Many Times, Many Ways

By - Dec 1st, 2006 02:52 pm
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By Amy Elliott

Let’s face it: the holidays can be tough. It takes stamina to make it through the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s with one’s sensibilities intact. But even with all of the off-the-rocker relatives, the shrill children, the sugars and saturated fats and the pushy crowds everywhere from Macy’s to Ace Hardware – there’s something genuinely nice about the holidays. Something warm, peaceful and pretty. Here, then, is VITAL’s holiday events guide, your roadmap through the evergreen forest of Milwaukee’s winter festivities. From champagne brunches to basketball games to the finest of the fine arts, everyone from the preternaturally merry to the utterly contrary will find some way to greet the season. Turn your frost-bitten sneer into some holiday cheer. Kick back with some hot chocolate, put on some slippers and enjoy the time of year with us.

Slice of Ice
Red Arrow Park

Beginning Dec. 1, weather permitting
Free skating, plus skate rentals and warm refreshments.

99.1 WMYX Santa’s Mailbox
Presented by East Town Association
Cathedral Square Park

Through Dec. 15
Drop off a letter to Santa and receive a personalized letter from the jolly old elf himself!

Concord and Choirs at the Basilica for Christmas
Basilica of St. Josaphat

Dec. 16, 8 pm
Te second installment of the Concord Chamber Orchestra’s concert series entitled “Les Beaux Arts,” a tribute to musical repertoire related to other art forms.

Dickens in America
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

Through Dec. 17
An evening with Charles Dickens in the Milwaukee premiere of this new play by Wisconsin playwright James DeVita.

Cedarburg Festive Friday Eves
Cedar Creek Settlement, Downtown

Through Dec. 22, 5-9 pm
Live holiday music, luminarias, wine tasting, a winter cookout, and free cider & cookies. A different theme each Friday!

Breakfast with Santa
The Pfister Hotel

Saturdays through Dec. 23, 10 am
A holiday breakfast with jolly old St. Nick himself.

A Fireside Christmas
Fireside Dinner Theatre, Fort Atkinson

Through Dec. 23
Fireside Theatre’s 14th annual Christmas spectacle promises to entertain with singing, dancing and holiday stories.

A Christmas Story
First Stage Children’s Theater

Through Dec. 24
The classic holiday treat tells the story of the young Ralphie Parker, whose dreams of getting an air rifle for Christmas are repeatedly deferred.

Candy Cane Lane
West Allis

Through Dec. 28
The West Allis neighborhood bounded by Oklahoma and Montana Avenues and 92nd to 96th Street is transformed into a winter wonderland with proceeds going to the MACC Fund.

Honky Tonk Holiday Revue
Apple Holler, Sturtevant

Through Dec. 30
Songs by country legends like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn in a holiday dinner theater musical revue.

A Cudahy Caroler Christmas
In Tandem Theatre

Through Dec. 31
This wildly popular holiday show returns with a hilarious tale of beer, bowling, friendship and forgiveness and the quest to reunite the beloved Cudahy choir.

11th Annual Christmas in the Country
Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva

Through Dec. 31
Musical theater, festive food and family fun amidst over half a million lights in dramatic displays across 1,300 acres.

M&I Bank Annual Holiday Display
M&I Bank Building

Through Jan. 2
A holiday display featuring more than 50 life-size stuffed animals.

East Town’s Holiday Season
Through Jan. 6
Over 30 decorated wooden trees are displayed in the shops, taverns and parks of East Town.

Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra
The Shops of Grand Avenue

Through Jan. 6
This 18-piece bear orchestra delights the kids every hour on the hour.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival
Through Jan. 7
414-220-4700 ext. 30
Lights, displays and special events in the parks make for a festive downtown. Tours on the Jingle Bus through Dec. 30.

Community Spirit Park
Cathedral Square Park

Through Jan. 7
414-220-4700 ext. 30
Handmade ornaments by students adorn a forest of trees with themes of love, peace and joy.

Fairytale Dreams
Pere Marquette Park

Through Jan. 7
414-220-4700 ext. 30
Thousands of lights create a fairytale wonderland with special events throughout the season.

Holiday Circus Fun
Zeidler Union Square

Through Jan.7
414-220-4700 ext. 30
The circus come to “light” in Zeidler Union Square, with music and events all through the season.

Grand Avenue Christmas
Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion

Through Jan. 14
Celebrate the season at Milwaukee’s most historic house, decorated for the holidays.

