Happy holidays! I cannot believe there are only four shopping/card mailing days left until Christmas.   That said, if you have any last minute shopping to do, check out Jenn’s Holiday Gift Guide to get inspired. But post holidays, it seems we’re often left in a quiet lull. I’m going to provide you with some fun things-to-do in close proximity to our neighborhoods in Madison and Milwaukee. Let’s make the most of your winter break!


Zoo Lights at Henry Vilas Zoo

See the zoo in a new light through the end of the year! Take a stroll through festive lights and sounds and warm up in candy cane lane. Thousands of lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland.

My Family NYE

Enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities with the whole family. Tons of activities for little ones will be hosted at various locations throughout Madison (main spots are KEVA and Monona Terrace). Bonus points, an early balloon drop makes for a reasonable bedtime.

Kids in the Rotunda at Overture Center

The Overture Center offers free shows for kids and families on Saturday mornings and afternoons. The space is very child-friendly and offers American Sign Language interpreted shows as well.

UW Arboretum Nature Walks

UW Arborteum offers free nature walks for both adults and families with children. Check out the New Year’s Eve night walk, lead by a naturalist, and enjoy a cup of jot chocolate. Or, bring the kiddos and learn about the nature of snow on Sunday, January 14.

Madison Children’s Museum

The Madison Children’s Museum is pretty obviously great for kids, but did you know that it’s also pretty awesome for adults too? During Adult Swim times, the 21+ crowd can enjoy craft cocktails, pizza and dancing. Many of the events offer up a theme, such as Steampunk and Prom.

Ice Skating at Tenney Park

Currently this ice rink is closed, but once the weather cooperates, it’ll be back up and running. Lace up those skates and show off your moves. Tenney Park is a tree-lined space, with incredible views, located just off of Lake Mendota.

Late Winter Market

Missing the excitement of the Dane County Farmer’s Market on the Square? Well, cue up your taste buds for a real treat. Starting Jan 6, on Saturday mornings at the Madison Senior Center, you’ll find a full selection of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, honey and yummy baked goods.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Bolz Conservatory

Step inside the Bolz Conservancy at Olbrich for a taste of the tropics. Lush greenery, fish and birds make for a very welcome sight in winter. Olbrich is also hosting a Holiday Miniature Train event through December 31.

Watch the Orange Bowl at Union South

Cheer on the Badgers with students and alumni in the heart of campus.  Game takes place on December 30.

Winter Wedding Show

Stop out and visit our booth at the Winter Wedding Show on January 13 and 14. This event is hosted by Wedding Planner and Guide at Alliant Energy Center. Enjoy treats and tasty appetizers and mingle with over 200 local vendors. Stop by our booth and get a free cookie cutter!


Family Free Day at Milwaukee Zoo

Take advantage of all the Milwaukee Zoo has to offer for FREE during the upcoming Family Free Day on January 6.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is a great escape for cold days. Let your little ones go wild at the museum. The Museum is currently offering memberships on sale for the holidays, through December 31.


The Mitchell Park Conservatory, AKA The Domes, offers an amazing sight during. Explore a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and gorgeous flower gardens. Get out of the snow and get in the jungle!

Cross Country Ski in Grant Park

Once the snow hits the ground, pick up your skis and get to the park. Enjoy miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Groomed trail locations are available once Mother Nature produces 6” of snow.

Tour the Pabst Mansion

Captain Frederick Pabst not only created a great beverage, he also had a great eye for architecture. Enjoy this award-winning historic museum through January 7 to see “A Grand Avenue Christmas”.

Milwaukee Public Market

Need to get your steps in? Looking for some great food? Want to take a cooking class? You can do it all at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Third Ward Art Galleries

Fill up your culture tank by walking the Third Ward and visiting some really great galleries. Or, stop by Splash Studio and get a drink while you make your own art!

Ice Skating at the Pettit National Ice Center

Channel your inner Olympian or just take some lessons. Either way, you’re bound to have fun at Pettit Center. January 2-7, they will also be hosting the US Olympics Long Track Trials.

Afternoon Tea at The Pfister

Take a break and zen out with afternoon tea.  The Pfister provides an all-silver service with delicious scones and sandwiches to accompany your hot beverage.  The lounge, located on the 23rd floor, makes for a nice retreat with spectacular views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan.

MBA Home and Remodeling Show at Wisconsin State Fair Park

Stop out and visit our booth at the MBA Home and Remodeling Show January 12-14. Whether you’re planning to build, or just want to be inspired, you’re sure to have a great time at this event. Stop by our booth and get a free cookie cutter!

Last, but not least, don’t forget to spread that much needed holiday cheer. This time of year can be stressful, make sure to smile at a stranger and wave at your neighbor.

Happy holidays!