Holiday Fun Guide

By - Dec 1st, 2007 02:52 pm
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By Lindsey Huster

It’s hard to get into the “seasonal spirit” amidst mobbed malls, wintry wind chill and foul fruitcake. But besides these holiday high jinks, there’s enough merriness and cheer for all to enjoy in Milwaukee. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not to jeer. Settle into the long winter’s weeks with a copy of VITAL Source’s guide to holiday events close at hand. Whatever your festive fancy – whether it be a sit-down with Santa, a skate in Red Arrow Park or a sing-along along with the Bearstein Orchestra at Grand Avenue Mall – VITAL is here to tell you how to properly deck the halls this holiday season

Milwaukee Coach & Carriage Holiday Rides

Milwaukee Coach & Carriage
414-272-6873 •
Take a romantic tour in a horse-drawn carriage this season and bask in the outdoor winter festivities.

East Town Trees
Through January 2008
414-271-1416 •
Check out local businesses’ decorating of 30 wooden trees sprinkled throughout East Town.

Holiday Season Pass

The Pabst Mansion, Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Museums
414-931-0808 •
Be thrifty this season and still take part in the merriness and cheer of Milwaukee. For only $10, see the Charles Allis Museum, The Pabst Mansion and the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

Billie the Brownie

Milwaukee County Historical Society
Nov. 11 – Jan. 6 • 414-273-8288
Experience a nostalgic Milwaukee Christmas with Billie the Brownie memorabilia and sounds of the famous radio show. Be sure to attend Dori Mae’s talk on Nov. 11!

Leonard Bearstein Orchestra

The Shops of Grand Avenue
Nov. 12 – Jan. 4, hourly
414-224-0655 •
Leonard Bearstein and his 18-piece animal orchestra perform holiday hits every hour.


Next Act Theatre, Off-Broadway Theatre
Nov. 15 – Dec. 16
414-278-0765 •
Enjoy Tom Dudzick’s “not so typical silent night,” the tale of Andy Gorski and his family’s holiday mishaps.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Jingle Bus

Downtown Milwaukee
Nov. 15 – Jan. 6
414-220-4700 •
Jingle all the way downtown with 40-minute narrated tours highlighting Milwaukee’s finest holiday scenes.

A Grand Avenue Christmas

The Pabst Mansion
Nov.16 – Jan.13
414-931-0808 •
With local designers and businesses, The Pabst Mansion transforms over a dozen of its rooms into a Wisconsin winter wonderland.

White Christmas

Skylight Opera, Broadway Theatre Center
Nov. 23 – Dec. 31
414-291-7800 •
Enjoy a spirited rendition of Irving Berlin’s 1954 film and score.

Twelve Days – A Milwaukee Christmas

First Stage, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 23 – Dec.24
414-273-7206 •
First Stage Children’s Theater presents a teacher’s struggle to keep the Christmas spirit alive for students during WWI.

A Cudahy Caroler Christmas

In Tandem Theatre, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 23 – Jan. 5
414-273-7206 •
The Cudahy Carolers return in this hilarious, offbeat holiday musical comedy.

Mystery of the Christmas Star

Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater, Milwaukee Public Museum
Nov. 23 – Jan. 1
414-319-4629 •
Travel to the time of the birth of Christ and gather scientific data about the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus.

Santa vs. The Snowman

Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater, Milwaukee Public Museum
Nov. 23 – Jan. 3
414-319-4629 •
The hilarious tale of a snowman, Santa’s village and the importance of friendship.

Breakfast with Santa

The Pfister Hotel
Nov. 24 – Dec. 22, 10 am
414-390-3804 •
A special breakfast with Santa that includes a gift for each child.

Christmas Choirs at The Pfister

Dec. 10, 14, 17, 20, noon – 1 pm
414-273-8222 •
Youth choirs perform the sounds of the holiday season.

Michael McDonald’s Christmas Tour

Riverside Theater
Dec. 13, 8 pm
414-286-3663 •
The former Doobie Brother croons his “blue-eyed soul” to holiday classics.

Christmas Tales with Caroline Kennedy

Central Library
Dec. 13, 6 pm
414-286-3000 •
Author Caroline Kennedy signs copies of her holiday classic, A Family Christmas.

Dickens Dinners

The Pabst Mansion
Dec. 14, 15
414-258-7885 •
Rub shoulders with Charles Dickens and hear his telling of A Christmas Carol while enjoying a traditional English feast.

Holiday Punch
Off The Wall Theatre
Dec. 14 – 31
414-327-3552 •
Milwaukee’s original comedy and music holiday revue returns for its 26th run, just in time to cover the events of the year and the hype and hypertension of the season.

Holiday Flute-In

Bayshore Town Center
Dec. 16, 2 pm
414-483-3223 •
Flautists of all ages play in the 27th annual unrehearsed performance.

Winter Tales with John McGivern

Dec. 18 – Dec. 31
Next Act Theatre, Off-Broadway Theatre
414-278-0765 •
John McGivern’s spin on the season, in his own collection of comedic family stories.

The Nylons Christmas Concert

Dec. 20, 7 pm
Cedarburg Cultural Center
The worldwide recording stars bring their famous a cappella harmonies to Cedarburg for a very special holiday concert.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Lunchtime Talk

Milwaukee County Historical Society
Dec. 20, noon – 1 pm
Rochelle Pennington talks about her children’s book, The Christmas Tree Ship, as well as the traditions of the season during the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

Christmas Champagne Brunch

The Pfister Hotel
Dec. 25, 11 am – 3 pm
414-390-3804 •
Enjoy seasonal brunch and complimentary champagne toast.

Winter Break

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
Dec. 26 – Dec. 28
414-390-KIDS (5437) •
Imagine a fun occupation this season as a “winter engineer” with pretend ice sculptures, igloos and sleds.

Jim Gaffigan

Riverside Theatre
Dec. 30, 7 pm; Dec. 31, 10:30 pm
414-286-3663 •
America’s Pale Comedian welcomes the New Year with a champagne toast, a countdown and a balloon drop at midnight on the 31st.

Harlem Globetrotters

Bradley Center
Dec. 31, 2 pm – 6:30 pm
414-276-4545 •
The legendary Harlem Globetrotters storm Milwaukee for a doubleheader in one of our city’s most time-honored family traditions.

Round the World Party at the Safe House
Dec. 31, 3 pm
Safe House
414.271.2007 •
Toast up at this Round the World Party, celebrating midnight in Moscow, Athens, Paris, Rome, Berlin, London and Dublin.

New Year’s Eve at Pier Wisconsin

Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin
Dec. 31, 7:30 pm – 12:30 am
414-765-810 •
Ring in the New Year with a dinner by Bartolotta’s and music by The Temperaments.

New Year’s Eve Breakfast with Curious George

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
Dec.31, 8 am
414-390-KIDS •
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the kids bright and early, with a countdown at 10 am, a ball drop and enough “sham”pagne and cookies to go around!

Miller Free Rides

414-344-6711 •
Stay safe this December 31 and advantage of Miller Free Rides, which begin at 8 pm.

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