Milwaukee Coach and Carriage Holiday Rides
The sights of downtown Milwaukee seen from a horse-drawn carriage. Pickups at the Pfister, Wyndham or Hyatt hotels.

Festive Westown Decorating Contest
Westown Association businesses will be decked in holiday splendor.

Celebrating 75 Years of “Billie the Brownie”
Milwaukee County Historical Society

Through Jan. 2007
Milwaukee Christmases past come to life with walls decked in Billie memorabilia and the sounds of early “Billie the Brownie” radio shows.

Holiday Night Lights
Milwaukee County Zoo

Dec. 1–Dec. 16, 6–8 pm
The Zoo shines with more than 20 animal light displays and the Zoological Society’s “Winter Wonderland,” complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a fantastic forest of trees.

Old World Wisconsin Winter Lamplight Tours
Old World Wisconsin

Dec. 1–2 & Dec. 8–9, 6–8 pm
Peer into the cozy houses of the Finnish by the warm glow of lamplight, and listen to stories of Christmas the way it used to be. Enjoy hot cider, a Christmas cookie and a visit from St. Nicholas.

Season’s Greetings
Sunset Playhouse, Elm Grove

Dec.1 – Dec.17
A family Christmas celebration is interrupted by petty squabbles and a case of mistaken identity in this holiday comedy.

Christmas in the Ward
Historic Third Ward, 100 – 200 Blocks of North Broadway

Dec. 1, 5 pm – 8:30 pm
Dec. 2, 11 am – 4 pm
Fireworks, a tree lighting ceremony and Santa kick off a festive weekend of holiday shopping.

Jolly’s Outdoor Gingerbread House
Historic Third Ward, Catalano Square

Dec. 1, 5:45 pm – 8:30 pm
Dec. 2, Noon – 3 pm & 6 pm – 8 pm
Dec. 8 & 9, 5 pm – 8 pm
Visit with Santa in Jolly’s Gingerbread House and get a seasonal photo.

Jolly’s Secret Gift Shop
Historic Third Ward, Catalano Square – Strange Brew Café

Dec. 1, 5 pm – 8:30 pm; Dec. 2, 11 am – 4 pm & 6 pm – 8 pm
Dec. 8 & 9, 5 pm – 8 pm
Kids can shop secretly for family presents.

Winter in the Garden Holiday Show
Cedarburg Cultural Center

Dec. 1, 10 am – 9 pm; Dec. 2, 9 am – 3 pm
Shop for holiday plants, garden art, wreaths, herbs, antiques and collectibles, and enjoy orchid teas, wine tasting & treats.

Handel’s Messiah
Uhlein Hall, Marcus Center for Performing Arts

Dec.1 & Dec. 2, 8 pm
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs the legendary masterpiece.

Toys for Tots Breakfast with Santa
Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Dec. 2, 9 am –11:30 am
Bring a new, unwrapped toy or a $5 donation to eat breakfast with Santa. Every kid receives a photo with Santa and a special gift.

Saturdays with Santa
The Shops of Grand Avenue

Dec. 2 – 23, 12 pm – 2 pm
Craft a holiday keepsake and spend time with Santa, his helpers, and Radio Disney entertainers.

We Energies Weekend
Zeidler Union Square

Dec. 2 & 3, 10 am – 3 pm
Free copies of the We Energies Cookie Book, plus hot cocoa, cookies and prizes.

Martina McBride: Joy of Christmas
Bradley Center

Dec. 3, 7:30 pm
The much-loved singer performs classics from her White Christmas album.

Boston Pops
Milwaukee Theatre

Dec. 6, 7:30 pm
An all-new holiday show with Conductor Keith Lockhart and the world-famous Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

Festival of Trees Gala
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

Dec. 7, 5:30 pm
A black tie evening with dozens of gorgeous trees up for auction. Proceeds benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

European Holiday Celebrations
Milwaukee Public Museum

Dec. 8 & 9, 10 am – 2 pm
Festive music in the Public Museum’s own European Village.

Doc’s Holiday Pops
Uhlein Hall, Marcus Center

Dec. 8 – 10
Celebrate Doc’s last holiday season as Principal Pops Conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Milwaukee Youth Theatre’s Holiday Jamboree
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Dec. 9, 3 pm
414-390-KIDS (5437)
Holiday songs and skits from around the world show how different cultures celebrate the season.

An Ellington Holiday
Pitman Theatre, Alverno College

Dec. 9, 7 pm
Duke Ellington’s re-orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker presented in a beautifully choreographed story ballet.

