MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Holiday festivals 2019

November

  • (Nov. 10 – Jan 1)Holiday Fantasy in Lights

    Madison, WI

    The free display in Olin Park is open from dusk to dawn.


  • (Nov. 22 – Jan 1)Lakeside Park Holiday Lights

    Fond du Lac, WI

    This free light show on Lake Winnebago includes animated scenes and trees that dance to 20 minutes of music played on 87.9 FM (you can listen on your car radio).


  • (Nov. 15 – 17)Holiday Folk Fair International

    West Allis, WI

    More than 50 ethnic groups are represented with music, dance, food and crafts. At the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center.


  • (Nov. 22 – 24)Christmas by the Bay

    Sturgeon Bay, WI

    Festivities start with a tree lighting Friday night. A parade is 10 a.m. Saturday, and there's free trolley and wagon rides plus visits with Santa and his reindeer.


  • (Nov. 22 – 23)Fine Arts and Crafts Fair

    Menomonie, WI

    Thirty artisans sell their wares at the Mabel Tainter, an 1890 auditorium with an ornate interior decorated for the holidays. Downtown shops hold holiday open houses.


  • (Nov. 22 – 23)Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Parade

    Chicago, IL

    There will be music and family activities all day on Michigan Avenue, with a lighted parade from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, where fireworks over the Chicago River will follow.


  • (Nov. 23 – Dec 28)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.


  • (Nov. 28)Thanksgiving Parade

    Chicago, IL

    It's the 85th anniversary of the parade down State Street in the Loop. It starts at 8 a.m. at State and Congress and moves northward toward Randolph.


  • (Nov. 29 – Dec 1)Christkindlsmarkt

    Excelsior, MN

    In this Minneapolis suburb on Lake Minnetonka, choirs and bands play for shoppers at a traditional German open-air Christmas market.


  • (Nov. 29 – 30)Holly Days

    Egg Harbor, WI

    This Door County village offers horse-drawn wagon rides, a children's elf hunt and mistle dough contest and caroling.


December

  • (Dec. 6)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, and a cookie sale.


  • (Dec. 6 – 8)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.