MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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November 2020  December 2020 January 2021
Thu
31
-
Sat
21

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. 

In 2020, it's a drive-through. Admission is $10 per car, and children 10 and younger receive a free Bentleyville stocking cap and cookies from a window-side Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Sat
5
-
Fri
4

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, luminaries and a lighted parade Friday.

Sun
6
-
Fri
4

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.

Christkindlsmarkt

Excelsior, MN

In this Minneapolis suburb on Lake Minnetonka, choirs and bands play for shoppers at a traditional German open-air Christmas market. There will also be a magic show, reindeer, visits with the Christkind and Father Christmas and mugs of warm Glühwein.

This year, it's in Excelsior Commons park on the lake, and reservations are required. 

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 at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Living Windows in downtown shops 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Cambridge Classic Christmas

Cambridge, WI

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

Sat
5

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. The parade is at 10 a.m. 

Christkindl Festival

Black River Falls, WI

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

Sat
12
-
Fri
11

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.

 

Sun
13
-
Fri
11

Christkindli Market

New Glarus, WI

Downtown market.

Sat
12

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.

Burlington Ice Festival

Burlington, WI

Ice carvers compete in Wehmhoff Square Park in the Wisconsin Ice Carving Competition. There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides, live reindeer, visits with Santa and bonfires with s'mores.

Sun
13
-
Sat
12

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.

Fri
18

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.

Thu
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.

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.