival includes Living Windows in downtown shops Friday evening, a Tour of Homes Saturday, wagon rides, an Enchanted Forest of decorated trees and a gingerbread-house contest.

Sat
8

Spirit of Christmas Past

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.

Night of the Luminaria

Galena, IL

More than 5,000 candle-lit luminaria line the streets of this historic town and 30 windows become animated.

Sun
16
-
Thu
13

Holidazzle

Minneapolis, MN

The fifth 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.

There are fireworks at 7 p.m. the first Friday and the next four Saturdays.

 

 

Mon
24
-
Thu
13

Christkindlmarket

Naperville, IL

The Chicago Christkindlmarket has a satellite market at the historic Naperville Settlement, with visits from the Christkind, dance performances and a children's lantern parade on Kinder Tag.

Fri
14

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.

Sun
16
-
Sat
15

An Old World Christmas

Eagle, WI

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.

Mon
31

Carp Fest

Prairie du Chien, WI

In this Mississippi River town, celebrate with fireworks, music, a light show, a bonfire and the Droppin' of the Carp, a large, frozen Mississippi River rough fish.

 

Cheese Drop

Plymouth, WI

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.

Cherry Ball Drop

Traverse City, MI

In this town on Grand Traverse Bay, there's music from 9 p.m., a visit from the Coast Guard and a large illuminated cherry dropping 115 feet at midnight.

Light Up Eau Claire

Eau Claire, WI

This New Year's Eve festival downtown features live music, free movies, an ice bar with ice glasses, lantern parades and fireworks.

New Year's Eve Ball Drop

Ludington, MI

The party in this Lake Michigan beach town includes music, dancing, a beer tent, a lighted ball drop and fireworks.