5 Beloved Milwaukee Christmas Traditions

Christmas in Milwaukee is enchanting, and it’s no surprise with the numerous events and festivities that take place around the city this time of year. Many on our Krause Funeral Homes care team who grew up in Milwaukee have fond childhood memories from decades past. Who else remembers ice skating at Mayfair Mall’s “Ice Chalet”? Or watching in awe as Santa arrived by helicopter at Southgate Shopping Center?

Whether you’ve been a Milwaukeean your entire life or are new to the area, this is the ideal place to celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year”! There’s the snow and the chill in the air (that’s putting it mildly some years), the warm-hearted people, and of course, the many activities sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

We’ve compiled a few of our favorite traditions and encourage you to make the most of these next few weeks by embracing all our wonderful city has to offer.

  1. Take in a show

We may be known as “Smallwaukee” thanks to our small-town-in-a-big-city charm, but Milwaukee has all the advantages of a metropolis, including a thriving arts scene. Many of us remember attending A Christmas Carol as children, which has been running annually for over four decades. Enjoy the timeless story of The Nutcracker performed throughout December by the Milwaukee Ballet, and check out the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s December offerings, including Holiday Pops and Handel’s Messiah. Pure holiday magic for all ages!

  1. Pick up a We Energies Cookie Book

Did any of our readers grow up seeing this cookbook around the house or tasting one its featured recipes? Interestingly, the first edition was published in 1928 to promote the use of electric appliances in baking. Now, the cookie books are distributed at more than two dozen locations and you can even access it online. The 2019 edition features 38 of “Grandma’s favorite” recipes, along with cherished memories of baking with family. Talk about a tasty tradition everyone can enjoy!

  1. Head downtown for a skate

Many of us learned to ice skate on homemade rinks, ponds, or at local parks around the area. For decades now, Milwaukeeans have also enjoyed a Rockefeller Center-like skating experience at Red Arrow Park’s Slice of Ice. This Downtown Milwaukee landmark rink was remodeled in 1999, can fit 100 people at a time, and is actually bigger than the rink at Rockefeller. On Wisconsin!

  1. Visit Candy Cane Lane

In 1984, a group of neighbors in West Allis worked together to decorate their homes, encouraging visitors to enjoy the spectacle and make a donation to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc.) in honor of a neighbor child’s battle with cancer. Since then, this program has raised more than $2.3 million! From Nov. 29 to Dec. 28, you can enjoy festively decorated houses and trees wrapped like candy canes, while supporting a great cause.

  1. Experience Christmas at the Pabst

The Pabst Mansion, constructed by Captain Frederick and Maria Pabst in 1892, has been open to the public since 1978. Every Christmas, the mansion is decorated for the holidays, with décor that changes by the year. Experience a Milwaukee landmark while taking in the stunning display.

Our Krause team is looking forward to many adventures this holiday season, but we also understand that this time of year can be a challenge. If you have lost a loved one and could use support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We have a number of grief resources right here on this blog and on other areas of our website. We’re here for our Milwaukee neighbors any time.

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