MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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November 2018  December 2018 January 2019
Mon
24
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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
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Sat
17

Christkindlmarket Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

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

Sat
1
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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
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Fri
30

A Cedarburg Christmas

Cedarburg, WI

Shop at the Holiday Art Fair or Christmas Craft and Gift Sale and visit with Santa at his Workshop. On Friday, there's a Festive Eve at Cedar Creek Settlement and free trolley rides.

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

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.

Old Fashioned Christmas

Delano, MN

This small town west of Minneapolis offers an Old World Market with Krampus and St. Nikolaus, a children's train and holiday character hunt, Glühwein, live reindeer, music and a parade at 4:30 p.m.

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
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Fri
7

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.

Sat
8

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
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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
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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
21

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.

Mon
31

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.

Candlelight ski/snowshoe/hike

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.

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.