MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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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.

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

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, reindeer, street entertainers and a cookie sale.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.