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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Holiday Events in Milwaukee

These low-cost activities are perfect for a fun time with friends and family. 
Photo by Jack Belmont
Various low-cost activities to do in Milwaukee.

As students gear up for the holidays and winter break, Milwaukee offers a season full of fun and festive activities to do. These low-cost activities are perfect for a fun time with friends and family. 

Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park 

The ice-skating rink at Red Arrow Park, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, offers free skating when you bring your own pair of skates. Otherwise, admission is $11 for adults, and tickets to skate can be purchased in person starting in January 2024 through February. 

In past years, I enjoyed skating with my friends at the rink even being inexperienced with ice skating. The environment is warm and friendly since the rink is full of young children and their families. 

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival and Jingle Bus Tour 

This Milwaukee tradition is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The festival runs until Jan. 1, 2024, and is free for all. There will be dazzling decorations in four of Milwaukee’s parks; Pere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park, Red Arrow Park and Zeidler Union Square.  

There is also a 40-minute Jingle Bus tour of all the lights from Thursday through Sunday nights until Dec. 30. The tour is narrated and highlights the main attractions of the Holiday Lights Festival, including its three parks – “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square, “Santa’s Celebration Square” at Zeidler Union and “¡Felices Fiestas!” at Pere Marquette Park.  

The bus will depart from Courtyard Milwaukee Downtown. Tickets are $5 and must be purchased in advance.

Winter Wonders Drive  

This 1.4-mile drive-through holiday light features over one million LED lights around the Milwaukee Botanical Gardens. The show runs until Dec. 31 and tickets can be bought online or in person at the Boerner Botanical Gardens Atrium.  

Trans-Siberian orchestra 

The TSO is a multi-platinum rock group that performs at Fiserv Forum for two shows on Dec 27. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Hunger Task Force. This year, TSO is going on a 2023 Winter Tour, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve- the Best of TSO & More.” Tickets went on sale in September and are still available on the website starting at $49.  

Deck the Streets and Village  

The Milwaukee Public Museum will be transforming its most beloved exhibits, Streets of Old Milwaukee and the European Village. The walkthrough will be transformed into holiday wonderlands. Tickets are $20-$30 in person and will run every Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. until Jan. 22, 2024.

The Nutcracker: Drosselmeyer’s Imaginarium 

The Milwaukee Ballet is performing their world premiere of Michael Pink’s reimagined The Nutcracker: Drosselmeyer’s Imaginarium from Dec. 13 to Dec. 26 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center – Uihlein Hall. Ticket prices vary depending on seating and can be purchased online.  

As a kid, I remember attending the ballet with my mom and being mesmerized by the costumes and set. The Arabian dance was always my favorite part of the ballet because the movements were so angelic considering how difficult of a dance it is to perform. The Nutcracker always got my family and I in the holiday spirit.  

Milwaukee Makers Market  

This pop-up holiday market is in Discovery World and offers handmade items that support local small businesses perfect for the gift-giving season. It is free to attend and will run from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Dec. 17. Creator Ryan Laessig curates what vendors will be selling so everyone Is welcome to shop or browse.  

A Holiday Snow Globe  

The Mitchell Park Domes is hosting their annual Holiday Snow Globe event until Jan. 7. The domes are filled with festive poinsettia flowers and other decorated spruce trees. Marquette students can show their ID in person and get in for $6, additionally, Milwaukee County residents get $1 off their ticket.  

This story was written by Mimi Sinotte. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Mimi Sinotte
Mimi Sinotte, Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Mimi Sinotte is a sophomore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin studying Journalism and is an Arts & Entertainment Reporter on the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Aside from this position, you can find her rock climbing with MUFA, reading a good book, creating social media posts for her Marketing Internship with Marquette Dining, or occasionally modeling in Chicago. She is most excited to start writing frequently about topics regarding Arts and Entertainment on campus alongside an amazing and talented female-run desk.

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