Bel Canto Chorus: “Sing We Now of Christmas”
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Brookfield

Dec. 9, 7:30 pm
Bel Canto Chorus annual holiday concert.

The Christmas Story
Basilica of St. Josaphat

Dec. 9, 7:30 pm
Early Music Now hosts the Waverly Consort in a celebration of the spirit and pageantry of medieval church dramas with the story of the biblical Christmas eve.

Christmas Choirs
The Pfister Hotel

Dec.11 – 15 & 18 – 21, Noon – 1 pm
Local children’s choirs sing in the beautiful hotel lobby.

The Christmas Toyshop
Cooley Auditorium, MATC

Dec.13 – Dec.19 (except Dec.17)
A familiar holiday story with unexpected – and funny – twists.

The Nutcracker
Uhlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Dec.15 – Dec. 29
Michael Pink brings toys to life onstage with incredible sets, lavish costumes and Tchaikovsky’s rich score in this holiday classic.

It’s a Wrap! Stationery Workshop
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Dec. 15, 2 pm
414-390-KIDS (5437)
Create your own gift wrap, personalized cards and colored containers.

Anne Murray
Riverside Theater

The legendary singer performs an enchanting concert of holiday standards.

A Very Merry McGivern!
with David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries

Off-Broadway Theatre
Dec.19 – Dec. 31
John McGivern brings his hilarious Christmas family memories to the Off-Broadway stage.

Lorie Line: For Unto Us a Child is Born
The Traditions of Christmas
Milwaukee Theatre

Dec. 20, 7:30 pm
Lorie Line is back to share “The Traditions of Christmas” through classic traditions and favorite carols.

Holiday Classics
Basilica of St. Josaphat

Dec. 20, 7:30 pm
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Dec. 21 & 22, 7:30 pm
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra plays beautiful sacred and secular music in two of Milwaukee’s most beautiful churches.

Luncheon Lecture
“The Christmas Tree Ship”
Milwaukee County Historical Society

Dec. 21, Noon – 1 PM
Meet Rochelle Pennington, author The Historic Tree Ship: The Story of Captain Santa.

Christmas Champagne Brunch
The Pfister Hotel

Dec. 25, 11 am – 3 pm
Bring the whole family to the Pfister to celebrate Christmas morning in style.

Winter Wonder Workshops
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Dec. 26 – Dec. 29, 1 pm
414-390-KIDS (5437)
Winter-themed workshops featuring a penguin walk & talk, the science and art of snowflakes, stories and a winter carnival.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Bradley Center

Dec. 28, 8 pm
One of rock music’s most exhilarating live bands, TSO is a holiday essential among music lovers.

Holiday Choral Performance
Milwaukee Art Museum – Quadracci Pavilion

Dec. 30, 2 pm
The Milwaukee DANK Choir performs for free.


Downtown New Year’s Eve Party
Milwaukee County Parks and the City of Milwaukee ring in the New Year with ice-skating at Red Arrow Park and fireworks at midnight.

Harlem Globetrotters
Bradley Center

2 pm & 7:30 pm
See the Globetrotters’ annual performance in one of Milwaukee’s favorite New Year’s traditions.

New Year’s Eve at Noon
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

10 am – 1 pm
414-390-KIDS (5437)
Let the kids be part of the New Year festivities with crafts, dancing, a ball drop and a “sham”pagne toast at noon.

Ultimate New Year’s Eve at the Pfister
The Pfister Hotel

Package includes a four-course dinner, tickets to the Milwaukee Rep’s production of Born Yesterday, then dancing, the countdown and overnight accommodations.

Holy Mary Motor Club + The Trusty Knife
Hosted by VITAL Source
Bremen Cafe
Settle in to the cozy Bremen Café for one of the city’s most intimate parties. Great rock music and a champagne toast.

Miller Time Pub Crawl
Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Live music, drink and sandwich specials, party favors and a champagne toast, plus double occupancy guestroom and bus transportation to Milwaukee’s hottest spots.

Cake with Maritime, The Scarring Party and Xtreme Juggler Marcus Monroe
Riverside Theater

CAKE rocks the riverside with Milwaukee bands Maritime and The Scarring Party and Xtreme Juggler Marcus Monroe, hosted by FM 102.1’s Kramp & Adler. Hors d’ouevres, desserts, a midnight countdown and balloon drop.

A Blu New Year’s Eve
The Pfister Hotel

A stylish place to meet this New Year’s Eve for cool jazz, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast.

Miller Free Rides
Stay safe on New Year’s Eve with Miller Free Rides starting at 8 PM. Call for route and schedule information.

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