Friday, November 27, 2015

Bring on the Christmas Season!

Today is the start to the Christmas season as far as I'm concerned, though many holiday decorations have been up for weeks and the Christmas parade for Milwaukee has gone by.  If you want to experience all the area has to offer, you need to make a plan.

I'll start with a list put out by Calie Herbst, of Miltown Moms.  Her list of 10 local holiday traditions and celebrations includes several in parks, as well as a few others that we enjoy every year.  Be sure to check out the new BMO Harris bank display.  You get a free candy cane and the bears are adorable.

Local First is hosting their second buy local fair on Sunday November 29 from 9-4 at the Domes.  If you are buying gifts this year, it's a great place to find unique goods. You can print a coupon for $2 off admission at the link. Be sure to walk through the Domes to see the gingerbread display that Calie mentions. If you really like gingerbread, make a stop at Milwaukee Public Market and see the MATC gingerbread houses too- December 4 -15.

Next Sunday, December 6, there's a holiday pop up shop at Schlitz Audubon from 12-4.  This is a good chance to take a hike, climb the tower if you've never done that, and find some interesting outdoor themed gifts.  Steph Davies from The Waxwing will have a variety of bird themed gifts.  I'll be there with Milwaukee County park maps and copies of my books, "The Milwaukee Bucket List", and "101 Things to do in Milwaukee Parks".  Stop by and say hi!

Thinking of a holiday lights drive?  Be sure to visit the Bayview neighborhood that does Nightmare Before Christmas. The most comprehensive list of holiday lights I've seen is from Just Add Kids.  They include Racine, Waukesha, the Milwaukee parks, Candy Cane Lane, the Holiday Train, Miller Coors, and even walking food tours in the city.  Take a look to see if there's something you haven't been to yet.
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train comes to Milwaukee December 4

You can see the full schedule of events for the holiday lights festival, which includes decorations in parks, the jingle bus, and Cocoa with the Clauses December 12 at Cathedral Square, which is already decked out in upcycled ornaments. If you have kids that want to make their own holiday upcycled ornaments, go to Homemade Holidays at Wehr Nature Center. Stop by Pere Marquette Park, home to the Milwaukee Historical Society, which is a beautiful building all decked out for the holidays.  Santa will be there for photos December 6 from 10-3.

Upcycled ornaments at Cathedral Square

Whitefish Bay has their holiday stroll tonight from 5-9 which includes the Door County Sled Dogs making an appearance with their bus.  You can find them at Yellow Wood on Berkeley after the parade, which kicks off at 6.  This is a pretty darn cool event if you've never experienced it.  This year will include a storefront with dancing ballerinas.  Santa will be there to visit with kids and of course, the usual pony rides.

The Urban Ecology Centers are also buzzing with outdoor activity.  Participate in the 2015 Candlelight Walk or join in to count birds for the annual bird count.  Check their calendar for many more events. Most require advance registration.

We have a lot to do in Milwaukee this holiday season.  Get out and enjoy!

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