Best time to go to Milwaukee, WI

Christmas Lights in Milwaukee 2021-2022

From downtown to the suburbs, Milwaukee dazzles with lights during the holidays


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Milwaukee gets completely tranformed with holiday lights during the Christmas season. Downtown, Pere Marquette Park, and West Allis residential area are among the best places to see the beautiful displays. However, many beautiful light installations can be also viewed in the Greater Milwaukee area. Light tunnels and enchanted forests are ideal for an evening drive-through or even a winter walk.

Holiday Lights Festival (November 18, 2021–January 1, 2022)

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is the most popular holiday event in the city, lasting for about six weeks. Thousands of lights and animated displays decorate Cathedral Square Park, Zeidler Union Square, and Pere Marquette Park. Sparkling rooflines, harp lamp lighting, and suspended garlands transform the city into a winter wonderland. Don't miss the street chandeliers on Wisconsin Avenue and Mason Street. Zeidler Union Square hosts a unique lighted living room set. This location sparkles and shines, inviting visitors for their holiday snapshots! Pere Marquette Park is one more dazzling destination in Milwaukee. A holiday extravaganza starts in mid-November with a majestic tree and plenty of light for a leisurely wintertime stroll. Take a tour on a Jingle Bus from Thursday through Sunday to see all the beautiful sights. On certain days, Santa and Mrs. Claus are available for Cocoa with the Clauses.

Winter Wonders at Boerner Botanical Gardens (November 19, 2021–January 2, 2022)

Winter Wonders at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park features modern lighting techniques, creating fantastic displays through illuminated forests and fields of the Boerner Arboretum and Whitnall Park. The scenic 1.5-mile (2.4-km) drive-through route features over a million LED lights. 80 two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and animated displays are among the highlights of the show. Holiday gift bag giveaways and Santa visits take place every night. The display is on from 5 to 10 pm. Tickets begin at $25 per car.

Christmas Carnival of Lights (late November–early January)

Christmas Carnival of Lights in Jellystone Park, Caledonia, is the largest drive-through light display in Southeastern Wisconsin. The amazing show includes a 200-foot (61-m) dazzling tunnel with images and words synchronized to music. Take a ride in Santa's sleigh or Golf Cart Holiday Train to enjoy the winter wonderland around you with elves, reindeer, fairy tale characters, and Santa himself. Kids can bring their letters to Santa and have their photos taken. The 1.5-mile (2.4-km) trail overall features over two million holiday lights.

Grand Geneva Christmas (November 22–December 30, 2021)

Grand Geneva resort is a perfect winter family retreat destination, transforming into a winter wonderland with over two million sparkling lights. The best way to enjoy the dazzling display is to ride the Grand Geneva Trolley, which tours around the resort at 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm. Reservations are required for the ride. You can also explore the lights from the comfort of your own car, starting at Hwy 50. In addition to lights, guests can enjoy holiday tea or breakfasts with Santa, Gingerbread House Walk, Santa's workshops, and the Igloo Experience.

Santa’s Rock n Lights (November 20–Jan 3d)

Santa’s Rock n Lights at Wisconsin State Fair Park is a dazzling drive-thru light show featuring a one-mile route with about 1,000 programmable elements and 100,000 animated lights. Illumination is synchronized to music, which you can tune into on your car radio. Light, animated to Christmas music, is a totally new experience, different from traditional still displays. Santa’s Rock n Lights operates from 5 to 9 pm, with hours extended to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets start at $24.99 per car.

Ingleside Hotel’s Country Christmas (November 26, 2021–January 1, 2022)

Ingleside Hotel’s Country Christmas takes place at The Ingleside Hotel, home to The Springs Water Park. Wisconsin’s largest outdoor drive-through Christmas lights display consists of three exhibits: The Trail, Christmas Village, and Streets of Bethlehem. The Country Christmas Trail dazzles with over a million lights scattered on a mile-long trail. The enchanted winter forest is full of animated figures and scenes, like giant teddy bears and more. Another highlight is the 200-foot (30-m) tunnel adorned with 30,000 shimmering lights.

No matter which getaway you choose for your winter-time retreat in Milwaukee, millions of lights will surely get you in a holiday spirit and create lasting memories.

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