MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Holiday festivals 2020

November

  • (Nov. 9 – Jan 1)Holiday Fantasy in Lights

    Madison, WI

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


  • (Nov. 28 – 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. 20 – 22)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. 20 – 22)Virtual Holiday Folk Fair International

    West Allis, WI

    More than 50 ethnic groups present music, dance, food and crafts from around the world. At the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center.

    This year, it will be online.


  • (Nov. 21 – Dec 27)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. Bring one or more non-perishable food items (and/or cash) to donate to food shelves.

    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.


  • (Nov. 27 – 28)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. 4 – 5)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.


  • (Dec. 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.


  • (Dec. 31)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.